Section 28 to be repealed

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Indy Politics

The controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which bans councils from promoting homosexuality, is to be repealed in the new Local Government Bill.

The controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which bans councils from promoting homosexuality, is to be repealed in the new Local Government Bill.

The clause, which gained notoriety in the 1980s after it was introduced by the Thatcher government, stopped libraries from stocking books promoting homosexuals and banned teachers portraying homosexuality as a "pretended family relationship".

The Bill will also allow referendums for towns and cities to have their own directly-elected mayors where it was proposed by the council, ministers or by 5% of the local population in a petition.

Under the Bill councils will be able to introduce new "cabinet-style" committees where one executive body makes decisions and others scrutinise their actions.

The frequency of elections could also be changed to increase accountability and public interest in local elections.

The Bill gives local authorities a new power to "promote the well-being of their communities" by improving the environment, boosting the local economy and improving the quality of life for local residents.

The aim is for councils to create "more integrated and coherent" local services with businesses and other local bodies.

Chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Jeremy Beecham said it would allow councils to modernise and improve public services.

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