The call for more sustainable communities gathers pace

London’s Public Meeting is packed out!

As you will know  from my last blog, LocalWorks have been arranging events across the UK to help people understand how the empowering new Sustainable Communities Act could work for them.  So far, these meetings have been well over-subscribed… even our Head of Government Affairs couldn’t get in to the packed-out room in London last Tuesday!  I hope you were not also disappointed.

The venue was changed at the very last minute because of the sheer numbers of people who came along, hoping to find out how they can make this new Act work for them.  As we couldn’t actually get in, we didn’t know what had happened in London – but today we had an update from LocalWorks:

“Our London public meeting on Tuesday was a huge success.  The room (we moved it to the Grand Committee Room in Westminster Hall) was totally packed with people standing in every available space and later sitting on the floor. Over 300 people turned up but 150 people could not get in and so I, and then Julia Goldsworthy MP and Oliver Letwin MP, went outside and addressed them – this has never happened before at our public meetings.

Standing in the aisles in Westminster Hall

Standing in the aisles in Westminster Hall

 

“I was approached by several councillors directly after the meeting asking me to go and talk about the Act to their councils as they wanted to make sure they used it – this is very encouraging. I have had similar requests from more London Borough Councils since the meeting.

“As of today 74 councils have now resolved to use the new bottom up process of governance that the Act has set up (full list on our website – www.localworks.org). Our approximation is that this means 14 million people can now use the Act’s process if they wish.”

What an excellent result, although it sounds as if a lot of people could have missed out.  eGov monitor also covered the event.  Were YOU were there on Tuesday?  Comment below and let us know what you thought – especially if you have now contacted your local Council to urge them to opt in.

We’ve also received encouraging feedback from the event which took place in Dorset in January.  Again, if you were there please comment below and let us know how it went.   This meeting was also apparently packed, and a local supporter contacted us afterwards to say that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has now opted in! 

Great news.  There are more public meetings planned around the UK, and if you contact LocalWorks you may be able to have them visit your Council to present to your Councillors.  The coalition sent a huge A2 sized letter to all Councils late last year to urge them to sign up. 

 If your Council is yet to opt in, now is the time to capitalise on the attention the Act been receiving.  Please write or email your councillors asking them to resolve to use the Act’s new process.  You can find out who your borough/district/city/unitary and county councillors are by calling the respective council or going to their website, and you can also find them through the very helpful www.writetothem.com website.

About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in England, Government Affairs, Local Government, Planning, Scotland, Woodland creation, Woods Under Threat and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The call for more sustainable communities gathers pace

  1. Pingback: We changed the law, now let’s see it work! «

Sorry, comments are closed as we have moved to a new site: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/

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