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Council taxpayers dodge £1.3 billion Whitehall bullet

Poorly supported local referendums, which would have created red tape and bureaucracy, have also been stopped in their tracks, saving local residents a further £300 million.

Despite being the most efficient part of the public sector, with councils facing cuts of 28 per cent over four years, these additional costs could have meant more lost services or higher costs for residents.

These are just two of a number of LGA wins secured over the Localism Bill, which is now just days away from being signed off into law.

Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the LGA commented:

"There had been concerns that EU fines and unwanted local referendums could have cost councils as much as £1.3 billion so it is encouraging that the Government has listened.

"These additional billion pounds worth of costs would have hit councils hard at a time when they are working tirelessly to find savings to meet budget reductions.

"Furthermore, we have ensured that local people will have control over any new buildings or developments in the local area, as concerns had existed that the government’s proposals were simply a developer’s charter.

"The LGA has worked hard on ensuring this Bill can work for councils and will continue to offer support once it becomes law".

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