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Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Localism Bill An.

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Presentation on theme: "Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Localism Bill An."— Presentation transcript:

1 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Localism Bill An Overview Select Commission 3 22 March 2011

2 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What the government says: Potential to achieve a substantial and lasting shift in power away from central Government and towards local people –New freedoms and flexibilities for local Government –New rights and powers for communities and individuals –Reforms to make the planning system more democratic and more effective –Reforms to ensure decisions about housing are taken locally

3 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed New freedoms and flexibilities for local Government What the Government says: –Government committed to passing new powers and freedoms to town halls –Powers should be exercised at the lowest practical level – close to the people affected by the decisions –LA’s can do their jobs best when they have genuine freedom to respond to what local people want

4 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What the Localism Bill contains: General Power of Competence –The capacity for LA’s to do anything that an individual can do that is not specifically banned by other laws Abolition of the Standards Board –Introduction of a criminal offence for councillors who deliberately withhold or misrepresent a personal interest

5 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Clarification of rules of predetermination –Make it clearer that it is proper for councillors to play an active part in local discussions –People can elect a councillor confident in the knowledge that they can act on issues they care about and have campaigned on Directly Elected Mayors –Give more cities the opportunity to decide whether they want a mayor –Make council leaders of 12 cities “Shadow Mayors”

6 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed New rights and powers for communities What the Government says: –Government alone doesn’t make great places to live, people do –Voluntary and community groups often find their potential contribution neglected –The Government wants to pass new rights direct to communities and individuals to make it easier to get things done

7 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What the Localism Bill contains Community right to challenge –The right of voluntary and community groups to express an interest in taking over the running of local services Community right to bid –Duty requiring LA’s to maintain a list of assets of community value –When listed assets come up for sale or change ownership groups will have time to develop a bid and raise money to buy the asset on the open market

8 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Local referendum –Right to local people to suggest votes on any local issue that they think important –LA and other local public bodies will be required to take the outcome into account as they make their decisions Right to veto excessive Council Tax rises –The Secretary of State will set a “ceiling” for Council Tax rises –Local people will have the right in a referendum to approve or veto a LA’s proposals to raise taxes at a faster rate

9 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Reform of the Planning system clearer, more democratic and more effective What the Government says: –A good planning system is essential for the economy, environment and society –There are flaws in the current system –Planning does not give members of the public enough influence over decisions –Too often power is exercised by people not effected by the decision

10 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What the Localism Bill contains Abolition of regional strategies Neighbourhood planning –Right for communities to draw up “neighbourhood development plans” –Subject to the plans meeting certain criteria, local people will be able to vote on them – if approved by a majority the LA will bring it into force –LA’s will be required to provide technical advice and support as neighbourhoods draw up their plans

11 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Community right to build –Gives powers to groups of local people to bring forward small developments Requirement to consult communities before submitting very large planning applications Strengthening enforcement rules

12 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Reforming the Community Infrastructure levy –Changes to the infrastructure levy to make it more flexible to enable money to be raised to maintain infrastructure as well as build new –Greater freedom to LA’s to set different rates in different areas –Powers of the Secretary of State to require some money to go directly to neighbourhoods where the development is taking place

13 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Reform of the way local plans are made –Limit the discretion of planning inspectors to insert their wording into plans –Focus on reporting progress to communities Duty to Cooperate –Requires LA and other public bodies to work together on planning issues Nationally significant infrastructure projects –Abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission – restoration of responsibilities to Government Ministers

14 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Reform to ensure that decisions about Housing are taken Locally What the Government says: –Social Housing provides 8 million people in England with a decent home at an affordable rent –However rules are too rigidly set by central Government making it hard for Councils to adapt to meet local needs –Some rule actually trap people in difficult circumstances

15 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What the Localism Bill contains: Social Housing tenure reform –LA’s will be able to grant tenancies for a fixed term (min 2 years) for new tenants Social Housing allocation reforms –Greater freedom to LA’s to set policies about who should qualify to go on the waiting list Reform of Council Housing Finance –Reform of the housing subsidy system

16 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed LGA Response to the Bill Welcome the thrust of the Bill and the ideas behind it However, despite rhetoric about decentralisation on which the Bill is based there is too much control about exactly how localism will work on the ground 100’s of new powers for the Secretary of State

17 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Forcing local areas to have elected mayors not in the spirit of local choice Concerns that areas that chose not to have a mayor will have less powers over local services Secretary of State’s powers to determine what is a “local issue” and an “asset of community value” amongst many other things is the complete opposite to true localism

18 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed The Government must put its money where it’s mouth is on financial freedoms – whilst dismantling the housing finance system is welcome – the cap on capital borrowing is a threat to future housing stock The Government must allow Councils to keep 100% of RTB receipts LGA completely oppose Secretary of State powers to order LA’s to contribute to EU fines imposed on UK Government

19 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed LGA support amendments to the Bill which will: Delete Secretary of State powers to force an area to have a mayor Delete the post of “shadow mayor” Delete order making powers of Secretary of State to determine how local referendum are conducted Delete Secretary of State powers to prescribe exactly how localism should work

20 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Planning –ensure neighbourhood forums are representative and democratic giving ward councillors a stronger role –Delete the requirement for a referendum where there is agreement on the neighbourhood plan –Delete further prescriptive powers of the Secretary of State –Delete powers of Secretary of State to force Councils to pass community infrastructure levy to any other person

21 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed Housing –Allow Councils to keep 100% of RTB receipts –Prevent the Secretary of State from forcing Councils to pay money to Government after they have “bought out” of the HRA subsidy system –Remove the cap on Council’s borrowing to invest in social housing

22 Executive Mayor : Tony Egginton Managing Director : Ruth Marlow Mansfield District Council Creating a District where People can Succeed What next? Awaiting House of Commons report stage due imminently Minister made no concessions on the concerns of Local Government at the Committee stage LGA urging Councils to write to MP’s to highlight the changes that must be made to the Bill Full Bill and explanatory notes on; 11/localism.html


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