The Sustainable Communities Act became part of English law in October 2008.
Last year `an invite` (are we talking American again ?) went out from the Secretary of State to councils asking them to put forward ideas for government action to reverse community decline and promote, or protect, thriving comunities and civic involvement. Councils that chose to get involved had to engage voters in the process.
Volunteers at Local Works, a project* run by campaign group Unlock Democracy ( http://www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk/ ) , called hundreds of community groups etc asking them to contact their local councils and get involved.
By the end of July 2009, 100 councils had submitted 300 proposals, which is certainly a very positive result at such an early stage.
To view the proposals, find out how the Act works, and how you can use it in respect of local services and/or issues affecting your area, visit http://www.localworks.org/ .
* Local Works, a project of Unlock Democracy, is a coalition of over 120 organisations, including Age UK, The National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, UNISON, The Federation of Small Businesses, Friends of the Earth and The Woodland Trust. As you can see, quite a diverse array of organisations have signed up, representing a wide range of different interest groups. A definite case of what we used to call `strength through diversity` !