Headlines: December 20th, 2010

A new service has been launched to help volunteers, community groups and social enterprises overcome bureaucracy and get things done in their neighbourhood.

Councils, community groups, local institutions and individuals who need central government’s help to get rid of barriers can submit a request through the Barrier Busting website Everyone who submits a query will be given an individual number to track the progress of their request and the contact details of a named person they can talk to from a dedicated team of “barrier busters” – senior civil servants in the Government who will help find ways to let local people take control.

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said: “Local people often have brilliant ideas and are keen to get involved in making their neighbourhood a better place. Government rules and regulations should be there to support them – not stand in their way. The barrier busting service is there to find practical solutions and give local people’s enthusiasm and commitment free rein. This is about turning government on its head.”

The Government is also publishing an action plan which describes what it is already doing to lift barriers in response to requests made by councils and communities under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. It is inviting councils to talk to their communities again, under the terms of the Act, about what needs to be done to improve local life – and to submit fresh ideas of how government can help unlock local ambitions.