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What is Localism?

Localism is one of the key reforms that the coalition Government has introduced since coming into power in May 2010. 
Using their terms, the Government see Localism as a way of giving local people more control over the public services they receive whilst making those who take decisions locally more accountable. 
In order to achieve this ambition, the Government introduced the Localism Act (2011)|.  The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has produced a guide to the Localism Act (2011)|| which aims to explain some of the key aspects of the Act.
These pages provide information about what steps the Council is taking to implement the main provisions of the Act.  Over time, the Council will continue to develop its approach towards delivering the 'localism' agenda.

Community Empowerment

The Localism Act (2011) introduced a set of new community rights aimed at putting power back in the hands of local people.  
  • The Community Right to Challenge aims to offer local people greater influence over the way in which Council services are provided. 
  • The Community Right to Bid has also been introduced to offer local communities a greater opportunity to take control of those local assets that they regard as being of particular value to their area.
  • Information about the Community Right to Build can be found under the ‘Planning’ section below. 

The Government have produced a document, 'You’ve got the power: a quick and simple guide to community rights'|, which provides an overview of the rights and how they apply to local communities. 



The Act has also introduced a number of measures that aim to give local residents greater access to information about how money is spent by the Council.  To complement these provisions, the Government have produced a Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency|
Under the terms of the Localism Act, the Council is now required to annually approve and publish a statement of its policy on pay; known as the Pay Policy Statement|.  Amongst other things, this document includes the salaries of highest and lowest paid employees working for the Council.

Local Standards Board arrangements

Through the Localism Act, the Government has abolished the previous Standards Board regime, which used to investigate and consider complaints about the conduct of local councillors.  In its place, the Council has had to draw-up its own code of conduct| for Bournemouth councillors. 
The Act also makes it a criminal offence for councillors to deliberately withhold or misrepresent a financial interest that they have.  The Council is required to keep and maintain a register on which Bournemouth councillors are required to list any financial interests that they have.  This register is known as the pecuniary interest register (available online soon).    


The Localism Act contains provisions aimed at making the planning system clearer, more democratic, and more effective. 
Under the Act, parish and town councils or, where they exist, neighbourhood forums will be able to submit proposals for the creation of the Community Right to Build are intended to give local people more influence over planning maters in their local area. 


The Localism Act gives the Council more flexibility to better manage its housing stock by adapting to meet local needs.  This allows the Council more discretion to create better long-term outcomes for social tenants and the wider community.
The Act also requires the Council as a housing authority to develop a Tenancy Strategy||. This document sets out the local strategic priorities to be met by Registered Providers through their own tenancy policies.


Related Information


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