Reports suggesting that the Localism Bill will allow the introduction of smoking bans in public places are wide off the mark. There is nothing in this Bill that provides additional powers to prohibit smoking in open spaces or in private cars.
We are giving councils a general power of competence - this will allow them to do the things that any individual generally could. It will particularly help councils find new ways to work to save money and protect frontline services. But that does not permit the introduction of new regulation on the broader public.