“Huge own goal” if Localism Bill does not give councils significant new powers, warns think tank
16 May, 2011

“Huge own goal” if Localism Bill does not give councils significant new powers, warns think tank

In advance of the Localism Bill debates in parliament this week, Simon Parker, Director of Localism think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN), said:

“By taking away barriers to local government autonomy such as cumbersome inspection regimes, ministers have paved the way for more decentralized decision-making. But the crucial question is, what comes next? It would be a huge own goal if MPs don’t use the Localism Bill to start to give councils the new powers they need to take advantage of this opening”

“Measures such as the proposed community ‘right to bid’ have the potential to turn government upside down – giving communities radical new powers over their councils. Now we need to see the relationship between central and local government similarly upended, with councils given the right to bid for central government services – making a case to take over aspects of service areas such as welfare, criminal justice and policing”

“The report stage is the last point at which MPs can really drive new thinking into the heart of the Localism Bill. We urge them to think radically”

Ends