Session 2010 - 11
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Localism Bill


Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 2 — Fire and rescue authorities

8

 

(4)   

The Secretary of State may by order provide for the exercise by relevant

fire and rescue authorities of power conferred by section 5A(1) to be

subject to conditions, whether generally or in relation to doing

anything specified, or of a description specified, in the order.

(5)   

The power under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) may be exercised in

5

relation to—

(a)   

all relevant fire and rescue authorities,

(b)   

particular relevant fire and rescue authorities, or

(c)   

particular descriptions of relevant fire and rescue authorities.

(6)   

Before making an order under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) the Secretary

10

of State must (whether before or after the passing of the Localism Act

2011) consult—

(a)   

such relevant fire and rescue authorities,

(b)   

such representatives of relevant fire and rescue authorities, and

(c)   

such other persons (if any),

15

   

as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(7)   

In this section “relevant fire and rescue authority” has the meaning

given by section 5A(3).

5D      

Procedure for orders under section 5C

(1)   

If, as a result of any consultation required by section 5C(6) with respect

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to a proposed order under section 5C(1), it appears to the Secretary of

State that it is appropriate to change the whole or any part of the

Secretary of State’s proposals, the Secretary of State must (whether

before or after the passing of the Localism Act 2011) undertake such

further consultation with respect to the changes as the Secretary of State

25

considers appropriate.

(2)   

If, after the conclusion of the consultation required by section 5C(6) and

subsection (1), the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to proceed

with the making of an order under section 5C(1), the Secretary of State

must lay before Parliament—

30

(a)   

a draft of the order, and

(b)   

an explanatory document explaining the proposals and giving

details of—

(i)   

any consultation undertaken under section 5C(6) and

subsection (1),

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(ii)   

any representations received as a result of the

consultation, and

(iii)   

the changes (if any) made as a result of those

representations.

(3)   

Sections 15 to 19 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006

40

(choosing between negative, affirmative and super-affirmative

parliamentary procedure) are to apply in relation to an explanatory

document and draft order laid under subsection (2) but as if—

(a)   

section 18(11) of that Act were omitted,

(b)   

references to section 14 of that Act were references to subsection

45

(2), and

(c)   

references to the Minister were references to the Secretary of

State.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 2 — Fire and rescue authorities

9

 

(4)   

Provision under section 5C(2) may be included in a draft order laid

under subsection (2) and, if it is, the explanatory document laid with

the draft order must also explain the proposals under section 5C(2) and

give details of any consultation undertaken under section 5C(5) with

respect to those proposals.

5

(5)   

Section 5C(6) does not apply to an order under section 5C(3) or (4)

which is made only for the purpose of amending an earlier such

order—

(a)   

so as to extend the earlier order, or any provision of the earlier

order, to a particular authority or to authorities of a particular

10

description, or

(b)   

so that the earlier order, or any provision of the earlier order,

ceases to apply to a particular authority or to authorities of a

particular description.”

(2)   

In section 5 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (power of combined fire

15

and rescue authorities corresponding to the power under section 111 of the

Local Government Act 1972)—

(a)   

in subsection (1) after “authority” insert “in Wales”, and

(b)   

in the heading after “authorities” insert “in Wales”.

(3)   

In section 60(4) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (orders and

20

regulations subject to affirmative procedure) for “subordinate legislation

which amends or repeals any Act or provision of an Act may” substitute “—

(a)   

an order under section 5C(3), other than one that is made only

for the purpose mentioned in section 5D(5),

(b)   

an order under section 5C(4), other than one that is made only

25

for that purpose or for imposing conditions on the doing of

things for a commercial purpose, or

(c)   

subordinate legislation which amends or repeals any Act or

provision of an Act,

   

may”.

30

(4)   

In section 60(5) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (orders and

regulations subject to negative procedure) for “apart from an order under

section 30 or 61, is” substitute “apart from—

(a)   

an order under section 5C(1),

(b)   

an order under section 5C(2) that is made in accordance with

35

sections 15 to 19 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act

2006 as applied by section 5D(3), or

(c)   

an order under section 30 or 61,

   

is”.

(5)   

In section 146A of the Local Government Act 1972 (application of provisions to

40

certain joint and other authorities)—

(a)   

in subsection (1) after “Subject to subsections (1ZA), (1ZB)” insert

“, (1ZC)”, and

(b)   

after subsection (1ZB) insert—

“(1ZC)   

Neither a metropolitan county fire and rescue authority, nor the

45

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, is to be

treated as a local authority for the purposes of section 111 above

(but see section 5A of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004).”

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 2 — Fire and rescue authorities

10

 

9       

Fire and rescue authorities: charging

(1)   

The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 is amended as follows.

