Localism Act – key measures

Key measures to increase the power of local government through the Act include:
 Introducing a new general power of competence, giving councils freedom to work together to improve services and drive down costs. Councils are now free to do anything – provided they do not break other laws
 Opening the door for the transfer of power to major cities to develop their areas, improve local services, and boost their local economies
 Ending the system for overseeing the behaviour of councillors by abolishing the Standards Board
 Clarifying the rules on predetermination in order to free up councillors to express their opinions on issues of local importance without the fear of legal challenge
 Enabling councils to return to the committee system of governance, if they wish, regardless of
 Giving councils greater control over business rates. Councils will have the power to offer business rate discounts, which could help attract firms, investment and jobs. It stops plans to impose a business rate supplement on firms if a simple majority of those affected do not give their consent, and simplifies the process for claiming small business rate relief
 Introducing new planning enforcement rules, giving councils the ability to take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised development
 Increasing powers for councils to remove illegal advertisements and graffiti and prevent fly-posting, and giving planning authorities stronger powers to tackle abuses of the planning system
 Reforming homelessness legislation to enable councils to provide good quality private rented homes where appropriate, freeing up social homes for people in need on the waiting list
 Allowing councils to keep the rent they collect and use it locally to maintain social homes through the abolition of the housing revenue account
 Passing greater powers over housing and regeneration to local democratically elected representatives in London.
Key measures to increase the power of local communities include:
 Introducing a new Right to Bid, which will give residents the opportunity to take over local assets like shops and pubs
 Introducing a new Right to Challenge, making it easier for local groups with good ideas to put them forward and drive improvements in local services
 Removing the ability of councils to charge families for overfilling their bin and to introduce extra tariffs for taking away household waste
 Increasing transparency on local pay, by requiring councils to publish the salaries of senior officials working in local authorities,
 Giving communities the right to veto excess council tax rises.
 Introducing a new right to draw up a neighbourhood plan, giving local people a voice to say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like
 Enabling communities to bring forward proposals for development they want – such as homes, shops, playgrounds or meeting halls, through the Community Right to Build
 Abolition of Home Information Packs.
 Enabling people to swap their social home, for example because they wish to move jobs. A national home swap scheme will give access to details of all other tenants who may be a match
 Giving social tenants stronger tools to hold their landlords to account. Landlords will be expected to support tenant panels – or similar bodies – so tenants can carefully examine the services being offered.
 The Tenant Services Authority will be abolished
 Requiring developers to consult local communities before submitting certain applications.
 abolishing the Infrastructure Planning Commission,


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