Local authorities: the general power of competence - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 14 January 2014 | Standard notes SN05687

Authors: Mark Sandford

Topic: Local government

The general power of competence is a new power available to local authorities in England to do “anything that individuals generally may do”. It was provided for in the Localism Act 2011 and replaces the well-being powers in the Local Government Act 2000. It was brought into force for local authorities on 18 February 2012.

This note gives information on the policy background to the new power, and looks at some of the issues relating to its introduction, including the ‘prayers case’ at Bideford Town Council and the ‘LAML case’ regarding the well-being power in the 2000 Act.

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