(2)   

After section 18 insert—

“18A    

Charging by authorities in England

(1)   

A fire and rescue authority in England may charge a person for any

5

action taken by the authority—

(a)   

in the United Kingdom or at sea or under the sea, and

(b)   

otherwise than for a commercial purpose,

   

but this is subject to the provisions of this section and section 18B.

(2)   

Subsection (1) authorises a charge to be imposed on, or recovered from,

10

a person other than the person in respect of whom action is taken by the

authority.

(3)   

Before a fire and rescue authority begins to charge under subsection (1)

or section 5A(1)(e) for taking action of a particular description, the

authority must consult any persons the authority considers

15

appropriate.

(4)   

If a fire and rescue authority decides to charge under subsection (1) for

taking action of a particular description—

(a)   

the amount of the charge is to be set by the authority;

(b)   

the authority may charge different amounts in different

20

circumstances (and may charge nothing).

(5)   

In setting the amount of a charge under subsection (1), a fire and rescue

authority must secure that, taking one financial year with another, the

authority’s income from charges does not exceed the cost to the

authority of taking the action for which the charges are imposed.

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(6)   

The duty under subsection (5) applies separately in relation to each

kind of action.

(7)   

The references in subsection (1) to “sea” are not restricted to the

territorial sea of the United Kingdom.

(8)   

In subsection (5) “financial year” means 12 months ending with 31

30

March.

18B     

Limits on charging under section 18A(1)

(1)   

Section 18A(1) authorises charging for extinguishing fires, or protecting

life and property in the event of fires, only in respect of fires which are

at sea or under the sea.

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(2)   

Section 18A(1) does not authorise charging for emergency medical

assistance.

(3)   

Section 18A(1) authorises charging for action taken in response to a

report of a fire or explosion only if section 18C applies to the report.

(4)   

Section 18A(1) does not authorise charging for rescuing individuals, or

40

protecting individuals from serious harm, in the event of an

emergency.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 2 — Fire and rescue authorities

11

 

(5)   

Section 18A(1) does not authorise charging for action taken in response

to—

(a)   

emergencies resulting from events of widespread significance,

(b)   

emergencies which have occurred as a direct result of severe

weather, or

5

(c)   

emergencies resulting from road traffic accidents.

(6)   

Section 18A(1) does not authorise charging for action taken by a fire

and rescue authority in its capacity as an enforcing authority for the

purposes of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/

1541).

10

(7)   

Nothing in subsections (1) to (6)—

(a)   

applies to charges for providing under section 12 the services of

any persons or any equipment,

(b)   

affects the operation of section 13(3) or 16(3), or

(c)   

affects any provision for payments to a fire and rescue authority

15

in England contained in arrangements for co-operation made

between that authority and—

(i)   

a public authority that is not a fire and rescue authority,

or

(ii)   

any person, other than a public authority, who exercises

20

public functions.

(8)   

The Secretary of State may by order disapply subsection 18A(1) in

relation to actions of a particular kind.

(9)   

The power under subsection (8) includes power to disapply for a

particular period.

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18C     

Cases where a charge may be made for responding to report of fire etc

(1)   

This section applies for the purposes of section 18B(3).

(2)   

This section applies to a report of fire, or explosion, at sea or under the

sea.

(3)   

This section applies to a report of fire if—

30

(a)   

the report is of fire at premises that are not domestic premises,

(b)   

the report is false,

(c)   

the report is made as a direct or indirect result of warning

equipment having malfunctioned or been misinstalled, and

(d)   

there is a persistent problem with false reports of fire at the

35

premises that are made as a direct or indirect result of warning

equipment under common control having malfunctioned or

been misinstalled.

(4)   

This section applies to a report of fire if—

(a)   

the report is of fire at domestic premises,

40

(b)   

the report is false,

(c)   

the report is made as a direct or indirect result of warning

equipment having malfunctioned or been misinstalled,

(d)   

the report is made without human intervention or, where the

report is relayed through one or more intermediaries, the report

45

is initially made without human intervention, and

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 3 — Governance

12

 

(e)   

there is a persistent problem with false reports of fire at the

premises that are made as mentioned in paragraphs (c) and (d).

(5)   

The references in subsection (2) to “sea” are not restricted to the

territorial sea of the United Kingdom.

(6)   

In this section—

5

“domestic premises” means premises occupied as a private

dwelling (including any garden, yard, garage, outhouse or

other appurtenance of such premises which is not used in

common by the occupants of more than one such dwelling);

“warning equipment” means equipment installed for the purpose

10

of—

(a)   

detecting fire, or

(b)   

raising the alarm, or enabling the alarm to be raised, in

the event of fire.”

(3)   

In section 19 (charging)—

15

(a)   

in subsection (1) (power to authorise authorities to charge) after “fire

and rescue authority” insert “in Wales”, and

(b)   

in the heading after “Charging” insert “by authorities in Wales”.

