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SEEC members are strong supporters of localism, believing that decisions and democratic accountability should be devolved to the local level wherever possible.

Our members believe that communities are best served when elected and accountable local government is entrusted with powers, freedoms and flexibilities to deliver services which meet residents’ needs effectively and efficiently.

Members have supported proposals such as a general power of competence for local authorities, localisation of a proportion of business rates and the abolition of regional planning.  However they see the current position as a first step towards greater localism. For example, SEEC has consistently called for a greater proportion of business rates to be retained locally.

Work continues to make the case for localism, including ongoing work to develop proposals on greater devolution of powers and funding to local level to help authorities better support economic growth.

Through earlier work, SEEC also helped influence the content of localism legislation. For example, during progress of the Bill, members briefed decision makers about three areas that could hinder effective and accountable localism and where changes were needed to the Bill:

  • remove unnecessary local referendums
  • simplify neighbourhood planning
  • reduce bureaucracy and central control for local government.

SEEC’s 2 page briefing on the Localism Bill outlined members’ views on positive and negative aspects of the legislation.

SEEC also produced a Localism Bill summary