Sustainable Communities Bill

January 19, 2007

This is a post about the private member’s bill adopted by Nick Hurd MP (Con for Ruislip-Northwood) following a campaign by Local Works, a lobby group closely associated to the New Economics Foundation, who published the reports on Clone Town Britain (2005) and Ghost Town Britain (2003). The bill is called The Sustainable Communities Bill

To quote from today’s article on the BBC website the bill “would give councils the right to demand a breakdown of government spending on their services, and to go back to ministers with their own alternative allocations…It would also require ministers to give the issue of promoting ‘sustainable communities’ more priority, and to come up with a long-term plan to do so, in co-operation with local people”.

The Bill has cross party support and is supported by David Cameron (see article in Guardian Newspaper). Private member’s bills rarely become law if they conflict with the government’s agenda. A relevant minister was interviewed on the Today programme this morning who claimed it was over bureaucratic and that devolving planning power too locally would make a nonsense of the planning system.

We’ll know by the end of today whether the bill passed its second reading but it is worth reading because it directly addresses the question of which policy framework can help encourage economic diversity in local town centres.


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