NALC has produced a useful summary of the key points from the three main parties' manifestos.
Below is a brief summary of some of the measures of interest to the parish sector on communities, local government and public services (together with a link to the full manifesto):
- Conservatives: ensure residents can veto high increases in council tax via referendum; give local government greater control over the money they raise and address concerns about fairness of current funding distributions; consolidate approach to devolution, providing clarity on what devolution means for different administrations so all authorities operate in a common framework; support authorities that wish to combine to serve their communities better; continue to support the adoption of elected mayors for combined authorities based around cities, but not support them for rural counties; enact a Great Repeal Bill and determine the level best placed to take decisions, ensuring that power sits closer to the people; take steps to enhance the provision of public services in rural areas; widen the role of police and crime commissioners; deliver reforms proposed in the Housing White Paper.
- Labour: give local government extra funding next year, properly resource planning authorities with fuller powers and devolve powers over economic development; initiate a review into reforming council tax and business rates; give communities more power to shape their town centres, strengthening powers to protect post offices, pubs and independent shops; establish a Constitutional Convention and consult on its form and terms of reference and invite recommendations on extending democracy; reduce the voting age to 16; create a role for a Minister for England, who will sit under the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; be guided by public opinion when determining whether to include directly elected mayors in future devolution deals.
- Liberal Democrats: increase the number of neighbourhood, community and parish councils; remove the requirement to hold local referenda for council tax changes; create a community right of appeal where planning decisions go against local plan; scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes; introduce votes at 16 and the Single Transferable Vote and trials weekend voting; establish a UK constitutional convention, tasked with producing a full, codified constitution for the UK, to report within two years; introduce ‘devolution on demand’, enabling even greater devolution of powers from Westminster to councils or groups of councils working together.
NALC has also condensed all 314 pages of the manifestos into a 15 page summary for your information and use: