Government Policy

The UK Government white paper ‘Fixing our broken Housing Market’ sets out government’s plans to boost the supply of new homes in England. It includes measures to ensure we:
  • plan for the right homes in the right places
  • build homes faster
  • diversify the housing market
  • help people now

Read the Housing White Paper supporting documents

Alongside the white paper the Government are also publishing a number of supporting technical documents which provided the evidence underpinning many of the white paper proposals. The supporting documents comprise a number of responses to prior consultations, as well as new consultations on permitted development rights and Build to Rent. These documents are available on the main collection page.

The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 gives all councils, including town and parish councils, the right to submit proposals to central government asking for the removal of legislative and other barriers that prevent them from improving the sustainability of their local area.

Proposals can be concerned with anything that would improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of the area. But you need to remember that:

  • Councils must consult and try to reach agreement with local people before a proposal can be submitted. The consultation must be about the intention to submit a proposal using the Act – you cannot rely on previous consultations on the same subject. There are no rules on how to consult but it should be proportionate to the proposal and the scale of the issue. DCLG will ask you for information about your consultation and the responses you received before your proposal can be considered.
  • The proposal should be something that is within the government’s power to change. For example, the government can only intervene in planning decisions where this is allowed by the legislation.

“Neighbourhood planning gives communities the opportunity to direct the development of their areas through creating plans and policies. Local authorities have the responsibility to support communities who wish to engagement in the neighbourhood planning process and have the responsibility to use the policies and orders produced. Guides, tools, templates and case studies are available to help local authorities support neighbourhood planning. “(Planning Advisory Service).

There are a number of different approaches to delivering housing supply, many of which sit under the broad heading of community-led housing. This term is commonly used to describe homes that are developed and/or managed by local people or residents, most commonly in not-for-profit organisational structures.

Pre-Feasibility Grants for Community-Led Housing

Applications for grant for 2017-18 can be submitted from 1 February 2017 until 1 October 2017. Expenditure through a grant must be completed by 31 December 2017.

Grants between £1,000 and £10,000 can help you assess the feasibility of a community-led building project prior to submitting a Community Right to Build Order.

If you have identified a possible community-led building project and are assessing the way forward, a pre-feasibility grant will give you broad-brush information to help you progress.

Estate Regeneration

This section of the estate regeneration national strategy outlines these alternatives, including co-operative housing, community land trusts, development trusts, self-help and self-build housing, community-led housing associations, mutuals and almshouses.

Resident Engagement and Protection

Guidance on how landlords, developers and local authorities should engage with residents throughout an estate regeneration scheme.

Role of local authorities

This section of the national strategy outlines the important place leadership role local authorities can play to support estate regeneration.

Finance and delivery

Guidance on financing and delivering estate regeneration schemes, creating strong partnerships and levering in private investment.

Good practice guide

The estate regeneration good practice guide sets out key considerations for early stage projects and a model process that leads to successful regeneration.

Better social outcomes

Government is working with estates to map patterns of public spending, with the aim of improving social outcomes.

Alternative approaches

This section of the national strategy outlines alternatives approaches to regeneration.

Partner engagement

Government has engaged with over 200 organisations to develop the Estate Regeneration National Strategy.

Case studies

Case studies highlighting good practice in estate regeneration.

Funding

The national strategy accompanies £140 million of loan funding, £30 million of enabling grant and £2 million of capacity building funding being made available to support estate regeneration. This financial support from government is directly targeted at de-risking the early stages of regeneration schemes and providing support to areas for such activities as community engagement, feasibility studies, scoping of proposals and masterplanning. There is also support available for preconstruction activities such demolition and moving residents.

More information is in the funding prospectus.

