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.

Commons Briefing Papers

29.01.2016Local government in England: structures
This note contains basic details of the structure of local government (counties, districts and unitary authorities); the electoral system, ward structures, and the franchise; the divisions of functions between local authorities; and the process for changing local government boundaries and structures.
20.01.2016Combined authorities
This briefing note outlines the origins and structures of combined authorities, which will handle many of the 'devolution deals' agreed between the Government and local areas in England.
20.01.2016Devolution to local government in England
This note analyses the 'devolution deals' agreed between the Government and many local government areas in England.
07.01.2016Council tax: local referendums
This briefing note explains the system of referendums on council tax increases in local authorities. It sets out the legislative framework and the thresholds that have been set in previous years.
29.12.2015Council Tax Reduction Schemes
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information on the implementation of local Council Tax Reduction Schemes from 1 April 2013. These local support schemes have replaced the national scheme of Council Tax Benefit.
22.12.2015Local Authority Byelaws
This note describes the general procedures under which local authorities may make byelaws, and lists some of the byelaw-making powers currently available.
21.12.2015Assets 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.
15.12.2015The Bellwin Scheme
Emergency financial assistance to local authorities in England is provided by the Bellwin Scheme. Normally this is provided following unusual weather events, though assistance can be available in other circumstances. The Bellwin Scheme operates in England, with similar provisions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This note outlines the workings of the scheme.
03.12.2015Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill: progress
This Commons Library briefing provides details of the progress of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill through Parliament, including a note on some amendments tabled at Report stage.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.

Lords Library Notes

04.06.2015Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill [HL] (HL Bill 1 of 2015-16)
This Note outlines the proposals for reform of combined authorities and local authorities set out in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill [HL].
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.


12.06.2015Trends in Political Participation
Over the last fifty years in the UK, some aspects of participation in formal politics have decreased, such as political party membership. But new forms of participation, such as online activism, have emerged, which may become increasingly important, especially for younger people. This POSTnote discusses trends in political participation, with a focus on new forms, drivers of these trends and how UK democratic institutions are responding.
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.

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 ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses