Austin Macauley 25 June 2014

Bleadon becomes first parish to use Sustainable Communities Act

Local councils will soon be able to send agendas electronically rather than by post thanks to a change triggered by a parish in Somerset.

Bleadon Parish Council used the Sustainable Communities Act to push for the money-saving change, which will apply to all parish and town councils in England.

It is the first parish council to successfully submit a proposal via the Act. Communities and Local Government minister, Stephen Williams, said secondary legislation would now be introduced to allow councils to circulate agendas electronically where the recipient has given permission.

Cllr Ken Browse, chair of NALC said: ‘Local councils are the most local part of government and the body most closely connected to the community. Our connection with local people and our knowledge of the local area means we are ideally placed to make use of the Act. No one knows the local community like we do and this new change to an arcane law shows this in practice.

‘This reform to rules, which are over 40 years old, is long overdue but very welcome and will help parish and town councils operate more efficiently and effectively. I am grateful for the cross-party support on this issue and shows the voice of our important tier of local government is being heard and acted upon.’

Read our guide to parish councils here.

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