Please help – Sustainable Communities under threat!

Dear Sturminster Newton Transition Town

Please help stop government’s plans to take your powers away!

The Sustainable Communities Act is a radical new law that allows you to take action to help your community. People across the country have used the Act to make government take a whole range of actions, from helping to save local post offices and shops to promoting renewable energy. You can find out more about the Act here: www.localworks.org

But now the Act is under serious threat. The radical new powers it gives you to protect your community risk being taken away.

PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP TODAY. Details further below.

Government must put down regulations shortly governing how the Act will work in future, and has set out its plans for these regulations in aconsultation.

If the plans go ahead as set out in the consultation, the Act will be severely weakened. You would lose the involvement rights the Act gives you to protect your community. More information about the government’s plans is available here: www.localworks.org/node/138

The Sustainable Communities Act has set up the only legal mechanism where we can demand government action to reverse this decline and protect our communities. It is needed more than ever: We have already lost a third of our post offices, thousands of independent shops and every day we lose ten more pubs. And now we are facing severe cuts to local services and a looming recession.

Please help by doing the following:

1.    Please write to, or email, your MP.  Suggested points to make are below. Please personalise your message. You can find out who your MP is and their contact details here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk.

2.    Please ask others to do the same and forward this email on to anyone who may help – the more letters MPs receive the better!

Points to make in your letter/email to your MP:

§  Say you are very concerned that the pending Sustainable Communities Act regulations will weaken the Act, when they need to strengthen it.

§  Say the regulations need to include three things:

1. A duty on Local Authorities to try to reach agreement with local people on what proposals to put forward under the Act – because this duty is fundamental to the ‘bottom-up’ philosophy and process that the Act has set up,

2. A time limit on dealing with proposals local people make – because in the first round people had to wait over 18 months to receive a response and if there are delays like this again people will be frustrated and simply lose interest; and

3. The right for town and parish councils to be able to submit proposals under the Act – because all councils should be able to get involved directly and this was explicitly intended by the Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Act 2010.

§  Ask your MP to please write to Communities Minister, Greg Clark, urging him to ensure the three things above are included in the pending regulations.

Thank you very much for your efforts and best wishes for the New Year.

Steve Shaw
Local Works National Co-ordinator

P.S. – Please note government is planning to put these plans in place very soon, so we must act now to convince them to include your powers to protect your community in regulations.

P.P.S. – IMPORTANT: Please send copies of any replies you receive to me steve@localworks.org or Local Works, c/o Unlock Democracy, 6 Cynthia St, London N1 9JF. Thank you.

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