Wandsworth Council Leader Meets Prime Minister For Localism Summit

Council Leader Edward Lister visits Downing Street

Edward Lister has met with David Cameron at a reception hosted at 10 Downing Street, to discuss the Government’s proposals to give more power to councillors and local residents in Wandsworth.  

High on the agenda was the Government's Localism Bill which is set to transform the relationships between central government, local government, communities and individuals.    

It aims to hand new powers down to councils, establish new rights for local people, overhaul the planning system, as well as making housing decisions fairer and supporting local businesses.  

Cllr Lister says: "I was delighted to visit Downing Street and to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss the changes being made to the way local councils are run.  

By putting an end to excessive Whitehall controls, the Government is allowing local people the freedom to run their lives and neighbourhoods in their own way."  

The Localism Bill was presented to Parliament for its First Reading on December 13th 2010. It will be on the Order Paper for a Second Reading debate on January 17th 2011.  

Key aspects of the Bill include:

  • Devolving powers to councils. Local councils would be freed from bureaucratic constraints with new freedoms and flexibilities to act in the best interests of their area.  
  • New rights for local people. Local people would have a bigger say over their area through a new right to challenge to take over services, a new right to veto excessive council tax rises via a referendum, and the repeal of bin tax laws.  
  • Planning. The Bill would replace the Infrastructure Planning Commission with a democratically accountable system for major infrastructure. Regional planning would be removed and neighbourhood plans created where communities have the power to grant planning permission if a local majority is in favour.
  • Housing. Home Information Packs would be formally scrapped. The Bill would put councils in charge of allocation and tenure of social housing - giving flexibility to use social housing stock to the maximum effect.
  • Economic growth. The Bill would give local government the freedom to grant discretionary business rate discounts and making small business tax breaks easier to take advantage of.
  January 13th, 2011


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