HC Deb 24 February 1998 vol 307 c145W
Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what monitoring is being undertaken of Local Agenda 21 proposals on sustainability; and what account of these is being taken by his Department in formulating policy. [30769]

Angela Eagle

The Local Government Management Board (LGMB) monitors progress by local authorities in adopting and implementing Local Agenda 21 strategies. In June 1997, the LGMB published "Local Agenda 21 in the UK—the first five years" reviewing progress made by local authorities since the Rio 'Earth Summit' in 1992. This showed that 70 per cent. of local authorities had made a commitment to Local Agenda 21, and that about 55 per cent. were putting strategies in place. At the United Nations General Assembly Special Assembly in June 1997, the Prime Minister called on all UK local authorities to adopt Local Agenda 21 strategies by the year 2000.

On 14 January 1998, the Deputy Prime Minister launched guidance produced jointly by the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the LGMB, "Sustainable Local Communities for the 21st Century", to encourage the remaining local authorities to make such a commitment. The LGMB and LGA will be supporting all local authorities in their Local Agenda 21 work, and providing further guidance and advice. The LGMB will be surveying all local authorities again in April 1998 to ascertain the progress each has made on Local Agenda 21 and to identify areas where further support is required.

On 4 February 1998, the Government launched their consultation paper "Opportunities for Change" on the review of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. Local authorities, and the local people involved in their Local Agenda 21 processes, will provide a key input to the consultation process.