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The Localism Bill

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The Localism Bill was introduced to Parliament on 13 December 2010.

This Bill will shift power from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.

The Government are committed to this because over time central government has become too big, too interfering, too controlling and too bureaucratic. This has undermined local democracy and individual responsibility, and stifled innovation and enterprise within public services.

The Government wants to see a radical shift in the balance of power and to decentralise power as far as possible. Localism isn’t simply about giving power back to local government. This Government trusts people to take charge of their lives and we will push power downwards and outwards to the lowest possible level, including individuals, neighbourhoods, professionals and communities as well as local councils and other local institutions.

  • for services which are used individually, this means putting power in the hands of individuals themselves
  • where services are enjoyed collectively, they should be delivered by accountable community groups
  • where the scale is too large or those using a service are too dispersed, they should be delivered by local institutions, subject
  • to democratic checks and balances, enabled by full transparency.

The Localism Bill includes a number of important packages:

  • decentralisation and strengthening local democracy
  • Non-Domestic Rates
  • community empowerment
  • a radical re-boot of the planning system including neighbourhood planning
  • changes to social housing policies
  • devolving Powers to the Mayor and London Boroughs.

The measures in the Bill exemplify and take forward the six actions of decentralisation that underpin the Government’s approach to decentralisation.

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