Local councils are to be allowed to get rid of outdated by-laws without having to gain specific consent from Whitehall.
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps says:
"It should not take a rubber stamp from central government to scrap outdated local laws.
"That's why I want councils to use this new power I am offering them, and keep a watchful eye out for outdated rules that will soon be so much easier to scrap."
Gloucester City Council alone has come up with 60 old by-laws it wants to scrap including one from 1968 about regulating fish frying and "other offensive trades."
Examples from elsewhere include:
- 1887 – prevents the beating of carpets or the placing of any clothing or towels on the promenade (Blackpool Borough Council)
- 1913 – by-law relating to the use of dickey straps on horse-drawn carriages and skidpans – a shoe or clog that stops a wagon wheel turning (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council)
- 1956 – prohibits the drying of clothes in various parks in Whitstable. (Canterbury City Council)