Thursday, March 08, 2007

Loss of local services, shops, pubs...makes us less green

My MP, Labour's Kerry McCarthy, has recently confirmed to me in writing that she does not support the Sustainable Communities Bill currently going through Parliament. She said,
'I do not support the Sustainable Communities Bill because I do not think there is any need for a separate piece of legislation on this issue.'

This is a great shame and a mistake. All around the UK local shops, post offices, pubs, services and facilities like local swimming pools, have declined rapidly under the current government, which she supports. This means that any action they have taken on this issue has been far from effective. The Sustainable Communities Bill would on the other hand give real power to local people to take action to protect and enhance their communities. Locally available facilities cut travel, boost quality of life and make us greener.

One would think from what PM Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have said that they strongly favour giving more power to local communities and that therefore they should support the Sustainable Communities Bill. After all in his speech to the Labour Party conference in 2006 Tony Blair said, 'People want power in their own hands...they wont accept a service handed down from on high. They want to shape it to their needs and the reality of their lives.' In addition Gordon Brown said at the same conference, 'People and communities should now take power from the state and that means...a reinvention of the way we govern.'

However, despite what they have said, far from giving power to local communities the Blair/Brown government has centralised power and presided over local community decline, making us a far less green society.

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