Book News: January 29th, 2008

Local charters or contracts have the potential to give local people a much greater say in the running of local services. Pilots have shown that local people are often best placed to spot problems and come up with ideas to solve them, whether the issue is anti-social behaviour, litter, better services for young people or improvements to the local park.

This publication is a practical guide to designing charters that reflect local people’s concerns, and that match their priorities to the resources available from councils and service providers. Every charter will be different and that is their strength. Charters must be flexible and tailored to reflect the consensus of local views. Many of the examples in the guide show how the creation of a charter has had a direct and positive effect on relations between local authorities, local services and local people.

The trust that they help to build is an important reason to promote the creation of charters and is at the heart of measures to enable people from diverse communities to influence public decisions.

The guide is available from DCLG.