This case study will examine the most recent approaches to integrating the values of sustainable development into governance structures in the United Kingdom. It will briefly examine recent examples of the contrasting approaches adopted toward this end at national, devolved, and local levels of government, with particular emphasis on the role played by legislative developments in this regard. The rationale for taking sustainability from the sphere of policy and placing it in the realm of legal obligation in the context of parts of the United Kingdom's devolved and local government structures and the efficacy of so doing will be considered.
The case study reflects on the role of key statutory provisions in this area in integrating the policy priority of sustainability into more practical aspects of governance. To this end, after briefly examining the status of sustainability in the context of central government, the case study will focus primarily on the law relating to sustainable development and well-being (the latter being considered as an example of a governance for sustainable development (GSD) based approach) in Wales. Brief consideration is given to provision in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Well-being powers will also be considered as they apply to local government in England and Wales. The case study focuses on key recent statutory provisions, including:
The well-being provisions of the Sustainable Communities Act c.23 of 2007.
The scope, content and context of the relevant statutory provisions will be compared and contrasted and the relationship between them will be examined. The case study will endeavour to draw out general lessons from the U.K. experience in promoting progress in the integration of sustainability into governance, in particular considering the contribution made by adopting sustainability obligations into statutory form, including the ability of law to foster an institutional culture that promotes GSD.
Perhaps the greatest challenge that arises in respect to sustainable development is taking an often problematic and contested concept from the realm of debatable principle and translating it into something that is a viable proposition for practical application. One of the key vehicles for achieving this is the shift from the often largely rhetorical concept of sustainable development into a more concrete set of practices pertaining to governance for sustainable development (GSD). It would appear that the concept of governance for sustainable development in the United Kingdom is, at least in some respects, in a state of fairly rapid expansion. Recent significant developments in this area involving devolved and local government appear to be exhibiting a shift in the application of sustainable development from the sphere of pure policy into a range of more concrete mechanisms for GSD. The reasons for these developments are undoubtedly many and complex, but at the very least they seem to offer examples of innovative approaches to realising aspects of GSD while clarifying and highlighting its status and attempting to improve institutional functionality in this area in terms of both policy and practice.
Law can arguably play a significant role in facilitating this change and, at the same time, can highlight the importance of sustainability in a very tangible way. This study will briefly contrast the relatively narrow and arguably increasingly dated approaches to sustainable development that apply at a central government level to the more innovative strategies employing law to promote GSD that are emerging in respect of devolved and local government in the United Kingdom.
Within central government, general policy responsibility for a relatively limited (and increasingly outmoded) Concept of sustainable development at Cabinet level in the United Kingdom remains primarily, though not exclusively, grounded in policy rather than law. Responsibility in this area is complex and fragmented, with specific coverage for sustainable development declared as falling within the responsibilities of the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department for International Development, and the Department for Work and Pensions.522
When law is employed, either statutory duties or powers may be invoked. An example of the former is the obligation imposed on ministers by the Environment Act (EA) 1995 c.25523 to issue guidance to the Environment Agency in discharging its functions, which include its role with respect to sustainable development (see below). More typical however is the grant of statutory powers to ministers with respect to promoting specific aspects of sustainable development, as for example those exercisable by the Secretary of State for international development under s1 of the International Development Act 2002 c.1 with respect to the provision of development assistance, including that aimed at furthering sustainable development outside the United Kingdom.
In operational terms, statutory duties are more commonly employed with respect to public bodies and sustainable development, as for example with the (albeit qualified with reference to resource constraints) provisions relating to the principle aim of the Environment Agency under the EA 1995524 in ‘discharging its functions so to protect or enhance the environment, taken as a whole’ to make a ‘contribution’ towards ‘attaining the objective of achieving sustainable development’. Powers are also occasionally employed in this area, as for example in The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order of 2007,525 under which the Office of Renewable Fuels Agency may request that transport fuel suppliers provide information in a variety of areas including sustainable development.
