Neighbourhood Planning has given local communities the power to shape the places where they live. It is this country’s biggest development in local democracy since universal suffrage gave all adult citizens the vote in 1928.
Three years ago, in 2012, Parish Councils received one of the most important and significant powers in local government – the power to contribute to their authority’s Local Plan. Prior to this, the only real power that Parish Councils had was to decide how to spend the local precept.
For the very first time the people of this country – and the people of our three parishes of Chorlton, Maer & Aston and Whitmore – have a real opportunity to have a say in how their local area should develop, and for their decision to have legal weight.
This is something that would have been unimaginable to the parents and grandparents of people living in our Neighbourhood Area today. Indeed, until it happened it was unimaginable to some of our current older residents.
The future of our Neighbourhood Area is in OUR hands. Will we seize the opportunity? Or let it pass us by?