Campaigners have hailed two recent public events held in support of the Sustainable Communities Bill as "an overwhelming success".
More than 1,000 people turned out to a rally in central London on Monday March 26 before 300 people attended a public meeting held at The Reebok Stadium in Bolton.
Tory and Liberal Democrat leaders David Cameron and Ming Campbell pledged their full support to the bill as did Local Government Minister Phil Woolas at the Local Works organised events.
The Bill, which would give local communities more decision making power over local issues, now has the support of more than 400 MPs from all parites, 300 local organisations and more than 1,000 parish and town councils. It is currently being studied by a cross-party group of MPs but will need government support in order to become law.
Local Works campaign co-ordinator Stephen Shaw told Convenience Store: "The support for the Bill in the last weeks has been overwhelming. We are very pleased Phil Woolas attended the rally and promised not to block the Bill at the report stage and understand the need to fully engage to arrange the final wording of the Bill."
He added it was "disappointing" that Communities and Local Government minister Ruth Kelly chose not to attend the public meeting.