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Localism Bill published this week

The Localism Bill is set to be published on 9 December, the government has confirmed.

The bill, which with around 200 clauses is expected to lay out a number of the government’s key reforms to local government, housing and planning, was initially expected to be published in late November.

But it was then delayed two weeks after cross-departmental wrangling over proposals to hand more powers to directly elected mayors.

However, Number 10 has now confirmed the bill will be published on 9 December.

In the government’s November progress updates for each department’s Structural Reform Plans, the update for the Department or Business, Innovation & Skills confirms the bill had been delayed but will now be published on 9 December. It gives no reason for the delay.

The Department for Communities & Local Government update does not give a date for publication of the bill, but says the delay was due to “the parliamentary timetable”.

The DCLG update reveals the following actions will be included in the bill:

  • directly elected mayors
  • measures to reinvigorate local accountability, democracy and participation
  • closure of Regional Development Agencies
  • social housing measures
  • abolition of Home Information Packs
  • reform of the Housing Revenue Account
  • home swap measures to increase mobility among social housing tenants
  • abolition of the Tenant Services Authority
  • reform of the planning system
  • repeal of Regional Strategies and introduction of a duty to co-operate for local authorities
  • abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission

Communities minister Greg Clark told TheSunday Telegraph: “This Government has ambitious proposals to make the system fit to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Above all, we want to change the philosophy behind local planning.

“We want to move away from a system with significant elements of imposition from above, to one with participation and involvement at its heart – not just warm words, or a commitment in principle, but real opportunities for people to have a say.

“We also want to move away from a system that seeks to resolve the different needs of different groups at a local level by imposing choices from above, towards one which enables a mature debate at local level.”

The paper also reported that the Bill will pave the way for elected mayors in 12 cities: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.

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