While these developments are certainly interesting and indicate at least willingness in principle to attempt to engage with the sustainability agenda, they are in many respects rather limited, employing as they do the broad but still contested terminology of sustainable development with little or no further refinement. More recent thinking appears to espouse a more closely defined and far-reaching approach to sustainability through the development of GSD in order to achieve meaningful progress in this area. As indicated earlier, it is in devolved and local government in the United Kingdom that the most interesting developments are currently underway and the remainder of this paper will discuss some examples. The former administrations granted (differing) statutory powers to govern Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales respectively. Under the devolution settlement the Westminster government remains sovereign, retains power to legislate on UK matters and the state remains unitary, rather than constituting a federation.
Although there have arguably been developments that may be characterised as pursuing a variety of GSD pathways in each of the U.K. devolved administrations, they have, despite the publication of a new U.K. framework in 2005,526 thus far been neither consistent nor coherent.
It is in Wales that the best established and arguably most convincing work has been done. There a number of potential reasons for this, but most significant is the particular nature of the Welsh devolution settlement, which made early statutory provision for sustainable development, necessitating innovation and engagement in GSD with the remit of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and at the same time fostering a culture of sustainability in the remit of the WAG. The main outcomes of adopting a broad approach to the sustainability agenda in Wales will now be considered.
The devolution of legislative power and governance to the constituent nations of the United Kingdom has been termed ‘asymmetric’527 and under the initial devolution settlement provided by the Government of Wales Act 1998 c.38 (GoWA 1998) the Welsh Assembly was more akin to a local government body, albeit with expanded competences, than a true devolved ‘legislature’. Although its status in this regard has subsequently evolved significantly and is enhanced to a considerable degree by the Government of Wales Act 2006 c.32 (GoWA 2006), its powers in regard to law-making remain of a different order to those enjoyed by the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.528
The remit of the Welsh Assembly, in contrast to those of the other devolved institutions, is placed under a specific statutory obligation to pursue sustainable development. This duty was initially contained in the GoWA 1998529 and can now be found in the GoWA 2006530 which, under subsection (1), places the Welsh Ministers under a duty to consult531 and then make and publish532 a sustainable development scheme (SDS) detailing how they propose to ‘promote sustainable development’ in carrying out their functions. Further obligations relate to review of the SDS and to the annual publication of a report on its implementation.533 This obligation ensures that, in practical terms, sustainability is looked at through a wider GSD lens and integrated into WAG policy-testing, operational-planning, and expenditure-review processes.534
The GoWA 2006 potentially supplements the sustainability duty through the introduction, of a new power,535 at a Wales-wide level, to promote ‘well-being’. A narrower version of the ‘well-being power’ (described in more detail later in this article) had previously been applied to local government in the Local Government Act 2000 c.22 (LGA), and while this has subsequently been extended in the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, its new form is arguably still less ambitious that that applied under the GoWA 2006. The GoWA 2006 provides that the Welsh Ministers are authorised to ‘... do anything which they consider appropriate’ to ‘promote or improve one or more of the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Wales.’536 It also enables initiatives to be undertaken that will have impacts beyond Wales if they fulfill these objects. The power is wide reaching, extending to making arrangements or agreements, cooperating, facilitating, coordinating, exercising functions on behalf of another, and providing staff, goods, services or accommodation.537 However the well-being power is not necessarily an unqualified boon to the development of GSD. Although GoWA 2006 well-being power draws heavily on the language of sustainable development, it explicitly separates the elements of sustainability rather than taking an integrated approach, which is a potential cause for concern. Problems in this regard are likely to be avoided however if, as seems necessary given the wording of the respective provisions of the GoWA, the section relating to the well-being power is read in conjunction with that imposing the sustainability duty. In this light the GSD potential of the well-being power is arguably fairly strong in a Welsh context. In respect of developing GSD, then Wales has the potential to act as a ‘legal laboratory’538 allowing the application of a cutting edge approach in a new context. It would not be the first time in U.K. history that a devolved administration has provided the opportunity for experimental policy developments.
