Localism is the transfer of power, authority and resources from central government to local government and other local public agencies, who in turn devolve to and empower communities.
The Localism Act (link opens in new window) was introduced in November 2011.
The aim of the Act was to devolve more decision making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.
The Act covers a wide range of issues related to local public services, with a particularly focus on the general power of competence, community rights, neighbourhood planning and housing.
The key measures of the Act were grouped under four main headings:
- new freedoms and flexibilities for local government
- new rights and powers for communities and individuals
- reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective
- reform to ensure decisions about housing are taken locally