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Queen's Speech: Local government issues

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To see those Bills affecting local government and included in the Queen's Speech, click on More below.

See lgcplus.com shortly for our news report on the speech.

Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill
This bill applies mainly to England, with some parts applying to Wales and very little to Scotland and Northern Ireland. It places a duty on councils to "promote democracy" and monitor local economic conditions; makes it a legal duty for them to respond to petitions; and demands the setting-up of a National Tenant Voice to ensure tenants' views are "central" to housing decision-making. It makes the Boundary Committee for England a separate body from the Electoral Commission.

Business Rates Supplements Bill
Not mentioned in the speech itself, this bill allows councils to set a supplement of up to 2 pence in the pound on rateable values to promote economic development in their area. Extends to England and Wales.

Health Bill
Mostly applying to England only, this bill offers a new NHS Constitution, setting out the rights and responsibilities of patients and staff. It extends the remit of the Local Government Ombudsman to look at complaints from people who have arranged their own adult social care.

Policing and Crime Bill
This bill applies to England and Wales, with some elements extending to Scotland and Northern Ireland. It promises tighter controls around lapdancing clubs and the misuse of alcohol. The bill also says it will strengthen sex offender prevention orders and foreign travel orders. It urges more co-operation between agencies over airport security.

Children, Skills and Learning Bill
Mostly applying to England, it calls for more flexible school inspections and a new pay negotiation body for classroom assistants. Schools will be required to work together to tackle bad behaviour and be given powers to search pupils for alcohol, drugs and stolen goods. The bill also promises an apprenticeship place for every suitably qualified young person by 2013

Welfare Reform Bill

Child Poverty Bill
Enshrines in law the commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020

Equality Bill
Applying to England, Scotland and Wales, the bill promises to simplify and harmonise discrimination law.

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Carried over from the 2007/08 session, this bill strengthens the investigative powers of the Electoral Commission and regulates the spending of political candidates for longer periods so it can be "more effectively constrained". Covers the whole UK.

Banking Bill

Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill

Business Rates Supplements Bill
Not mentioned in the speech itself, this bill allows councils to set a supplement of up to 2 pence in the pound on rateable values to promote economic development in their area. Extends to England and Wales.

Coroners and Justice Bill
Promises new "investigative witness anonymity" to protect witnesses to gang-related killings. Reforms murder law, including abolishing the partial defence of provocation. "Modernises" the law on assisted suicide to increase "public understanding". Establishes a Sentencing Council for England and Wales to make sentencing more consistent. Introduces a scheme to stop criminals selling their stories. The bill applies to England and Wales, with some elements extending to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Marine and Coastal Access Bill
Gives people the right to walk around the English coast, with Wales making its own arrangement. Sets up a Marine Management Organisation to oversee marine conservation and related policy. Does not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Saving Gateway Accounts Bill
This bill, applying to the whole UK, is aimed at getting people on lower incomes to save more. The government will contribute 50 pence for every one pound saved - with savers able to build up government contributions of up to£300.

Information from the BBC - www.bbc.co.uk/news

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