Letter to Hillingdon Council on Sustainable Communities Act
Dear Councillor Puddifoot,
Sustainable Communities ActI have been asked by the Ruislip Residents’ Association Executive Committee to urge Hillingdon Council to pass a resolution to implement the Sustainable Communities Act.
As no doubt you know, the Act became law, with the sponsorship of local MP Nick Hurd, in October 2007. We believe this could be a real local contribution to and involvement with the process of government. It could enhance local democracy in Hillingdon and build on the various ways that Hillingdon Council is already using to promote local involvement.To remind you, the Act introduces a new process to make central government responsive to the demands and needs of Councils in promoting the sustainability of local communities. Local panels are set up to look at proposals made by the Council and also to make their own proposals. Communities and Local Authorities have a duty to reach agreement re proposals for government action to promote sustainable communities. Once agreed, these proposals are sent to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is then under the same duty to reach agreement with Councils via their representative bodies, the Local Government Association, on which proposals to prioritise. The duty to reach agreement means that this is not about Whitehall stepping in and taking over – it is about making central government responsive to local needs and proposals.
The body who campaigned for the Act was the Local Works Coalition. Their website (www.localworks.org) has much interesting information on it, including a four page briefing for Councillors and officers which may be of interest to you.I will be writing to other local Residents’ Associations to encourage them to support our campaign for Hillingdon to sign up to the Act.
We all very much hope that Hillingdon will take this opportunity to promote local democracy in this new way.Yours sincerely