Introduces a new general power of competence, giving councils freedom to work together to improve services and reduce costs. Councils are now free to do anything - provided they do not break other laws
Provides the opportunity for a transfer of power to major cities to develop their areas, improve local services, and boost their local economies
Ends the system for overseeing the behaviour of councillors by abolishing the Standards Board
Clarifies the rules on predetermination in order to free up councillors to express their opinions on issues of local importance without the fear of legal challenge
Enables councils to return to the committee system of governance, if they wish. Central Government set rules on how councils set up their own affairs are being scrapped
Gives councils greater control over business rates. Councils will have the power to offer business rate discounts, which could help attract firms, investment and jobs. The Act cancels backdated business rates and stops plans to impose a business rate supplement on firms if a simple majority of those affected do not give their consent, and simplifies the process for claiming small business rate relief
Introduces new planning enforcement rules, which give councils the ability to take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised development
Increases powers for councils to remove illegal advertisements and graffiti and prevent fly-posting, and gives planning authorities stronger powers to tackle abuses of the planning system
Reforms homelessness legislation to enable councils to provide private rented homes where appropriate, so as to free up social homes for people on the waiting list
Allows councils to keep the rent they collect and use it locally to maintain social homes through the abolition of the housing revenue account
Passes greater powers over housing and regeneration to local democratically elected representatives in London.
The key measures to increase the power of local communities include:
A new Right to Bid, which will give residents the opportunity to take over local assets like shops and pubs and keep them part of local life
Introduces a new Right to Challenge, making it much easier for local groups with good ideas to put them forward and drive improvements in local service
Removes the ability of councils to charge families for overfilling their bin and to introduce extra tariffs for taking away household waste
Increases transparency on local pay, by requiring councils to publish the salaries of senior officials working in local authorities, enabling local people to understand how public money is being spent in their area
Gives communities the right to veto excess council tax rises (previously only central government had the power to 'cap' increases)
Introduces a new right to draw up a neighbourhood plan
Enables communities to bring forward proposals for development they want - such as homes, shops, playgrounds or meeting halls, through the Community Right to Build
Home Information Packs are abolished
A national home swap scheme will enable people to swap their social home, for example because they wish to move jobs
Gives social tenants tools to hold their landlords to account.
Requires developers to consult local communities before submitting certain applications.
The Infrastructure Planning Commission is abolished and the responsibility for taking decisions reverts to Ministers.