MP for Sheffield Central
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Dear Richard Caborn,
I noticed that you haven’t signed EDM 515 concerning ‘Local services and facilities’. It is important to me that we support local communities and local business. Please let me know if you will be signing this bill, and if so when. If not, I’d be grateful to hear why.
You can get more information about EDM 515 at www.localworks.org. Essentially it is a statement in support of the Local Services and Facilities Bill which has been introduced by the honourable Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (a Lib Dem, but the bill has cross-party support) and which I’m obviously hoping you’ll support when the time comes (after the election I suppose). Here’s a bit about the bill, just for your information:
Where a government department or other public body intends to close a local office offering public services, or to end the provision of a service from an office the Bill says that they must assess the local community impacts (ethnic, environmental and social) of the proposed closure. They will then have to inform all those affected (parish and community councils, residents and community associations, businesses and trade union branches) and consider any representations made by them before taking the final decision about the closure.
Thus those bodies (and their members) gain the right to be given information; the right to make representations and the right to have them considered properly before the decision is taken. (3) gives those bodies real power to challenge assessments and ensure that reasonable steps are taken to ameliorate the adverse effects of closure on local communities. If the social or environmental affects are shown to be large (i.e. damaging to local communities), this would make it far more difficult for a government department or other public body to close the office or end a service without taking steps to protect local communities ? that is the legitimate relevance of this to this campaign: the protection of sustainable local communities.
Sustainable communities, protecting local enterprise, increased democratic power: I’ll be interested to hear what your position on the bill is.