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Localism Act 2011

Section 1: Local authority’s general power of competence

10.Section 1 provides a general power of competence for local authorities in England. It gives these authorities the same power to act that an individual generally has and provides that the power may be used in innovative ways, that is, in doing things that are unlike anything that a local authority - or any other public body - has done before, or may currently do. The section defines the meaning of an ‘individual’ so as to avoid referring to the reduced powers exercised by for example a child. Subsections (4), (5) & (6) further define the extent of the power. Where the authority can do something under the power, the starting point is that there are to be no limits as to how the power can be exercised. For example, the power does not need to be exercised for the benefit of any particular place or group, and can be exercised anywhere and in any way. Subsection (7) gives effect to Schedule 1, which makes consequential amendments. The amendments to the Local Government Act 2000 mean that the well-being power provided in section 2 of that Act will no longer apply to English local authorities.

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