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Sustainable Communities Act

Sustainable Communities Act

What it means to you


What is this all about?

The Government has recognised that local groups and organisations know what is best for their area. The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 was passed to provide an opportunity for local ideas and changes to help improve life for local communities. The aim of the Act is to bring communities and local government together to put a case to central government to make those changes.


What is meant by ‘Sustainable Communities’?

1. local economies, e.g. promoting local businesses and shops, local public services and local jobs

2. environment, e.g. protecting green spaces or promoting local renewable energy

3. social inclusion, e.g. ensuring local public services are available and provide access to public services for everyone, promoting community cohesion, or alleviating fuel poverty and food poverty

4. democratic involvement, e.g. helping people to participate in local decision-making


My organisation or community group has a proposal we would like to put forward. How does my organisation get an idea considered?

Proposals should be submitted to Hampshire County Council or to your local district council depending on the subject of the proposal. Proposals should be submitted in writing and need to include the following information:

  • detail of the proposed change

  • where possible, what feedback you have had from the local community

  • who is currently responsible for the subject of the proposal

  • who you think should be responsible

  • what the proposal will improve

  • detail about how the proposal meets the criteria below

Proposals should be sent to Policy Unit, Hampshire County Council, Elizabeth II Court, Winchester, SO23 8UJ or sent by email to ppo@hants.gov.uk.


What criteria does my

proposal have to meet to be considered?


For a proposal to be valid it must meet the following criteria:

  1. It should promote sustainable communities as defined in the Act (i.e. promotion of local economies, environmental protection, social inclusion and democratic participation; see above for more details of this definition).

  2. It should be something that only central government can do (and is not doing already) to help or assist communities and councils to promote sustainable communities.

  3. The change should not be happening already or be able to be done using other local government powers.


What will happen to ideas once they have been submitted?

Once a proposal has been submitted, the merits and feasibility of the proposal will be considered by Hampshire County Council. If it falls within the criteria of the Act, the idea will be put to a panel of Hampshire residents and other organisations who may need to be involved in the proposed changes. They will then consider the ideas and recommend the most suitable ones for further consideration by Hampshire County Council’s elected members.

Once a proposal has been investigated and approved it will be sent to the Local Government Association for consideration when the next round for applications reopens. The Local Government Association’s job is to shortlist all proposals for central government. Central Government will then consider all the proposals and decide which to take forward.

If the proposal does not fall within the criteria of the Act you will be contacted by Hampshire County Council informing you of this. Where possible Hampshire County Council will suggest an alternative course of action.