Next steps

Between now and 31 March 2017, the Government will:

  • continue to work with the Homes and Communities Agency on a regional basis to help local partners accelerate their schemes.
  • assess bids and allocate enabling funding (2016 to 2017) and project finance – the deadline for bids for enabling and capacity building grant funding is 31 January 2017
  • provide opportunities for places to support each other and work with experts on specific challenges such as finance and delivery, design quality and engagement
  • share materials to help places adopt good practice

If you would like to tell us about your scheme or have any questions about the support available, please email us:

  • Estate Regeneration National Strategy Executive Summary 
  • Resident Engagement and Protection – This section of the national strategy sets out the government’s expectations for how landlords, developers and local authorities should engage with residents throughout an estate regeneration scheme, and for how residents should be protected. Successful estate regeneration schemes need to have the support of a majority of the residents, through what can be a very uncertain time for them. Early and ongoing discussions on plans for the estate, and residents’ personal housing needs and choices, will build a relationship of trust between residents and landowners and help to develop support. A residents’ charter which defines commitments and opportunities for all tenants and leaseholders is a good way of collaborating with residents. A suggested template is included.

National Infrastructure – Embedding sustainable development in decision making  – This report sets out recommendations to Government that will help the planning system deliver holistically on its primary stated aim of sustainable development. See additional Sustainable Development policies

2010-2015 Government Policy – Economic Development in Coastal and Seaside Areas.

Economic Development in Coastal & Seaside Towns – Coastal areas in England are invited to apply to establish a Coastal Community Team. (Invitation to form a Coastal Community Team) These teams will be provided with £10,000 of grant funding via the local authority, to help them develop their economic plan. Areas wishing to establish a Coastal Community Team in 2016 (Application Form) should complete the application form and email it to coastalcommunities@communities.gsi.gov.uk. In 2015 the government provided £1.18 million supporting the establishment of 118 Coastal Community Teams around the coastline of England. Each one is different in scale, membership and ambition – but all are geared towards making their local area better.  The Big Lottery Fund are managing the Coastal Communities Fund and the Coastal Communities Alliance are supporting the Coastal Community Teams programme.

National Pollinator Strategy: For bees and other pollinators in England (updated 2015).

This strategy sets out a 10 year plan to help pollinating insects survive and thrive. Our pollinators are vital for food production and biodiversity and they face a range of pressures from habitat loss to pests and diseases. The strategy includes information on the current evidence, and policy actions to support and protect the many pollinating insects which contribute to our food production and the diversity of our environment. It also explains what research is planned to find out more about the current state of our pollinators and how we can protect them. Pollinating insects include many different species of bees and other insects such as hoverflies, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths. Supporting Document

Heritage Properties: Prepare a ‘Heritage Management Plan’ (2014) An Heritage Management Plan (HMP) that’s written specifically for conditional exemption shows how you will:

  • maintain and preserve the heritage property in the condition that helped it to be granted heritage status
  • provide and maintain reasonable public access

Your HMP needs to include:

  • what’s significant about the heritage property (such as historic buildings, archaeology, designed landscapes and the wider historic environment)
  • how the public will access it
  • how you will maintain and preserve the heritage property, taking into account its significance and circumstances
  • when you will be able to carry out the work set out in your plan

Your HMP should cover short-term (1 to 5 years), medium-term (10 years) and long-term (25 years) plans on how the heritage property will be maintained. For medium and long-term plans you only need to outline how you’ll schedule repair and other works to maintain and preserve the heritage property. This is in addition to regular maintenance work. More detailed information about what to include in your HMP is given in the booklets on heritage management plans and conditional exemption.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force on 31 January 2013. It requires people who commission public services to think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits. Before they start the procurement process, commissioners should think about whether the services they are going to buy, or the way they are going to buy them, could secure these benefits for their area or stakeholders. The Act is a tool to help commissioners get more value for money out of procurement. It also encourages commissioners to talk to their local provider market or community to design better services, often finding new and innovative solutions to difficult problems.

Building Trust: Action Plan Executive Summary (2013)  – Developing the next stage of the local government Reputation Plan. The Building Trust project aims to help local authorities work more effectively with local  people, sale their own staff and the wide range of groups and organisations that make up our local communities. It has been developed jointly between the Local Government Association (LGA), pills the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and LGcommunications, the professional body that represents local government communications teams. See also the Building Trust Action Plan

Reputation in Local Government ‘What Helps?– a Presentation by Fiona Narburgh, Head of Strategy and Communications at Wychavon District Council.

