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Local government update

Simon Chappel and Peter Hill review the progress of the Localism Act, the community right to challenge, the Health and Social Care Bill, academies and education reform and proposed changes to public procurement

5 March 2012

Localism Act

The Localism Act 2011 gained Royal Assent on 15 November 2011. The provisions of the Act have been coming into force in stages and there are still a number outstanding. The general power of competence in section 1 has now come into force following the decision by the community secretary, Eric Pickles, to sign a parliamentary commencement order on 17 February 2012. This section was fast tracked because of a recent High Court ruling involving Bideford Town Council and the power to hold prayers as part of their formal business.

Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 provides local authorities in England with a new general power of competence which will give them the powers to do anything that an individual is able to do that is not specifically prohibited. This will open the way for local authorities to be more innovative in their thinking and actions and will cure the legal defect that caused London Authorities Mutual Ltd (LAML) to founder....

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