Given its legislative pedigree, sustainable development has played a comparatively prominent role in the development of the broader WAG policy agenda and a suite of documents relating to sustainability it has adopted. The general policy priorities of the WAG are laid out in the 2003 document, Wales: A Better Country – The Strategic Agenda of the Welsh Assembly Government539 which, in accordance with the GoWA 1998,540 makes frequent reference to sustainable development. Arguably, the most significant coverage for sustainability in this context lies in its adoption as a basis for impact assessment of substantive policies.541
The key sustainability-specific policy context is found on Starting to Live Differently: The Sustainable Development Scheme and Action Plan of the National Assembly of Wales542(the SDS). The SDS advocates the mainstreaming of sustainable development in all matters concerning the Assembly543 and its own and related activities. In addition, the SDS mandates engagement with the sustainability agenda in the United Kingdom Europe and beyond.544 The working definition of sustainable development adopted in the SDS is:
... development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. By this we mean the needs of all human life, within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own social, economic, environmental and cultural needs.545
The SDS commits the Assembly to employing a range of tools to pursue sustainable development, including: harnessing scientific knowledge in decision making, cost-benefit and risk analysis, respect for environmental limits, the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle indicators,546 and monitoring.547 The broad approach advocated in the SDS fits well with GSD thinking. Interestingly and somewhat unusually in a Western legal context, in Wales environmental concerns have not provided the prime impetus for developing the sustainability agenda. In fact Wales did not initially have a separate environment policy, opting instead to tackle these issues within the SDS until the adoption in 2006 of the Environment Strategy for Wales548 (ESW). The ESW sets strategic direction for environmental policy for the next 20 years and is accompanied by an Action Plan (outlining concrete commitments) and Policy Map (providing details of the ESW's integration with existing policies).
In addition to these initiatives, WAG has made serious attempts to integrate sustainability into a plethora of other policy documents in pursuit of its statutory duty. For example, the 2004 document, People, Places, Futures: The Wales Spatial Plan549 (WSP) sets a broad strategic agenda for land-use planning for the next 20 years and emphasises the role of sustainability in this regard. In a less obviously ‘environmental’ context, the Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS) has recently published Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship – A Strategy for Action'550 taking a contextual look at GSD issues.
It would appear that the WAG, far from adopting GSD approaches as the result of an unwelcome imposed obligation born of statutory necessity, has actively embraced them, developing a positive institutional culture in this regard. The iterative551 nature of the GoWA 2006 sustainability duty552 serves to enhance this process. The WAG has made considerable efforts to pursue GSD approaches by adopting a sustainability agenda simultaneously on a number of different levels. For example, the agenda has been promoted by WAG in its external relations as emblematic of its pride and identity in viewing Wales as a ‘global citizen’.553 To follow through in practical terms WAG has adopted an outward looking agenda in GSD, as evidenced by its role in co-founding the NRG4SD – the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development554 network for regions and sustainable development at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and its involvement in its subsequent activities.
In terms of its internal affairs, the WAG adopts an ongoing consultative stakeholder-based approach to carrying out its functions555 and promotes the adoption of GSD values and structures across its remit. Sustainability also plays a prominent role in, ‘One Wales: A Progressive Agenda for the Government of Wales’ the document laying out the agreed policy of the current Welsh Labour Party and the Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalist) governing coalition556 and thus its status as an accepted an assimilated WAG priority seems assured at present.
As a result of developments in law and policy and the growth of an institutional culture supportive of sustainability and pursued by GSD, in part due to the early rooting of sustainability in the Assembly's remit and the subsequent accumulation of experience and expertise in this area, sustainable development retains a unique and valuable position in devolved governance in Wales.
