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LOCALISM BILL 2011. Power of General Competence A local authority has power to do anything that individuals generally may do. The power applies to things.

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Presentation on theme: "LOCALISM BILL 2011. Power of General Competence A local authority has power to do anything that individuals generally may do. The power applies to things."— Presentation transcript:


2 Power of General Competence A local authority has power to do anything that individuals generally may do. The power applies to things that an individual may do even though those things are unlike anything a local authority or other public bodies currently do. An “individual” is defined as an individual with full capacity meaning a natural legal person - but not an artificial legal person such as a company or other incorporated body. Pre commencement and post commencement restrictions

3 Localism Bill 2011 – “Local authorities’ powers and responsibilities are defined by legislation. In simple terms, they can only do what the law says they can. Sometimes councils are wary of doing something new - even if they think it might be a good idea - because they are not sure whether they are allowed to in law, and are concerned about the possibility of being challenged in the courts. The Government thinks that we need to turn this assumption upside down. Instead of being able to act only where the law says they can, local authorities should be free to do anything - provided they do not break other laws. “

4 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Section 10 New arrangements with respect to governance of English local authorities Schedule 2 (new Part 1A of, and Schedule A1 to, the Local Government Act 2000) has effect. Removes all of 2000 Act “Modernisation Agenda” but puts a lot of it back – with some additions.

5 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Local Government Act 1972 Local Government Act 2000 Executive Arrangements Non Executive arrangements S of S’s powers to prescribe new arrangements

6 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Change from one governance system to another Petitions, resolutions and referendums S of S’s power to make directions

7 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Elected mayors No going back? Elected Mayor Manager (dropped from bill)

8 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Clause 14 puts into effect Schedule 4 to the Bill which removes all of the existing Standards regime introduced by the Local Government Act 2000. In its place, Clause 15 introduces a duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct.

9 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Standards in Public Life Clause 16 allows a local authority to adopt a voluntary Code of Conduct. An authority may revise its existing Code of Conduct, adopt a new Code of Conduct or withdraw its existing Code of Conduct without replacing it.

10 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Clause 17 of the Bill provides for disclosure and registration of Members’ interests. Monitoring Officer to establish and maintain a Register of Interests of Members. The register may contain financial and other interests, disclosure of an interest before participation in business relating to the interest, the granting of dispensations, sanctions for failure, publicity of the register, etc. Sanction for breach of the rules specifically excludes suspension or disqualification.

11 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Clause 18 of the Bill creates a criminal offence of failing to register a financial interest, failing to disclose an interest or taking part in business without a disclosure in each case without reasonable excuse. maximum fine on conviction is not to exceed level 5 on the Standards scale (currently £2,000).

12 LOCALISM BILL 2011 started off as “Senior Pay Policy Statement” now “Pay Policy Statement” for the financial year 2012/13 and each subsequent financial year. The statement must set out the authority’s policies for the remuneration of its staff including the level of remuneration, remuneration on recruitment, increases and additions to remuneration, performance related pay, bonuses, exit payments and publication of financial information relating to remuneration.

13 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Clause 24 provides that an authority must comply with its Pay Policy Statement in making any determination after 1 April 2012. Clause 25 provides that the Pay Policy functions are Council responsibilities not Executive responsibilities. Furthermore, the pay accountability function must be exercised by full Council and cannot be delegated.

14 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Miscellaneous Repeals The duty relating to the promotion of democracy and Part 1 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. Petitions to local authorities under Chapter 2 Part 1 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. Schemes to encourage domestic waste reduction by payments and charges under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Climate Change Act 2008.

15 LOCALISM BILL 2011 EU Fines This provision (Clause 30) allows a Minister of the Crown to require local authorities to make payments in respect of EU financial sanctions amending the position that at present pertains that the sanction is imposed upon the United Kingdom as a whole and paid by Central Government.

