Sustainable Communities Act
People living in Boston borough have been invited to have their say as part of a process to give them more control of issues affecting their lives. The Sustainable Communities Act allows local councils, after taking advice from local people, to present proposals for Government action that will help communities be more sustainable and offer better quality of life.
The Act aims to provide a channel to propose changes to improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of an area, including participation in civic or political activity in order to change for the better the environment in which people live.
Ideas need to be about things that the council or other local bodies cannot do at present and for which Government action is needed. The Act could be used to try to do things such as gain new powers, devolve existing powers and money from central control to local control, change licensing rules and planning regulations or reduce centrally-imposed duties.
It helps put councils in the driving seat where Government could help local areas.
Cllr Mike Gilbert, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for community development, said: "We could, for instance, use this to deal with issues which residents complain about but where, currently, there are restrictions which hinder us - helping reduce the number of retailers who are able to sell alcohol, for instance."
The Act means that Government cannot simply say 'no' to councils' proposals for action made under this Act. There is a duty on central Government to try to reach agreement with the Local Government Association (LGA) on what councils want.
Boston Borough Council has now adopted the Sustainable Communities Act and wants to hear ideas for using it.
It will be asking residents for their views formally each year through an annual survey. But you can contact the council at any time with ideas you may have of way of using the Act to benefit the Boston community.
Send your suggestions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the Community Development Team on 01205 314340 or write to Community Development Team, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QR, marking you letter "Sustainable Communities Act".
You need to briefly explain what it is you think the council could try and use the Act for and how you think it will benefit the Boston community.
Ideas will be considered at least annually with any formal application to the Government needing to be supported by local people. The full council will be responsible for deciding what, if any, application is made under the Act.
Further information about Act itself and its potential use can be found at: The Sustainable Communities Act
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