Localism Bill (HL Bill 90)

Localism BillPage 30

(5) In deciding how to exercise functions under this Part in relation to an EU
financial sanction imposed on the United Kingdom the Minister must have
regard to the statement of policy most recently published at the time when the
EU financial sanction was imposed.

(6) 5If an EU financial sanction notice is registered in accordance with rules of court
or any practice direction, it is enforceable in the same manner as an order of the
High Court.

(7) Any sums paid by a local or public authority under this Part are to be paid into
the Consolidated Fund.

32 10Warning notices

(1) Before imposing a requirement on a local or public authority to make a
payment under this Part in respect of an EU financial sanction imposed on the
United Kingdom, a Minister of the Crown must give a warning notice to the
authority and follow the procedures set out in that notice (subject to any
15changes to those procedures made under subsection (7).

(2) A warning notice is a notice stating that the Minister, having regard to the
judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union imposing the Article
260(2) financial sanction, believes—

(a) that acts of the authority may have caused or contributed to the
20infraction of EU law for which the EU financial sanction was imposed,
and

(b) that, if acts of the authority did cause or contribute to that infraction of
EU law, it would be appropriate to consider requiring the authority to
make a payment under this Part in respect of that financial sanction.

(3) 25The warning notice must also—

(a) set out the Minister’s reasons for making the statements mentioned in
subsection (2);

(b) set out the Minister’s proposed criteria for determining—

(i) whether the authority’s acts did cause or contribute to the
30infraction of EU law concerned;

(ii) whether the authority should be required to make a payment in
respect of the EU financial sanction; and

(iii) the amount of any payment the authority is to be required to
make;

(c) 35set out the Minister’s proposed procedures for determining those
matters (which must allow for representations to be made by the
authority);

(d) invite the authority to submit representations to the Minister—

(i) about the matters mentioned in subsection (2) and the reasons
40given under paragraph (a) above;

(ii) about the matters mentioned in paragraphs (b), (c) and (e) of
this subsection;

(iii) as to whether the authority’s acts did cause or contribute to the
infraction of EU law concerned, whether it should be required
45to make a payment in respect of the EU financial sanction and
the amount of any payment the authority is to be required to
make; and

Localism BillPage 31

(iv) in response to any representations made by another local or
public authority with an interest in the outcome of the
determination of those matters (including representations
made in relation to any other warning notice given in respect of
5the same EU financial sanction); and

(e) set out a timetable for allowing those representations to be made by the
authority and considered.

(4) If the EU financial sanction to which the warning notice relates is or includes a
penalty payment, the sanction is to be treated for the purposes of the warning
10notice as excluding any periodic payment which falls due from the United
Kingdom on or after a date specified in the warning notice.

(5) The date so specified must not be later than the day on which the warning
notice is given to the authority in question.

(6) The warning notice may contain other such information as the Minister
15considers appropriate.

(7) The Minister may, after considering any representations made by the authority
under subsection (3)(d)(ii) but before the matters mentioned in subsection
(3)(b) are determined, give the authority a notice stating any changes that the
Minister has decided to make to the criteria, procedures or timetable as
20originally set out in the warning notice under subsection (3)(b), (c) or (e).

(8) A warning notice given to a local or public authority may be withdrawn at any
time before the matters mentioned in subsection (3)(b) are determined, but this
does not prevent another warning notice being given to the authority in
relation to the same EU financial sanction.

33 25EU financial sanction notices

(1) A Minister of the Crown may give an EU financial sanction notice to a local or
public authority in relation to an EU financial sanction imposed on the United
Kingdom only if the Minister is satisfied that acts of the authority caused or
contributed to the infraction of EU law for which that financial sanction was
30imposed.

