Sustainable communities coalition welcomes new government help

By agency reporter
24 Mar 2010

A broad coalition of campaigners has welcomed an announcement by the government helping allotments and pubs under a new “ground-up” law, the Sustainable Communities Act.

Local Works, a huge grouping of over 100 national organisations including the Women’s Institute, the Federation of Small Businesses, trade union UNISON, Friends of the Earth and the Co-operative Group, has campaigned for the Act and welcomed the developments

The government has said it will implement measures put forward by communities under the Sustainable Development Act, including helping to save pubs by stopping pub companies putting in place restrictive covenants which prevent them from being used as pubs if sold.

The government also announced measures to allow allotment holders to sell surplus produce to local shops and to use abandoned land for new allotments.

The proposals were put forward under the Act by individuals and community groups across the country as part of a range of measures to help communities.

Jenny Hawke, a mother of three and chairwoman of a Brighton community association, put forward the idea for local people to be able to sell surplus produce under the Act, describing it as “a logical step” to reduce food packaging and journeys in transporting food.

The government is currently considering over 200 other proposals put forward by people across the country and is negotiating with councils’ representative body, the Local Government Association, on which of these will be implemented.

Local Works National Co-ordinator, Steve Shaw, said: “This is excellent news. Government is now making progress on announcing which of over 200 proposals put forward under the Sustainable Communities Act will be implemented. This will mean real results for people across the country and real improvements to local communities. The announcements government has made will help reverse the decline of community pubs and increase local food production."

Shaw added: “It is vital that this process that is clearly involving people and communities in democracy continues. We urge all political parties to pledge to ensure that the Sustainable Communities Act involvement process is ongoing in their election manifestos. We also call on the government to deal with the outstanding proposals made under the Act as soon as possible.”

For more information, see the Local Works website: www.localworks.org

[Ekk/3]

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