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The coalition manifesto - how it affects Wiltshire

May 22, 2012 4:03 PM

David Cameron & Nick Clegg enter No.10Wiltshire Council officers have looked at the document to see which bits of it are likely to affect local government. Here are the relevant parts:

2. BUSINESS

• We will find a practical way to make small business rate relief automatic.

• We will seek to ensure a level playing field between small and large retailers by enabling councils to take competition issues into account when drawing up their local plans to shape the direction and type of new retail development.

• We will review employment and workplace laws, for employers and employees, to ensure they maximise flexibility for both parties while protecting fairness and providing the competitive environment required for enterprise to thrive.

• We will end the ban on social tenants starting businesses in their own homes.

• We will promote small business procurement, in particular by introducing an aspiration that 25% of government contracts should be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses and by publishing government tenders in full online and free of charge.

• We will support the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships - joint local authority-business bodies brought forward by local authorities themselves to promote local economic development - to replace Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). These may take the form of the existing RDAs in areas where they are popular.

• We will take steps to improve the competitiveness of the UK tourism industry, recognising the important part it plays in our national economy.

3. CIVIL LIBERTIES

• We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

• We will further regulate CCTV.

4. COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Government believes that it is time for a fundamental shift of power from Westminster to people. We will promote decentralisation and democratic engagement, and we will end the era of top-down government by giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.

• We will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a review of local government finance.

• We will rapidly abolish Regional Spatial Strategies and return decision-making powers on housing and planning to local councils, including giving councils new powers to stop 'garden grabbing'.

• In the longer term, we will radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live, based on the principles set out in the Conservative Party publication Open Source Planning.

• We will abolish the unelected Infrastructure Planning Commission and replace it with an efficient and democratically accountable system that provides a fast-track process for major infrastructure projects.

• We will publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development and setting out national economic, environmental and social priorities.

• We will maintain the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and other environmental protections, and create a new designation - similar to SSSIs - to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities.

• We will abolish the Government Office for London and consider the case for abolishing the remaining Government Offices.

• We will explore a range of measures to bring empty homes into use.

• We will promote shared ownership schemes and help social tenants and others to own or part-own their home.

• We will promote 'Home on the Farm' schemes that encourage farmers to convert existing buildings into affordable housing.

• We will create new trusts that will make it simpler for communities to provide homes for local people.

• We will phase out the ring-fencing of grants to local government and review the unfair Housing Revenue Account.

• We will freeze Council Tax in England for at least one year, and seek to freeze it for a further year, in partnership with local authorities.

• We will give councils a general power of competence.

• We will ban the use of powers in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by councils, unless they are signed off by a magistrate and required for stopping serious crime.

• We will allow councils to return to the committee system, should they wish to.

• We will abolish the Standards Board regime.

• We will stop the restructuring of councils in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon, and stop plans to force the regionalisation of the fire service.

• We will impose tougher rules to stop unfair competition by local authority newspapers.

• We will introduce new powers to help communities save local facilities and services threatened with closure, and give communities the right to bid to take over local state-run services.

• We will implement the Sustainable Communities Act, so that citizens know how taxpayers' money is spent in their area and have a greater say over how it is spent.

• We will cut local government inspection and abolish the Comprehensive Area Assessment.

• We will require continuous improvements to the energy efficiency of new housing.

• We will provide incentives for local authorities to deliver sustainable development, including for new homes and businesses.

• We will give councillors the power to vote on large salary packages for unelected council officials.

5. CONSUMER PROTECTION

• We will introduce stronger consumer protections, including measures to end unfair bank and financial transaction charges.

• We will take forward measures to enhance customer service in the private and public sectors.

6. CRIME AND POLICING

• We will overhaul the Licensing Act to give local authorities and the police much stronger powers to remove licences from, or refuse to grant licences to, any premises that are causing problems.

• We will allow councils and the police to shut down permanently any shop or bar found to be persistently selling alcohol to children.

• We will double the maximum fine for under-age alcohol sales to £20,000.

• We will permit local councils to charge more for late-night licences to pay for additional policing.

7. CULTURE, OLYMPICS, MEDIA AND SPORT

• We will use cash in dormant betting accounts to improve local sports facilities and support sports clubs.

• We will support the creation of an annual Olympic-style schools sport event to encourage competitive sport in schools, and we will seek to protect school playing fields.

• We will cut red tape to encourage the performance of more live music.

• We will introduce measures to ensure the rapid roll-out of superfast broadband across the country. We will ensure that BT and other infrastructure providers allow the use of their assets to deliver such broadband, and we will seek to introduce superfast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas. If necessary, we will consider using the part of the TV licence fee that is supporting the digital switchover to fund broadband in areas that the market alone will not reach.

9. DEFICIT REDUCTION

• We will introduce arrangements that will protect those on low incomes from the effect of public sector pay constraint and other spending constraints.

• We will make modest cuts of £6 billion to non-front-line services within the financial year 2010/11, subject to advice from the Treasury and the Bank of England on their feasibility and advisability. A proportion of these savings can be used to support jobs.

• We will hold a full Spending Review reporting this autumn, following a fully consultative process involving all tiers of government and the private sector.

• We will create strong financial discipline at all levels of government and place an obligation on public servants to manage taxpayers' money wisely.

• We will reduce the number and cost of quangos.

10. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

• We will introduce measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.

• Through our 'Green Deal', we will encourage home energy efficiency improvements paid for by savings from energy bills. We will also take measures to improve energy efficiency in businesses and public sector buildings. We will reduce central government carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months.

• We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced. We will also allow communities that host renewable energy projects to keep the additional business rates they generate.

11. ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

• We will introduce measures to protect wildlife and promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.

