Great news! The Act is saved.
Thursday 21 June 2012
The government has made the regulations on the Sustainable Communities Act!
After months of delays, the Minister Greg Clark announced last week that government had finally prepared the regulations and they have now been laid before Parliament. So the Act has been saved from “death by delay” and is alive and kicking! You can view the regulations here.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU for all the efforts of supporters of the Act for making this happen. It took a great deal of campaigning to get government to change its plans on the Act and to make these regulations. Without all your support, it would not have been possible. So thank you!
And what of the regulations themselves? Well, the main points are as follows:-
• Crucially, the regulations retain the rights of people to participate in the Act – councils must not just merely “consult” with local people - they must go further and “try to reach agreement” with them when submitting proposals. This had been taken out of the Act, leaving it potentially much weaker. We fought hard to ensure this right was put back in – so it is very good news that it has been included in the new regulations.
• The “Selector” panel will have the right to challenge government on any proposals government initially rejects and government has to “consult and try to reach agreement” with the Selector. This means government can be brought back to the table and compelled to negotiate, to compromise and be made to take action to help communities.
In addition, Greg Clark announced that:
• There will be a time-limit of six months for government to respond to proposals. This will be included in a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Selector and government, due to be published over the summer.
• Local Works will be made part of the Selector, which means we will be better placed to ensure positive results for communities across the country by ensuring that government does negotiate, compromise and reach agreement with the Selector and not merely consult.
And there is still more positive news: Government has launched a consultation on whether parish councils should be able to submit proposals under the Act – which you can view here: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/scaconsultation2012
We will be encouraging government to allow parish councils to use the Act.
We are very pleased with this progress. Once again, thank you so much for all your support in making this happen.