Liberal Democrat Council to consider Sustainable Communities Act

Kingston’s Liberal Democrat administration is considering signing up to the Sustainable Communities Act.

The Executive body of Kingston Councillors will be considering an invitation from Hazel Blears, Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government’s, to “empower citizens and communities”.

If the Council decides to sign up to the Act, a legislative channel will be set up to enable local people to propose ideas to central government on how to improve their local neighbourhood.

It will provide a route for local people, via their local authority, to raise proposals around sustainability direct with the Government.

We will need to set up a Community Panel to facilitate that process and consideration is being given on how best to do that.

Further details of the Act’s provisions, and how the Council can respond to them, will be set out in a report to the Executive - to be published early this week for a meeting on 9 December. The Executive will then consider whether the Council ‘opts in’ to the Sustainable Communities Act, 2007.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Bob Steed, Executive Member responsible for Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change commented: “Liberal Democrat Councillors are committed to the principle of Sustainable Communities. We are delighted that the Government is finally coming round to the idea of empowering local people to inform central government on what is needed to promote environmental well-being in their area.

“We can be proud in Kingston that we have a long history of participation through the well-established Local Neighborhood Committees.”

Cllr Steed added: “We will be discussing the specific details and implications of the Act on 9th December – and deciding whether it will be right for Kingston.”

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