Friday, November 24, 2006

Local Works

The Sustainable Communities Bill

Barkingside 21 has been supporting the campaign to get this bill introduced into Parliament for most of this year [2006] and you may recall that at our request Redbridge Council passed a resolution supporting the bill on 9th March 2006.
NIck Hurd MpWe were on standby to lobby the seven MPs drawn in the Private Members Ballot on 23rd November 2006, but in the end we did not have to. First out of the hat was Nick Hurd MP [Ruislip-Northwood] who agreed to adopt the bill and take it through Parliament. Well done Nick. There is now an excellent chance that this bill will be made into law next year.

This bill
aims to address the decline of local services and facilities, and the resulting decline of local jobs and local economies, which in turn results in extra traffic and pollution caused by the needs of people to travel further. By:
  • the promotion of local economies
  • the promotion of local services and facilities
  • the protection of the environment
  • the reduction of social exclusion and
  • measures to increase involvement in the democratic process

The bill specifically:

  • requires the government to assist councils and communities in promoting local sustainability in ways decided by them;
  • sets up a participative process whereby councils and communities can drive the way in which government uses its power and influence to assist with the promotion of local sustainability;
  • impacts on central authorities and does not impose any new duties on councils but instead enables them to influence how government uses its resources and influence to help councils and communities;
  • specifically provides that where councils themselves decide to take action to promote local sustainability that they should be given the resources to do so.

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