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Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 Published Date: 27/10/2023

The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill becomes law after receiving Royal Assent on 26 October 2026.

Amongst other things, the new Act will, "bring high streets back to life - giving councils the powers to work directly with landlords to bring empty buildings back in to use by local businesses and community groups through high street rental auctions. It will also make it faster for local authorities to give hospitality businesses permission to use outdoor seating."

At the time of writing, the final Act is yet to be published.

It has been confirmed that the new Act will not make allowance for virtual committee meetings.  The Hansard record for the final debate said:

"Local authorities need councillors to be physically present, to actively take part in democratic decision-making affecting the citizens they represent, and to interact with their fellow councillors at every opportunity to develop a sound understanding of local needs and priorities. That understanding is clearly vital for ensuring the strong local leadership that councils depend on to deliver for the electorate. Perhaps most importantly, councillors need to be physically present to interact with citizens in a way that builds meaningful relationships with their community and ensures that they are, in the fullest sense, accountable to their electorate.

"The Government stand by their opposition to this amendment. The other place has agreed with that position. Therefore, again with great respect to my noble friend, I suggest that we have reached a point where it is right for us to draw a line under this issue. I hope that, on reflection, my noble friend will agree."