Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

MPs back Bill giving London councils new powers

  • Comment

Legislation to give a wide range of new powers to London councils have been backed by the local government minister, Bob Neill.

The London Local Authorities Bill will help address the “real issues” facing people and councils in the capital, Tory Mike Freer told MPs.

Mr Neill said he had some concerns about the legislation but was prepared to give it his backing.

The bill is promoted on behalf of the London boroughs and City of London Corporation and has already passed through the Lords.

It contains measures requiring people issued with penalty charge notices - for example for littering - to provide their names and addresses to Police Community Support Officers or council enforcement officers.

It also extends requirements to ensure there is no build-up of litter outside buildings and allows councils to recover the cost of highway cleaning from street traders, on the “polluter pays” principle.

Fast food sellers would be required to display their hygiene star rating certificates, and the bill also allows for the reinstallation of turnstiles in public toilets to maximise revenue.

The bill contains changes to the way multiple-occupant houses are regulated and would allow councils to crack down on unlicensed car dealers.

Opening the second reading debate, Mr Freer (Finchley and Golders Green) said: “This bill does allow local councils to combat the many issues and the effects of the problems that we now face in our daily lives.

“The difficulty is many of us in this House would like to turn back the clock to a gentler age, but sadly we do live in an irresponsible society where many traders or individuals do cause problems for our residents.”

And he added: “Whilst many of us would prefer a reduction in regulation and a lessening of the intrusive nature of Government - both national and local - that’s a laudable aim.

“However, we do have a responsibility to address the real issues facing Londoners.”

Mr Neill said: “A number of the bill’s provisions are to be welcomed as a genuine step forward.”

But he said some of the measures in the bill needed closer examination, including proposals to extend powers to issue fines.

“We have to be proportionate and avoid the proliferation of fines for what might be perceived as genuinely minor breaches and which might create in the public a sense of unfairness,” he said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.