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MPs on the Communities and Local Government Committee continued their inquiry on 24 January 2011 into the government's proposals for localism, following publication of the Localism Bill.
Its provisions include giving local people and organisations the right to buy community assets such as shops and libraries and allowing them to question how services are being run, and potentially take them over.
It also includes more power to overrule planning decisions, decide where new homes should go and protect green spaces.
However critics have said it won't reinvigorate local democracy, with shadow local government secretary Caroline Flint saying too many powers remain with the Secretary of State.
MPs heard evidence from:
• Baroness Eaton, Chair of the Local Government Association
• Simon Parker, New Local Government Network
• Nick Herbert MP, Home Office Minister
• Chris Grayling MP, Work and Pensions Ministers