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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Councils could get power to make or scrap local byelaws

  • Published: Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Under new proposals, councils could get the power to scrap old byelaws or make new ones, without the need for approval from central government. The move could see the end of outdated rules, like the banning of towels on Blackpool promenade. Find out how the new proposals could affect you.

Outdated byelaws that could be scrapped

Under the proposed new rules, councils could scrap old byelaws without needing approval from central government. The byelaws likely to be scrapped relate to practices that were a local nuisance in times gone by, such as:

  • fish frying in Gloucester
  • carpet beating, or hanging towels on the promenade, in Blackpool
  • drying clothes in parks in Kent
  • the use of dickey straps in Hammersmith and Fulham

For the curious, dickey straps are leather straps used to hold in place the driving box of a horse drawn carriage.

Local byelaws and local councils

The change would enable councils to create new byelaws or get rid of old ones without seeking permission from Whitehall. Instead, it's proposed, councils would consult with local residents to assess whether to create a new law, or cancel an outdated one.

The proposed change comes as part of wider government plans to hand power back to councils and communities.

Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said: "This is part of wider government plans to devolve power straight from Whitehall to Town Halls and to communities, so they can improve the quality of their area for themselves."

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