New plan locks-in radical decentralisation course

They replace the old, top-down systems of targets and central mismanagement.

In a speech Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said that the new 18 month programme will deliver radical decentralising and transparency reforms that put citizens and councils in control of their communities.

Mr Clark believes too much power has been sucked out of communities into Westminster eroding trust in politics, and sapping responsibility and initiative with stifling bureaucracy.

Already Ministers have begun to remove swathes of centralising and red tape policies including ending Regional Strategies and putting housing back into local hands, ending unwanted garden grabbing, abolishing Home Information Packs and a burdensome council inspection regime.

The new 45 point action plan will force the department to shift gear so its purpose will be putting localism into action instead of ruling by central diktats.

Greg Clark said:

"We’re busting open the established way of doing things. The department will now only work to empower people, not to keep Whitehall in power.

"Councils are no longer going to be strangled by prescribed one-size-fits diktats on the one hand and smothered by regional bureaucracy on the other.

"We won’t be micromanaging, second guessing, and interfering in your affairs any more. We’re going to put citizens and communities in control."

The Communities and Local Government’s Structural Reform Plan will set out the department’s five priority actions for making localism and the Big Society part of everyday life by:

– decentralising power as far as possible
– meeting people’s housing aspirations
– putting communities in charge of planning
– increasing accountability
– letting people see how their money is being spent.

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