Blears asks councils to propose ideas to promote local well-being

More green spaces could be created following a call from Communities Secretary Hazel Blears to councils to unearth innovative ideas to improve their local area.

As part of the Sustainable Communities Act, Hazel Blears has invited local authorities to send in proposals on what central government can do to help improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their local areas.

For example, communities could make proposals to:

•    Tackle climate change at a local level - cutting energy consumption or creating more green areas for communities to cultivate

•    Strengthen the local economy - finding ways in which to support local businesses and producers

•    Increase social inclusion, including an increase in involvement in local democracy.

Speaking at yesterday’s (14 October) Local Government Association conference, Communities Minister Hazel Blears said: “I'm inviting local authorities, in discussion with the people they represent, to tell us in Government what we can do to help their local community thrive.

“It’s about turning assumptions about power upside down. Less of Whitehall calling the shots and more of men and women everywhere getting together and working with their council to set the agenda for what happens in their town or village.”

Local authorities have until 31 July 2009 to submit proposals to the Local Government Association.

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