(2) An EU financial sanction notice must—

(a) specify the amount required to be paid by the authority,

(b) specify the EU financial sanction to which the notice relates and the
total amount of that sanction,

(c) 35specify any act of the authority which is regarded as having caused or
contributed to the infraction of EU law for which that financial sanction
was imposed,

(d) set out the Minister’s reasons—

(i) for requiring the authority to make a payment in respect of that
40financial sanction, and

(ii) for specifying the amount required to be paid,

(e) specify how and to whom the payment must be made, and

(f) specify the period within which the payment is required to be made.

(3) If the EU financial sanction to which the notice relates is or includes a penalty
45payment, the sanction is to be treated for the purposes of the notice as
excluding any periodic payment which falls due from the United Kingdom on

Localism BillPage 32

or after the date specified under section 32(4) in the warning notice given to the
authority.

(4) Subject to subsection (6), the amount required to be paid by the authority must
not exceed the total amount of the EU financial sanction.

(5) 5Where the Minister is satisfied that acts of any person or body other than the
authority to whom the notice is addressed also caused or contributed to the
infraction of EU law concerned, the amount specified in the notice must not
exceed the proportion of that total amount which the Minister considers fairly
reflects the authority’s share of the responsibility for that infraction.

(6) 10In deciding—

(a) whether to give the authority an EU financial sanction notice, and

(b) if such a notice is to be given, the amount it is to be required to pay,

the Minister must have regard to the effect on the authority’s finances of any
amount it may be required to pay.

34 15Further warning notices

(1) This section applies to a local or public authority which has been given a notice
under section 33 in respect of an EU financial sanction which is or includes a
penalty payment.

(2) Before imposing a requirement on a local or public authority to which this
20section applies to make a further payment under this Part, a Minister of the
Crown must give a further warning notice to the authority and follow the
procedures set out in that notice (subject to any changes to those procedures
made under subsection (8)).

(3) A further warning notice is a notice stating that the Minister believes—

(a) 25that acts of that authority may have caused or contributed to the
continuing infraction of EU law for which the EU financial sanction in
question was imposed; and

(b) that, if acts of that authority did cause or contribute to that continuing
infraction of EU law, it would be appropriate to consider requiring the
30authority to make a further payment under this Part in respect of any
relevant periodic payments.

(4) In this section “relevant periodic payments” means periodic payments falling
due from the United Kingdom as part of the EU financial sanction in question
which—

(a) 35have not already been the subject of an EU financial sanction notice
given to the authority; and

(b) fall due before a date specified in the further warning notice.

(5) The date so specified must not be later than the day on which the further
warning notice is given to the authority in question.

(6) 40The warning notice must also—

(a) set out the Minister’s reasons for making the statements mentioned in
subsection (3);

(b) if the Minister thinks it appropriate to do so, specify the amount of the
payment the Minister considers the authority would be required to pay
45on the assumption that the relevant circumstances have not changed

Localism BillPage 33

since the most recent EU financial sanction notice was given to the
authority;

(c) set out the procedures for determining—

(i) whether the authority should be required to make a payment in
5respect of any relevant periodic payments, and

(ii) the amount of any payment the authority is to be required to
make;

(d) invite the authority to make representations to the Minister about—

(i) any change of circumstances since the most recent EU financial
10sanction notice, or

(ii) anything else that may be relevant to the determination of the
matters mentioned in paragraph (c)(i) and (ii).

(7) The further warning notice may contain such other information as the Minister
considers appropriate (including, in particular, anything of a description
15mentioned in section 32(3)(b) to (e)).

(8) The Minister may, before the matters mentioned in subsection (6)(c)(i) and (ii)
are determined, give the authority a notice stating any changes that the
Minister has decided to make to any procedures or other information set out in
the further warning notice.

(9) 20A further warning notice given to a local or public authority may be
withdrawn at any time before the matters mentioned in subsection (6)(c)(i) and
(ii) are determined, but this does not prevent another further warning notice
being given to the authority.

35 Further EU financial sanction notices

(1) 25A Minister of the Crown may give a further EU financial sanction notice to a
local or public authority to which section 34 applies in respect of any relevant
periodic payments (within the meaning of that section).

