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Jun 7, 2011 - doing things that will fail. As long as the failure isn't repeated but is learned from”.139 ...... otherwise everybody will want one,” is a pity, because.
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House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee

Localism Third Report of Session 2010–12

Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence Additional written evidence is contained in Volume II, available on the Committee website at www.parliament.uk/clgcom Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 9 May 2011

HC 547 Published on 7 June 2011 by authority of the House of Commons London: The Stationery Office Limited £31.50

The Communities and Local Government Committee The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Current membership Mr Clive Betts MP (Labour, Sheffield South-East) (Chair) Heidi Alexander MP (Labour, Lewisham East) Bob Blackman MP (Conservative, Harrow East) Simon Danczuk MP Rochdale (Labour, Rochdale) Stephen Gilbert MP (Liberal Democrat, St Austell and Newquay) David Heyes MP (Labour, Ashton under Lyne) George Hollingbery MP (Conservative, Meon Valley) James Morris MP (Conservative, Halesowen and Rowley Regis) Mark Pawsey MP (Conservative, Rugby) Steve Rotheram MP (Labour, Liverpool Walton) Heather Wheeler MP (Conservative, South Derbyshire) Clive Efford MP (Labour, Eltham), Mike Freer MP (Conservative, Finchley and Golders Green) and George Freeman MP (Conservative, Mid Norfolk) were members of the Committee during this inquiry. Powers The committee is one of the departmental select committees, the powers of which are set out in House of Commons Standing Orders, principally in SO No 152. These are available on the internet via www.parliament.uk. Publication The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) are on the internet at www.parliament.uk/parliament.uk/clg. A list of Reports of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the back of this volume. The Reports of the Committee, the formal minutes relating to that report, oral evidence taken and some or all written evidence are available in a printed volume. Additional written evidence may be published on the internet only. Committee staff The current staff of the Committee are Huw Yardley (Clerk), Judith Boyce (Second Clerk), Josephine Willows (Inquiry Manager), Kevin Maddison (Committee Specialist), Emily Gregory (Senior Committee Assistant), Mandy Sullivan (Committee Assistant), Stewart McIlvenna (Committee Support Assistant) and Hannah Pearce (Media Officer). Contacts All correspondence should be addressed to the Clerk of the Communities and Local Government Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. The telephone number for general enquiries is 020 7219 1234; the Committee’s email address is [email protected]



Contents Report








Defining localism and its aims The Government’s definition of localism Localism in other government departments Localism and efficiency


Central government in a localist system Will Government prove able to rein itself in? Setting limits to localism


Localism without local government?

10 11 15 19 24 24 28 36

The Government’s view of local government’s role 39 The general power of competence 39 Local government resources 40 How do the policies of other departments reflect the Government’s vision for local authorities? 42 The value of democratic legitimacy 45 The role of local government in supporting localism 47 The challenges of improving local democratic engagement 50 The public’s willingness to participate 52 How will local authorities have to adapt? 54


Integration or fragmentation? Total Place and community budgeting Will community budgeting