Monday, December 13, 2010


Just received from Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Dear Nigel,

Today we unveiled radical new reforms that will mark an end to the hoarding of power within central government and hand control back to individuals, communities and councils.
For the first time, we will establish powerful new rights for communities, revolutionise the planning system, and give local neighbourhoods control over housing decisions.
Under Labour, central government became too big, too interfering, too controlling and too bureaucratic. But we will push power downwards and outwards to the lowest possible level.
Under Labour, council tax more than doubled. But we will freeze council tax, abolish Labour's bin taxes and give local residents new powers to veto future excessive council tax rises.
Our plans also include:
Putting local communities in charge of the look and feel of their locality through a new system of neighbourhood planning
Freezing council tax for 2011-12 and protecting you, the taxpayer, from Labour's planned tax hikes
Giving local groups new rights to protect their local shops, pubs, libraries and leisure centres through a Community Right to Buy
Freeing councils from bureaucracy by giving them more freedoms and flexibilities to act in the best interests of their area
It's time to put local decision-making back in the hands of local people.

NF adds: Eric sought Brigg Blog's comments. In response we've asked him whether this heralds a return to the era of Urban District Councils, 1894-1974, when truly local services were administered by people who knew their towns and were part of their communities.

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