198.3 Frequently, central Government imposes obligations on local authorities to create strategies for sustainability, such as community strategies, Local Agenda 21 (LA21) etc., but by altering its own strategies in response, it effectively stifles local action. The Sustainable Communities Bill would reverse that process and aims to create a virtuous circle in support of sustainability.
198.4 Whilst legislators may not find this to be a particularly easy Bill to promote, as it may appear like new layers of strategy governance, it does attempt to address real-life issues relevant to life in Waverley. These include the protection of local shops and pubs, rebuilding a sense of community; reversing the marginalisation of poor people; supporting small and independent businesses; seeing local-scale energy and waste treatment; having healthier food chains; and reducing traffic.
198.5 The indicators in the Sustainable Communities Bill are set out in principle below:-
a) provision of local services, shops and other facilities;
b) sale and procurement of local goods;
c) increase in growth and marketing of organic forms of food production and the local food economy;
d) number of local jobs;
e) measure to conserve energy and to increase energy efficiency and the quantity of energy supplied locally from sustainable sources;
f) measures to promote public transport and reduce excess traffic and product miles;
g) increase in social inclusion and democratic involvement;
h) measures to increase mutual aid and other community projects;
i) measures to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
198.6 It is considered that many of the concepts run parallel with Waverley's corporate strategy and therefore members may wish to consider supporting the Sustainable Communities Bill by adopting the motion attached as Annexe 1 to this report.
198.7 In conclusion, the Sustainable Communities Bill could give a very significant boost to true sustainability by giving principal councils the facility to submit reports to the Secretary of State indicating the ways in which the sustainability of their local communities may be promoted. Its aim is to tackle the causes of community decline in our neighbourhoods, such as local facilities closing down, fewer or struggling local independent businesses, fewer local jobs, more and more travel to work causing more traffic and pollution, families spending less time together because of the distances involved, and all the exclusion and decline that this brings.
198.8 The Executive accordingly
EX111. the motion set out at Annexe 1 be adopted.