(2) A further EU financial sanction notice may be given only if the Minister is
satisfied that acts of that authority have caused or contributed to the
30continuing infraction of EU law for which the EU financial sanction in question
was imposed.

(3) Section 33(2) and (4) to (6) apply to a further EU financial sanction notice as
they apply to an EU financial sanction notice under section 33.

(4) In the application of those provisions to a further EU financial sanction notice,
35references to the total amount of the sanction are to be read as referring to the
total amount of the relevant periodic payments that are the subject of the
notice.

36 Meaning of “local or public authority”

(1) In this Part “local or public authority” means—

(a) 40a local authority specified in subsection (2); or

(b) a person or body designated under subsection (3) as a public authority
for the purposes of this Part.

(2) The local authorities are—

(a) a county council or district council in England or a London borough
45council;

Localism BillPage 34

(b) the Greater London Authority;

(c) the Common Council of the City of London (in its capacity as a local
authority); and

(d) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

(3) 5The Secretary of State may by order designate persons or bodies exercising
public functions in England as public authorities for the purposes of this Part
(whether by specifying them or by prescribing descriptions of such persons or
bodies).

(4) The following may not be designated under subsection (3)—

(a) 10either House of Parliament, a Minister of the Crown or a United
Kingdom government department;

(b) a court or tribunal.

37 Interpretation of Part: general

(1) In this Part—

  • 15“act” includes omission;

  • EU financial sanction” has the meaning given by section 31(1) or 35;

  • EU financial sanction notice” means a notice under section 33;

  • “infraction of EU law”, in relation to an EU financial sanction imposed on
    the United Kingdom, means a failure by the United Kingdom to
    20comply with a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union
    made under Article 260(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
    European Union;

  • “local or public authority” has the meaning given in section 36(1);

  • “Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the
    25Crown Act 1975.

(2) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) references to a periodic payment, in relation to an EU financial sanction
that is or includes a penalty payment, are to a payment due under the
terms of the penalty payment; and

(b) 30a periodic payment is to be regarded as the subject of an EU financial
sanction notice given to a local or public authority if it is included in the
sum specified in such a notice as the total amount of the EU financial
sanction to which the notice relates;

and it is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (b) whether the EU financial
35sanction notice in question is given under section 33 or section 35.

Part 3 Non-domestic rates etc

Business rate supplements

38 Ballot for imposition and certain variations of a business rate supplement

(1) 40The Business Rate Supplements Act 2009 (“the 2009 Act”) is amended as
follows.

Localism BillPage 35

(2) In section 4(c) (condition for imposing a BRS) for “where there is to be a ballot
on the imposition of the BRS, the ballot” substitute “a ballot”.

(3) In section 7 (holding of ballot) omit subsections (1), (2) and (5) (provision about
the circumstances in which a ballot on the imposition of a BRS is to be held).

(4) 5In section 8(1) (meaning of approve by ballot) for “If a ballot on the imposition
of a BRS is held, the imposition of the BRS” substitute “The imposition of a
BRS”.

(5) In section 10 (variations)—

(a) in subsection (2)(c) (condition for varying a BRS) omit the words from
10the beginning to “subsection (7),”, and

(b) omit subsections (7) to (9) (provision about the circumstances in which
a ballot on a proposal to vary a BRS is to be held).

(6) In Schedule 1 (information to be included in a prospectus for a BRS) for
paragraphs 19 and 20 (information required in relation to a ballot on the
15imposition of the BRS) substitute—

19 In an initial prospectus, a statement that there is to be a ballot on the
imposition of the BRS.

20 In a final prospectus—

(a) a statement that a ballot has been held on the imposition of
20the BRS;

(b) the results of the ballot, including in particular—

(i) the total number of votes cast,

(ii) the number of persons who voted in favour of the
imposition of the BRS,

(iii) 25the number of persons who voted against its
imposition,

(iv) the aggregate of the rateable values of each
hereditament in respect of which a person voted in
the ballot,

(v) 30the aggregate of the rateable values of each
hereditament in respect of which a person voted in
favour of the imposition of the BRS, and

(vi) the aggregate of the rateable values of each
hereditament in respect of which a person voted
35against its imposition.

