Decentralisation and the Localism Bill
On 13th December the government published the Localism Bill setting out plans it says will give communities and local government greater powers and freedom from Whitehall. Alongside the Bill, they also published an ‘essential guide to decentralisation' explaining what they wanted to achieve, why and how.
"We will be the first Government in a generation to leave office with much less power in Whitehall than we started with." David Cameron, The Observer, 12th September 2010
The government defines decentralisation as ‘giving power back to people and communities'. Their ‘essential guide' seeks to make the case for decentralisation and sets out 6 steps they will take to achieving decentralisation (with the Localism Bill as the legal basis for this). They describe this shift as moving ‘from big government to big society'.
The government assertion that ‘those with power don't usually want to give it away' is the rationale for a centralised programme to make this happen is required (an irony that is acknowledged in the document). Decentralisation is easy to ‘pay lip service to' but much harder to achieve in practice, so a number of practical actions are necessary to achieve these goals.
Please download the pdf on this page to read the full briefing.
And you can also read our Response to the Localism Bill