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January 17, 2008 6:00 PM

Green Lib Dems are celebrating the arrival of People Power this month following the news that the Sustainable Communities Bill has become law after 5 years of mass meetings and lobbying up and across the country.

Green Liberal Democrats have been involved with the campaign from an early stage, chairman Adam Carew sharing platforms with Local Works campaign organiser Ron Bailey, lobbying MPs and even introducing motions to local council to harness local support.

GLD Chairman - Adam Carew said

" The sustainable Communities Act is radical and Liberal Democrats have supported this Bill from the start.

It will be the first major reversal of the over centralised, top-down state power in centuries

This Act is designed to reverse the decline of local communities and will be a major attack on clone town Britain.

This is great news for local communities and the environment - its about local communities fighting back.

We have all witnessed the loss of local Post Offices, bus services and local shops. This Act legally requires the set up of citizens panels to help decide wider community priorities and will help to devolve government powers to local level. Localism is what the Lib Dems are all about and this Act promises grassroots democracy from the bottom up. "

The Sustainable Communities Act legally requires the government and local councils to publish and implement action plans to reverse community decline.

From Oct 2008 councils will have a legal duty to set up citizens panels drawn from all sections of the community. They have to listen to local peoples suggestions on how to make their local communities more sustainable and agree with them local priorities.

The Government must

Publish a breakdown of spending by government agencies for every council area

Listen favourably to local councils who wish to transfer of functions and resources from those agencies to local control

Local Councils must

Set up representative citizens panels - to involve the wider communities

Try to reach agreement (i.e. not just consult) with the new citizens panels for government action on local priorities.