Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill (HL Bill 169)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about rivers authorities; to make provision about the expenses
of internal drainage boards; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Rivers authorities

1 Rivers authorities

(1) The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 is amended in accordance with—

(a) subsections (2) and (3), and

(b) 5Schedule 1.

(2) In section 6 (other definitions)—

(a) after subsection (6) insert—

(6A) “Rivers authority” means a rivers authority established by
regulations under section 21A(1).”,

(b) 10in subsection (13) (meaning of risk management authority) after
paragraph (aa) insert—

(ab) a rivers authority,”, and

(c) after subsection (15) insert—

(15A) “Relevant risk management authority”, in relation to a rivers
15authority (or proposed rivers authority), means a risk
management authority—

(a) for an area all or part of which falls within the area of the
rivers authority (or proposed rivers authority), or

(b) which exercises functions in relation to the area of the
20rivers authority (or proposed rivers authority).”

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(3) After section 21 (and before the italic heading before section 22) insert—

“3A Rivers authorities

21A Power to establish rivers authority

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations establish a rivers authority as
5a body corporate.

(2) A rivers authority has the functions conferred on such authorities by or
under this Act or by or under any other enactment.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) must specify the area for which the
rivers authority is established, and that area must meet the following
10conditions.

(4) The first condition is that the area consists of the whole of one or more
local government areas in England.

(5) “Local government area” means the area of—

(a) a county council,

(b) 15a district council,

(c) a London borough council,

(d) the Common Council of the City of London, or

(e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

(6) The second condition is that no part of the area forms part of the area of
20another rivers authority.

(7) Schedule A1 makes provision about the procedure to be followed
before regulations are made under subsection (1).

21B Provision about initial period

(1) If the Secretary of State makes regulations under section 21A(1)
25establishing a rivers authority, the Secretary of State may by
regulations make provision about any of the following matters in
relation to the initial period—

(a) the composition of the rivers authority (including its members,
staff, committees and sub-committees);

(b) 30the proceedings of the rivers authority;

(c) the functions of the rivers authority;

(d) the funding of the rivers authority.

(2) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(d) includes, in
particular, provision for the rivers authority’s costs for the initial period
35to be met by one or more relevant risk management authorities.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) may provide—

(a) for provision to which subsection (4) applies not to apply in
relation to the rivers authority for the initial period;

(b) for such provision to apply with modifications in relation to the
40rivers authority for that period.

(4) This subsection applies to provision which—

(a) is made by or under this Act or any other Act, and

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(b) applies in relation to the rivers authority (or would apply in
relation to the rivers authority in the absence of the regulations).

(5) In this section “the initial period” means the period which—

(a) begins with the day on which the rivers authority is established,
5and

(b) ends with the following 31 March.

21C Composition of rivers authority

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the
composition of a rivers authority, including provision—

(a) 10about the number of members of the authority;

(b) about eligibility for appointment as a member;

(c) about how or by whom members are to be appointed;

(d) about disqualification for being appointed as or continuing as a
member;

(e) 15for the appointment of a member of the authority as its chair.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the
payment of remuneration, expenses, allowances or gratuities to the
chair of a rivers authority or its other members.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about—

(a) 20the appointment of staff by a rivers authority;

(b) the payment of remuneration or expenses to the staff of the
authority;

(c) the payment of pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in
respect of persons who are or have been members of the
25authority’s staff;

(d) the payment of amounts towards provision for the payment of
pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of persons
who are or have been members of the authority’s staff.

(4) A rivers authority—

(a) 30must make arrangements for the proper administration of its
financial affairs, and

(b) must secure that one of its members of staff has responsibility
for the administration of those affairs.

(5) Section 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 applies to the
35person mentioned in subsection (4)(b) as it applies to the persons
having responsibility for the administration of financial affairs
mentioned in that section (and see further sections 114 to 116 of that Act
on the other functions of that person).

