I believe that if we really want to bring about change we need to work through and alongside those with the opportunity to speak on all our behalf. Between now and the end of the year we have the chance to make all of these points repeatedly and firmly to all those drawing up election manifestos. Education about sustainable development – in school, at home, in the workplace and on the streets – will have to be at the core of this if we are to be successful.

It’s worth noting here that the Government has recently set Groundwork a challenge by agreeing to a strategic partnership between our organisation and DFID aimed at helping us contribute to global development in the UK. and Best Property Lawyer What better way for our Government to demonstrate its commitment to global development, social justice and responsible environmental stewardship than to be at the forefront of this initiative?

On the international stage it won’t have escaped your attention that we stand on the verge of the UN Decade of ESD which begins next year. We need to ensure that through that review education is recognised as being vital to delivering sustainable development just as sustainable development can be a powerful deliverer of education. Despite what we may think about the ability of one spending department to influence the whole course of Government – and Treasury – policy, this document continues to be the touchstone for any Whitehall debate on the subject. There is also a recognition that we need the skills to build sustainable communities and the Egan skills review is one of several that are asking some searching questions – to which the answer in many cases is ESD.

But at long last it shows that Government has recognised that the quality of the places in which we live is intimately bound up with the quality of the environment that surrounds us and the social fabric of the neighbourhoods of which we are part. From the regeneration perspective we are now a year into the delivery of ODPM’s Sustainable Communities programme. Firstly, of course, we have the DfES action plan – long awaited, some would say a little lacking in specifics, but nevertheless a sign of commitment and intent. If I believed in astrology I’d say a number of planets had swung into alignment creating auspicious circumstances and major new opportunities.

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