Session 2010 - 11
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Localism Bill


Localism Bill
Schedule 4 — Conduct of local government members
Part 2 — Provision supplementary to Part 1

243

 

Part 2

Provision supplementary to Part 1

Codes of conduct under the Local Government Act 2000

55    (1)  

A code of conduct adopted by a relevant authority (within the meaning of

this Part of this Act) ceases to have effect.

5

      (2)  

An undertaking to comply with a code of conduct given by a person under

section 52 of the Local Government Act 2000 or as part of a declaration of

acceptance of office in a form prescribed by order under section 83 of the

Local Government Act 1972 ceases to have effect when the code ceases to

have effect.

10

      (3)  

In this paragraph “code of conduct” means a code of conduct under section

51 of the Local Government Act 2000 or a model code of conduct issued by

order under section 50(1) of that Act.

Power to make provision in connection with the abolition of Standards Board for England

56    (1)  

The Secretary of State may by order make provision in connection with the

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abolition of the Standards Board for England (“the Board”).

      (2)  

An order under this paragraph may make provision that has effect on or

before the abolition date.

      (3)  

An order under this paragraph may, in particular, make provision about the

property, rights and liabilities of the Board (including rights and liabilities

20

relating to contracts of employment).

      (4)  

This includes—

(a)   

provision for the transfer of property, rights and liabilities (including

to the Secretary of State), and

(b)   

provision for the extinguishment of rights and liabilities.

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      (5)  

An order under this paragraph that makes provision for the transfer of

property, rights and liabilities may—

(a)   

make provision for certificates issued by the Secretary of State to be

conclusive evidence that property has been transferred;

(b)   

make provision about the transfer of property, rights and liabilities

30

that could not otherwise be transferred;

(c)   

make provision about the continuation of things (including legal

proceedings) in the process of being done by, on behalf of or in

relation to the Board in respect of anything transferred;

(d)   

make provision for references to the Board in an instrument or

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document in respect of anything transferred to be treated as

references to the transferee.

      (6)  

An order under this paragraph may—

(a)   

make provision about the continuing effect of things done by or in

relation to the Board before such date as the order may specify;

40

(b)   

make provision about the continuation of things (including legal

proceedings) in the process of being done by, on behalf of or in

relation to the Board on such a date;

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 4 — Conduct of local government members
Part 2 — Provision supplementary to Part 1

244

 

(c)   

make provision for references to the Board in an instrument or

document to be treated on and after such a date as references to such

person as the order may specify;

(d)   

make provision for the payment of compensation by the Secretary of

State to persons affected by the provisions it makes about the

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property, rights and liabilities of the Board.

Power to give directions in connection with the abolition of Standards Board for England

57    (1)  

The Secretary of State may direct the Board to take such steps as the

Secretary of State may specify in connection with the abolition of the Board.

      (2)  

The Secretary of State may, in particular give directions to the Board about

10

information held by the Board, including—

(a)   

directions requiring information to be transferred to another person

(including to the Secretary of State);

(b)   

directions requiring information to be destroyed or made

inaccessible.

15

      (3)  

The Secretary of State may make available to the Board such facilities as the

Board may reasonably require for exercising its functions by virtue of this

Part of this Schedule.

      (4)  

The Secretary of State may exercise a function of the Board for the purposes

of taking steps in connection with its abolition (including functions by virtue

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of an order under paragraph 56).

      (5)  

Sub-paragraph (4) does not prevent the exercise of the function by the Board.

      (6)  

In the case of a duty of the Board, sub-paragraph (4) permits the Secretary of

State to comply with that duty on behalf of the Board but does not oblige the

Secretary of State to do so.

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Final statement of accounts

58    (1)  

As soon as is reasonably practicable after the abolition date, the Secretary of

State must prepare—

(a)   

a statement of the accounts of the Board for the last financial year to

end before the abolition date, and

30

(b)   

a statement of the accounts of the Board for the period (if any)

beginning immediately before the end of that financial year and

ending immediately before the abolition date.

      (2)  

The Secretary of State must, as soon as is reasonably practicable after

preparing a statement under this paragraph, send a copy of it to the

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Comptroller and Auditor General.

      (3)  

The Comptroller and Auditor General must—

(a)   

examine, certify and report on the statement, and

(b)   

lay a copy of the statement and the report before each House of

Parliament.

40

      (4)  

Sub-paragraph (1)(a) does not apply if the Board has already sent a copy of

its statement of accounts for the year to the Comptroller and Auditor

General.

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 5 — New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

245

 

      (5)  

In such a case the repeal of paragraph 13(4B) of Schedule 4 to the Local

Government Act 2000 does not remove the obligation of the Comptroller

and Auditor General to take the steps specified in that provision in relation

to the statement of accounts if the Comptroller has not already done so.

Disclosure of information

5

59    (1)  

Section 63 of the Local Government Act 2000 applies in relation to

information obtained by a person who is exercising a function of the Board

by virtue of paragraph 57(4) as it applies to information obtained by an

ethical standards officer.

      (2)  

That section has effect (in relation to information to which it applies apart

10

from sub-paragraph (1) as well as to information to which it applies by

virtue of that sub-paragraph) as if it permitted the disclosure of information

for the purposes of the abolition of the Board.

      (3)  

The repeal by Part 1 of that section, or of any provision by virtue of which it

is applied to information obtained other than by ethical standards officers,

15

does not affect its continuing effect in relation to information to which it

applied before its repeal (including by virtue of this paragraph).

Interpretation

60         

In this Part of this Schedule—

“the abolition date” means the date on which paragraphs 16 and 52

20

(repeal of section 57 of and Schedule 4 to the Local Government Act

2000) come fully into force;

“the Board” has the meaning given by paragraph 56(1);

“financial year” means the period of 12 months ending with 31st March

in any year.

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Schedule 5

Section 56

 

New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

           

This is the Chapter referred to in section 56(1)—

“Chapter 4ZA

Referendums relating to council tax increases

30

Interpretation of Chapter

52ZA    

Interpretation of Chapter

(1)   

In this Chapter—

(a)   

a reference to a billing authority is to a billing authority in

England,

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(b)   

a reference to a major precepting authority is to a major

precepting authority in England, and

(c)   

a reference to a local precepting authority is to a local

precepting authority in England.

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 5 — New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

246

 

(2)   

In this Chapter—

(a)   

a reference to an authority is to an authority of a kind

mentioned in subsection (1) above;

(b)   

a reference to a precepting authority is to an authority of a

kind mentioned in subsection (1)(b) or (c) above.

5

(3)   

Section 52ZX defines references in this Chapter to an authority’s

relevant basic amount of council tax.

Determination of whether increase excessive

52ZB    

Duty to determine whether council tax excessive

(1)   

A billing authority must determine whether its relevant basic

10

amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive.

(2)   

Sections 52ZF to 52ZI (duty to hold referendum etc in case of

excessive council tax increase by billing authority) apply where the

amount mentioned in subsection (1) is excessive.

(3)   

A major precepting authority must determine whether its relevant

15

basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive.

(4)   

Sections 52ZJ and 52ZK and 52ZN to 52ZP (duty to hold referendum

etc in case of excessive council tax increase by major precepting

authority) apply where an amount mentioned in subsection (3) is

excessive.

20

(5)   

A local precepting authority must determine whether its relevant

basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive.

(6)   

Sections 52ZL to 52ZP (duty to hold referendum etc in case of

excessive council tax increase by local precepting authority) apply

where the amount mentioned in subsection (5) is excessive.

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(7)   

A determination under this section for a financial year must be made

as soon as is reasonably practicable after principles under section

52ZC for that year are approved by a resolution of the House of

Commons under section 52ZD.

52ZC    

Determination of whether increase is excessive

30

(1)   

The question whether an authority’s relevant basic amount of

council tax for a financial year (“the year under consideration”) is

excessive must be decided in accordance with a set of principles

determined by the Secretary of State for the year.

(2)   

A set of principles—

35

(a)   

may contain one principle or two or more principles;

(b)   

must constitute or include a comparison falling within

subsection (3).

(3)   

A comparison falls within this subsection if it is between—

(a)   

the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the

40

year under consideration, and

(b)   

the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the

financial year immediately preceding the year under

consideration.

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 5 — New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

247

 

(4)   

If for the purposes of this section the Secretary of State determines

categories of authority for the year under consideration—

(a)   

any principles determined for the year must be such that the

same set is determined for all authorities (if more than one)

falling within the same category;

5

(b)   

as regards an authority which does not fall within any of the

categories, the authority’s relevant basic amount of council

tax for the year is not capable of being excessive for the

purposes of this Chapter.

(5)   

If the Secretary of State does not determine such categories, any

10

principles determined for the year under consideration must be such

that the same set is determined for all authorities.

(6)   

A principle that applies to the Greater London Authority and that

constitutes or includes a comparison falling within subsection (3)

may only provide for—

15

(a)   

a comparison between unadjusted relevant basic amounts of

council tax,

(b)   

a comparison between adjusted relevant basic amounts of

council tax, or

(c)   

a comparison within paragraph (a) and a comparison within

20

paragraph (b).

(7)   

In determining categories of authorities for the year under

consideration the Secretary of State must take into account any

information that the Secretary of State thinks is relevant.

52ZD    

Approval of principles

25

(1)   

The principles for a financial year must be set out in a report which

must be laid before the House of Commons.

(2)   

If a report for a financial year is not laid before the specified date or,

if so laid, is not approved by resolution of the House of Commons on

or before the specified date—

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(a)   

no principles have effect for that year, and

(b)   

accordingly, no authority’s relevant basic amount of council

tax for the year is capable of being excessive for the purposes

of this Chapter.

(3)   

If the Secretary of State does not propose to determine a set of

35

principles for a financial year, the Secretary of State must lay a report

before the House of Commons before the specified date giving the

Secretary of State’s reasons for not doing so.

(4)   

In this section “the specified date”, in relation to a financial year,

means the date on which the local government finance report for the

40

year under section 78A of the 1988 Act is approved by resolution of

the House of Commons.

52ZE    

Alternative notional amounts

(1)   

The Secretary of State may make a report specifying an alternative

notional amount in relation to any year under consideration and any

45

authority.

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 5 — New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

248

 

(2)   

An alternative notional amount is an amount which the Secretary of

State thinks should be used as the basis of any comparison in

applying section 52ZC in place of the authority’s relevant basic

amount of council tax for the preceding year.

(3)   

A report under this section—

5

(a)   

may relate to two or more authorities;

(b)   

may be amended by a subsequent report under this section;

(c)   

must contain such explanation as the Secretary of State thinks

desirable of the need for the calculation of the alternative

notional amount and the method for that calculation;

10

(d)   

must be laid before the House of Commons.

(4)   

Subsection (5) applies if a report under this section for a financial

year is approved by resolution of the House of Commons on or

before the date on which the report under section 52ZD for that year

is approved by resolution of the House of Commons.

15

(5)   

Section 52ZC above has effect, as regards the year under

consideration and any authority to which the report relates, as if the

reference in subsection (3) of that section to the authority’s relevant

basic amount of council tax for the financial year immediately

preceding the year under consideration were a reference to the

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alternative notional amount for that year.

(6)   

In this section “year under consideration” has the same meaning as

in section 52ZC.

Excessive increase in council tax by billing authority

52ZF    

Billing authority’s duty to make substitute calculations

25

(1)   

The billing authority must make substitute calculations for the

financial year in compliance with this section; but those calculations

do not have effect for the purposes of Chapter 3 above except in

accordance with sections 52ZH and 52ZI below.

(2)   

Substitute calculations for a financial year comply with this section

30

if—

(a)   

they are made in accordance with sections 31A, 31B and 34 to

36 above, ignoring section 31A(11) above for this purpose,

(b)   

the relevant basic amount of council tax produced by

applying section 52ZX below to the calculations is not

35

excessive by reference to the principles determined by the

Secretary of State under section 52ZC above for the year, and

(c)   

they are made in accordance with this section.

(3)   

In making the substitute calculations, the authority must—

(a)   

use the amount determined in the previous calculation for

40

the year under section 31A(3) above so far as relating to

amounts which the authority estimates it will accrue in the

year in respect of redistributed non-domestic rates, revenue

support grant, additional grant, special grant or (in the case

of the Common Council only) police grant, and

45

 
 

Localism Bill
Schedule 5 — New Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992

249

 

(b)   

use the amount determined in the previous calculation for

the year for item T in section 31B(1) above and (where

applicable) item TP in section 34(3) above.

(4)   

For the purposes of subsection (2) above the authority may treat any

amount determined in the previous calculation under section 31A(3)

5

above as increased by the amount of any sum which—

(a)   

it estimates it will accrue in the year in respect of additional

grant, and

(b)   

was not taken into account by it in making the previous

calculation.

10

52ZG    

Arrangements for referendum

(1)   

The billing authority must make arrangements to hold a referendum

in relation to the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for

the financial year in accordance with this section.

(2)   

Subject as follows, the referendum is to be held on a date decided by

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the billing authority.

(3)   

That date must be not later than—

(a)   

the first Thursday in May in the financial year, or

(b)   

such other date in that year as the Secretary of State may

specify by order.

20

(4)   

An order under subsection (3) must be made not later than—

(a)   

1st February in the financial year preceding the year

mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection, or

(b)   

in the case of an order affecting more than one financial year,

1st February in the financial year preceding the first of those

25

years.

(5)   

The persons entitled to vote in the referendum are those who, on the

day of the referendum—

(a)   

would be entitled to vote as electors at an election for

members for an electoral area of the billing authority, and

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(b)   

are registered in the register of local government electors at

an address within the billing authority’s area.

(6)   

In this section—

“electoral area” means—

(a)   

where the billing authority is a district council, a

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London borough council or the Common Council of

the City of London, a ward;

(b)   

where the billing authority is a county council, an

electoral division;

(c)   

where the billing authority is the Council of the Isles

40

of Scilly, a parish;

“register of local government electors” means—

(a)   

the register of local government electors kept in

accordance with the provisions of the Representation

of the People Acts, or

45

(b)   

in relation to the Common Council of the City of

London, a ward list published under section 7 of the

 
 

 
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