Ramsbottom. Tottington and North Manor Local Area Partnership

On Thursday evening I attended a meeting of the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor Local Area Partnership (LAP). These bodies used to be called Area Boards and whilst I agree with the principle of devolving power down to the most local unit possible unfortunately I have to say that the way Labour have forced the Area Board’s to be renamed and reorganised has not been a great success in terms of increasing local involvement. Despite the valiant efforts of all those involved in the meetings, especially the LAP Chairmen and Managers, the attendance by members of the public is woefully low. Only when a local issue raises the political temperature does attendance increase. Attendance used to be better under the previous Area Board system and whilst the idea of LAP’s may soung good in theory in practice I, for one, remain to be convinced.

The meeting on Thursday was held at Ramsbottom Fire Station and the highlight was undoubtedly a display by the fire cadets who are raising money to travel to the Czech Republic to represent the Country in a competition against other Cadets from across Europe. They performed with great skill and organisation and I hope they perform as well when they have their chance on the international stage.

2 thoughts on “Ramsbottom. Tottington and North Manor Local Area Partnership

  1. It is somewhat ungracious of you to critise Labour for the changes to the Area Boards. The previous system needed reform and it was the correct way forward to include partners as well as local community groups in the Local Area Partnerships under the “umbrella” of the Local Strategic Partnership. ( Team Bury). The new Tory administration has continued with the Local Area Partnerships under the leadership of Cllr Bibby, who incidentally also chairs the LSP and Cllr Creswell who has direct responsibility for the LAPs within her portfolio. The Tory administration could have changed the system had they wanted to and they haven’t. I agree that there are ways in which they could be improved and hopefuly they will evolve as time goes on. However a return to the toothless, talking shops that were the Area Boards will benefit no-one.

  2. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your comment.
    I think that we need to be clear about what he purpose of LAP’s is. If is is for direct engagement with the public then there is, I believe, a long way to go. I think attendance figures of genuine members of the public ( ie excluding press etc) should be shown as a percentage of the electoral roll for the area involved which would highlight this.
    David

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