New Reputation Guide for Councils –  identifies three ‘big issues’ for councils. First, Leadership: having clarity about what the council stands for and making sure it is understood by the whole organisation. Second, Brand: having a clear sense of purpose and
believing and living your values. Third, Strategic communications: having the right skills to improve reputation.

“Reputation is built on three things: what people say about you; what you say about yourself and how your actions and behaviours reflect what you stand for.”(p.5)

The Reputation of Local Government –  presents the findings of a literature review of research into public attitudes towards local government in England. This was conducted by the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute on behalf of the Local Government
Association (LGA) to support the launch of the ‘My Council’ campaign among English local authorities.  The purpose of the campaign is to raise public awareness of the services provided by local councils. This takes the form of posters and images which convey as directly as possible what the local council does and how this  affects people’s everyday lives.

Community Development Handbook (Oct 2014) – Guidance and advice for community managers and people involved in communities of practice in the public sector.

Social media Guidance for Civil Servants (2014) – The purpose of this guidance is to encourage and enable civil servants to use social and other digital media appropriately to enhance their work. It also makes clear their responsibilities to do so in accordance with the Civil Service Code. The guidance covers the use of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook and digital activity in general both in and out of work, eg browsing websites, downloading content or posting or publishing anything to the web.

Localism Act (2011) –  sets out a series of measures aiming to achieve a shift in power away from central government towards local people. It includes: new freedoms and flexibilities for local government; new rights and powers for communities and individuals; reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective, and reform to ensure decisions take about housing are taken locally. Here is a simple Guide to the Localism Act

Local Government Act 2000 Overview and scrutiny committees were established in English and Welsh local authorities by the Local Government Act 2000.  They were intended as a counterweight to the new executive structures created by that Act (elected mayors or leaders and cabinets). Their role was to develop and review policy and make recommendations to the council.

National Evaluation of Participatory Budgeting in England – This is an interim evaluation of Participatory Budgeting in England. Phase one of the evaluation looked at four questions:
• Why do Participatory Budgeting?
• What does Participatory Budgeting involve?
• How much will Participatory Budgeting cost?
• What will we get for our money?
Critical success factors in delivering participatory budgeting are set out in the report.

An Overview of new Local Area Agreements (LAAs) – Local Area Agreements are about what sort of place you want to live in. They are about setting the strategic direction and focusing on the priorities that will make Eden a better place to be. They are about place-shaping. LAAs will continue to be three-year agreements with priorities agreed between all the main public sector agencies working in the area and with central Government. This will mean everyone working together to have the right evidence to know what these priorities are. But these should not just be decided between public sector agencies. Everyone should have the opportunity to say what matter most to them. A good LAA should ensure there are the systems in place to be sure that what everyone agrees should happen does. Therefore best practice public engagement and consultation is imperative, along with timely and appropriate feedback about what has happened as a result of public input.

The vision in the Department of Communities & Local Government Single Developmental Plan 2015-2020‘  is to provide a driving focus to increase housing supply and make it easier for the 86% of people who say they want to own their own home, to achieve that aspiration. Objectives include:

  1. Driving up housing supply
  2. Increasing home ownership
  3. Devolving powers and budgets to boost local growth in England
  4. Supporting strong communities with excellent public services

The goal is to enable a shift in power from central to local government, with decentralisation bringing power closer to local communities. DCLG want cities to have more control over transport, housing, skills and healthcare with elected metro mayors. The aim is to support local authorities and help create strong local economies and deliver high quality, value for money services.

Planning Together: Updated practical guide for local strategic partnerships and planners. This short, practical guide is focused on the strategic leadership role of local authorities working through Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and the planning system to shape good places and deliver quality services.