(6) Subsection (7) applies if the Secretary of State makes regulations under
40section 21A(1) establishing a rivers authority.

(7) The Secretary of State must make regulations providing for the rivers
authority to have a committee with sole responsibility for making the
calculations in relation to the authority required by section 42A of the
Local Government Finance Act 1992 (council tax requirement) for each
45financial year.

(8) The Secretary of State may by regulations make—

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage BillPage 4

(a) further provision about the committee mentioned in subsection
(7);

(b) provision for a rivers authority to have other committees;

(c) provision for a rivers authority to have sub-committees.

(9) 5This includes provision—

(a) about the composition of a committee or sub-committee;

(b) for a person who is not a member of the rivers authority to be a
member of a committee or sub-committee of the authority;

(c) for a person who is not a member of a committee of a rivers
10authority to be a member of a sub-committee of the authority;

(d) about the rights of members of a committee or sub-committee to
vote on questions which fall to be decided at meetings of the
committee or sub-committee;

(e) about the functions of a committee or sub-committee.

(10) 15The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the
delegation of functions—

(a) by a rivers authority to a member, committee, sub-committee or
member of staff of the authority;

(b) by a committee of a rivers authority to a sub-committee of the
20authority.

(11) “Financial year” means a period of 12 months beginning with 1 April.

21D Proceedings of rivers authority

(1) The provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 mentioned in
subsection (2) apply—

(a) 25in relation to a rivers authority as they apply in relation to a
principal council or a local authority,

(b) in relation to a committee of a rivers authority as they apply in
relation to a committee of a principal council or a local
authority, and

(c) 30in relation to a sub-committee of a rivers authority as they apply
in relation to a sub-committee of a principal council or a local
authority.

(2) Those provisions are—

(a) section 100A (admission to meetings of principal councils);

(b) 35section 100B (access to agenda and connected reports);

(c) section 100C (inspection of minutes and other documents after
meetings);

(d) section 100D (inspection of background papers);

(e) section 100E (application to committees and sub-committees);

(f) 40section 100H (supplemental provisions and offences);

(g) section 100I (exempt information and power to vary Schedule
12A);

(h) section 100K (interpretation and application of Part 5A);

(i) section 104(1) (disqualification for membership of committees
45and joint committees);

(j) section 106 (standing orders relating to committees and sub-
committees);

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage BillPage 5

(k) section 270(3) (proper officer of local authority), to the extent
that it has effect for the purposes of any other provision
mentioned in this subsection;

(l) paragraphs 39 to 45 of Schedule 12 (other provisions about
5meetings and proceedings of local authorities);

(m) Parts 1 to 3 of Schedule 12A (access to information: exempt
information).

(3) In its application in relation to a rivers authority by virtue of subsection
(1), section 100E of the Local Government Act 1972 has effect as if
10subsection (3) were omitted.

(4) In its application in relation to a rivers authority by virtue of subsection
(1), section 104(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 has effect as if—

(a) the reference to a person who is disqualified under Part 5 of that
Act for being elected as or being a member of a local authority
15were a reference to a person who is disqualified under
regulations under section 21C(1)(d) for being appointed as or
continuing as a member of a rivers authority, and

(b) the reference to a committee appointed under Part 6 of that Act
or another enactment were to a committee appointed under
20regulations under section 21C.

(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make further provision about
the proceedings of a rivers authority or any of its committees or sub-
committees.

21E Main functions of rivers authority

(1) 25A rivers authority must, before the beginning of each financial year,
prepare and publish a plan of the activities proposed to be carried out
in its area in the financial year by relevant risk management authorities
in the exercise of their flood risk management functions.

(2) Subsection (3) applies if, having prepared a plan under subsection (1)
30for a financial year, a rivers authority thinks that there are
opportunities for cooperation between relevant risk management
authorities in carrying on the activities identified in the plan.

(3) The rivers authority may advise those authorities of those
opportunities for cooperation.

