Localism Bill continues progress in the House of Lords

Out-Law News | 06 Sep 2011 | 5:39 pm | 1 min. read

Laws which could create substantial new powers for local authorities could come one step closer to passing when the House of Lords considers all proposed amendments today.

The Localism Bill, which completed its committee stage in the House of Lords on 20 July, contains provisions for local government and community empowerment, planning, housing and the governance of London.

The report stage of legislation allows Parliament to consider further amendments to a bill which has already been examined by a committee. It is usually followed by a further reading.

The Bill aims to move responsibility for land use planning away from central government by introducing new powers, control and influence at a local level.

It will give communities the power to instigate local referendums on any issue, to approve or veto "excessive" council tax increases and create the opportunity for local groups to bid to buy community assets.

It also introduces a presumption in favour of sustainable development in circumstances where community policies are silent or out of date.

Discussion will start with amendments to the provision concerning local housing authority tenancy strategies.

Speaking at the publication of the Bill in December, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles described the provisions as a "ground-breaking shift in power".

"It is the centrepiece of what this Government is trying to do to fundamentally shake up the balance of power in this country. By getting out of the way and letting councils and communities run their own affairs we can restore civic pride, democratic accountability and economic growth," he said.

The Bill is expected to come into force later this year.

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