following an email from Steve Shaw of Unlock Democracy and Local Works, here's a copy of an email I sent to Secretary of State John Denaham.
Dear John Denham,
Residents of Brighton and Hove got fully behind the Sustainable Communities Act, with 23 proposals being received by the local panel, of which Brighton & Hove's City Council's Cabinet submitted 9 to the LGA and we are all delighted that 8 have been short-listed for negotiation with yourself as Secretary of State.
Our proposals covered a broad range of topics including allotment regulations, discretionary business rates, encouraging renewable energy, amending planning policies and setting speed limits. Brighton and Hove City Council have also taken consideration of how to use the SCA in our scrutiny process, and suggestions for future SCA proposals have come out of scrutiny panel recommendations.
Whilst this was a very worthwhile and encouraging process, achieving good community engagement, it was at times hindered by the uncertainty of when information, such as Local Spending Reports, and guidance would be published. A lot of lessons were learned by members, council officers, and local residents through using this Act, and we feel we could only improve on this in future years, reaching wider sections of our community and empowering them to make real local change.
The Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill is vital as it will ensure that the democratic involvement seen in the Sustainable Communities Act continues. I ask that you please do all you can to ensure the Bill receives the Parliamentary time it needs in order to become law before the General Election.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr Vicky Wakefield-Jarrett
* More info from Brighton & Hove City Council on the Sustainable Communities Act A chance for change – a new opportunity to improve your community