Localism Bill & Financial Settlement: Key issues for cities

With the exception of Bristol, the city centres of England's largest cities are set to be hit particularly hard.

Briefing published on 16 December 2010 by Kieran Larkin

The Local Government Finance Settlement and the Localism Bill raise huge challenges for local government across the country.

The settlement finalises the specific cuts to formula grants and special grants that each council will receive and it is clear that most councils are facing severe cuts, particularly those in deprived areas.  For example, Manchester, Doncaster, Blackburn and Darwen and Hull all expect to see an 8.9 percent cut in their revenue spending power by 2011-12.

With the exception of Bristol, the city centres of the Core Cities are also hit particularly hard.

The Localism Bill sets out the legislative underpinnings for many of the Coalition’s biggest policy announcements on local government. As the Guide to the Localism Bill makes clear, the Coalition also sees this as one of the key ways to fulfil its vision of the Big Society as well as delivering its Localism agenda.

While there are few surprises in the Bill, it sets out wide ranging measures to change the role of local government, its relationship with communities and citizens, and the way in which planning is undertaken.

The implications of its measures for cities are set out in our briefing.

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Senior Consultant, City Economics at Arup