Legislation relevant to Local Communities

Localism Bill

New freedoms and flexibilities for Local Government

  • give local authorities everywhere the formal legal ability and greater confidence to get on with the job of responding to what local people want
  • cut red tape to enable councillors everywhere to play a full and active part in local life without fear of legal challenge
  • encourage a new generation of powerful leaders with the potential to raise the profile of English cities, strengthen local democracy and boost economic growth
  • reform the governance of London so that more power lies in the hands of elected representatives who are democratically accountable to London’s citizens

New rights and powers for Local Communities

  • make it easier for local people to take over the amenities they love and keep them part of local life
  • ensure that local social enterprises, volunteers and community groups with a bright idea for improving local services get a chance to change how things are done
  • give people a new way to voice their opinions on any local issue close to their heart
  • enable local residents to call local authorities to account for the careful management of taxpayers’ money

Reform to make the planning system clearer, more democratic and more effective

  • place significantly more influence in the hands of local people over issues that make a big difference to their lives
  • provide appropriate support and recognition to communities who welcome new development
  • reduce red tape, making it easier for authorities to get on with the job of working with local people to draw up a vision for their area’s future
  • reinforce the democratic nature of the planning system – passing power from bodies not directly answerable to the public, to democratically accountable Ministers

Reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally

  • enable local authorities to make their own decisions to adapt housing provision to local needs, and make the system fairer and more effective
  • give local authorities more control over the funding of social housing, helping them to plan for the long term
  • give people who live in social housing new ways of holding their landlords to account, and make it easier for them to move

This is, in sum, a Bill with the potential to effect a significant change in national life, passing power to a local level, creating space for local authorities to lead and innovate, and giving people the opportunity to take control of decisions that matter to them.

The Government has already begun consultation on how it might use some of the powers and provisions contained in the Bill – so that when the Bill is approved by parliament, it will be possible to make the most of the opportunity it presents to achieve widespread, swift and lasting change.

Together with other, wider Government reforms, putting the Bill into practice will represent a major milestone towards the transfer of power and control set out in the coalition agreement.

Updates about various consultations about the use of the powers in the Localism Bill, and about the Department for Communities and Local Government’s wider work can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/whatsnew