LGIU Briefing on the Localism Bill

Overview
Localism is a main theme of current government policy, and the Localism Bill is presented as the main vehicle for measures that will strengthen the capacity of communities and individuals to find local solutions to local problems.

The pursuit of localism, seen from LGiU’s perspective, takes the form of strengthening local democracy by putting citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services, and achieving this by shifting the balance of power from Whitehall to localities. From this perspective, the key question will be, Will the Localism Bill improve the ability of local people to make decisions about local services and public spending priorities, and will it engage them as citizens within a framework sustained by a strong, responsive council?

LGiU welcomes the Government’s commitment to localism and would like to see the Bill affirm the role of councils, whilst limiting the current Bill’s centralising powers. For example in the determination of the principles on which council tax is calculated annually by the Secretary of State, and implicitly, in the creation of an unprecedented ability for the Secretary of State to introduce significant measures through secondary regulation.

This briefing deals with the key elements of the Bill which will have an impact on Localism. Other important elements, on council constitutions and elected mayors, housing, council tax, and London, may be the subject of separate briefings.

Please follow this link to view LGIUs full briefing and comments on the Second Reading