Local businesses across the country are soon to benefit from radical changes to the way their communities are run thanks to the Sustainable Communities Act, which is now in full swing.

More than 300 proposals to tackle community decline have been submitted to the Local Government Association (LGA) by 100 different councils.

The proposals cover a wide range of issues, from business rates relief for small businesses, to making post offices more sustainable.

Kettering Borough Council has put forward a proposal to give licensing authorities and police the power to prevent supermarkets from selling alcohol below cost, while City of York council is asking for business rates to be retained locally.

The proposals will now be considered by central government and a decision on which proposals will be granted is due by December.

Steve Shaw, national co-ordinator for Local Works, the organisation campaigning for the Act, urged local retailers and businesses to lobby their local MPs on an amendment to create a rolling programme for communities and councils to submit proposals to government.