(4) 35In subsections (2) and (3) the references to opportunities for
cooperation between relevant risk management authorities include in
particular—

(a) the joint exercise of functions by those authorities, and

(b) the making of arrangements under section 13(4) for one of those
40authorities to carry on activities on behalf of another.

(5) A rivers authority must, before the beginning of each financial year,
consider whether there are any activities which—

(a) could be carried on in the rivers authority’s area in the financial
year by a relevant risk management authority in the exercise of
45its flood risk management functions,

(b) are not proposed to be carried on in that financial year by that
relevant risk management authority (or are only proposed to be

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carried on by that authority if funded in whole or in part under
subsection (8)(a)), and

(c) the rivers authority thinks should be carried on in that financial
year.

(6) 5If the rivers authority determines that, in relation to a financial year,
there are no activities to which paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5)
apply, it must publish a statement to that effect together with the
reasons for its determination.

(7) If the rivers authority determines that, in relation to a financial year,
10there are activities to which paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5)
apply, it must prepare and publish a plan which—

(a) identifies those activities, and

(b) specifies whether and how the authority proposes to exercise its
powers under subsection (8) in relation to those activities.

(8) 15The rivers authority may do either or both of the following—

(a) make payments to the relevant risk management authority to
cover all or part of the costs of the activities;

(b) carry on any of the activities itself on behalf of the relevant risk
management authority, if an arrangement is made under
20section 13(4) with that authority for it to do so.

(9) A statement under subsection (6) or a plan under subsection (7) must
be published by the rivers authority as soon as reasonably practicable
after the authority issues its precept for the financial year in accordance
with section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (issue of
25council tax precepts by major precepting authorities).

(10) A plan or statement required by this section to be published by a rivers
authority may be published by the authority in such manner as it thinks
appropriate for bringing the plan or statement to the attention of
persons who live in its area and other interested parties.

(11) 30A rivers authority must notify each of the following as soon as
reasonably practicable after publishing a plan or statement under this
section—

(a) the relevant risk management authorities;

(b) Natural England;

(c) 35the Secretary of State.

21F Incidental functions of rivers authority

(1) A rivers authority may do anything that is calculated to facilitate, or is
conducive or incidental to, the carrying out of its functions.

(2) This includes in particular power to—

(a) 40enter into contracts and other agreements;

(b) acquire and dispose of property (including land).

21G National framework for rivers authority

(1) The Secretary of State must prepare and publish a national framework
for rivers authorities.

(2) 45The framework—

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage BillPage 7

(a) must set out priorities and objectives for rivers authorities in
connection with the exercise of their functions,

(b) may contain guidance to rivers authorities in connection with
the exercise of any of their functions;

(c) 5may require rivers authorities to prepare statements or returns
of a kind specified in the framework;

(d) may require rivers authorities to publish such statements or
returns or to submit them to the Secretary of State in accordance
with the framework;

(e) 10may contain any other matter relating to rivers authorities or
their functions that the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(3) The Secretary of State must keep the national framework for rivers
authorities under review and may from time to time make revisions to
it.

(4) 15Rivers authorities must—

(a) comply with any requirements or prohibitions contained in the
framework, and

(b) otherwise have regard to the framework in exercising their
functions.

21H 20Changes to rivers authority’s area

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations change the boundaries of a
rivers authority’s area by—

(a) adding a local government area to an existing area of a rivers
authority, or

(b) 25removing a local government area from an existing area of a
rivers authority.

(2) No part of the area created by regulations under subsection (1) may
form part of the area of another rivers authority.

(3) The Secretary of State may make regulations under subsection (1) only
30if—

(a) a relevant risk management authority other than the rivers
authority has submitted a proposal for the regulations to be
made, or

(b) the Secretary of State thinks that it is necessary to do so in
35consequence of an order under Part 1 of the Local Government
and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

21I Winding up of rivers authority

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the
abolition of a rivers authority.