(7) The amendments made by this section do not apply in relation to a BRS
imposed before the date this section comes into force (whether or not the
chargeable period of the BRS has begun before that date).

(8) In this section—

  • 40“BRS” means a business rate supplement (see section 1 of the 2009 Act);

  • “chargeable period” has the meaning given by section 11(6) of that Act.

Localism BillPage 36

Non-domestic rates

39 Non-domestic rates: discretionary relief

(1) Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (non-domestic rates:
discretionary relief) is amended as follows.

(2) 5In subsection (1) (eligibility for relief) for the words from “the first and second
conditions” to “are fulfilled” substitute “the condition mentioned in subsection
(3) below is fulfilled”.

(3) Omit subsection (2) (the first eligibility condition).

(4) In subsection (3) (the second eligibility condition) omit “second”.

(5) 10Omit subsections (3A) to (3D) (the other eligibility conditions).

(6) After subsection (5) insert—

(5A) So far as a decision under subsection (3) above would have effect where
none of section 43(6) above, section 43(6B) above and subsection (5B)
below applies, the billing authority may make the decision only if it is
15satisfied that it would be reasonable for it to do so, having regard to the
interests of persons liable to pay council tax set by it.

(5B) This subsection applies on the chargeable day if—

(a) all or part of the hereditament is occupied for the purposes of
one or more institutions or other organisations—

(i) 20none of which is established or conducted for profit, and

(ii) each of whose main objects are charitable or are
otherwise philanthropic or religious or concerned with
education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine
arts, or

(b) 25the hereditament—

(i) is wholly or mainly used for purposes of recreation, and

(ii) all or part of it is occupied for the purposes of a club,
society or other organisation not established or
conducted for profit.

(5C) 30A billing authority in England, when making a decision under
subsection (3) above, must have regard to any relevant guidance issued
by the Secretary of State.

(5D) A billing authority in Wales, when making a decision under subsection
(3) above, must have regard to any relevant guidance issued by the
35Welsh Ministers.

(7) Before subsection (9) insert—

(8A) This section does not apply where the hereditament is an excepted
hereditament.

40 Small business relief

(1) 40Section 43 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (liability to non-domestic
rates) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4B)(a) (small business relief: England) omit—

Localism BillPage 37

(a) sub-paragraph (i) (maximum rateable value of hereditament), and

(b) sub-paragraph (iii) (requirement for application).

(3) Omit subsection (4C) (form and content of application).

(4) In subsection (4D) (offence of making false application)—

(a) 5after “If” insert “the ratepayer makes an application in order to satisfy
a condition prescribed under subsection (4B)(a)(ii) above and”,

(b) in paragraph (a) for “an application under subsection (4B)(a)(iii) above”
substitute “the application”, and

(c) in paragraph (b) for “such an” substitute “the”.

41 10Cancellation of liability to backdated non-domestic rates

After section 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 insert—

49A Cancellation of backdated liabilities for days in years 2005 to 2010

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in a prescribed
case, the chargeable amount under section 43 or 45 for a hereditament
15in England for a chargeable day is zero.

(2) The regulations may give that relief in relation to a hereditament and a
chargeable day only if—

(a) the hereditament is shown for the day in a local non-domestic
rating list compiled on 1 April 2005, and

(b) 20it is shown for that day as it is shown as the result of an
alteration of the list made after the list was compiled.

(3) The regulations may give that relief in relation to a hereditament and a
chargeable day subject to the fulfilment of prescribed conditions.