Supporting Local Information and Research: Understanding demand and Improving Capacity – Communities and Local Government, in partnership with the Audit Commission and
the Local Government Association, commissioned an external review to understand
better how to strengthen support to local partners in using local information and
research in decision-making.This project has investigated the following questions:
• What are the sources of demand for local information and research?
• How is research carried out locally?
• How is local information and analysis currently supported by national, regional and
sub-regional organisations?
• How can support for local information and analysis be strengthened?

Community Empowerment, Housing and Economic Regeneration Bill creates greater opportunities for community and individual empowerment, reform local and regional governance arrangement to promote economic regereration and continue the government’s programme of housing reform. The main elements of the Bill are:
– mpowering communities and individuals by involving them in the design and delivery of local public services and other measures designed to promote local democracy and larger numbers of active citizens, possibly including giving individuals a right of response from their local authority to local petitions
– extending the powers of the new social housing regulator, to apply to local authority landlords (subject to the new regulator being established by the Housing and Regeneration Bill currently being considered by Parliament)
– implementing recommendations from the review of sub-national economic development and regeneration to streamline regional governance, integrate Regional Economic and Spatial Strategies, make Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) statutory planning bodies and enable RDAs to delegate their single pot funding to local authorities where appropriate
– strengthening the role of local authorities in promoting and delivering economic development, including, subject to consultation, implementing a proposed new statutory duty on local authorities to assess local economic conditions, and supporting greater collaboration between local authorities in this area, including, subject to consultation, the potential to develop statutory partnerships
– implementing recommendations from Lord Sharman’s report to give the Audit Commission a power to appoint an auditor to certain local government entities, and to issue a public interest report about those entities if appropriate
– improving the operation of construction contracts

An Action Plan for Community Empowerment: Building on Success. This document brings together the actions that Communities and Local Government is taking to enable more people to play an active role in the decisions that affect their communities; from participatory budgeting and measures to strengthen the role of local councillors, to the empowerment of young people and calls for action through petitions and other forms of participation.

Participatory Budgeting-   a draft national strategy: Consultation – Summary of Responses. This report sets out the common views expressed and the Government’s response to the March 2008 consultation seeking views on the draft Participatory Budgeting National Strategy. Specifically, the document sought views on the strategy as a plan to achieve the Government’s ambition for participatory budgeting to be used in all local authority areas by 2012. Local stakeholders were asked for their understanding of national (government) objectives in relation to Participatory Budgeting and for a statement of the local objectives for using the approach at the local level. It also sought to understand local aims/objectives, so that progress at the local level could be traced.

Participatory Budgeting: a draft national strategy: Consultation – Summary of responses – Pioneered in Brazil, ‘participatory budgeting’ also known as ‘community kitties,’ involves local people in spending decisions through public meetings and votes to set local priorities and fund projects and services. Studies of the use of participatory budgeting, which began in Brazil after the workers party won the local elections in Porto Alegre in 1988, claim that engaging people in difficult decisions helps to determine spending and improve local services. Since 1988 people in the city have been involved annually in decision-making. Participatory action now involves over forty thousand people who regularly take part in the democratic process and decisions on spending around 17% of the municipal budget.

In New Orleans after the floods following Hurricane Katrina, residents in Pontchartrain Park met to plan rebuilding the city and their community. A model of participatory planning was used involving meetings open to everyone. All ideas were considered and $2.9m was identified from the city budget to address the priorities identified. Communities of Congress were called to help support ‘public dialogues’ and more than 3000 citizens were involved in the neighbourhood planning process. They used a number of interactive communication channels, keypad polling, satellite meetings, web-casting, interactive television, as well as face-to-face meetings to gather views. Nearly 1300 people came together in January 2007 to provide final input to the plan before it was sent to city leaders. Findings from research suggest that deeper involvement in the decision-making process helps to increase public satisfaction and boost civic pride. Observations also indicate that wider and deeper participation in decision-making helps to build community cohesion by bringing local people together.

The proposal in the UK is to give local people direct influence over how ‘community kitties’ or ‘cash pots’ can be used in communities to:

  • tackle crime and anti-social behaviour
  • help local people get involved in commissioning local community health services
  • empower young people to have a say and more influence on local youth and leisure activities, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

By 2018 young people will have a direct say in how a quarter of the budget is to be spent on services delivered to them, in particular in relation to things to do and places to go.

