Act helps to save post offices
Author: Daniel Flanagan
Published on Sep 05, 2012
Great news on the Sustainable Communities Act!
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 helped to plan the post office network so that is was tailored to the needs of particular communities in Sheffield and delivered council services that were crucial to local groups, such as blue badges, through post offices. The project even led to a post office that had been closed to re-open. This is what the Act is all about - reversing community decline.
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.
Local Works National 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.”