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Sustainable Community Strategies

Long-term planning for the future economic, social and environmental wellbeing of your area will be laid out in your council's Sustainable Communities Strategy.

The Local Government Act 2000 places a duty on local authorities, county and district councils and unitary authorities to prepare a community strategy in partnership with the community.

Community Strategies should set out a vision for a local authority's area along with actions and commitments to further economic, social and environmental well-being.

Who prepares the Community Strategy?

Community Strategies are usually prepared by a body called a Local Strategic Partnership, made up of representatives from local bodies and interest groups.

What the Community Strategy does

According to Government guidance, Community Strategies should:

  • Allow local communities to
    • Articulate their aspirations, needs and priorities
  • Coordinate
    • Council
    • Public
    • Private
    • Voluntary
    • Community organisations' actions
  • Focus and shape existing and future activity of those organisations to meet community needs and aspirations
  • Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development locally and more widely

Sustainable Community Strategies and Local Strategic Partnerships are likely to have a significant effect on your area as a result of new Local Area Agreements which were made a statutory requiremennt in the 2007 Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act.

These agreements are the new delivery mechanism of the Sustainable Community Strategy. They will shape the future development of your area by setting priorities over the strategies and spending of bodies, such as:

  • The council
  • Police
  • Health service
  • Other organisations who deliver area-based programmes

Because of the new statutory powers, you should press for your Sustainable Community Strategy and Local Area Agreement to contain commitments and actions needed to address rural and environmental issues.

Find out about the Local Strategic Partnership in your area

  • Who are its members?
  • Do they represent a good cross-section of the community?
  • Are rural, environmental and community interests well-represented?
  • Are local strategic partnership meetings open to the public?
  • As observers?
  • Participants?
  • When are they held?
  • What are your local strategic partnership's priorities?
  • Are environmental and rural issues effectively addressed?
  • How can you influence this?

Contact your Local Strategic Partnership community or environmental representative to find out how well the Local Strategic Partnership pursues environmental objectives.

If you want to get involved more, put yourself forward as a representative for the partnership.

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