Thursday, 18 November 2010

Localism Bill delayed?

We were being promised that the long-awaited (or dreaded) “Decentralisation and Localism Bill” would be published today (18th November), but what we have instead is a statement from Uncle Eric, waffling about ‘people power’ and referring to the Localism Bill, which will be unveiled ‘later’ (but does that mean later today, or just ‘later’?)

In a fruitless search for the Bill, I noticed on the DCLG’s website a press release dated 10 November which mentioned that the Coalition Government would be introducing the Localism Bill to Parliament “later this month”, and that “the Bill is expected to begin its passage through Parliament before Christmas.”

So maybe we shall all have to contain our excitement for just a little bit longer.

[Update (19 Nov): I had expected that news of the Bill would be included in yesterday’s Business Statement in the Commons. However, the only mention of it was a casual reference made by The Leader of the House in the course of answering another question, when he said “The Government will shortly introduce a localism Bill”.]

[Further Update (22 Nov) : According to Local Government Chronicle, the Bill has been delayed by another two weeks. Apparently, it is now promised for the week ending 10 December (but don’t hold your breath!). As I mentioned in an earlier comment (see below), there is very unlikely to be time for a Second Reading debate before Christmas.]



  1. At the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) Conference in Leeds 15-16 November, Jo Miller, Deputy CEO of the LGA, said that the CLG had told her that the final D&L Bill would be laid before the House of Lords on Monday 22 November (not a draft version for consultation: Consultation? What's that?!) and that they expected it to have two readings in the Lords before Christmas and to be an Act by Easter.

  2. I wonder whether even CLG really know when an where this Bill is going to start! I had heard that it would be the House of Commons next Friday (26 Nov). Starting such a controversial bill in the Lords would be tendentious, to put it mildly.

    I doubt whether there is time for a Second Reading debate in either House before the Christmas recess. As for the notion that it could get to Royal Assent by Easter, that is just Cloud-cuckoo-land. All the CLG statements up to now have assumed it will take a year, and that seems perfectly possible.