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Localism Bill


Localism Bill
Part 3 — Non-domestic rates etc

27

 

(5C)   

A 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

5

Welsh Ministers.”

(7)   

Before subsection (9) insert—

“(8A)   

This section does not apply where the hereditament is an excepted

hereditament.”

37      

Small business relief

10

(1)   

Section 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—

(a)   

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

(b)   

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

15

(3)   

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

(4)   

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

(a)   

after “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”

20

substitute “the application”, and

(c)   

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

38      

Cancellation 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

25

(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

in 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—

30

(a)   

the hereditament is shown for the day in a local non-domestic

rating list compiled on 1 April 2005, and

(b)   

it 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

35

chargeable day subject to the fulfilment of prescribed conditions.

(4)   

A prescribed condition may be—

(a)   

a condition to be fulfilled in relation to the hereditament,

(b)   

a condition to be fulfilled in relation to some other

hereditament, or

40

(c)   

some other condition.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 4 — Community empowerment
Chapter 1 — Local referendums

28

 

(5)   

The conditions that may be prescribed include, in particular—

(a)   

conditions 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

5

the first day from which an alteration had effect and ending

with 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.”

Part 4

10

Community empowerment

Chapter 1

Local referendums

Duty to hold local referendum

39      

Duty to hold local referendum

15

(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 40, and

(b)   

the authority determines in accordance with sections 43 and 44 that it is

20

appropriate to hold a local referendum.

(3)   

The second condition is that—

(a)   

one or more members of the authority makes a request that complies

with section 42,

(b)   

the authority determines in accordance with sections 43 and 44 that it is

25

appropriate to hold a local referendum, and

(c)   

the authority resolves in accordance with section 46 that the

referendum should be held.

(4)   

The third condition is that the authority passes a resolution that complies with

section 47.

30

(5)   

In this Chapter “principal local authority” means—

(a)   

a county council in England;

(b)   

a district council;

(c)   

a London borough council;

(d)   

the Greater London Authority;

35

(e)   

the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local

authority;

(f)   

the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 4 — Community empowerment
Chapter 1 — Local referendums

29

 

Triggers for local referendum

40      

Petition for local referendum

(1)   

A petition complies with this section if—

(a)   

it requests the principal local authority to hold a local referendum in a

relevant area of that authority,

5

(b)   

it is duly signed by the required percentage of local government

electors in that area, taken as a whole (see section 41), and

(c)   

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

10

to be treated as complying with this section even though it is not duly signed

by the required percentage of local government electors in the area to which it

relates.

(3)   

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

(a)   

the person dates the signature,

15

(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)   

the 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

20

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)   

references 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;

25

(b)   

references in this Chapter to the date on which the petition is received

by the authority is to such date after the petition is opened for signature

as is determined in accordance with those specifications.

(6)   

Specifications under subsection (5) must be published in such manner as the

authority thinks fit.

30

(7)   

In this Chapter “relevant area”, in relation to a principal local authority,

means—

(a)   

the 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—

35

(i)   

a single electoral area, or

(ii)   

two or more electoral areas, each of which adjoins at least one

other electoral area in the part.

(8)   

In section 10 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and

Construction Act 2009 after subsection (2) insert—

40

“(2A)   

This section does not apply to a petition under section 40 of the

Localism Act 2011 (petitions for local referendums).”

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 4 — Community empowerment
Chapter 1 — Local referendums

30

 

41      

The required percentage

(1)   

Subject as follows “the required percentage” in section 40(1)(b) means 5%.

(2)   

The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) to specify a higher or

lower percentage than the percentage for the time being specified in that

subsection.

5

42      

Request for referendum

(1)   

A request to a principal local authority complies with this section if—

(a)   

it requests the principal local authority to hold a local referendum in a

relevant area of that authority,

(b)   

each member who requests the local referendum is a member for an

10

electoral area in that relevant area,

(c)   

in the case of an electoral area with more than one member, all of the

members or a majority of the members for the area make the request,

(d)   

the request is made to the proper officer of the authority, and

(e)   

the request is in writing and dated, and states the question that the

15

members want to be asked in the referendum.

(2)   

A member of the Greater London Authority may not request a referendum

under this section.

43      

Duty to determine appropriateness of referendum

(1)   

This section applies if—

20

(a)   

a principal local authority receives a petition that complies with section

40, or

(b)   

a principal local authority receives a request that complies with section

42.

(2)   

The principal local authority must determine whether it is appropriate to hold

25

a local referendum in response to the petition or request.

(3)   

But subsection (2) does not apply to a petition or request if—

(a)   

it is received by a district council whose area is part of the area of a

county council, and

(b)   

the district council thinks the question stated in the petition or request

30

relates (in whole or in part) to the functions of a partner authority of the

county council other than the district council.

(4)   

In such a case—

(a)   

the district council must refer the petition or request to the county

council,

35

(b)   

the county council must consider a petition so referred as if it had

received it from the petitioners,

(c)   

the county council must consider a request so referred as if it had been

made to the county council in accordance with section 42, and

(d)   

any provision of this Chapter which requires a period to be calculated

40

by reference to the date of receipt of the petition or request has effect as

if it referred to the date on which the petition or request is received by

the county council.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 4 — Community empowerment
Chapter 1 — Local referendums

31

 

(5)   

Subsection (4)(b) applies in relation to an electronic petition regardless of

whether an electronic petition, or an electronic petition in that form, could have

been made to the county council.

44      

Grounds for determination

(1)   

A principal local authority may only determine that it is not appropriate to

5

hold a local referendum in response to a petition or request on one or more of

the following grounds.

(2)   

The first ground is that 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.

10

(3)   

The second ground is that the authority thinks that the matter to which the

referendum question relates is not a local matter—

(a)   

over which the authority has an influence or (in the case of a principal

local authority other than a non-unitary district council or the Greater

London Authority) any of its partner authorities has an influence, or

15

(b)   

which affects the authority’s area or the inhabitants of that area.

(4)   

For the purposes of this Chapter—

(a)   

a matter is a “local matter” if—

(i)   

it relates to the economic, social or environmental well-being of

the area in which the referendum is proposed to be held, and

20

(ii)   

it has a particular connection with that area;

(b)   

a principal local authority or a partner 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.

(5)   

The Secretary of State may by order provide that a matter specified in the order

25

is not to be treated as a local matter to which paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection

(3) applies (whether or not it would otherwise be capable of being so treated).

(6)   

The third ground is that the referendum question relates to a matter specified

by order by the Secretary of State.

(7)   

The fourth ground is that the principal local authority thinks the petition or

30

request is vexatious or abusive.

(8)   

In this section “the referendum question” means—

(a)   

the question stated in the petition or request, or

(b)   

where the authority thinks that it is likely to exercise its power under

section 48(3) (substitution of question) if the local referendum takes

35

place, the question it thinks it is likely to substitute.

45      

Action following determination in response to petition

(1)   

Where a principal local authority has made a determination under section 43

as to whether it is appropriate to hold a local referendum in response to a

petition, it must—

40

(a)   

notify the petition organiser of the determination, and

(b)   

publish the determination in such manner as it thinks fit.

(2)   

The notification must be made in writing, but may not be made by means of an

electronic communication unless—

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 4 — Community empowerment
Chapter 1 — Local referendums

32

 

(a)   

the petition organiser has agreed to accept the notification by such

means, or

(b)   

the petition was made to the authority in electronic form.

(3)   

If the determination is that it is appropriate to hold the referendum, the

authority must make arrangements for the referendum to take place in

5

accordance with sections 48 to 51.

(4)   

If the determination is that it is not appropriate to hold the referendum—

(a)   

the notification must give the reasons for the determination, and

(b)   

subject to subsection (5), the authority must publish those reasons

when it publishes the determination.

10

(5)   

A principal local authority is not obliged to publish those reasons if it thinks

that in all the circumstances it would be inappropriate to do so.

(6)   

In this Chapter “petition organiser”, in relation to a petition, means—

(a)   

the person designated in the petition as the person with whom the

authority may deal in relation to the petition, or

15

(b)   

the person appearing to the authority to be the person with whom it

may deal in relation to the petition.

46      

Action following determination in response to request

(1)   

Where a principal local authority has made a determination under section 43

as to whether it is appropriate to hold a local referendum in response to a

20

request, it must publish the determination in such manner as it thinks fit.

(2)   

If the determination is that it is appropriate to hold the referendum, the proper

officer of the authority must arrange for a meeting to decide on a resolution

that the referendum should be held.

(3)   

The meeting must be held as soon as is reasonably practicable after the

25

determination is made.

(4)   

If the authority resolves at the meeting that the referendum should be held, it

must make arrangements for the referendum to take place in accordance with

sections 48 to 51.

(5)   

Subject to subsection (6), if the determination is that it is not appropriate to

30

hold the referendum, the authority must publish the reasons for the

determination when it publishes the determination.

(6)   

A principal local authority is not obliged to publish those reasons if it thinks

that in all the circumstances it would be inappropriate to do so

47      

Resolution for local referendum

35

(1)   

A resolution complies with this section if—

(a)   

it resolves that the principal local authority should hold a local

referendum throughout the area of that authority, and

(b)   

it states the question that is proposed be asked in the referendum.

(2)   

If the authority passes a resolution that complies with this section, it must

40

make arrangements for the referendum to take place in accordance with

sections 48 to 51.

 
 

 
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