Sustaining a future for communities

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) held the first meetings of its Government backed Sustainable Communities Act (SCA) board on 23 September 2014.

NALC wants the board to help drive a new “bottom-up” process via local (parish and town) councils that allows people to drive central government action to help their local communities.

At the heart of the Sustainable Communities Act is this philosophy: citizens and communities are the experts on their problems and the solutions to them. They therefore should drive the help and actions government takes to reverse community decline. The Sustainable Communities Act sets up a ‘bottom up’ process that does just that. Local councils will hopefully be able to start formally making direct proposals under the Act to the Secretary of State, by late spring, 2013.

NALC’s Sustainable Communities Act Board is standing up strong on behalf of local councils and communities to remove obstacles to improve the wellbeing of local people.

Cllr Derek Liddell, chairman of NALC’s Policy Committee and NALC’s Sustainable Communities Act Board, comments that: “As Chairman of the NALC Sustainable Communities Advisory Board I am proud that eight parish councils have already submitted direct proposals under the Sustainable Communities Act, 2007 direct to DCLG, since December, 2013. The Board met on 23 September, 2014 to formally constitute itself for 2014/15, but we discussed the eight proposals submitted to DCLG on topics ranging from electronic agenda to a share of Business Rates for parishes.

“The Board formally supports the principle of community engagement behind the Act and sees it as a fantastic opportunity for parishes to remove barriers to delivery in their areas which are best resolved centrally. We have had confirmation that Tenterden Town Council will be formally making a re-submission request to the Board on its NHS proposal; and that Sevenoaks Town Council will doing likewise for its recent Business Rates proposal, and we will be considering these requests at our December 2014 meeting. In the meantime, we fully encourage parish councils to make direct proposals under the Act to remove local barriers – and to gather evidence to support their proposals.”

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