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STRENGTHENING DELIVERY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE ENGLISH REGIONS

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Joint Defra, DTI and ODPM press release...
Joint Defra, DTI and ODPM press release

Almost exactly one year on from the launch of Securing the Future - the UK Sustainable Development Strategy - we have published ' Securing the Regions' Futures '. This report sets out the ways in which the government will strengthen the delivery of sustainable development in the English regions.

'Securing the Regions' Futures' responds to the Sustainable Development Commission's review of sustainable development in the English regions and its sixteen recommendations. We accept the analysis put forward by the Sustainable Development Commission and have set out 20 recommendations to increase the regions' contribution to delivering sustainable development. The key elements of this approach are:

- Using the sustainable development principles and priorities to underpin the refreshed or updated high-level regional strategies.

- Creating a strengthened role for regional sustainable development roundtables as 'champion bodies'.

- Embedding sustainable development within the work of government offices and across their organisations so as to become exemplars in the regions.

- Supporting the role of regional assemblies in delivering sustainable development through all their functions.

- Working with regional development agencies to help them deliver economic productivity, which delivers sustainable development at the same time - and to ensure that this contribution is fully reflected in regional development agency assessments.

- Maximising the contribution which city-regions, sub-regions and inter-regional strategies can make to delivering sustainable development through innovative ways of working at these levels.

Minister for environment and climate change, Elliot Morley, said: 'I am delighted to publish this report just after the anniversary of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. Securing the Future stressed the important of delivery at all levels. This report: Securing the Regions' Futures provides more detail about how we will strengthen delivery at the regional level. It includes clear guidance and 20 commitments, which will help regions to secure a more sustainable future for all. It shows how we have responded to the 16 recommendations made by the Sustainable Development Commission in the review they carried out last year. It also shows how we will continue to work with regional bodies across the nine English regions to make sustainable development a reality.'

Minister for industry and the regions, Alun Michael, said: 'I am pleased that the report has set out the valuable contribution the RDAs have already made to sustainable development in the regions and how they will balance and integrate economic, social and environmental considerations in future. The report shows how we are working with the RDAs to ensure that the regional economic strategies they draw up every three years are underpinned by strong sustainable development principles. Frameworks we have put in place for the RDAs will enable us to gain a clear view of how each RDA has helped to deliver sustainable development in its region.'

Minister for communities and local government, David Miliband, said: 'I welcome the publication of this report which will make a significant contribution towards the development of sustainable communities. It is vital that decision-making is at the right level, and we believe our regional partners have key roles to play alongside national and local government. As part of this, it is increasingly clear that city-regions and their collaboration with the regional tier offer tremendous untapped potential to capture economic, social and environmental linkages. We at national level will continue to empower our regional partners to ensure that new development promotes prosperity whilst protecting our environment'.

The full report is available to download by clicking here: www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/index.asp

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