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Royal Approval For New Law To Deliver £1.2 Billion Taxpayer Savings

A Local Audit and Accountability Act has passed into law following Royal Assent

Published on 31 January 2014

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by The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP


London, England

Town Hall
Town Hall

Local Audit and Accountability Act that will lead to £1.2 billion of savings has today (30 January 2014) passed into law following Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Act will bring about the closure of the Audit Commission and in its place create a new framework for local audit. The Audit Commission’s burdensome inspections have already been scrapped, and its audit contracts have been successfully outsourced. The legislation completes the process of devolving down local audit.

The new system will sweep away the old-top down regime and offer greater responsibility and choice for local bodies whilst upholding the same high standards of audit. Local bodies will take responsibility for choosing their own auditors, while the National Audit Office will set the standards for public audit and the Financial Reporting Council will oversee quality.

The Act also introduces new measures to protect the independent free press from unfair competition by town hall newspapers by strengthening the legal status of the existing publicity code for local authorities. This allows for healthy local democracy with robust scrutiny of councils by an independent local press.

In a further boost to local accountability, the Act provides new transparency measures, so citizens and press now have the right to film and tweet from any local government body meeting. The Act also allows for the archaic rules surrounding parish polls to be updated, strengthening local democracy and making it fit for purpose for the 21st century.

Finally, the Act also extends the successful council tax referendum provisions introduced in the Localism Act so local taxpayers can veto excessive council tax increases. The Act will ensure charges imposed on them by external bodies - such as waste disposal authorities, integrated transport authorities, and internal drainage boards - are taken into account.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

"This important new law will pass power down to people and replace old fashioned bureaucracy with local choice and transparency. The £1.2 billion of savings we will be making will help reduce the inherited national deficit for the benefit of hard working taxpayers."


For more information about this press release including contact details visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/royal-approval-for-new-law-to-deliver-12-billion-taxpayer-savings



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Posted 2014-01-31 16:28:00