Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Update on my Sustainable Communities Act suggestions - 14 out of 22 deemed eligible for Cabinet consideration!!

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I reported here the 21 suggestions I submitted to Bristol City Council's Sustainable Communities Act process. I submitted 1 suggestion jointly with another person also. Had the letter (below) yesterday showing that 14 of my suggestions have made it through for further consideration. I'm
very, very pleased with this of course - and I'm hopeful that the Cabinet will include some of my suggestions on the shortlist it will send to the Local Govt Association.

Dear Mr Vowles

I am writing to thank you for participating in the Sustainable Communities Act process. We had a fantastic response, with 151 suggestions being submitted.

Suggestions made to the Council under the Act have now passed through the first stages of the Council’s evaluation process.

The Council’s Legal Services department has evaluated the suggestion(s) you submitted in order to identify whether they met the requirements of the Sustainable Communities Act, in that:

*It would need a change in legislation to be implemented
*It would contribute towards sustainability as defined in the Act

Your suggestion(s) listed here were deemed eligible under the terms of the act.

*Reduce commercial and industrial waste: give LA's responsibility for commercial waste; introduce NI for waste minimisation [this one submitted jointly with another person]

*20 mph default speed limit
*Carbon budgets and carbon trading for all
*Statutory biodiversity/eco footprint data in planning applications
*Government to assess capabilities of all technologies prior to implementation
*Ecological compensation for greenfield development
*Prioritising cycling and walking via a review of national and local transport policy and practice
*Immigration and emigration zero balance
*Broadening range of statutory planning considerations
*Criteria of fairness, openness and balance for government public consultations
*Transport costs to reflect total costs of travel
*Financial accounts to be accompanied by social and environmental accounting
*Councils to publish total ecological footprint
*Welfare or well-being index

75 suggestions overall were eligible to go forward and these have also been considered by the following:

Officer Panel – senior Council officers with appropriate expertise added factual comment where necessary. This panel did not recommend or exclude suggestions.

Local Panel - Bristol City Council commissioned VOSCUR (an independent organisation set up to support voluntary and community action in Bristol) to convene a panel including representatives from neighbourhood partnerships, equalities groups and councillors. This panel prioritised the suggestions prior to forwarding their views onto Cabinet Member, Councillor Jon Rogers.

Cabinet Member – all suggestions have been sent to Cabinet member, Councillor Jon Rogers. Recent guidance from the LGA has set out what sort of information will be needed to support a suggestion. Councillor Rogers will now use this guidance to review all the suggestions and comments made by the Local Panel and recommend a shortlist of the strongest and most feasible ideas to be worked up for submission to the Local Government Association. This shortlist and all other relevant information will be available on our website www.bristol.gov.uk/sca shortly.

The Council’s Cabinet will decide which suggestions the Council will adopt as its formal proposals. These will be forwarded to the Government via the Local Government Association (LGA).

The final decision will be made by Cabinet on Thursday 30th July at 6pm in the Council House. Cabinet meetings are open to the public, and any members of the public may present a statement or question. Statements must be submitted by 12.00 noon the day before the meeting, and questions by 5 pm 3 clear working days before (Friday 24th July). These should be sent to Ian Hird, ian.hird@bristol.gov.uk, tel. 0117 922 2384. Papers for the Cabinet meeting should be posted on the Council’s website on Thursday 23rd July.

The Council recognises the value of all suggestions received and appreciates the time that has gone into producing them. If your suggestion does not go forward, we will forward your ideas to the relevant council department for further consideration and respond to you in writing.

If you need any further information about this process, please contact Deborah Kinghorn, Policy Officer, on 0117 922 2792 or email
Deborah.kinghorn@bristol.gov.uk or visit our Sustainable Communities Act page on our website www.bristol.gov.uk/sca

Yours sincerely

Deborah Kinghorn
Policy and Scrutiny Team
Deputy Chief Executive’s Office