Require the drawing up and implementation of a strategy to promote sustainability
among local communities; to make provision for the inclusion of targets and
indicators in the strategy; to make provision for councils to implement the strategy in
their area; to make provision in respect of the powers of electors in relation to the
implementation of the strategy; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1 Duty of the Appropriate Authority to promote local sustainability
(1) It shall be the duty of the Appropriate Authority to promote the sustainability
of local communities.
(2) In this Act the sustainability of local communities shall be measured by the
indicators listed in the Schedule.
2 Local Community and Sustainability Strategy
(1) The Appropriate Authority shall, within one year of the passing of this Act,
prepare a draft Local Community and Sustainability Strategy (“the draft
strategy”) which shall set out those measures that in its opinion are required to
increase the sustainability of local communities and that it proposes to take to
achieve this objective.
(2) In preparing the draft strategy the Appropriate Authority shall consult—
(a) all local authorities in the area in respect of which it is the Appropriate
(b) such other public bodies that in its opinion might help with the
preparation of the strategy;
(c) such representatives of local communities as are practicable; and
(d) in London, the Assembly.
(3) The Appropriate Authority shall within two years of publication of the draft
strategy, after consulting those bodies and persons specified in subsection
(a) in England, lay before Parliament in draft for approval by both Houses;
(b) in Wales, lay before the National Assembly for Wales in draft for
(c) in London, publish,
a Final Local Community and Sustainability Strategy (“the final strategy”)
which sets out the measures the Appropriate Authority proposes to take to
increase the sustainability of local communities.
3 Principal councils
(1) Before publishing the draft strategy or final strategy the Appropriate
Authority shall request every principal council to submit to it a written report
which sets out—
(b) targets in relation to indicators set for its area; and
(c) any new indicators for its area, or more generally,
which in the principal council’s opinion should be included in the strategy.
(2) A report under this section may set out what further powers, in the opinion of
the principal council making the report, should be given to principal
(a) to enable them to increase the sustainability of local communities; and
(b) to help them achieve any of the targets in the strategy.
(3) A report under this section shall be available for inspection and copying by
members of the public at all reasonable hours.
(4) Where a principal council declines to submit a report under this section it shall
state in writing the reason for so declining, and that statement of reasons shall
be available for inspection and copying by members of the public at all
(5) In responding to a request under subsection (1) two or more principal councils
may submit a joint report.
4 Targets and implementation
(1) In the final strategy—
(a) there shall be indicated such measures and targets as the Appropriate
Authority considers are desirable and practicable to increase the
sustainability of local communities according to the indicators listed in
the Schedule, or included pursuant to section 3 above; and
(b) different targets may be set for different areas or regions.
(2) The final strategy shall contain any local targets or new indicators (whether
general or local) proposed by principal councils, unless in the opinion of the
Appropriate Authority it is impracticable or undesirable to do so, and in any
such case the Appropriate Authority shall state its reasons for not including
any such targets or new indicators.
(3) Subject to the following subsections and to section 5 below, it shall be the duty
of the Appropriate Authority to implement the final strategy and achieve as
far as is reasonably practicable the targets specified in the strategy.
(4) Subject to subsection (5) below the Appropriate Authority, or the Secretary of
State in respect of the provisions of section 5(2), shall not implement any
measures or seek to achieve any targets in any region if a majority of principal
councils in that region have stated in writing their opposition to those
measures or targets and in any such case any such statement by a principal
council shall be available for inspection and copying by members of the public
at all reasonable hours.
(5) Subsection (4) shall not apply if in the opinion of the Appropriate Authority, or
the Secretary of State in respect of the provisions of section 5(2)—
(a) any opposition to any measures or targets by principal councils does
not have the support of the majority of electors in the region; or
(b) paragraph (a) applies in as many principal councils in a region as
would deprive those councils in that region of a majority under
subsection (4) above,
and in such cases the Appropriate Authority shall publish its reasons for
reaching that opinion.
(6) A principal council—
(a) shall take such steps as it deems appropriate to—
(i) implement any measures that are within its power; and
(ii) assist with the achievement, as far as is reasonably practicable,
of any targets
which have been suggested by it in its report laid under section 3 and
which are contained in the final strategy;
(b) may resolve to implement the strategy as regards its area and set
targets which it will seek to achieve; and
(c) shall publish a statement of the reasons for any decision taken pursuant
to this subsection and, for the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby stated
that this paragraph shall apply if the council declines to—
(i) take any action regarding measures to which paragraph (a)
above applies; or
(ii) pass a resolution pursuant to paragraph (b) above.
(7) Where a principal council resolves to implement the strategy in accordance
with the provisions of subsection (6)(b), it shall be the duty of the council to
take steps to achieve those targets as far as is reasonably practicable.
5 Wales and Greater London
(1) In Wales and Greater London the duty of the Appropriate Authority to
implement measures and achieve targets pursuant to this act shall be subject to
the powers of the relevant Appropriate Authority.
(2) As regards any measures in the final strategy for Wales and Greater London
that are not within the power of the relevant Appropriate Authority, the
Secretary of State shall consider implementing such measures.
(3) If the Secretary of State declines to implement any measures to which
subsection (2) refers he shall publish his reasons for declining to do so.
In this Act—
“Appropriate Authority” means—
(a) in Wales, the National Assembly for Wales;
(b) in London, the Mayor; and
(c) in England other than London, the Secretary of State;
“Local authority” and “principal council” have the same meaning as in the
Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) ;
“London” has the same meaning as Greater London in the London
Government Act 1963 (c. 33); and
“Region” has the same meaning as in the Regional Development Agencies
Act 1998 (c. 45).
7 Financial provisions
There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament—
(a) any expenditure incurred by the Appropriate Authority in consequence of this
(b) a reasonable allowance for any expenditure required to be incurred by a
principal council in consequence of this Act; and
(c) any increase attributable to this Act in sums payable out of money so provided
by virtue of any other Act.
8 Short title and extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Local Communities Sustainability Act 2003.
(2) This Act extends to England and Wales only.