Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Local Works: Death by delay!

Please help save the Sustainable Communities Act

When it became law the Sustainable Communities Act was heralded with great excitement by MPs and Ministers. The Act is something different: In these days of political disenchantment and disillusionment it bucks the trend. It challenges the ‘Whitehall knows best’ status quo and gives people and communities power to drive government actions.

The buzz continued when the Bill became an Act in 2007. People from all walks of life got involved in putting proposals for action to the Government. Unlock Democracy has been at the forefront of making the Act a success.

But we still face a serious problem – delay. New regulations are required on the Act before the second round can get underway and people can use it again to help their communities. Certain people in government want to delay these regulations for long enough to make us go away and lose interest.

Please contact your MP asking them to help end the delay by writing to Communities Minister, Greg Clark:

We keep being told that more time is needed to consider...more discussion...more meetings...more deliberation – whatever it takes to tangle the whole thing up long enough to kill the Act. We’ve already been waiting for over 9 months – far too long!

It’s becoming “death by a thousand delays”.

There is a real danger these delaying tactics will work. The longer the delays go on, the more frustrated everyone becomes and the harder it will be to involve people in the Act in future.

And sadly our communities continue to suffer whilst these delays go on. I see more and more boarded up shops in my high street – I am guessing you do too. Over 15,000 shops have closed across the country over the past 10 years and one in six shops lies vacant. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We want to make sure you can still use the Act to protect your local shopspost offices and pubs and promote things like renewable energy.

Building support amongst MPs will be vital if we are to succeed. So please do the following:

Please contact your MP asking them to help end the delay by writing to Communities Minister, Greg Clark:

Please also ask others in your area to do the same - the more people that write or e-mail their MPs the better!

Thank you very much for your efforts.

Steve Shaw
National Co-ordinator, Local Works
Local Works is a project of Unlock Democracy

P.S. – If the regulations aren’t made before the Queen’s Speech on 9th May, we risk crippling set- backs to the campaign – so please write to your MP urgently.
P.P.S. – IMPORTANT: Please send copies of any replies you receive to or Local Works, c/o Unlock Democracy, 37 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8PQ. Thank you.