- Local Agenda
- Cheshire's Agenda 21
- Cheshire's Community Strategy
- Johannesburg 2002
What is Local Agenda 21?
Local Agenda 21 is an opportunity to improve everyone’s quality of life. It is a plan to balance economic, social and environmental well being. This is to ensure that economic progress is not at the cost of the natural environment or society.
How did it start?
In 1992, at the Rio de Janerrio Earth Summit, over 170 nations signed up to a voluntary agreement called “Agenda 21”. This document is an agenda for the 21st Century, made up of numerous chapters each detailing the role that different parts of society could play. There are chapters for central government, local government, business, voluntary and community organisations. In the UK, Agenda 21 has been adopted by requiring local authorities to develop a Local Agenda 21. This is a plan to improve people’s quality of life in that locality for the 21st Century, therefore linking the local to the global issues.
Cheshire has been developing it’s Local Agenda 21 programme since 1994. Both Cheshire County Council and the six District Councils in Cheshire have all developed Local Agenda 21 Plans. Cheshire County Council invited over 40 representatives from public, private and community organisations to develop a county-wide plan. This partnership is called the Sustainable Cheshire Forum. Smaller topic groups within the forum were established to focus on particular issues within the overall strategy.
Eight Topic Groups were developed to focus on:
More information about these issues can be found through the “Themes” button.
Each group is chaired by a representative from an independent organisation and facilitated by a member of staff in the County Council. Each group developed Action Plans to focus on these issues and these were used to form Cheshire’s Agenda 21 Strategy and Action Plan, launched in 1996, which was updated with Cheshire’s Environmental Action Plan in 2003.
These action plans have short, medium and long term targets and are reviewed annually by the Sustainable Cheshire Forum. Progress against key indicators has traditionally been published annually in Cheshire’s Check Up document, which last year was replaced by Cheshire’s State of the Environment Report.
In 2000, UK government introduced legislation to direct local authorities to develop Local Strategic Partnerships and Community Plans. These were to establish economic, social and environmental well being in each local authority area. Effectively, this made the voluntary activity of Local Agenda 21 a legal requirement of all local governments. In Cheshire, the Cheshire Partnership was established as the Local Strategic Partnership and a Community Strategy was produced in 2002. Much of this work has built upon the successes of Cheshire’s Agenda 21 Strategy and Action Plan and the Sustainable Cheshire Forum. Each of the 6 Cheshire District Authorities have also been formulating Community Plans, working with Cheshire County Council to ensure that the right issues are tackled at the right level. For more information about District Council Community Plans, see the contact pages.
The introduction of Cheshire’s Community Strategy has shifted the emphasis for sustainable development in Cheshire. However, the Sustainable Cheshire Forum is being retained as an environmental forum under the the Cheshire Partnership umberella. The SCF will focus on environmental issues affecting Cheshire and continue to monitor the progress of Cheshire’s Environmental Action Plan which will assisst with the monitoring of the Community Strategy.
Johannesburg 2002 – The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
Ten years on from the Rio Earth Summit, world nations met at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. This meeting has achieved several new agreements and set many targets to reduce world poverty, health inequalities and environmental degradation.
As a result of this summit, government has reviewed the 1999 UK Sustainable Development Strategy, and published a new version “Securing the Future” in March 2005. As part of this, a community level programme, called “Every Action Counts“, to encourage individuals and communities to take action locally. For more information, visit www.sustainable-development.gov.uk