(4) A prescribed condition may be—

(a) 25a condition to be fulfilled in relation to the hereditament,

(b) a condition to be fulfilled in relation to some other
hereditament, or

(c) some other condition.

(5) The conditions that may be prescribed include, in particular—

(a) 30conditions relating to the circumstances in which an alteration
of a local non-domestic rating list was made;

(b) conditions relating to the consequences of the alteration;

(c) conditions relating to the length of the period beginning with
the first day from which an alteration had effect and ending
35with the day on which the alteration was made;

(d) conditions relating to a person’s liability or otherwise to non-
domestic rates at any time.

Localism BillPage 38

Part 4 Community empowerment

CHAPTER 1 Local referendums

Duty to hold local referendum

42 5Duty to hold local referendum

(1) A principal local authority must hold a referendum in accordance with this
Chapter (a “local referendum”) if any of the following conditions is met.

(2) The first condition is that—

(a) the authority receives a petition that complies with section 43,

(b) 10the authority determines in accordance with sections 46 and 47 that it is
appropriate to hold a local referendum, and

(c) if the petition is a special-case petition (see section 48), the authority
resolves in accordance with section 49 that the referendum should be
held.

(3) 15The second condition is that—

(a) one or more members of the authority makes a request that complies
with section 45,

(b) the authority determines in accordance with sections 46 and 47 that it is
appropriate to hold a local referendum, and

(c) 20the authority resolves in accordance with section 50 that the
referendum should be held.

(4) The third condition is that the authority passes a resolution that complies with
section 51.

(5) In this Chapter “principal local authority” means—

(a) 25a county council in England;

(b) a district council;

(c) a London borough council;

(d) the Greater London Authority;

(e) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local
30authority;

(f) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

Triggers for local referendum

43 Petition for local referendum

(1) A petition complies with this section if—

(a) 35it requests the principal local authority to hold a local referendum in a
relevant area of that authority,

(b) it is duly signed by the required percentage of local government
electors in that area, taken as a whole (see section 44),

Localism BillPage 39

(c) where the principal local authority is the Greater London Authority, it
is duly signed—

(i) by the required percentage of local government electors in each
London borough, and

(ii) 5by the required percentage of local government electors in the
area of the Common Council of the City of London, and

(d) it states the question that the petitioners want to be asked in the
referendum.

(2) A principal local authority may determine in a particular case that a petition is
10to be treated as complying with this section even though—

(a) where the principal local authority is not the Greater London
Authority, the petition does not comply with subsection (1)(b), or

(b) where the principal local authority is the Greater London Authority,
the petition complies with neither or only one of paragraphs (b) and (c)
15of subsection (1).

(3) For the purposes of this section a petition is duly signed by a person if—

(a) the person dates the signature,

(b) the date falls within the period of six months ending with the date on
which the petition is received by the authority, and

(c) 20the petition states the person’s name, and the person’s address within
the relevant area.

(4) A principal local authority may provide a facility for making petitions under
this section in electronic form to the authority.

(5) In the case of a petition made to a principal local authority in electronic form—

(a) 25references in this section to signing or signature, or to dating a
signature, are to authentication or dating in a manner that complies
with specifications made by the authority;

(b) references in this Chapter to the date on which the petition is received
by the authority are to such date after the petition is opened for
30signature as is determined in accordance with those specifications.

(6) Specifications under subsection (5) must be published in such manner as the
authority thinks fit.

(7) In this Chapter “relevant area”, in relation to a principal local authority,
means—

(a) 35the whole of the authority’s area, or

(b) in the case of an authority other than the Greater London Authority, a
part of the authority’s area consisting of—

(i) a single electoral area, or

(ii) two or more electoral areas, each of which adjoins at least one
40other electoral area in the part.

(8) In section 10 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and
Construction Act 2009 after subsection (2) insert—

(2A) This section does not apply to a petition under section 43 of the
Localism Act 2011 (petitions for local referendums).