Developments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been somewhat more sporadic than in Wales. Sustainability is notable by its absence in the Scotland Act 1998 c.46 and the Northern Ireland Acts 1998 c.47 and 2000 c.1. Although there have been some developments relating to governance and sustainability in Scotland and Northern Ireland, they have been less systematic than those adopted in Wales. For example, the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 (ASP 1) (LGSA)557 introduce a ‘power to advance well-being’ for local authorities. This power, although broadly enough framed to encapsulate GSD, is not specifically tied to sustainability-based values. In Northern Ireland, conversely, the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (NIMPA) 2006 c.33558 applies a new duty to ‘... act in the way ... best calculated to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development ...’559 on Northern Ireland public authorities, including the Northern Ireland departments and local government.560
Local government in the United Kingdom has engaged (to be fair, with varying degrees of enthusiasm) the sustainability agenda since the adoption of Local Agenda 21 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. At the same time, successive U.K. administrations have sought to reform local governance in an oftentimes bewildering plethora of initiatives. Most germane are the changes introduced by the Local Government Act 2000 c.22, founded on proposals contained in the White Paper, Modern Local Government: In Touch with the People.561 These changes were aimed at the broad (and extremely demanding) task of overhauling local governance to restore confidence in thoroughly beleaguered institutions. Contained amidst much higher profile developments, such as provision for elected mayors, was the introduction of a ‘well-being power’.562 This empowered local authorities to act for the ‘promotion or improvement’ of one or more of the ‘economic ... social ... environmental’ well-being of their areas, to which end it mandated the adoption of ‘community strategies’.563 The well-being power was aimed at developing more responsive and community-specific local approaches to governance, and it greatly increased the latitude available to local authorities to act in this regard. The provision had, on its face, considerable potential to foster the adoption of a distinctive and innovative approach to the development and furtherance of GSD in a local context, espousing as it did aspects of the three core values underpinning the sustainability paradigm. However, it would be fair to say that the nascent potential of the wellbeing provision in the LGA 2000 was stifled by the legislative context in which it found itself. HHouse of Commons Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions, concluded in its review of the LGA that564 the well-being power had been little used,565 and was effectively being smothered by complex statutory and institutional contexts.566 The local government well-being power also proved a slow starter in the Welsh context, a fact recognised by WAG, which has attempted to engage with limited progress in promoting the GSD agenda under the LGA 2000 beginning with adopting a formal compact with the Welsh Local Government Association to promote ‘sustainable development principles’ and offer guidance on the well-being power. 567 Once again, the statutory sustainability agenda proved a significant factor in promoting active engagement with GSD.
In response to the teething troubles alluded to earlier, the Sustainable Communities Act (SCA) 2007 overhauls the well-being provisions as initially contained in the Local Government Act 2000, and places them into their own discrete statutory context, a move that may help to improve or at least highlight their status. The explicit rationale for extending the well-being powers of local government is to allow local authorities greater freedom of action in their areas.568 The SCA empowers local authorities in England and Wales,569 assisted by the Secretary of State,570 to contribute to promoting the ‘sustainability of local communities’ through ‘encouraging the improvement of the economic, social or environmental well-being’ of their areas.571 An interesting additional clarification is made in this definition of well-being in a social context as including ‘participation in civic and political activity’.572 The Act requires the Secretary of State to invite local authorities to make proposals573 that would, taking into account574 the factors outlined in the Schedule to the Act (local issues relating to a wide range of topics, including: food supply, jobs, energy, social exclusion, health, planning, and waste), in their view contribute to promoting the sustainability of local communities. Successful proposals will be approved as action plans,575 which will be subject to review and reporting obligations. Under the SCA, new ‘sustainable community strategies’ are to be instituted,576 replacing the ‘community strategies’ that had been introduced under the LGA 2000. Taken as a whole, the SCA appears to underline the potential GSD credentials of the well-being power, though having said this, it must be noted that, even in their current form, the well-being provisions relating to local government are not underpinned by a statutory sustainability commitment in the same way as those exercised by the Welsh Assembly and, as a result, are less directly and thoroughly linked to developing the GSD agenda.
