Localism and Communities
New Freedom and Flexibility for Local Government
When it first came to power this government signalled its intention to shift power away from central government to the local people, families and communities. This is the localism agenda of which the Localism Act 2011 is a significant part.
The Act was intended to change the way that national and local government operates, but even before the Act was passed Malvern Hills District Council had already begun working towards a more localist approach.
We took a leading role in moving away from centrally imposed "top down" housing targets with a new plan for South Worcestershire which is locally developed, led by our commitment to improving economic prosperity in the district, and which sets future housing levels at a level which supports our economic objectives, meets local housing needs and reflects the capacity of the district to accommodate growth.
It aims to ensure that future development is infrastructure led and not infrastructure dependent.
MHDC has been looking at new and better ways to deliver services which provide real value for money for our local communities.
As a part of that the council has significantly reduced the number of staff we employ directly, by choosing to move away from providing services to working with other local authorities, through shared service arrangements and working with "not for profit" organisations, who can deliver improved services at lower costs which have helped us to keep down council tax levels.
This council is currently looking at the role it should take in delivering services, and supporting its local communities through a strategic review of what we do and how we do it.
We have developed much stronger accountability arrangements. We have a "Transparency" section on the website, where local communities and individuals have access to a wide range of information which shows exactly what we are doing and why. We have also significantly improved our scrutiny arrangements, to ensure that we can hold to task local public service providers who provide those services that our local communities receive.
The Localism Act 2011 Introduced:
- New rights and powers for communities and individuals
- Assets of Community Value
- Reforms to the planning system
- Reforms to the housing system
Further information on reforms to the housing system is coming soon.