Empowering councils to make a difference. Annex: case studies on how councils are using the General Power of Competence to bring about change and innovation

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Local Government Association (England and Wales)
Local Government Association
Date of publication
23 July 2013
Community Development and Regeneration, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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The General Power of Competence (GPC) is an important legislative statement that councils have the power to do anything an individual may do, unless specifically prohibited. The GPC is welcomed across the sector, as a wider statement of their powers than the previous wellbeing powers. But to date it may be characterised as an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary change.

This paper explores whether councils have been taking advantage of the GPC since its introduction in February 2012, and if they have, how and to what purpose; if they haven’t, why was this; the barriers councils may still be experiencing and any lessons which can be drawn. It is hoped that it will encourage wider use of the power by providing examples of how councils are using it to make a difference to their communities. This annex presents case studies showing how councils are using the GPC to innovate.

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