Recent progress in forwarding the sustainability agenda in the United Kingdom, notably through the adoption of GSD, has been mixed, featuring elements of both success and failure. This is to be expected in the development of a potentially revolutionary approach to governance from concept to reality. The fact that U.K. approaches recognise the important contribution to sustainability that can be made by appropriate institutional arrangements is encouraging. Regional and local governments potentially have a hugely significant role to play in mediating between the global (and even national) dimensions of sustainability and its realisation at community and individual levels. Finding a workable mix of provisions for GSD within a multi-level governmental paradigm is surely a worthy, if challenging, objective.
One of the most positive elements of the U.K. experience lies in the fact that it is relatively dynamic; law and policy transformation refashioning sustainable development into GSD, particularly at devolved and local government levels, is developing rapidly and responsively. In this context it is significant that well-being concepts, after problematic beginnings, are not being abandoned but refined. However, if well-being provisions are to serve as viable tools for GSD, then the content of such provisions and their law and policy contexts will prove decisive. Although enumerating the elements of sustainability separately as in the GoWA 2006, the NIMPA 2006 and the SCA 2007 may be potentially problematic, failing to allude to them at all, as in the LGSA 2003, will undoubtedly weaken the potential of such powers to contribute to GSD. Adding a statutory underpinning in the form of a more general sustainability duty, as in the GoWA 2006, to support and direct the application of well-being powers provides an important additional dimension, giving symbolic significance and enhanced status to sustainability in agenda setting. The use of statutory provisions in this area is also of huge practical significance as it mandates the emergence of sustainability from the realm of pure policy into practice. In Wales, the statutory context has ensured, at least at the level of the devolved administration that GSD has become part of the institutional status quo and the subject of more conscious and consistent development than has been seen elsewhere in the United Kingdom. For example, there have been serious attempts to integrate sustainability considerations across the range of WAG functions and there seems to be a real sense of commitment to and ownership of the sustainability duty both as a tool for internal governance and as a stimulus to reach out and exchange ideas, as for example through the NRG4SD initiative and work with local authorities.
In Wales the statutory regime has arguably also fostered the development of a distinctive agenda, with a clear regional character and values emerging from the process, often exhibiting creative approaches, not least in respect to according a significant role to cultural dimensions of GSD. Giving particular credence to such elements as recognising and underpinning distinctive features of Welsh society (notably the Welsh language, but also in the particular importance accorded to concepts such as community) is a broader feature of the approach of the Welsh Assembly and its government across the range of its activities. In this context WAG has provided added value by placing a distinctively Welsh stamp on GSD. The Welsh approach arguably demonstrates transformational thinking about governance in this area, converting what at first glance may appear to be a rather barren and legalistic issue into something altogether more viable that is shaped to fit Welsh priorities. The SCA provisions too potentially have a great deal to offer in terms of some aspects of GSD by promoting governance that is closer and more responsive to local people and their priorities. It may well be that with the discrete statutory coverage and the more distinct profile it offers for the well-being duty, the SCA approach can foster innovative approaches in this area.
Experience in Wales suggests that, in line with emerging understanding of the need to give institutional and legal cognisance to sustainability in order to take it from paper to practice, it is desirable to underpin GSD developments with the imposition of a statutory sustainability duty. This ensures that questions of principle are kept in focus while at the same time moving beyond them to tackle practicalities. In Wales, the s79 sustainability duty has created both an impetus for the development of GSD and fostered a positive proselytising culture towards its development within the WAG. The GOWA well-being power,577 thus grounded, has considerable potential to deliver in practical terms by concretising the sustainability agenda, but other similar provisions may prove less stable, lacking the firm foundation provided by the statutory context in question. A statutory underpinning serves to enhance the status of sustainability and focus attention on how the agenda can be most effectively pursued. The lessons that can be learnt from the implementation of the sustainability duty in Wales and further developments of the well-being power supported by this are potentially valuable and worthy of close examination. Best practices may be drawn from the Welsh case that may be suitable for wider dispersal. In the United Kingdom, taking such an approach is potentially applicable to local government and other devolved administrations and it may also have considerable potential to be extrapolated to the national level and even possibly even be exported for consideration internationally. This would fit with the fact that, at the very least, the statutory context prevailing in Wales has ensured that sustainability has an almost totemic significance for the WAG, playing a key role in its institutional identity and laying a viable foundation for it to actualise GSD. As things stand, it has ensured that Wales, for a small country, has big ambitions for developing its role as a ‘global citizen’ promoting the sustainability agenda.
