1st October, 2008
With the global credit crunch grabbing all the headlines, issues concerning economies on a lesser scale are easily sidelined.
But last week Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for communities and local government, invited local councils to ‘opt in’ to the Sustainable Communities Act – a groundbreaking piece of legislation that aims to give local people the power to change laws within their communities to encourage sustainable living.
The Act has been pushed from start to finish by Local Works, a coalition of 90 national organisations including the Ecologist, which has sent out a letter urging local councils to sign up to the Sustainable Communities Act – it’s a voluntary scheme, so Councils need to be persuaded that it is in their interest. Read the letter here.
The Act is at heart a bid to create true ‘bottom-up’ democracy. It commits central Government to ‘assist local authorities in promoting the sustainability of local communities.’ The Act defines sustainability as ‘encouraging the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of an area and social wellbeing is defined to include “participation in civic and political activity”.’
It would do this by offering people the...
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