Local man appointed to help neighbourhood planning movement
Ealing Today forum regular, and champion of all things local, Eric Leach, has finally been recognised from on high.
He's been nominated 'Neighbourhood Planning Champion' by the Department for Communities & Local Government.
His role will be to spread the word about The Localism Act which has resulted in new neighbourhood powers.
From this year all local planning authorities are eligible for funding to support new plans and forums.
Councils can claim up to £100,000 a year to help local residents start a neighbourhood plan, with an extra £25,000 for plans that pass a successful examination.
Planning Minister Nick Boles said:
“There is a genuine neighbourhood planning movement occurring with more than 500 communities already using these powers and many hundreds more taking steps to make use of this important new right.
''We’ve seen a great start but I want to see many more communities making sure they make the most out of neighbourhood planning. This funding will help councils support plans around the country and help turn communities’ aspirations for their area into reality.”
Eric has lived in West Ealing for over 30 years and describes himself as a 'blunt speaking and enthusiastic Lancashire man' with a vision to make the area a better place for residents, traders and visitors alike.
He worked for many years within the voluntary sector and joined West Ealing Neighbours (WEN) in 2006.
Eric says of his new position:
''I think that I have been given the role as I have attended more of the Government neighbourhood planning meetings than anyone else!
Seriously though I found out at a Government meeting this week that our Local Planning Authority nominated me.
''Presumably it's in recognition for the work I've done and am doing in setting up the Neighbourhood Forum in West Ealing centre and to a lesser extent in central Ealing.
''I have also been helping neighbourhood planning initiatives in Hanwell and in Acton. The new role will extend to responding to other requests for neighbourhhod planning help and advice in and around London, which I'm happy to do if I have the time'.
17th October 2013