The Localism Bill

1st December 2010.

The coalition government, building upon the pre-election commitment of the Conservative Party, has set out strong policy commitments to reforming public services in the United Kingdom. Central to this policy approach are the concepts of localism and decentralisation. The government is keen to re-localise the running of services with a particular emphasis upon communities deciding upon and running services in their neighbourhoods, in effect creating a big society. Key to this desire is an ambition to change the structure of control in the UK and decentralise activities away from central government and towards local government and communities.

To date, these aspirations have been little more than rhetoric, with limited detail of how high level policies would resonate in communities. The Localism Bill, published on 13th December 2010 and running to some 406 pages sets out proposals to enable this power shift to happen. This CLES bulletin provides an overview of the core proposals of the Bill together with commentary and critique.