Brighton and Hove's green ideas go national

Posted On 06 Jan 2010 at 8:53 am

A raft of green proposals, including allowing allotment holders to sell produce and requiring supermarkets to reduce packaging, are one step closer thanks to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Eight of the council’s nine proposals for the Government’s Sustainable Communities Act have been forwarded for consideration to the Secretary of State.

Negotiations will now take place between the Local Government Association (LGA) and Government to agree on which proposals to implement.

Cllr Dee Simson, Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet member for community affairs, said: “Having eight of our nine suggestions shortlisted demonstrates just how much the Sustainable Communities Act will be a real benefit to our city.

“Each of these proposals offers a helping hand locally, whether it’s the chance to sell your locally grown fruit and veg, the possibility for the council to offer business rate relief or one of the other proposals, we’re keen to start moving forward.

“Let’s hope that the next stage of negotiations moves swiftly on.”

The eight shortlisted proposals are:

  • that the council is given the power to offer discretionary business rate relief to encourage and sustain small and medium local businesses
  • that legislation is changed to allow allotment holders to sell their surplus produce to local businesses
  • that national planning policy, specifically planning policy statement 1 is changed to explicitly support localised food systems
  • that the legal restriction that prevents councils which own housing to borrow against the Housing Revenue Account (rent) is removed.
  • that legislation is amended to release existing and accumulated capital receipts from the sale of council housing to councils to build new affordable housing or invest in existing affordable housing
  • that the installation and use of renewable energy by households is made more accessible and affordable
  • that the council is given the power to set vehicle speed limits on public roads at any maximum below existing regulations, according to local needs
  • that legislation is introduced that requires supermarkets to reduce their use of food packing that is non-recyclable; to provide recycling facilities for plastic not recycled by the council, to ensure that the plastic is recycled or, where this is not practicable, to bear the cost of treating it as landfill waste.

Brighton and Hove City Council submitted nine proposals to the LGA last summer.

The only proposal to have been excluded was that food growing is introduced as part of the national curriculum. The selection panel stated that as food growing is not prohibited in the national curriculum, it didn’t require Government assistance.

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