16 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Community Empowerment - Local Referendums Clause 39 places an obligation on the local authority to hold a referendum in one of three sets of circumstances. The circumstances are:- If the authority receives a petition. If one or more Members of the authority make a request. That the authority itself passes a resolution. Clause 40 deals with a petition for a local referendum. A referendum must be held if a petition is signed by 5% of registered local government electors for the whole of the authority’s area or for a single ward or to adjoining wards.

17 LOCALISM BILL 2011 A referendum must be held if a petition is signed by 5% of registered local government electors for the whole of the authority’s area or for a single ward or two adjoining wards. An authority has discretion to accept a petition as compliant even though it is not signed by the required percentage of electors.

18 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Request for Referendum by Local Authority Members A valid request for a referendum may also be made by Members of the authority or Members for a particular ward or wards. In each case, the request must be made by all or a majority of the Members for the authority or the wards. The request must state the question that the Members want to be asked in the referendum.

19 LOCALISM BILL 2011 the grounds on which an authority may determine that it is not appropriate to hold a local referendum in response to a petition or request. The grounds are as follows:- The authority thinks that action taken to promote or oppose the referendum question is likely to lead to contravention of an enactment or a rule of law. The authority thinks that the matter to which the referendum question relates is not a local matter over which the authority have an influence or over which any of its partner authorities have an influence or which affects the authority’s area or the inhabitants of that area.

20 LOCALISM BILL 2011 A matter is a “local matter” if it relates to the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of the area in which the referendum is proposed to be held and has a particular connection with that area. An authority has an influence over a matter if the authority can affect that matter by the exercise of any of its general or particular functions. The Secretary of State has the power to order that specified matters are not to be treated as local matters or to specify matters which cannot be the subject of a referendum question. The authority thinks the petition or request is vexatious or abusive.

21 Localism Bill 2011 Special case petitions if the authority’s chief finance officer estimates that the cost of holding a local referendum in response to the petition would be more than 5% of the amount last calculated by the authority before it received the petition as its council tax if the proper officer of the authority is of the opinion that the matter to which the referendum question relates has been, or has substantially been, the subject of at least one local or other referendum in the four years ending with the date on which the petition was received by the authority in the area to which the petition relates there is a statutory process for members of the public, to make representations in relation to the matter, or a statutory right of appeal in respect of the substance of the matter or decision, or to instigate a review (NB – not JR or ombudsman) Authority in these cases may hold a referendum

22 LOCALISM BILL 2011 As soon as is reasonably practicable after the result is known, the authority must consider what steps (if any) the authority proposes to take to give affect to the result. If the authority decides to take no steps to give effect to the result it must publish their decision together with the reasons for that decision.

23 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Council Tax The provisions of Part 4 of the bill amend the council tax calculations in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and add a mechanism for the holding of a referendum where an authority proposes to raise “an excessive” amount of council tax.

24 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Community Right to Challenge Authorities must consider expressions of interest from "relevant bodies" - voluntary or community bodies, a trust, a parish council or employees of the authority, in providing a service for the authority. he expression of interest may only be rejected on specific grounds set down by the Secretary of State. If accepted the authority must carry out a procurement exercise for that service and as part of that exercise the authority must consider whether the proposal would promote or improve the social, economic or environmental well being of the authority’s area.

25 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Assets of Community Value A local authority will be placed under an obligation to keep a list of “land that is land of community value”. The criteria for inclusion in the list will be set down by the Secretary of State. Land will be on the register for a maximum period of five years.

26 LOCALISM BILL 2011 Anyone having an interest in the land must be notified of the inclusion or nomination for inclusion. A nomination for land to be included on the list may be made by a parish council or a person specified in regulations by the secretary of state (“a community nomination”).

27 LOCALISM BILL 2011 The authority must keep a list of unsuccessful community nominations together with the reasons why the nomination was unsuccessful. Both lists must be open to inspection by the public free of charge. If the owner of land on the list wishes to sell the property then that sale may only take place after a moratorium period to be set down in regulations. The bill proposes a compensation scheme for an owner of land adversely affected by the inclusion of the land on the list. The inclusion of land on the list will be registerable in the Local Land Charges Register.

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