• Research Briefing

    Local Government Bill [HL] Bill No 75 of 2010-11

    The Bill gives effect to the Coalition Government’s commitment to stop the restructuring of councils in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon. Specifically the Bill would prevent implementation of any of the existing proposals for a single-tier local government structure made under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. The Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords and was introduced into the House of Commons on 11 October 2010. This briefing was prepared to inform the Second Reading debate on the Bill.

  • Research Briefing

    Local elections 2010

    This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 6 May 2010. Elections were held in all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 20 unitary authorities, and 76 shire districts. Labour had a net gain of 17 councils, the Conservatives a net loss of seven and the Liberal Democrats a net loss of one. Four incumbent mayors were re-elected: in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham and Newham (all Labour), and in Watford (Liberal Democrat). The UK General Election was held on the same day.

  • Research Briefing

    Council Tax 2010/11

    This note contains key statistics on council tax levels in 2010/11 and a limited amount of analysis is provided. The main purpose of this note is to act as a reference document although more detailed analysis is available on request.

  • Research Briefing

    Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill 2009-10: Committee Stage Report

    This is a report of the Committee Stage of the Bill. It complements Research Paper 10/09, which gives more detail on the provisions of the Bill. The Bill strengthens local government overview and scrutiny committee powers in relation to partner organisations, so that they could potentially cover a greater range of external authorities. The Bill has Government support and was not amended in Committee.

  • Research Briefing

    Councillors and Council Control: 1979-2009

    The following note looks at the number of councillors by party in Great Britain since 1979. In 2009 there were around 4,700 fewer councillors in Great Britain than in 1979. This is as a result of numerous changes to the structure of local authorities, particularly the introduction of unitary authorities in Wales and Scotland in 1995, when the number of councillors fell by 1,605. In 2009 the Conservatives are 5,270 councillors better off compared to 1996 when they had 4,276 councillors. Labour has less than half the number of councillors compared to 1996 (11,000). The Conservatives have also seen a gradual increase in the number of councils it controlled in England since 1998 when they had 24 compared to 209 in 2009. Labour on the other hand had seen a steady decrease since 1998 when they controlled 140 councils to the current level of 37 councils in 2009.

  • Research Briefing

    Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill [Bill 21 of 2009-10]

    The Bill seeks to amend the 2007 Act by setting a deadline for the Secretary of State to initiate the next round of proposals for enhancing the sustainability of local communities from local authorities under the Act. It provides for regulations to be made specifying the rules for this process. These are also to cover parish council involvement and the role of local petitioning. There is also provision for greater flexibility in decision-making on proposals.

  • Research Briefing

    Local Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny) Bill [Bill 16 of 2009-10]

    The Bill is based on proposals in the 2009 Communities and Local Government Green Paper 'Strengthening Local Democracy'. The Bill strengthens local government overview and scrutiny committee powers in relation to partner organisations, so that they could potentially cover a greater range of external authorities. The activities which would be subject to such scrutiny are defined as matters of local concern in the area. The Bill provides for executive members to sit on committees involved in scrutiny of external bodies. It also makes provision for the resourcing of overview and scrutiny.

  • Research Briefing

    Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report

    This report covers the Committee Stage of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill (HL) 2008-09. The Bill implements a number of community empowerment measuresoutlined in the white paper - Communities in control: real people, real power (Cm 7427). It also implements changes in relation to regional and sub-regional economic development and planning. See also Research Papers 09/45 and 09/46.

  • Research Briefing

    Local elections 2009

    This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 4 June 2009. Elections were held in all 27 shire counties in England (all seats) and seven English unitary authorities (Bedford, Bristol (one-third of seats), Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Shropshire and Wiltshire). The Conservatives made a net gain of seven councils and 244 seats. Labour made a net loss of four councils and 291 seats. The Liberal Democrats made a net loss of one council and two seats. The Greens gained eight seats in net terms while the UK Independence Party made a net gain of seven seats, and the British National Party made a net gain of three seats Estimates suggest that the Conservatives won 35% of the national equivalent share of the vote, Liberal Democrats 25% and Labour 22%. Turnout was estimated to be 35%. There were mayoral elections in three areas and UK-wide elections for the European Parliament on the same day

  • Research Briefing

    Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [HL]: Economic, regional and construction aspects (Bill 93 of 2008-09).

    This paper covers parts 4 to 8 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [HL]. The Bill implements a number of changes in relation to regional and sub-regional economic development and planning, including: an economic assessment duty for local authorities; a new regional strategy process for English regions outside London; new Local Authority Leaders’ Boards to agree the strategy with Regional Development Agencies; provisions for further sub-regional partnerships through Economic Prosperity Boards and Multi-Area Agreements. The Bill also amends the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 in relation to construction contracts with the aim of improving cashflow and the adjudication process in the industry. See also Library Research Paper 09/45, for coverage of parts 1 to 3 of the Bill which relate to community empowerment, housing and Boundary Commission issues.