Local government

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on local government. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

06.02.2015Assets of community value
This note briefly discusses the 'community right to bid' for 'assets of community value', introduced by the Localism Act 2011. Councils must maintain a list of 'community assets', nominated by community groups. If the asset is sold, the group will be given time to come up with a bid. The note discusses the workings of the scheme and related options with regard to community land and buildings.
28.01.2015Council tax : discount on second homes and long-term empty properties
Certain council tax discounts have been awarded at the discretion of local authorities, in England, since 1 April 2013. The 'empty homes premium', allowing up to 150% council tax on long-term empty properties, was introduced at the same time. This note outlines the changes that have taken place.
28.01.2015Council tax: constituency issues
This note provides guidance on a number of common constituency casework issues related to council tax.
13.01.2015Control of Horses Bill 2014-15
There are proposals to update fly-grazing legislation. This note covers the private Members' bill put forward by Julian Sturdy MP.
09.01.2015Local Government Finance Settlement 2015/16 - initial analysis
Settlement funding assessments for local authorities will decrease by 13.9% and the overall reduction in Spending power, a measure of The total funding available to local authorities (excluding the GLA), was confirmed as 1.8%. The Government will again be offering Council Tax Freeze Grant to those authorities that freeze their council tax in 2015/16. Local authorities raising their council tax by 2% or more will have to hold a local referendum on the proposal.

Research Papers

01.09.2014English local government finance: issues and options
Local government finance in England has experienced substantial changes since 2010. This paper examines the challenges that local authorities have faced from reductions in central government funding, and how they have responded to these. Local authorities have been using a number of strategies to cope with reduced funding, including community budgets, city deals, efficiency savings, combined authorities and shared services. They have also reduced or redesigned services, and collected more local taxes where possible.
11.06.2014Local elections 2014
Local and mayoral elections were held in England and Northern Ireland on 22 May 2014. In England, elections were held in all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 19 unitary authorities, and 74 shire districts. Labour had a net gain of four councils, the Conservatives a net loss of 13 and the Liberal Democrats a net loss of two. The first local elections were also held to 11 new councils in Northern Ireland in accordance with timetabled reform to local government administration.
01.10.2013Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL]
The Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL] would abolish the Audit Commission and replace it with a new audit regime for local authorities, local health bodies and other public bodies covered by the Commission's remit. The Bill has completed its passage through the House of Lords. This Paper has been prepared to inform the Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons.
08.02.2013The Local Government Finance Settlement 2013/14 and 2014/15
The Local Government Financial Settlement is to be debated in the House on 13 February 2013. Start-up funding assessments for non-police local authorities will fall by 4.1% in 2013/14.
13.12.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. It complements Research Paper 12/61 prepared for Commons Second Reading

Select Committee Reports

16.01.2012Government response to the fifth report of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on
Government response. Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
17.10.2011Audit and inspection of local authorities.
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]
Communities and Local Government report [Commons]
27.06.2011Audit and inspection of local authorities.
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
23.06.2011The abolition of regional spatial strategies: a planning vacuum.
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that 10 years have passed since the presentation of a petition with 50,000 signatures in favour of a Cornish Assembly to 10 Downing Street on 12 December 2001 ...
That this House notes with concern the forcible removal of East of England MEP, Richard Howitt, from the official media area of Dale Farm by officials of Basildon Council during the ...
That this House calls on the Government to launch an inquiry into the activities of the City of London Corporation reported in The Guardian on 7 November 2011 related to the investment ...
That this House considers that it is unacceptable in a democratic country in thetwenty-firstcentury for the business vote to continue to exist in elections for the City of London Corporation, ...
That this House notes that proposals by Government Ministers run the serious risk of making public sector pension schemes unsustainable; further notes that increasing contributions ...

Lords Library Notes

08.12.2014Enabling Economic Leadership for Cities
On 11 December 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the case for enabling economic leadership for cities'.
10.02.2014Regional Representation in the House of Lords
This Library Note provides statistics relating to the regions of the UK with which current Members of the House of Lords have connections.
24.12.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill (HL Bill 72 of 2012-13)
The purpose of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill is to promote investment in infrastructure projects, reduce delays in the planning system and introduce a new employment status of employee shareholder. This Library Note provides background information for the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 8 January 2013.
09.11.2012Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2012-13)
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes measures for changes to competition policy, to employment law, and for reducing regulation, as well as provisions on the Green Investment Bank, directors' remuneration, copyright and planning. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
27.05.2011Localism Bill (HL Bill 71 of 2010-12)
This Library Note summarises proceedings at the Localism Bill's final stages in the House of Commons and provides background information for the Bill's second reading debate in the House of Lords.

POST Papers

15.11.2013Urban Green Infrastructure
Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses