Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Fourth Report

Appendix 3

Extract from further letter from the Clerk of the Committee to the Department for Education and Skills

There is, additionally, one point which has arisen as a result of closer examination of the responses to consultation, on which a response would be appreciated. The National Governor's Council (NGC) express concern in their response about the legal implications of taking on liability for items which are the subject of a considerable backlog of repairs. They point out that, from the date of implementation of the Order, governing bodies will take on not only financial responsibility, but also legal responsibility under, for example, health and safety and landlord and tenant legislation. Whilst the Department has made clear that the funding for any such backlog of work will be made available, nevertheless, as NGC point out, inevitably it will be some time before the work can actually be carried out. It is conceivable, therefore, that governing bodies could, in extremis, find themselves being sued for damages as a result of a failure to undertake essential work which ought to have been done whilst the item was the responsibility of the LEA and which the governing body has not yet had time to carry out. The situation could also apply conversely, where the LEA finds itself having to ensure the undertaking of essential work which was previously the responsibility of the governing body. The Committee would be grateful for the Department's response to NGC's concerns.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 5 February 2002