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Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The EC Landfill Directive (1993/31/EC) aims to prevent or reduce, so far as possible, negative effects on the environment from the landfilling of waste. The Directive requires Member States to meet recycling targets from 2010 through to 2020 and reduce the volume of biodegradable waste being sent to landfill.

4.District councils are responsible for the collection and disposal of waste and it is imperative that they meet the Landfill Directive targets to avoid possible infraction proceedings. To do so will require the construction of significant new waste facilities (e.g. Mechanical Biological Treatment plants, Energy from Waste facilities and other recycling measures). One of the options under consideration by councils involves the private sector building the facilities and providing recycling services to councils by means of Public Private Partnership (PPP)/Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts. At present, however, there are some doubts about the powers of councils to enter into such contracts.

5.The Act aims to clarify the powers of district councils to enter into long-term service contracts with the private sector and so remove any concerns contractors and financiers might have about such contracts.

6.

  • The Act provides additional powers to councils and certain joint committees in relation to the granting of joint and several liabilities, warranties and indemnities in connection with their waste management functions. It also enables councils and certain joint committees to acquire land otherwise than by agreement (i.e. to vest land) for waste management purposes.

7.The Act makes preliminary arrangements for the reorganisation of local government. It permits controls to be introduced in respect of specified financial activities of the 26 existing district councils in the period leading up to their dissolution and the establishment of the 11 new district councils as part of the reorganisation of local government. The aim is to ensure that the new councils are not constrained by being bound to long-term financial commitments entered into on their behalf by the existing councils. The Act enables the Department to introduce the system of controls by direction.

8.The Act enables the Department to make regulations to establish statutory transition committees for the purpose of preparing for, and giving full effect to, the reorganisation of local government.

9.The Act enables the Department to make regulations to provide for severance payments to be made to councillors who resign during a specified period.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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