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The Department ran a consultation exercise between 29 March and 20 June 2011 on new, light-touch, regulations to govern the implementation of the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. The consultation proposed the regulations that would be required to implement the second invitation of the Sustainable Communities Act. This publication summarises the responses received and Government’s response.
On 15 December 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued a second invitation to local authorities under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (‘The Act’). He invited councils to consult people, ask them how they would like to see their local area improved and to take whatever action they see fit to make it happen.
If councils, having consulted and reached agreement with their local communities, find that a bureaucratic barrier prevents them from taking action, they can submit a formal ‘proposal’ asking government to remove the barrier through the online portal at barrierbusting.communities.gov.uk (external link). This portal is also open to anyone who wishes to ask the government to remove a barrier which is stopping local action. We would, for example, welcome requests to remove barriers from organisations such as town and parish councils, and County Associations of Parish Councils.
The Act was amended in April 2010 to allow the procedures for receiving, considering and deciding proposals under the Act to be improved.
The Act now allows the arrangements for the consideration of proposals submitted in response to the invitation to be set out in regulations, following a period of consultation. There will be no deadlines for the submission of proposals, which can now be submitted straight to the government at any time. Information on the action the government is taking on the proposals will be available online so that councils and communities can track progress.
The Act, and the proposed draft regulations set out in this consultation, is a means to hold government to account and ensure each proposal is given the fullest consideration.