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Chris Setz has made contact with Locality on behalf of the proposed Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum, and has passed on the following details. There is funding and consultancy available now, but not for long it appears. Chris's email is below:
Hi Norman -  just got off the phone with Locality - I did mention your name but they said the first step is to give your name and email address on the form at the bottom of this ... so did not take a note of it. I noticed at the meeting that you had a copy of the Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide in front of you - that contains everything you need to know, really.
If it helps, here's roughly what I asked and my understanding/interpretation of what was said to me:
They confirmed that they are set up to help you form a Neighbourhood Forum by advising how to make use of the various government resources. 
There are uncertain of the implications were a Community Council to be formed. There's only one in London so far (Queen's Park, Westminster) and that did not supplant a Neighbourhood Forum, so nobody has any experience. My personal guess is that it would probably take over the role of the NF should people decide to form a Community Council but as there is no awareness of that as an option here in Crouch End, it is not a relevant threat to the NF. 
As far as they know (and of course they cannot officially comment) there are no plans by any political party to repeal the Localism Act or deconstruct the whole Neighbourhood Forum approach. Where any of that to happen it would require primary legislation. 
There are no other groups they are aware of who had or have started on the same NF path here (he had to check as he thought there was something in Crouch End already)
If you write to the Haringey Chief Exec to register your interest in forming a Neighbourhood Forum, you will miss out on the Direct Support package that is available - you will no longer qualify.  
The current phase of Direct Support grant opens today (Nov 4th) and will be exhausted by the end of November 2014. A new tranche of government money will be made available in April, but nobody knows how much or what exactly it will be allocated for.  Now is the time to submit an 'Expression of Interest' with Locality and work with them to access this government support. 
This support is usually in the form of a planning expert who will be allocated to you with up to £7,000 (provided you have a plan to spend it before March) to spend on consultancy.  I looked on the website and located the most recent guidance notes, which seem worth reading. Here is an example application form that might be useful in your preparation. I also noticed details of the hundreds of local groups that have been awarded this money in the last 18 months - some in London.
Please acknowledge - over to you!


Tags: cenf, consultancy, grant, locality

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