An event compered by a Bolton community leader was held in parliament to campaign for communities to have more power in the decisions that affect their neighbourhoods.

Inayat Omarji MBE, one of six community leaders nationally who make up the We’re Right Here campaign group, hosted the event attended by around 200 people which had cross-party representation.

All six of the leaders have achieved positive change within their communities and believe that allowing people at grassroots level to affect change should be made easier. That is what they hope to achieve with the Community Power Act.

Mr Omarji said: “Local authorities will have to justify to a commissioner.

“It would be down to local authorities to mandate key areas so that communities have a real say on budget and change there.

The Bolton News: We're Right Here campaign groupWe're Right Here campaign group

“Whether that’s through local forums or something else, there will be a true dialogue and true partnerships with the local community that will be different in different towns and cities.

“They will have a real say on how their neighbourhoods can be different, rather than sending an email and never hearing back and three years down the line nothing has happened.”

A letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, was signed by MPs in attendance, including Kim Leadbetter (Lab), Tracey Crouch (Con), Chris Loder (Con) and Rachael Maskell (Lab).

Speeches were heard by Alex Norris MP, a shadow Levelling Up Minister, and conservative leader of Lichfield Council Cllr Doug Pullen.

Mr Omarji said: “It went really, really well.

“Everyone in the room was echoing – why is it always a challenge, a battle with local authorities to do something in our communities?

“Everyone there agreed that this has to happen.”

The event comes after research by the group found that neighbourhood groups that were formed on the back of the pandemic are here to stay.

READ: Bolton's Inayat Omarji heads up campaign for more community power

Analysis showed that 41 per cent of the Facebook groups formed in March 2020 to support neighbours through Covid have become long-term hubs for local support, and many have become established charities at the heart of their communities.