• We will work towards full compliance with European Air Quality standards.

• We will take forward the findings of the Pitt Review to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk.

• We will work towards a 'zero waste' economy, encourage councils to pay people to recycle, and work to reduce littering.

• We will create a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the planning system.

12. EQUALITIES

• We will promote equal pay and take a range of measures to end discrimination in the workplace.

• We will extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, consulting with business on how best to do so.

• We will undertake a fair pay review in the public sector to implement our proposed '20 times' pay multiple.

14. FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

• We support the provision of free nursery care for pre-school children, and we want that support to be provided by a diverse range of providers, with a greater gender balance in the early years workforce.

• We will take Sure Start back to its original purpose of early intervention, increase its focus on the neediest families, and better involve organisations with a track record of supporting families. We will investigate ways of ensuring that providers are paid in part by the results they achieve.

• We will refocus funding from Sure Start peripatetic outreach services, and from the Department of Health budget, to pay for 4,200 extra Sure Start health visitors.

• We will investigate a new approach to helping families with multiple problems.

• We will publish serious case reviews, with identifying details removed.

16. GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY

• We will require public bodies to publish online the job titles of every member of staff and the salaries and expenses of senior officials paid more than the lowest salary permissible in Pay Band 1 of the Senior Civil Service pay scale, and organograms that include all positions in those bodies.

• We will require anyone paid more than the Prime Minister in the centrally funded public sector to have their salary signed off by the Treasury.

• We will introduce new protections for whistleblowers in the public sector.

• We will require all councils to publish meeting minutes and local service and performance data.

• We will require all councils to publish items of spending above £500, and to publish contracts and tender documents in full.

• We will ensure that all data published by public bodies is published in an open and standardised format, so that it can be used easily and with minimal cost by third parties.

20. JUSTICE

• We will introduce effective measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and low-level crime, including forms of restorative justice such as Neighbourhood Justice Panels.

22. NHS

• The local PCT will act as a champion for patients and commission those residual services that are best undertaken at a wider level, rather than directly by GPs. It will also take responsibility for improving public health for people in their area, working closely with the local authority and other local organisations.

• If a local authority has concerns about a significant proposed closure of local services, for example an A&E department, it will have the right to challenge health organisations, and refer the case to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. The Panel would then provide advice to the Secretary of State for Health.

• We will help elderly people live at home for longer through solutions such as home adaptations and community support programmes.

23. PENSIONS AND OLDER PEOPLE

• We will commit to establishing an independent commission to review the longterm affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.

24. POLITICAL REFORM

• We will reduce electoral fraud by speeding up the implementation of individual voter registration.

• We will introduce extra support for people with disabilities who want to become MPs, councillors or other elected officials.

• We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue.

• We will stop plans to impose supplementary business rates on firms if a majority of the firms affected do not give their consent.

• We will give residents the power to veto excessive council tax increases.

26. SCHOOLS

The Government believes that we need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality, which has widened in recent years, and to give greater powers to parents and pupils to choose a good school. We want to ensure high standards of discipline in the classroom, robust standards and the highest quality teaching. We also believe that the state should help parents, community groups and others come together to improve the education system by starting new schools.

• We will promote the reform of schools in order to ensure that new providers can enter the state school system in response to parental demand; that all schools have greater freedom over the curriculum; and that all schools are held properly to account.

• We will fund a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere.

• We will give parents, teachers, charities and local communities the chance to set up new schools, as part of our plans to allow new providers to enter the state school system in response to parental demand.

• We will support Teach First, create Teach Now to build on the Graduate Teacher Programme, and seek other ways to improve the quality of the teaching profession.

• We will reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules to give schools greater freedoms to pay good teachers more and deal with poor performance.

• We will help schools tackle bullying in schools, especially homophobic bullying.

• We will simplify the regulation of standards in education and target inspection on areas of failure.

• We will give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and take other measures to protect against false accusations.

• We will seek to attract more top science and maths graduates to be teachers.

• We will publish performance data on educational providers, as well as past exam papers.

• We will create more flexibility in the exams systems so that state schools can offer qualifications like the IGCSE.

• We will reform league tables so that schools are able to focus on, and demonstrate, the progress of children of all abilities.

• We will give heads and teachers the powers they need to ensure discipline in the classroom and promote good behaviour.

• We believe the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. We will improve diagnostic assessment for schoolchildren, prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion.

• We will improve the quality of vocational education, including increasing flexibility for 14-19 year olds and creating new Technical Academies as part of our plans to diversify schools provision.

• We will keep external assessment, but will review how Key Stage 2 tests operate in future.

• We will ensure that all new Academies follow an inclusive admissions policy. We will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.

27. SOCIAL ACTION

• We will support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and enable these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services.

• We will give public sector workers a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver. This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.

• We will take a range of measures to encourage volunteering and involvement in social action, including launching a national day to celebrate and encourage social action, and make regular community service an element of civil service staff appraisals.

28. SOCIAL CARE AND DISABILITY

• We will establish a commission on long-term care, to report within a year. The commission will consider a range of ideas, including both a voluntary insurance scheme to protect the assets of those who go into residential care, and a partnership scheme as proposed by Derek Wanless.

• We will break down barriers between health and social care funding to incentivise preventative action.

• We will extend the greater roll-out of personal budgets to give people and their carers more control and purchasing power.

• We will use direct payments to carers and better community-based provision to improve access to respite care.

30. TRANSPORT

• We will reform the way decisions are made on which transport projects to prioritise, so that the benefits of low carbon proposals (including light rail schemes) are fully recognised.

• We will support sustainable travel initiatives, including the promotion of cycling and walking, and will encourage joint working between bus operators and local authorities.

First published 22/5/10