(2) 40The provision that may be made by regulations under subsection (1)
includes, in particular—

(a) provision for the transfer of property, rights and liabilities of the
rivers authority (including rights and liabilities under a contract
of employment) to a specified person;

(b) 45provision about—

(i) the disposal of assets held by the rivers authority;

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage BillPage 8

(ii) the making, by the rivers authority or a specified person,
of payments to persons who cease to be members of the
rivers authority on its dissolution;

(iii) the termination of the contracts of employment of staff
5of the rivers authority and the payment of compensation
for their loss of employment;

(iv) the treatment of any surplus funds of the rivers
authority, including provisions for such funds to be
paid to the Secretary of State.

(3) 10The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(a)
includes in particular provision for the transfer of—

(a) property, rights and liabilities which could not otherwise be
transferred;

(b) property acquired, and rights and liabilities arising, after the
15regulations come into force;

(c) criminal liabilities.

(4) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(a)
includes in particular—

(a) provision which creates rights, or imposes liabilities, in relation
20to property or rights transferred;

(b) provision about the continuing effect of things done by the
transferor in respect of anything transferred;

(c) provision about the continuation of things (including legal
proceedings) in the process of being done by, on behalf of or in
25relation to the transferor in respect of anything transferred;

(d) provision for references to the transferor in an instrument or
other document in respect of anything transferred to be treated
as references to the transferee;

(e) provision for the shared ownership or use of property.

(5) 30In this section “specified” means specified in regulations under
subsection (1).

21J Further provision about regulations relating to rivers authorities

(1) Subsections (2) and (3) apply to regulations made under any of the
following provisions—

(a) 35section 21A(1) (power to establish rivers authority);

(b) section 21B(1) (provision about initial period);

(c) section 21C (composition of rivers authority);

(d) section 21D(5) (proceedings of rivers authority);

(e) section 21H(1) (changes to rivers authority’s area);

(f) 40section 21I(1) (winding up of rivers authority).

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations to which this subsection
applies may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(3) If a draft of an instrument containing regulations to which this
45subsection applies would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the
purposes of the standing orders of either House of Parliament as a
hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in that House as if it were not a
hybrid instrument.

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(4) Subsection (5) applies to—

(a) regulations under section 21B(1), 21C or 21D(5) relating to a
rivers authority which are not contained in the same instrument
as regulations under section 21A(1), and

(b) 5regulations under section 21H(1) or 21I(1) relating to a rivers
authority.

(5) Before making regulations to which this subsection applies, the
Secretary of State must consult—

(a) the rivers authority,

(b) 10the relevant risk management authorities in relation to the
rivers authority,

(c) Natural England,

(d) persons liable to pay council tax in respect of dwellings (within
the meaning of the Local Government Finance Act 1992)
15within—

(i) the area of the rivers authority, and

(ii) in the case of regulations under section 21H(1)(a), the
local government area to be added to the area of the
rivers authority,

(e) 20the persons whom the Secretary of State thinks would be
affected by the regulations (if not covered by paragraphs (a) to
(d)), and

(f) such other persons as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.”

(4) Schedule 2 contains amendments consequential on this section.

25Expenses of internal drainage boards

2 Valuation of other land in drainage district

(1) Section 37 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 (apportionment of internal drainage
board’s drainage expenses) is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to
(4).

(2) 30In subsection (5), in the words before paragraph (a), after “shall” insert “,
subject to subsections (5ZA) and (5A) below,”.

(3) After subsection (5) insert—

(5ZA) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the value
of other land in an English internal drainage district to be determined
35in accordance with the regulations.

(5ZB) The provision that may be made under subsection (5ZA) includes, in
particular, provision—

(a) about methods to be applied, or factors to be taken into account,
in determining the value of land;

(b) 40for the value of land to be determined on the basis of estimates,
assumptions or averages;

(c) for the value of land to be determined by reference to such time
or times as may be specified in the regulations;