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Ham and Petersham closer to unprecedented powers
6:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
People in Ham and Petersham are one step closer to being the first ward in the borough with increased powers.
Following a meeting in June this year, which attracted 180 people, residents have been invited back to Grey Court School to continue to set up the Ham and Petersham neighbourhood forum.
The forum is set up under the 2011 Localism Act and will allow the people of Ham and Petersham to plan for the future within the council’s planning framework.
The forum offers a wider opportunity for residents, organisations and businesses to influence and initiate what will happen in Ham and Petersham.
Maggie Bailey, headteacher of Grey Court School, who chaired the first meeting, said: “The neighbourhood forum is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in Ham and Petersham to plan the future of our community. “We want to hear from residents, local groups and local businesses, and build on the success of the packed meeting in June.”
Once the neighbourhood forum is up and running the next step is to draw up a neighbourhood plan to be approved by the Richmond Council, which will then be put to a referendum of everyone entitled to vote in the community.
Councillor David Williams, who represents the Ham and Petersham ward, said: “We have got a good sense of community in Ham and Petersham. There are just two bus services, no tube or rail and we have all the open space too.
“This is a very important step in being able to preserve Ham and Petersham in its semi-rural nature.”
Ham and Petersham is the first area in Richmond borough to set up a neighbourhood forum, although there are more than 500 nationally and 70 within London.
The meeting, which will be held at 7pm at Grey Court School on September 10, will start with group discussions about major topics in Ham and Petersham, then a committee will be elected and plans outlined for the next year.
For more information on the forum, visit hamandpetershamforum.org.
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