(4)   

Where immediately before the coming into force of subsections (1) to (3) an

order under section 19(1) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 authorises a

20

fire and rescue authority in England to charge for action of a specified

description taken by the authority, section 18A(3) of that Act does not apply in

relation to action of that description.

Chapter 3

Governance

25

10      

New arrangements with respect to governance of English local authorities

Schedule 2 (new Part 1A of, and Schedule A1 to, the Local Government Act

2000) has effect.

11      

New local authority governance arrangements: amendments

Schedule 3 (minor and consequential amendments relating to local authority

30

governance in England) has effect.

12      

Changes to local authority governance in England: transitional provision etc

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by order make such transitional, transitory or

saving provision as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in connection

with the coming into force of sections 10 and 11 and Schedules 2 and 3.

35

(2)   

An order under subsection (1) may, in particular, include any provision—

(a)   

relating to local authorities—

(i)   

ceasing to operate executive arrangements or alternative

arrangements under Part 2 of the Local Government Act 2000,

and

40

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 4 — Predetermination

13

 

(ii)   

starting to operate executive arrangements or a committee

system under Part 1A of that Act,

(b)   

as to whether, and how, anything done, or in the process of being done,

under any provision of Part 2 of that Act is to be deemed to have been

done, or be in the process of being done, under any provision of Part 1A

5

of that Act (whether generally or for specified purposes), or

(c)   

modifying the application of any provision of Chapter 4 of Part 1A of

that Act in relation to a change in governance arrangements by a local

authority within a specified period.

(3)   

The reference in subsection (2)(b) to things done includes a reference to things

10

omitted to be done.

(4)   

In this section—

“change in governance arrangements” has the meaning given by section

9OA of the Local Government Act 2000;

“local authority” means a county council in England, a district council or

15

a London borough council;

“specified” means specified in an order under this section.

Chapter 4

Predetermination

13      

Prior indications of view of a matter not to amount to predetermination etc

20

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies if—

(a)   

as a result of an allegation of bias or predetermination, or otherwise,

there is an issue about the validity of a decision of a relevant authority,

and

(b)   

it is relevant to that issue whether the decision-maker, or any of the

25

decision-makers, had or appeared to have had a closed mind (to any

extent) when making the decision.

(2)   

A decision-maker is not to be taken to have had, or to have appeared to have

had, a closed mind when making the decision just because—

(a)   

the decision-maker had previously done anything that directly or

30

indirectly indicated what view the decision-maker took, or would or

might take, in relation to a matter, and

(b)   

the matter was relevant to the decision.

(3)   

Subsection (2) applies in relation to a decision-maker only if that decision-

maker—

35

(a)   

is a member (whether elected or not) of the relevant authority, or

(b)   

is a co-opted member of that authority.

(4)   

In this section—

“co-opted member”, in relation to a relevant authority, means a person

who is not a member of the authority but who—

40

(a)   

is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the

authority, or

(b)   

is a member of, and represents the authority on, any joint

committee or joint sub-committee of the authority,

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 1 — Local Government
Chapter 5 — Standards

14

 

and who is entitled to vote on any question which falls to be decided at

any meeting of the committee or sub-committee;

“decision”, in relation to a relevant authority, means a decision made in

discharging functions of the authority, functions of the authority’s

executive, functions of a committee of the authority or functions of an

5

officer of the authority (including decisions made in the discharge of

any of those functions otherwise than by the person to whom the

function was originally given);

“elected mayor” has the meaning given by section 9H or 39 of the Local

Government Act 2000;

10

“member”—

(a)   

in relation to the Greater London Authority, means the Mayor

of London or a London Assembly member, and

(b)   

in relation to a county council, district council, county borough

council or London borough council, includes an elected mayor

15

of the council;

“relevant authority” means—

(a)   

a county council,

(b)   

a district council,

(c)   

a county borough council,

20

(d)   

a London borough Council,

(e)   

the Common Council of the City of London,

(f)   

the Greater London Authority,

(g)   

a National Park authority,

(h)   

the Broads Authority,

25

(i)   

the Council of the Isles of Scilly,

(j)   

a parish council, or

(k)   

a community council.

(5)   

This section applies only to decisions made after this section comes into force,

but the reference in subsection (2)(a) to anything previously done includes

30

things done before this section comes into force.

Chapter 5

Standards

14      

Amendments of existing provisions

Schedule 4 (which amends the existing provisions relating to the conduct of

35

local government members and employees in England and makes related

provision) has effect.

15      

Duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct

(1)   

A relevant authority must promote and maintain high standards of conduct by

members and co-opted members of the authority.

40

(2)   

In this Chapter “co-opted member”, in relation to a relevant authority, means

a person who is not a member of the authority but who—

(a)   

is a member of any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or

 
 

 
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Revised 11 March 2011