How do you want your region run? Answers by 30 October

Finally we are beginning to get to the detail of what the new regional structures and strategy could do, and how sustainable development will be addressed with the Government launch in August of a consultation on its policy statement on regional strategies and guidance on the establishment of Leaders’ Boards.

The consultation document sets out:

i) Government’s expectations on the content of Single Integrated Regional Strategies (SIRS) and the steps required in developing, monitoring and implementing the SIRS. Sustainable development is one of the key aims, but is it consistently applied within the guidance?

ii) Draft regulations dealing with the procedural matters relating to the preparation of a SIRS.  How is sustainable development dealt with in this process?

iii) Draft guidance on the preparation of schemes for the establishment and operation of Leaders’ Boards setting out the broad criteria previously endorsed by earlier consultation.  The West Midlands already has one, but how will sustainable development be addressed?

iv) Draft guidance on sustainability appraisal of the regional strategies that will supplement the Government’s Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive. Learning from the good practice gained from applying previous Sustainability Appraisals to regional strategies how can we turn this from a quality control process, to one that sets the direction and vision for the region?

The consultation period runs until 30 October 2009 – further details can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.

Sustainability West Midlands will be putting a response in as this draft guidance begins to seek the ‘how’ questions of the strategy and regional leadership in delivering sustainable economic growth with environmental limits. We will also be working on input on a regional response with Mark Middleton (m.middleton@wmleadersboard.gov.uk) leading on the regional strategy and sustainability appraisal and Rose Poulter (rosepoulter@advantagewm.co.uk) leading on comments on the leaders board.