Sustainable Communities Act 2007
Under the rules of the *Sustainable Communities Act 2007, the Government has a duty to review proposals from all local authorities who have opted into the scheme, and Sheffield people are ready to make their voices heard!
Asylum seekers are often highly skilled and want to contribute to Sheffield city's economy. As a city we are not able to make use of the skills and qualifications of asylum seekers living in Sheffield.
Refuge Council have welcomed the move
"Sheffield City Council's Sustainable Communities Panel has voted to submit a new proposal based on the Sustainable Communities Act to allow asylum seekers to work. In an unprecedented move, the Panel agreed that the current rules were not morally defensible, did not support the city's aspirations as a City of Sanctuary, and did not help to achieve community cohesion. In fact the Panel held the view that the current rules may contribute to community tensions, and therefore act as a problem and challenge to the continued wellbeing and sustainability of Sheffield. The move is a direct result of the work done by the Sheffield City of Sanctuary group with Sheffield City Council to improve the lives of refugees living in Sheffield and foster greater understanding and friendship between them and the local community.
"The full proposition is as follows:
"The proposal of the Sheffield Sustainable Communities Panel is to allow asylum seekers the right to work in the city once their application for asylum has been received and they have been dispersed to the city. Asylum seekers who do not seek (or do not find) employment would still be eligible for the same support that is available at the moment. The right to seek employment would be open to any asylum seeker aged 16 or over."
Refugee council 6 July 2009 http://tinyurl.com/llgy2x
'SheffieldCabinet.doc' Sheffield Sustainable Communities Panel original proposal, all the arguments you need to persuade your council (below).
The Sustainable Communities Act will work by giving increasing devolved powers that local council representatives have to empower them to solve the problems within their local communities. Central government will be required by law to provide for the implementation of local sustainability strategies that communities will be invited to draw up themselves together with their councils. Importantly, this new process will be participatory not consultative.
Under the Act, local sustainability has four measurements:
* Thriving local economies
* Environmental protection
* Social inclusion
* Active democratic participation
Councils will be given funding from central government to make sure that all people in their communities are able to participate in the new 'bottom-up' process.
The local sustainability strategies will state ways in which community decline is to be reversed and local sustainability is to be created. This could include measures to promote local shops and services, local jobs and local businesses; measures to reduce social exclusion and increase active citizenship; as well as measures to improve the local environment.
Local people will be able to set targets for these measures, or even introduce new measures and indicators, and these may differ from area to area. There may even be local referendums on issues such as whether a new superstore should be built.