Book News: November 25th, 2008

This report from the Sustainable Development Commission describes the key responsibilities of local authorities and their local strategic partnership partners in relation to sustainable development. It also outlines some of the opportunities and challenges that they face and highlights some of the ‘key ingredients’ for delivering sustainable development at the local level.

The report highlights the potential and actual benefits gained by those local authorities and LSPs which are already adopting a sustainable development approach. These include saving money, improving the local economy, improved partnership working and more joined-up service delivery.

It argues that the different elements of the policy framework for local areas combine to create an overwhelming imperative for local authorities and LSPs to get to grips with sustainable development. These include sustainable community strategies, making plans for sustainable development ‘integral’ to the forthcoming Comprehensive Area Assessment and for putting existing responsibilities for sustainable development at the heart of the local planning framework.

The combined impact and reach of the bodies represented on LSPs, spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors, means that they have enormous potential to contribute to sustainable development. The report highlights the work that many LSPs are already doing, including Birmingham LSP, which has signed up to a Sustainable Procurement Compact to ensure that the combined spending power of the LSP partners, estimated at £6bn, is used to support local businesses and communities.

The report is available from SDC.