Bookmark and ShareAndy Wimbush is nef‘s Communications Assistant and blogmaster.

Three years ago, Local Works, a coalition of very diverse organisations including nef, the Campaign for Real Ale, the National Farmer’s Union Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses, Greenpeace, and Age Concern, mobilised thousands of ordinary people to lobby their MPs for a new law that would give local councils and community groups more power to demand thriving, sustainable local economies. The result was the Sustainable Communities Act, which was passed with full cross party support on 23 October 2007.

The Act was a victory for everyone resisting the unsustainable and destructive expansion of bland, corporate, clone town Britain. It gave towns, villages and hamlets the power to demand Government action to protect local wildlife and green spaces, promote local shops and jobs, boost local public services, tackle fuel poverty and develop new ways of broadening democratic participation in local areas. Over 100 local councils are using the Act, and more will adopt it in the future. But we now need your help to secure its position in UK law.

Right now, the Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill is passing through the House of Commons. The Amendment will ensure that the Act will be an ongoing process, reviewed and discussed year on year. Last week the Amendment Bill successfully cleared its Committee Stage. It has the support of all parties and the Government. But in order for the Bill to become law before the General Election, it needs more time in Parliament.

Please email ministers John Denham and Harriet Harman TODAY and ask for that the Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill receives more time in Parliament. By doing so, you’ll help communities and councils fighting for thriving local areas.

Email Harriet Harman:

Email John Denham:

Sugggested email:

Dear Harriet Harman / John Denham,

The Sustainable Communities Act Amendment Bill is vital as it will ensure that the democratic involvement seen in the Sustainable Communities Act continues. I ask that you please do all you can to ensure the Bill receives the Parliamentary time it needs in order to become law before the General Election.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

[your name and your address]