Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has outlined the key measures in the Localism Act
which came into force on 6 April 2012. Communities Minister Andrew
"Instead of putting barriers in the
way of communities we are actively taking them away, wiping out
interferences, cutting red tape and giving people the power to
shape the future of their local area."
Those measures most relevant to social housing are:
- reform of social housing regulation, helping landlords to meet
local needs while strengthening tenant scrutiny. Changes to the way
complaints are managed will follow in 2013.
- Community Right to Build, handing communities new ways to
deliver local development.
- new planning enforcement rules, giving councils the ability to
take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised
Statutory Instruments relating to the Act currently in force are listed here.
According to Nick Pearce, Director of the
progressive thinktank IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy
Research, we face the prospect of further deep cuts to public
spending in the government's next spending review, due by the end
With spending on debt interest rising, the recent Budget forecasts
that resource spending for government departments will be cut by an
annual average of 3.8 per cent in real terms in 2015/16 to 2016/17.
In the current spending period government departments have already
had a 2.3 per cent average annual real cut.
Unless the government can reduce unemployment and bring in fresh
sources of tax revenue, Pearce says we are faced with the prospect
of further deep cuts to public spending.
In his last budget George Osbourne mentioned that welfare spending
could be further cut in order to give protection to departmental
spending. Pearce suggests the welfare cuts may be targeted at tax
credits, housing benefit and support for people with disabilities
as these are the main items of government spending.