Following Commencement Order No 8 which was made on 3 December 2008, the vast majority of provisions within the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 have now been commenced. These include the successful negotiations of all 150 local area agreements (LAAs) which were signed-off on 30 June 2008 and the implementation of nine new unitary councils, approved by Parliament, which is on track for 1 April 2009.
There are three areas which have taken longer to implement than the estimated timetable set out in the November 2007 Implementation Plan. These are:
Community Governance (parishes reform)—including new arrangements for appointing parish councillors. We are aiming to bring the appointment of councillors' regulations into effect in the spring.
Devolution of byelaw powers - originally listed for implementation from April 2008, the Department intends to have the provision for devolving byelaws, both in terms of local authorities being able to make certain byelaws without their needing to be confirmed by the Secretary of State, and to enforce new byelaws through Fixed Penalty Notices, in force by April 2009.
Overview and Scrutiny arrangements, incorporating the Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) powers. The Department is committed to implementing these new arrangements in an integrated package by April 2009.
A final version of the White Paper Implementation Plan will be published in the spring.