Success for the Sustainable Communities Act in Sheffield: handing the power back
Author: Zoe Stavri
Published on Sep 04, 2012
Our Local Works team have been promoting and campaigning for the implementation of the Sustainable Communities Act (2007) since it became law. We’re pleased to announce a success story.
A first-round proposal made in 2008-2010 to allow Sheffield City Council to help run the Post Office was piloted in 2011 through to early this year. The results have been very good indeed [pdf]: the council have managed to save £242,000 and led to a 5% growth of payments in post offices. Two post offices was also reopened as a result of the scheme, reversing a trend towards closure.
This good news shows the Sustainable Communities Act works, and demonstrates a bottom-up form of democracy. The proposal came from citizens, and this is the first time the Act has resulted in central government doing something local people directly asked for. This is exactly what the Act was designed to do.
It bodes well for the future of the Act: the government has said that the results of the pilot would inform rolling this scheme out in Doncaster and Liverpool, and it all came from people power.
Our Local Works coordinator, Steve Shaw, says “The Sustainable Communities Act’s aim is to reverse community decline. Sheffield’s communities, together with their Council, have used it to do just that. This is inspiring, it shows people have good ideas and want to be involved in improving their towns. We congratulate Sheffield on their success and encourage people and councils everywhere to get involved and use the Act to help their areas too.”