New parliamentary bill to strengthen the Sustainable Communities Act

By agency reporter
December 4, 2009

Alistair Burt MP, Conservative assistant chief whip in the House of Commons, has chosen to introduce a new Bill that will strengthen the Sustainable Communities Act 2007.

Mr Burt was drawn in last week’s Private Members’ Ballot in Parliament, meaning he may introduce a Bill of his choice and attempt to see it made law before the election.

Local Works, a national coalition of over 100 organisations (including the Women’s Institute, the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, Friends of the Earth, the trade union UNISON and the Muslim Council of Britain), were the behind the Sustainable Communities Act and are backing the Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill.

The Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill will strengthen the original Act by creating an ongoing process for communities and their councils to put forward proposals for government action to promote and protect local sustainability.

So far, under the original Act, 100 local authority areas have put forward 300 proposals.

Local Works Campaign Co-ordinator, Steve Shaw, said: “The Sustainable Communities Act is the most exciting and radical reform we have had to our democracy in decades. At a time when people are disengaged and disillusioned with politics this Act has already triggered huge citizen involvement with hundreds of ideas for government action coming forward. However the process is in danger of being a one-off event. It must be ongoing."

He added: “The Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill will ensure that the original Act continues to involve people. We thank and congratulate Alistair Burt MP for deciding to adopt this as his Private Members’ Bill and we call on the Government for support, so the Act can continue to engage citizens in democracy.”

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