Environment Act 1995 c.25
Scotland Act 1998 c.46
Northern Ireland Act 1998 c.47
Northern Ireland Act 2000 c.1
Local Government Act 2000 c.22
International Development Act c.1 of 2002
Government of Wales Act c.32 of 2006
Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 c.33
Sustainable Communities Act c.23 of 2007
Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 ASP 1
The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 (SI 2007 No. 3072)
Himsworth, C.M.G. ‘Devolution and its Constitutional Asymmetries’ 2007 Modern Law Review Vol.70. No.1. pp31–58.
McCrudden, C. ‘Northern Ireland, the Belfast Agreement, and the British Constitution’ in J. Jowell and D. Oliver (eds.) The Changing Constitution 5th ed. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004).
UK Policy Documents
Cabinet office www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ministerial_responsibilities/lmr_nov07.pdf (accessed 7 March 2008).
HM Government, Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Office: ‘One Future, Different Paths’ available at www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/publications/pdf/SD%20Framework.pdf (accessed 7 March 2008).
Welsh Policy and Related Documents
Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS) Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship – A Strategy for Action available at www.esd-wales.org.uk/english/ESDreports/pdf/AP_E.pdf (accessed 28 February 2008).
National Assembly of Wales Starting to Live Differently: The Sustainable Development Scheme and Action Plan of the National Assembly of Wales available at www.wales.gov.uk/topics/sustainabledevelopment/publications/startlivedifferently/?lang=en (accessed 21 February 2008).
Welsh Assembly Government Environment Strategy for Wales at www.new.wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/Envstratforwales/about_the_strategy/?lang=en (accessed 21 February 2008).
Welsh Assembly Government People, Places, Futures: The Wales Spatial Plan available at www.walesresilience.org/about/strategy/spatial/sppublications/walesspatial?lang=en (accessed 21 February 2008).
Welsh Assembly Government Wales: A Better Country-The Strategic Agenda of the Welsh Assembly Government available at www.elwa.ac.uk/doc_bin/SkillsObservatory/Learning%20Country.pdf (accessed 20 February 2008).
Welsh Assembly Government ‘Welsh Assembly Government Stakeholder Survey 2006’ available at www.new.wales.gov.uk/docrepos/40382/40382313/293077/1266940/stakeholder_survey_FINALEng1.pdf?lang=en (accessed 20 February 2008).
519 Professor, Centre for Environmental and Energy Law (CEELP), Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, United Kingdom. k.Morrow@swansea,ac.uk
520 S79 Government of Wales Act 2006.
521 S60 GoWA 2006.
523 S4(2)Environment Act 1995.
524 S4(1) EA 1995.
525 Art 13(4) The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order of 2007 (SI 2007 No. 3072).
526 ‘One Future, Different Paths’, available at www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/publications/pdf/SD%20Framework.pdf (accessed 7 March 2008).
527 See, for example Himsworth, C.M.G. ‘Devolution and its Constitutional Asymmetries’, Modern Law Review Vol.70., No.1., 2007, pp. 31–58.
528 In terms of its role and competence, the Northern Ireland Assembly is in fact very similar to the Scottish Parliament, its rather misleading nomenclature is due to the fact that designation ‘parliament’ would have been politically sensitive given the controversial operation of the Northern Ireland Parliament between 1921 and 1972.
