Common sense

PUBLISHED: 11:17 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010

SIR, — I am delighted that St Albans District Council has decided to opt in to the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. The Act is a significant step forward in devolving power to local communities enabling all the residents of the district to have a say i

SIR, - I am delighted that St Albans District Council has decided to "opt in" to the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. The Act is a significant step forward in devolving power to local communities enabling all the residents of the district to have a say in how to promote the sustainability of St Albans. The definition of sustainable in this context is broad and will encompass issues such as promoting local jobs and protecting local housing.

Sustainability is not just an environmental mantra purely focused on the conservation of resources, nor is it a "nice to have" that should be deprioritised in more difficult economic times. Quite the opposite. It is simple common sense and should result in the reduction of waste, improved efficiencies and saving us all money.

The Green Party was one of the main promoters of this new law and helped draft it. It's exactly the kind of thing that Green Party councillors in St Albans would be working for.

The Act also brings in new Local Spending Reports which will mean we'll be better informed about how government funding is spent in the area. This should improve how resources are prioritised and hopefully avoid the waste and overspending that concerns us all.

The next stage is for the council to start working with all relevant local bodies that will be a source of ideas and potential proposals. St Albans Green Party is looking forward to participating in this process which should involve setting up panels of local people.

In the meantime we would love to hear people's initial thoughts on how our local economy, environment and community could be improved. Readers can email me: pete@sagreens.org.uk or phone 01727 370662.

If we work together as a community we should be able to shape local policies that improve the livelihoods of all of the residents of St Albans. It will be essential that the council implements an inclusive process in order to achieve this.

PETE EGGLESTON,

Parliamentary Candidate, St Albans District Green Party.

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