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This page gives information on the Sustainable Communities Act "in a nutshell". Act now to encourage your council to sign up for new powers that will give local people more control over their area!

What is this all about?
The Sustainable Communities Act is a new law which will give local government and citizens more powers to shape their local area.  Councils will be able to make suggestions to the government to make changes via funding and policy initiatives to help bring about more sustainable communities. 

How does it work?
  1. Councils “opt in” to the process. 
  2. “Citizen panels” are formed comprising of local residents in the local authority area that has opted in. 
  3. Suggestions for change will be discussed and agreed between the citizen panel and the local council over which ones to propose to the Secretary of State.
  4. These suggestions will be sent to the Local Government Association
  5. The LGA will prioritise all the suggestions and send them to the Secretary of State who will then reach agreement with the LGA over which suggestions to fund. 
  6. 31 July 2009 is the deadline for submissions from councils
Spending reports
Central government will produce spending reports in April which show how local and national public money is spent by local area. Councils then have the power to make proposals for a transfer of public money and powers from central or regional control to local control.

Act now!
In order to make the deadline for submissions we will need to act quickly!  
  1. Make sure your council has opted into the process by checking out 
  2. If they haven't joined  - encourage them to sign up and you can use the sample letter which can be found at:
  3. Join a citizen panel - armed with suggestions!
This is a very new process so all feedback on your experiences and ideas for suggestions are very useful.  Please email Suzanne Natelson at Sustain: with your feedback.

More information and resources can be found on a separate website at: (page opens in a new window).

Local Action on Food: The Local Action on Food network was run as part of the Big Lottery funded Making Local Food Work programme, 2007 to 2012. It has now closed.

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