The city council have recently pledged to consider opting in to the Sustainable Communities Act, and if they did, this would give people in Leicester a chance to locally decide upon central Government support to improve the sustainability of our local community.
Over the next few weeks they should be considering what proposals could be put forward to use the act, so there’s a short window where we can contribute some ideas from Transition towards this process – hence this thread on our blog.
To give some background, the Act defines the promotion of sustainable communities as any of the following 4 things, all of which fit well with Transition’s goals:
1. Environmental, e.g. promoting local renewable energy, increasing recycling and protecting green spaces
2. Local economies, e.g. promoting local shops, local businesses and local jobs
3. Social inclusion, e.g. protecting local public services and alleviating fuel poverty and food poverty
4. Democratic involvement, e.g. increasing the ways local people can participate in local decision making and promoting new ways in which people can influence what happens locally
You can read more about all this on the Local Works website (http://www.localworks.org).
There’s a bit more detail (taken from the act) below about the kinds of proposals that can be put forward. The question is how could we use this to improve Leicester? Any ideas must be related to issues where central Government policies or regulations are preventing local action, so keep that in mind when responding…
MATTERS TO WHICH LOCAL AUTHORITIES MUST HAVE REGARD
1. The matters referred to in section 2 are –
(a) the provision of local services,
(b) the extent to which the volume and value of goods and services that are –
(i) Offered for sale; or
(ii) Procured by public bodies
and are produced within 30 miles (or any lesser distance as may be specified by a local authority in respect of its area) of their place of sale or of the boundary of the public body,
(c) the rate of increase in the growth and marketing of organic forms of food production and the local food economy,
(d) measures to promote reasonable access by all local people to a supply of food that is adequate in terms of both amount and nutritional value,
(e) the number of local jobs,
(f) measures to conserve energy and increase the quantity of energy supplies which are produced from sustainable sources with a 30 mile radius of the region in which they are consumed,
(g) measures taken to reduce the level of road traffic including, but not restricted to, local public transport provision, measures to promote walking and cycling and measures to decrease the amount of product miles,
(h) the increase in social inclusion, including an increase in involvement in local democracy,
(i) measures to increase mutual aid and other community projects,
(j) measures designed to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases,
(k) measures designed to increase community health and well being,
(l) planning policies which would assist with the purposes of this Act, including new arrangements for the provision of affordable housing, and
(m) measures to increase the use of local waste materials for the benefit of the community.