529 S121 GoWA 1998.
530 S79 GoWA 2006.
531 S79(3) requires consultation of those the Welsh Ministers ‘consider appropriate’.
532 Under s79(4) GoWA 2006 the publication obligation extends to revisions.
533 S79(6) GoWA 2006.
534 www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/publications/pdf/SD%20Framework.pdf, supra note 526, p. 4.
535 S60 GoWA 2006.
536 S60(1) GoWA 2006.
537 S60(4) GoWA 2006.
538 See, for example, with specific reference to Wales, ‘UK Politics: Devolution plans don't go far enough’ at news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/265504.stm (accessed 1 February 1999) and, more generally, McCrudden, C. ‘Northern lreland, the Belfast Agreement,and the British Constitution’ in Jowell, J. and Oliver, D. (eds.) The Changing Constitution 5th edition (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004).
539 At www.elwa.ac.uk/doc_bin/SkillsObservatory/Learning%20Country.pdf (accessed 21 February 2008).
540 S121 GoWA 1998
542 Supra note 527.
543 Para 1.3.
544 Para 1.5. and Section 5D.
545 Available at www.wales.gov.uk/topics/sustainabledevelopment/publications/startlivedifferently/?lang=en, Para 2.1, (accessed 21 February 2008).
546 Para 5.6.
547 Para 5.7.
548 Available at www.new.wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/Envstratforwales/about_the_strategy/?lang=en, (accessed 21 February 2008).
549 Available at www.walesresilience.org/about/strategy/spatial/sppublications/walesspatial?lang=en, (accessed 21 February 2008).
550 Published on 19 September 2006 at www.esd-wales.org.uk/english/ESDreports/pdf/AP_E.pdf. (accessed 28 February 2008).
551 The review process, as mandated by statute, is currently underway once again – see www.new.wales.gov.uk/publications/accessinfo/decisionreport/dreconomics/economicsdrs2007/1956144/?lang=en (accessed 28 February 2008).
552 S79 GoWA 2006.
553 new.wales.gov.uk/about/strategy/strategypublications/sustainabledevelopmentactionplan/leadershipanddelivery/walesaglobalcitizen?lang=en (accessed 20 Feruary 2008).
554 At www.nrg4sd.net/pags/AP/Ap_inicio/index.asp?cod=50A1CE86-A8A4-44F6-842A-04B63BBDF33A (accessed 20 February 2008).
555 See, for example, the Welsh Assembly Government Stakeholder Survey 2006 at www.new.wales.gov.uk/docrepos/40382/40382313/293077/1266940/stakeholder_survey_FINAL Eng1.pdf?lang=en (accessed 20 February 2008).
556 At new.wales.gov.uk/strategy/strategies/onewales/onewalese.pdf?lang=en (accessed 27 June 2007).
557 S20 Local Government in Scotland Act 2003.
558 S25 Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006.
559 S25(1) NIMPA 2006.
560 S25(2) NIMPA 2006.
561 CM 4014, July 1998, available at www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/144890
562 S2 Local Government Act 2000.
563 S4 LGA 2000.
564 In its 14th Report, Session 2001–2002,‘How the Local Government Act 2000 is working’, available at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmtlgr/602/60203.htm
565 Ibid., Para 10.
566 Op cit, Para 11.
567 Available at www.new.wales.gov.uk/about/strategy/strategypublications/sustainabledevelopmentactionplan/leadershipanddelivery/deliveringwithlocalgovernment?lang=en
568 Explanatory Notes for the Sustainable Communities Bill at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmbills/087/en/00087x.htm
569 S1(1) Sustainable Communities Act 2007.
570 S1(4) SCA 2007.
571 S1(2) SCA 2007.
572 S1(3) SCA 2007.
573 S2(1) SCA 2007.
574 S2(4) SCA 2007.
575 S4 SCA 2007.
576 S7 SCA 2007.
577 S60 GoWA 2006.
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