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Friday, 24th December 2010

UK: Decentralisation and the Localism Bill: an essential guide

Decentralisation and the Localism Bill: an essential guide
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government (UK)

From Executive Summary:
‘Decentralisation’ as a word is easy to pay lip service to. To actually make it happen we need to break it down into the practical steps that each part of government can – and must – take. This guide describes these steps in the form of the six essential actions that have the power to turn words into reality.

The first two actions are the most fundamental, because decentralisation can’t get started without them. They are to:

- Lift the burden of bureaucracy – by removing the cost and control of unnecessary red tape and regulation, whose effect is to restrict local action; and
- Empower communities to do things their way – by creating rights for people to get involved with, and direct the development of, their communities.

The next two actions provide the resources and the freedom of choice needed to sustain progress on decentralisation. They are to:
- Increase local control of public finance – so that more of the decisions over how public money is spent and raised can be taken within communities; and
- Diversify the supply of public services – by ending public sector monopolies, ensuringa level playing field for all suppliers, giving people more choice and a better standard of service.

The final two actions complete the picture by enabling local people to take complete control of the process of decentralisation as it affects them in their communities. They are to:

- Open up government to public scrutiny– by releasing government information into the public domain, so that people can know how their money is spent, how it is used and to what effect; and
- Strengthen accountability to local people –by giving every citizen the power to change the services provided to them through participation,choice or the ballot box.

+ Direct link to Guide (PDF; 683 KB)


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