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Presentation on theme: " THE LOCALISM ACT 2011 its key aspects and implications A London Councils member event Wednesday 22 February 2012 The presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE LOCALISM ACT 2011 its key aspects and implications A London Councils member event Wednesday 22 February 2012 The presentation slides will be available online at

2 2 Speakers Speakers today are: Oliver Hatch, Public Affairs Manager, London Councils Alastair Lewis, Partner & Parliamentary Agent, Sharpe Pritchard Emyr Thomas, Solicitor, Sharpe Pritchard

3 3 Scope and agenda Scope: Large Act – relevance to London - key aspects – starting dates Agenda: Block 1: Local government (part), non-domestic rates, and community empowerment Alastair Lewis. Block 2: Local government (part) Emyr Thomas Break Block 3: Planning, Local government (rest), & London (part) Emyr Thomas Block 4: EU financial sanctions, housing, London (rest) Oliver Hatch Questions

4 4 Block 4 - sections Three parts to this EU financial sanctions Housing London provisions

5 5 EU financial sanctions - overview Four key areas (S.48 – 57) Basics How much Procedure and London Councils role consultation

6 6 EU financial sanctions I Basics –New power allows government to pass on EU financial fines to boroughs –Fine would be due if borough caused or contributed to the infraction How much –Can be a lump sum or ongoing penalty payment –Minimum fine from EU would be million –Issue of accountability of authorities outstanding - being addressed in the current consultation

7 7 EU financial sanctions 2 Fine procedure and London Councils role –Initial procedure not good for authorities and London Councils lobbied on them –Government made improvements in process Involvement in setting new EU laws, included in new burdens, chance to comply & independent panel on fines –It is still a complicated procedure Consultation –DCLG now consulting on EU fines procedure –Deadline for submissions 22 April 2012

8 8 Housing - overview Six key areas Allocation, homelessness Tenure reform including flexible tenancies Housing finance Housing mobility Regulation of social housing Housing complaints and tenancy deposit schemes

9 9 Housing - allocation Allocation (S.145–147) –Reforms allocation of social housing –Boroughs have to review allocations –Will have powers to determine qualifying persons –But the key categories remain –More flexibility, but the context is important

10 10 Housing - homelessness Homelessness (S ) –Homeless responsibility changed –More flexibility for boroughs –Tenancies must be for a minimum of 12 months.

11 11 Housing - Tenure reform Tenure Reform (S ) –New duty on boroughs to publish a tenancy strategy. –Sets out areas where RSLs must have regard –Conditions set on housing authorities re homelessness

12 12 Housing - flexible tenancies Flexible Tenancies (S ) –Power to offer flexible fixed tenancies, not less than 2yrs, but no obligation on boroughs to do so –Specific guidance on offers and terminations –Tenancy security pertains to people not property –S.160 removes statutory right to succeed to a tenancy

13 13 Housing – housing finance Housing Finance (S ) –New system of system of council housing finance –Subsidy system goes – all income to be kept by borough –Boroughs get more control, but will have to maintain stock –SoS can set maximum borough debt level –Tax on tenants (negative subsidy) system to end

14 14 Housing – mobility Housing mobility (S ) –Act paves the way for a national home swap scheme –Gives regulator power to assist tenancy exchange –GLA will be launching housingmoves scheme

15 15 Housing – regulation of social housing Regulation of social housing (S ) –TSA to be abolished and powers go to the HCA –HCA regulation committee to have regulatory role of RSLs –Financial viability, value for money, and governance

16 16 Housing – Complaints & tenancy deposit schemes Complaints, deposit schemes & other (S ) –Changes complaints procedure – one ombudsman and tenants must go through councils & then be referred –Abolition of home information packs as of 15 January –Firms up of the rules on tenancy deposits – increasing the rights for tenants for return of deposits

17 17 Mayoral Development Corporations (MDCs) Four key areas (S ) Object and establishment London Councils role Planning, infrastructure, land & other functions Recent developments

18 18 MDCs – Object and establishment Object (S.201) –Very wide powers –MDC object is to secure the regeneration of its area –May do anything it considers appropriate Establishment (S ) –Mayor may designate any area of London an MDC, can alter the boundaries and make transfers –Must consult on a proposal but the Assembly can veto it –Sets up constitution & governance rules for MDCs

19 19 MDCs – London Councils role Lobbying success on several issues. Bill changed during its passage on –Consultation. Equal rights to the Assembly won on the designation of MDC –Membership. New right that each MDC shall include one elected member of each relevant London borough (MDC membership to be not less than 6)

20 20 MDCs – Planning and infrastructure Planning and infrastructure (S.202 – 205) –MDC can become the planning authority –MDC may involve boroughs in development control and seek their assistance in plan-making –MDC may build infrastructure

21 21 MDCs – land functions Land and other functions (S ) –MDC can regenerate and develop land –MDCs can, with authorisation from SoS, acquire land and compulsory land rights in or elsewhere in London –Mayor can transfer MDC property to boroughs

22 22 MDCs – Recent developments London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) –Powers on MDCs commenced 15 January 2012 –Olympic Park Legacy Company becomes the LLDC - first MDC to be announced on 8 February –LLDC starts work on 1 April 2012 –Continues the work of the Olympic Park Legacy Company –Interim Chair will be Baroness Margaret Ford –…and talk of other MDCs to be announced too

23 THE LOCALISM ACT 2011 its key aspects and implications Questions Please remember to hand in your completed feedback form The presentation slides will be available online at

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