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Sustainable Communities plan goes pan-European

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A team of European ministers is set to descend on Bristol to discuss ideas for a new European-wide policy on sustainable communities.

The ODPM has claimed that the meeting, scheduled for 6-7 December, should culminate in the signing of an agreement to provide a 'template' through which, it says, 'communities of all sizes can be made more sustainable'.

The two-day meeting, which will bring together ministers from 25 EU member states, will be the last of its kind in the UK's six-month presidency of the EU, which ends on December 31.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott said: 'I believe that the creation of sustainable communities is a big idea for a bigger Europe. It's a practical approach to improving people's quality of life in delivering economic progress, social justice and a better environment.

'Our common challenge is to deliver full employment, sustainable growth, decent public services, a better quality of life, and a reduction in regional economic and social disparities in the face of relentless global competition.'

Prescott added that Bristol was chosen to host the event because it was a 'good example of how fast-growing modern British cities with industrial heritages were being transformed into thriving, vibrant places.'

by Rob Sharp

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