Share

Labour brands Localism Bill a 'sham'

Eric Pickles, minister for communities and local government
News

Labour brands Localism Bill a 'sham'

Governance | Hannah Bewley | 17 Jan 2011

The Labour Party and Friends of the Earth have spoken out against the Localism Bill ahead of its second reading in Parliament today.

Caroline Flint, shadow communities and local government minister, branded the Bill a “sham”, advising that ministers would be granted over 100 new powers while local authorities are promised autonomy.

Ms Flint criticised her Conservative adversary, Secretary of State Eric Pickles (pictured) saying: “The Bill places extra burdens on local government when councils up and down the country are already being weighed down with Pickles’ diktats telling them what to do.”

Whitehall may be able to set the date of mayoral elections, shorten mayoral terms and force a local authority to shift its form of government from an executive body to a mayoral system, if the Bill were passed, she added.

Further, she claimed the ‘general power of competence’ intended to “free local authorities from constraints caused by having to rely on specific powers” will in fact grant the Secretary of State powers to reverse any decisions, set the threshold level for a petition calling for a local referendum as well as regulate the definitions of what is classed as a voluntary or community body and neighbourhood forums.

Friends of the Earth joined Flint in criticising the Bill, advising that its ‘neighbourhood plans’ would need “major changes” to ensure people have a “meaningful voice” in new planning proposals.

Friends of the Earth's planning campaigner Naomi Luhde-Thompson said: "We are concerned that local people will be railroaded by planning decisions under this new law - and that it won't protect them from the worst effects of
climate change."

The neighbourhood plans will form the basis of any planning application through local authorities, but Friends of the Earth believes these will favour richer communities as well as restrict locals’ ability to challenge building proposals. The plans are to be funded by communities, costing anything from £5,000 to £250,000, which Friends of the Earth believes could lead to developer-based funding and bias in areas without such capital.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Falling rag prices likely to cost charities tens of millions

1 Sep 2014

Charities are likely to lose tens of millions of pounds this year from a fall in the price of recycled...

Commission contacts Bradley Wiggins' charity over concerns about how it has spent donations

29 Aug 2014

The Charity Commission has contacted the trustees of the Bradley Wiggins Foundation after the charity...

Royal Institution rules out selling Mayfair HQ after reducing its debt

27 Aug 2014

The Royal Institution, the science communication charity, has said it will not have to sell its London...

Arts Council spending down by £150m

2 Sep 2014

Arts Council England’s spending was down from £792m in 2012/13 to £642m in 2013/14, according to accounts...

Tesco announces charities to benefit from £1.8m bag charge

2 Sep 2014

Tesco has announced the two charities that will benefit from their carrier bag levy in Scotland and Wales,...

Fundraisers should engage more with older people online, new research shows

2 Sep 2014

Charities could be missing out on donations by not engaging with older people through online and mobile...

Fundraisers should engage more with older people online, new research shows

2 Sep 2014

Charities could be missing out on donations by not engaging with older people through online and mobile...

Over 145 charities receive donations from #icebucketchallenge through JustGiving

1 Sep 2014

Over 145 individual charities have benefited from donations made as a result of the ice bucket challenge,...

EU data protection proposals would kill fundraisers’ mailing lists, says report

28 Aug 2014

Proposed EU data protection rules could destroy mailing lists relied on by charity fundraisers, and would...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<