Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Localism Bill

And following the same theme here’s something sent in by Tajinder.

The Localism Bill became law on Wednesday 16 October, when it received Royal Assent after eleven months of scrutiny in parliament.

It provides the legislative foundation for decentralised power and decision-making. Some of the measures introduced by the Act will come into effect from now, others are expected to take effect from April 2012, once associated secondary legislation and regulations have been reviewed/developed.

The Act can be viewed here: However, a Plain English Guide to the Act has been published and describes the main measures of the Localism Act under four headings:
  • new freedoms and flexibilities for local government
  • new rights and powers for communities and individuals (inc. ‘right to challenge’ (but not planning decisions), and removing charges for rubbish collection
  • reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective (inc. abolishing the Infrastructure Planning Commission)
  • reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally
Frankly, I don’t see much coming of this. The cards are still all held by central government.

Clearly we need some form of Individual [Poll] Tax to reflect the burden each of us place on local amenities, services and public infrastructure BUT we also need some form of effective property tax to ensure that basic social needs like housing are not over exploited by speculators withholding their assets and placing more pressure on public open space and the Green Belt.

Empty properties and second homes should be subject to a Green Belt Tax! – Discuss.

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