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First Community Council meetings called for May

The dates have been announced for the first meetings of Southwark's new community councils.

The first Community Council meetings this month in the south of the Borough, with North Southwark's inaugural meetings to follow in May.

The council claims that the pioneering new project – an election pledge from the Liberal Democrats in last year's local elections – is designed to give local people a voice and empower residents to get involved in decision-making.

'Cleaner and greener', one of Southwark's key priorities for the year, will be the hot topic in this first round of meetings. Southwark says people will be offered the chance to help decide with their elected councillors where they want new trees planted and where additional rubbish bins should be located to help keep their area cleaner.

Cpommunity Councils will make decisions about planning, licensing and traffic management and appoint primary school governors. In addition, they will have budgets to spend on environmental improvements and community safety.

The councils will meet monthly and cover topics which consultations have shown are important to local people, such as youth services and community safety.

Cllr Caroline Pidgeon, Deputy Leader of Southwark Council said: "Community Councils are a real opportunity for residents to tell us what they think and influence decisions that affect their local area.

"Community Councils will not be the usual formal style council meetings, and will have workshops and other more informal opportunities for local people to get involved and have their say. I urge everyone who cares about where they live to come along and make a difference."

• Wednesday 7 May: Borough & Bankside Community Council, Charles Dickens School, Lant Street, SE1
• Wednesday 7 May: Walworth Community Council, Pasley TA Hall, Stopford Road, SE17
• Wed 28 May: Bermondsey Community Council, Southwark Park TA Hall, 151 Drummond Rd, Layard Sq. SE16

All meetings will start at 7pm.

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