Listening to Communities: Government response to the consultation on the draft guidance on the Duty to Involve (2010) – The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 aims to reinvigorate local democracy by placing local authorities on the front line of ensuring local citizens connect with local decision makers. This document is the Governments response to the consultation on the draft statutory guidance on the duty which closed on 24 February 2010.

People driving change: Delivering better outcomes for local communities has been jointly produced by the Department and the Local Government Association (LGA). It provides a clear overview for all those helping to implement the new performance framework, including local area agreements (LAAs). Local area agreements have been in place since June 2008, to cover the period 2008-2011. These LAAs reflect up to 35 local shared priorities, along with plan to comply with the streamlined set of 198 national indicators.

Empowering Communities to Influence Local Decision-Making. This report reviews the evidence base around community empowerment in order to examine the variable and often competing or contrasting evidence in order to identify which mechanisms empower, in what ways, and in what contexts.

Duty to promote democracy – Equality Impact Assessment – The duty to promote democracy is a statutory duty on local authorities to promote understanding of local governance stystems and opportunities for members of the public to be involved. This equality impact assessment assesses the impact this policy will have on different equality groups.

Community Development Foundation is a charity and social enterprise that helps communities become inclusive and just. Their mission is to empower people to influence decisions that affect their lives.  Their website has links to articles about research and funding resources

Duty to Involve (2009): This statutory Duty to Involve came into force in April 2009 alongside the Comprehensive Area Assessment and requires best value authorities in England (except police authorities) to “involve representatives of local persons.” The core aim of the Duty to Involve’ is to make it standard practice for a local authority and their partners to empower and engage local people through their delivery of local services and local decision-making. Under the duty, best value authorities need to consider, as a matter of course, the possible information provision, consultation and involvement opportunities they need to provide to people across all authority functions – this includes hard to reach sections of the communit. Involving local people is now the expected approach for local authorities and must also be mainstreamed across partnerships.

The National Empowerment Partnership was launched in September 2008 to help improve the quality, co-ordination and evidence of empoerment at a local level across England. It is a partnership of third sector organisations that work to improve empowerment practice at national, regional and local level. It includes support for local and regional empowerment activity that helps councils meet their targets in engaging and empowering local people, including learning, identifying and sharing best practice, networking activities and champions for mutual support.

Regional Empowerment Partnerships (REPs) in each of the nine English regions bring together all the main public and third sector bodies with a primary interest in empowerment to promote improvement in community engagement and empowerment practice. The REPs work with the Government Offices and Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships to identify priorities for the region, and to target support accordingly.

Network of Empowering Authorities
Eighteen local authorities showcase community empowerment through examples of excellent practice, promoting peer learning, and providing a mechanism for authorities to influence the national debate on ways to improve practice. The Network has produced a “Framework for an Ideal Empowering Authority”  – to support authorities’ empowerment practice, including benchmarking performance and diagnosing ways to improve it.

The Civic Pioneers Case Study Review, a review of 12 community empowerment case study projects, was published on 30 December 2008. This Review presents case studies of each of the 12 funded projects, together with a simple analysis of the lessons learned from these experiences

Listening to Communities: Consultation on draft statutory guidance on the duty to respond to petitions – The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 contains a duty on local authorities to respond to petitions. The consultation is to gather feedback on the draft statutory guidance and secondary legislation underpinning the duty. It asks whether the guidance adequately explains the key principles and requirements of the duty, whether it is clear and easily understood with an appropriate level of detail. It also asks views on the matters to be excluded from the duty through the draft order at Annex B and on suitable timescales for implementation. Specific questions can be found at the end of this consultation document.

Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) – Best Practice Guidance is about helping councillors to resolve issues and problems on behalf of their residents. Section 236 will further bolster this role, giving ward members powers to respond directly to local need. CCfA should not be regarded as merely a scrutiny process. Being able to use it effectively will require councils to consider making improvements to a wider range of council functions, including:
*support for councillors’ ward work
*the complaints process
*call-in
*petitions.
The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) have developed sector-led guidance on the new legislation to help councils respond and reap the potential benefits. The guidance draws on examples of councils who have already developed practice in this way of working. This guidance is not about providing councils with a prescriptive view of how they must set about putting CCfA into practice. It provides a steer to those who are keen to use CCfA to its maximum possible effect. It provides guidance for those councils wishing to use their powers to delegate functions under section 236. It suggests ways that this might be done so as to complement CCfA and existing neighbourhood working arrangements. Additional lnks to ‘Best Practice Guidance’, ‘Background Evidence’ and ‘Summary Document’ are available from this link

Local petitions and calls for Action Consultation – As set out in Communities in Control: Real people, real power, published in July 2008m the Government has considered responses to ‘Local petitions and Calls for Action Consultation, and will place a statutory duty on local authorities to respond to all local petitions, including electronic petitions. The Government will support local authorities to share best practice and develop processes to respond to electronic petitions.

Duty to promote Democracy Communities and Local Government believe that improving interest in local democracy and achieving better representation of the community in civic roles will improve accountability and engagement. The Department also seek to make local authorities the democratic hubs of the locality encouraging involvement including taking civic roles. This duty is intended to clarify local authorities’ responsibilities for promoting democracy. This impact assessment contains information on the different options for implementing a duty on local authorities to promote democracy. The policy was first proposed in the White Paper Communities in Control: real people, real power.

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill announced on 5 December 2008 will give communities and local people new rights to have a say in their local services, strengthen local democracy, reform local and regional governance arrangements and implement measures to drive economic regeneration. The Bill will also amend current legislation to ensure prompt cash flow through construction supply chains.

The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act received Royal Assent on October 30th 2007. The document ‘Creating Strong, safe and prosperous Communities: Statutory Guidance’ explains the provisions of Part 5, Chapter 1 and Part 7 of the Act, which relate to the new statutory framework for Local Area Agreements (LAA), Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and the new, simplified best value regime, which includes a new duty to involve. It also provides updated guidance on the preparation of sustainable community strategies, under section 4 of the Local Government Act 2000. Section 1 provides introduction to the concept of a new settlement between central government. local government and their partners and citizens and ‘community leadership’, providing context for the later sections. Section 2 addresses issues of ‘governance and engagement’ setting out th role of the ‘Local Strategic Partnership’ and the leadership roles of local authorities within them. It also deals with the ‘Duty to Involve’ on best value authorities and how local authorities are to be engaged and empowered in shaping the future of their area. Section 3 deals with establishing a ‘vision’ for the area. Section 4 covers the overall establishing of priorities for an area through the LAA. Section 5 looks at establishing priorities from the perspective of partners, explaining what is expected in terms of co-operation to determine targets. Section 6 covers delivery of the outcomes for an area, explaining how partner authorities are required to have regard to targets they have agreed in the Local Area Agreements, along with how commissioning and the duty of best value should be addressed in future. The guidance only applies to England and details how best value authorities (except police authorities) should discharge their ‘Duty to Involve Representatives of Local Persons’ in decision making, as set out in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

 Strong and prosperous Communities – One Year on (2007). One year on from White paper: Creating Strong, Safe & Prosperous Communities. Summarises the steps taken since the White Paper in 2006.

Government Consultation Code of Practice (2008) sets out the approach the Government will take when it has decided to run a formal, written, public consultation exercise. Public sector organisations are free to make use of it for their consultation purposes but it does not apply to consultation exercises run by them unless they explicitly adopt it.

Communities in Control; Equality Impact Assessment. This document provides a provisional assessment of how the ‘Communities in Control’ White Paper may impact upon key equalities groups and some of the actions which could be taken to mitigate these impacts.

Communities in Control – Real people Real Power (2008). This White Paper seeks to shift power, influence and responsibilityaway from existing centres of power into the hands of communities and individual citizens. It addresses seven key issues treated from the perspective of individual citizens: being active in your community; access to information; having an influence; challenge; redress; standing for office; and
ownership and control.

Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities Statutory Guidance: Draft for Consultation 2007. The draft document, which is subject to consultation, provides guidance to local authorities and their partners on creating strong safe and prosperous communities, specifically relating to new legislation introduced in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. The guidance covers, Local Strategic Partnerships, Sustainable Community Strategies, the new duty to involve, Local Area Agreements, the revised best value regime and commissioning. The closing date for responses was 12 February 2008.

The Sustainable Communities Act – A Guide aims to promote the sustainability of local communities. It begins from the principle that local people know best what needs to be done to promote the sustainability of their area, but that sometimes they need central government to act to enable them to do so. The scope of the Act is very broad, covering economic, social and environmental issues. It does not limit the type of action that could be put forward, provided the action is withinthat broad scope. It is for local people to decide what they think needs to be done to promote the sustainability of their area. The Act is designed to strengthen the role of communities. It provides a simple process by which the ideas generated by local communities are fed through their local authority and a body known as the “selector” (which we envisage will be the LGA) to central government. As it will not be possible for all suggestions to be put direct to central government, local authorities and the selector will have a “short-listing” role. The government will consult the selector and try to reach agreement on which of the proposals on the short-list should be implemented. The government will respond to all of the suggestions that are shortlisted by the selector and will publish an action plan setting out how it will take forward the suggestions that it adopts. As well as enabling local communities and local authorities to make suggestions for government action, the Sustainable Communities Act also ensures that communities are better informed about the public funding that is spent in their area. New “Local Spending Reports” will provide quick and easy access to information about where public money is spent. This will enable local authorities, their partners and communities to take better
informed decisions about the priorities they choose to pursue to promote the sustainability of their local community.

Strong and Prosperous Communities – The Implementation Plan. This plan gives further information on how the Government will play its part in implementing the key proposals in Volume One of the White Paper, following the introduction to Parliament of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill on 12 December 2006. Central government, with Parliament, has the responsibility to set the enabling
framework to create prosperous, cohesive and sustainable communities. But it is for everyone at the local level to grasp the agenda and ensure it is used to improve their local areas and transform people’s lives. With this in mind, this implementation plan has been informed by discussions with the Local Government Association (LGA), Audit Commission and the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), as well as meetings with all sectors interested in implementation held in every English region. This plan is also intended to be a practical tool for local government and their partners to plan ahead. The intention is to update it every six months and/or when major milestones have been met, to keep it relevant and up-to-date.

Strong and Prosperous Communities – The Local Government White Paper (2006) signalled a further stage of public sector reform. Principal aims are to enable effective local services and to create better places, through new relationships and better governance, by:
• promoting more responsive services and empowered communities;
• advocating a stronger role for local authorities as leaders and place-shapers;
• promoting stronger and more stable local authority leadership;
• supporting councillors in their role as democratic champions;
• fundamentally rebalancing the central-local relationship;
• promoting community cohesion; and,
• developing the economic prosperity of our towns, cities and regions.

Mainstreaming Sustainable Regeneration: A Call to Action  Part 2. (2003).  This investigation by the Sustainable Development Commission looks at how neighbourhood regeneration can be made more sustainable. The goal was to identify what makes a regeneration programme sustainable, and what needs to be done to ensure that future regeneration programmes combine positive economic, social and environmental outcomes. The report is based on results from 46 case studies.

Read additional Sustainable Development policies here

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

Listed buildings: “special regard to be made to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses” (Section 66). Conservation areas: “special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area” (Section 72).

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. The purpose of planning, therefore, is to help achieve sustainable development. Sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations. Development means growth. Resolution 24/187 of the United Nations General Assembly defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Strategy in local plans includes following:

  • desirability of sustaining and enhancing significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation
  • the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits that conservation of the historic environment can bring
  • the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness
  • opportunities to draw on the contribution made by the historic environment to the character of a place

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Freelance Communications Facilitator & Community Engagement Consultant

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