The committee stage of the Localism Bill – line by line examination – continued for a fourth day in the House of Lords on Thursday 30 June. Members of the Lords discussed proposals to amend Part 4 of the Bill, concerning community empowerment, which makes provisions for local referendums.
Amendments discussed covered clauses 42 to 59 of the Bill.
Committee stage will continue on Monday 5 July.
Discussion began with amendments regarding Clause 22, which concerns senior pay policy, including the remuneration of local authority or fire authority chief officers, on Tuesday 28 June. The House took two breaks from committee stage on the Bill to allow for other business. Amendments to clauses 23, 27-31, 33, 35, 36 and 38-42 were also discussed.
Amendments discussed on the second day in committee (Thursday 23 June) covered clauses 14 to 19 of the Bill.
Members of the Lords discussed amendments concerning clauses 1 to 11 of the Bill on Monday 20 June.
The Bill contains provisions for local government and community empowerment, planning, housing and the governance of London. Key elements of the Bill include provisions:
- for community empowerment with powers to enable people to instigate local referendums on any issue, to approve or veto in a referendum a council tax increase deemed to be excessive, to express an interest in running local authority services and to provide local community groups with an opportunity to bid to buy assets of community value.
- to abolish regional strategies, provide for neighbourhood plans, make pre-application consultation compulsory, make changes to planning enforcement and in relation to nationally significant infrastructure.
The purpose of the Bill was described in the Commons, where it started its progression through Parliament, as a ‘shake up in the balance of power in this country, revitalising local democracy and putting power back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.’
The Localism Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords on 7 June.
Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the Bill takes place during committee stage. Any Member of the Lords can take part.