The Sustainable Communities Act allows councils, on behalf of local people,
to ask central government to remove legislative or other barriers that prevent
them from improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of
Proposals are submitted via the ‘Barrier Busting’ website and the Secretary of
State for Communities and Local Government has six months to respond. If a
council is unhappy with the response received, statutory arrangements are in
place to allow them to lodge an appeal.
New arrangements for handling these appeals were agreed in 2013. This
‘Selector’ role for principal councils is played by the LGA, and NALC plays the
same role for town and parish councils. To date, no appeals have formally
been lodged with the LGA.
Once an appeal is lodged, the panel meets to consider:
· the original submission:
· the Secretary of State’s response
· advice offered by LGA officers
· advice offered by Local Works, an independent body which promotes
the use of the Act, whose representative may act in an advisory
They must review the evidence within four months, and during that time might
invite the council to give oral evidence.
Having considered the evidence, the Selector Panel can either choose to
decline the appeal, or re-submit the proposal to the Secretary of State for
review. In the latter case, DCLG is obliged to try to reach agreement with the
Panel within six months.
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