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The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 was introduced as a Private Member’s bill following a lengthy campaign by Local Works, a pressure group representing a range of organisations. The Act provides a channel whereby local people can ask central government, via their local authority, to take action which they consider will help improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their area.

The first invitation to submit proposals took place in 2008. This resulted in a shortlist of 199 proposals. In 2010, the Government stated that they planned to implement or part-implement 37% of the proposals made.

The Sustainable Communities 2007 Act (Amendment) Act 2010 was passed shortly before the 2010 General Election, as no provision for a second round of proposals existed in the original legislation. A further invitation for proposals, with no deadline, was issued in December 2010. New regulations provided that proposals could be made direct to government, instead of having to go through a ‘selector’ (the LGA or NALC), as was the case under the original Act.

The power to submit proposals was extended to parish and town councils as of 14 October 2013.

A website,, has also been set up to allow anyone, not just local authorities, to submit proposals. However, proposals from members of the public will have no formal status, nor will they have the right available to the ‘selector’ to ask Government to reconsider any proposals that it has rejected.

The Act extends to England and Wales only.

Documents to download

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