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Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

Communities and Local Government

Communities and Local Government: our vision

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has the leading role within Government for setting the agenda for decentralisation, localism and has an important role in delivering economic growth and the Big Society. Our purpose is to make a radical redistribution of power and funding from government to local people to deliver what they want for their communities, transforming public services and ensuring that all communities are equipped and incentivised to grow and prosper.

We are setting a framework for government to decentralise by:

  • removing central burdens
  • empowering people to take action
  • letting local people control public spending
  • breaking apart monopolies
  • making public bodies and services transparent
  • strengthening accountability.

We are making local decisions a normal part of everyday life, giving communities, neighbourhoods and individuals more say, choice and ownership of their local facilities. We are decentralising power as far as possible turning Government upside down and inside out. Localism isn't simply about giving power back to local government. We are pushing power downwards and outwards to the lowest possible level – so that power is held by local people. People want more for less in their services and we are freeing up councils to make that happen. We want people to have control over the decisions that affect them and their communities and be the builders of localism. Big Society encourages family and social responsibility plus civil liberties to create a stronger society.

We want people to feel both free and powerful enough to help themselves, to secure and share the benefits of growth and greater prosperity and by tackling the opportunity deficit and helping to create a more socially mobile country. They will be re-energised and empowered to enable ideas to flow from local people and enterprises.

We are giving greater freedom, by streamlining grant funding and removing burdens so local authorities can prioritise and allocate budgets to support public services in ways which meet the needs of local people and communities. We are increasing fairness by devolving control over budgets to local authorities so they can move towards more personalised and effective provision of services for vulnerable groups. We are giving more responsibility by freeing up funding and reducing bureaucratic controls so local authorities and their partners can focus on their priorities, helping to manage demand on services and reduce costs to society.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Communities and Local Government: our priorities

Decentralise power as far as possible

Free local government from central and regional control; decentralise power; provide greater freedom and flexibilities to local government so that they can genuinely lead their communities; provide local communities with a powers and flexibilities with which to accelerate economic growth; and simplifying and deregulating local government finance

Reinvigorate accountability, democracy and participation

Trust people to take control of the decisions that affect them by devolving power closer to neighbourhoods, increasing citizen participation, promoting community ownership, lifting inspection burdens on councils and unnecessary regional administration

Increase transparency by letting people see how their money is being spent

Let local people know who is spending their money and what it is being spent on by publishing financial and performance data online –‘show me the money’

Meet people’s housing aspirations

Meet people’s housing aspirations and promote social mobility, including by providing local authorities with strong and transparent incentives to facilitate housing growth, as well as making the provision of social housing more flexible

Put communities in charge of planning

Give local people and communities far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which they live by radically reforming the planning system and ensuring that local communities and certificate regimes support our ambition to drive sustainable economic growth and development, including our ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy

Major policy responsibilities

Supporting local government

We are radically transforming local government, freeing it from central regulation and regional control, so that elected councils are free to deliver essential services according to local needs

Communities and neighbourhoods

We aim to ensure that citizens are able to make the best of their communities, removing barriers so that they are able to take action to overcome difficulties such as community conflict, extremism and deprivation, with neighbourhoods as the building blocks for action

Local economies and regeneration

We aim to support regeneration and reduce disadvantage and deprivation, ensuring value for money for taxpayers from EU programmes, decentralising the Thames Gateway and working with London’s Mayor to ensure a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games


We oversee housing and homelessness policy in England to meet the aspirations of a growing and ageing population and support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in communities


We are responsible for planning policy and building regulations in England. We are ensuring that the planning system, building regulations, the building control system and energy performance certificate regimes support our ambitions for a low-carbon and eco-friendly economy

The Fire and Rescue Service

We work with the Fire and Rescue Service and the wider fire sector to support them in preventing deaths and injuries from fire, promote fire prevention, and respond to major national emergencies.