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A radical plan to banish nonsense red tape and repeal unnecessary laws was unveiled by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Eric says:

"Too much power has been sucked out of communities into Westminster eroding trust in politics, and sapping responsibility and initiative with stifling bureaucracy.

"More often than not over legislating simply lead to bureaucrats ticking extra sets of boxes on forms but none of the real changes that are needed. We need a sensible new approach that makes clear laws are intended to protect people, not overwhelm them with red tape.

"Today I am asking councils to put localism into action and help us cut back red tape, wrest control away from the bureaucrats, reverse the years of creeping state control and return power to people, communities and councils.

"Up and down the country there are thousands of town hall workers and sector experts who want to make a real difference in their communities. But for far too long they have been tied up in needless bureaucracy that has been a burden on the important work they want to do."

We are invited to send ideas to cutredtape@communities.gsi.gov.uk


The following is a list of CLG secondary legislation already being considered for revocation:

1. The Small Holdings and Allotments Regulations 1919 Remove. This required councils to get the consent of the CLG Secretary of State for certain actions in relation to allotment land, such as if they want to purchase allotment land or lease allotment land to an association or lease allotment land for more than a year at time. It is not considered that these regulations have effect any longer and this will help clean up the statute book.

2. The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2009 Remove. End burden on local authorities to include efficiency savings on council tax bills and leaflets from 2011-12 onwards. The removal of the requirement will lead to a real reduction in the burdens on local authorities and their partners, and free them to explore more effective ways of sharing information with their citizens.

3. Tree preservation regulations: Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 1892; Statutory Instrument 2008 No.2260; Statutory Instrument 2008 No.3202 Simplify. We will consult on streamlining the approach to tree protection to reduce the administrative burden and creating a more equitable system. Aim is to consolidate three sets of regulations governing the making and management of tree preservation orders, reducing the complexity of the model order and producing a unified system which will apply to all tree preservation orders.

4. Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995/419 and 16 amendment orders Simplify.  From October combine seventeen statutory instruments into one. This will greatly clarify the planning application system for local authorities, applicants, and other interested parties. The greater clarity provided will free-up valuable local planning authority officer time, which can be redirected towards more fruitful activites than wading through pages of amendments to secondary legislation.

5. Statutory guidance on local economic assessments – Local Democracy, Economic Development Construction Act April 2010 Remove. End statutory guidance on local economic assessments which will free up local authorities to decide locally how they monitor their local economy.

6. Statutory guidance on Multi Area Agreements with duties – Local Democracy, Economic Development Construction Act April 2010 Remove.  Will not issue the final guidance on Multi Area Agreements with duties as planned by the previous Administration.  No partnerships have taken up MAA duties and given the Coalition Government's focus on local enterprise partnerships we are not expecting any to partnerships to do so in the future, so there is no need for final guidance.

7. Building Regulations Statutory Instrument 2531/2000; Approved Inspector Regs; Statutory Instrument 2532/2000; plus c18 sets of amending regulations Simplify. Reduce 18 separate pieces of building regulations into 2 will cut the administrative burdens on both business and local
authorities.  This will simplify their use for those that deal with these regulations such as professional and building control bodies and builders.

8. Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 1999 No.293 and amending regulations
Simplify. Consult on changes to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations to reflect recent EIA case-law and to ensure the regulations remain fit for purpose and more accessible to users.

9. Fire Protection measures in Local Acts Remove. Consult on local fire protection requirements to see if they are still required. There are a number of local fire protection requirements relating to commercial buildings that the evidence shows don’t actually increase safety but are a burden to industry.

10. Special Management Interim Orders – Housing Act 2004 Remove. Consult on the removal of Special Interim Management orders which gives local authorities the power to take over the management of a privately rented property which is associated with significant and persistent anti social behaviour. The power is not well understood and has never been used.

11. Requirement on social landlords to provide tenants with information on costs and responsibilities of home ownerships – Housing (Right to Buy) (Information to Secure Tenants) (England) Order 2005. Remove. End the requirement placed on social landlords to provide tenants with information on costs and responsibilities of home ownership. There is already a separate legislative obligation on social landlords to provide specific information to tenants who wish to purchase their home under the Right to Buy scheme. We will remove the additional requirement when we are confident that no tenant will be adversely affected. Removing this requirement will reduce the administrative burden on local authorities.

6 comments for: Pickles cuts more red tape

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