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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Part Vii – the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

503.The present position is that the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority (LFCDA) is the fire authority for London. The LFCDA was established by section 27 of the Local Government Act 1985, which conferred on the LFCDA the functions of a fire authority and certain functions with respect to civil defence. The LFCDA is a "joint authority", and is comprised of one member of each of the constituent councils (the 32 London borough councils plus the Common Council).

Section 328: Reconstitution of the Fire etc. Authority

504.Section 328 will change the name of the LFCDA to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). It will continue in being, although it will have a different constitution under Schedule 28. The Act reflects the fact that the LFEPA is the same body as the LFCDA by referring to it as the “Fire etc Authority”. As it is the same body, the Act will not affect its property, rights and liabilities (including rights and liabilities under contracts of employment).

505.There are numerous provisions of primary and secondary legislation which apply to the LFCDA because it was established by Part IV of the Local Government Act 1985. Some provisions, for example, refer to a “joint authority” as a body established under Part IV of that Act. Others refer directly to bodies established under Part IV of that Act. This Act provides that any references of this nature must be taken as not referring to the LFEPA.

506.The new constitution of the LFEPA is set out in Schedule 28 to the Act. The LFEPA is to consist of 17 members, 9 of whom are to be members of the London Assembly appointed by the Mayor (known as the "Assembly representatives"). The other 8 members are to be members of the London borough councils including the Common Council (known as the "borough representatives"). These will be nominated by those councils and appointed by the Mayor.

507.In appointing the Assembly representatives, the Act requires that the Mayor should ensure that, so far as practicable, the political balance of the Assembly is reflected. The borough councils are required to nominate representatives to reflect, so far as practicable, the overall balance of parties on the councils. Members of the LFCDA will cease to hold office on the date of reconstitution.

508.LFEPA members are to hold office for one year, or a shorter period if the Mayor so decides. The Mayor can renew the appointment of a member of the LFEPA except where, in the case of a borough representative, the London borough councils, at least one month before the end of the representative’s term of office, give notice that they have nominated a successor. The Mayor will be able to terminate the appointment of a member of the LFEPA where satisfied that the member is unable or unfit to discharge his or her responsibilities. The Act requires the Mayor to appoint each year one of the members of the LFEPA as its chairman. The LFEPA itself will appoint each year one of its members as vice-chairman.

509.The rules which apply to meetings and proceedings of the LFCDA will in the main apply to the LFEPA. The annual meeting will be held on a date between 1 March and 30 June to be fixed by the LFEPA; and the number of members who can call an extraordinary general meeting will be three. The quorum for meetings of the LFEPA will be five, with at least one Assembly representative and at least one borough representative. The first meeting of the LFEPA will be convened by the chief fire officer of the London Fire Brigade and held as soon as reasonably practicable.

510.Schedule 29 makes miscellaneous amendments to legislation relating to the LFCDA’s functions to reflect the changes described above.

Section 329: Role as the fire authority for Greater London

511.The functions relating to fire services and fire and civil defence authorities are set out in Schedule 11 to the Local Government Act 1985. That Schedule provides that references to a fire authority in the Fire Services Acts 1947 to 1959 and any other legislation mean, as far as Greater London is concerned, the LFCDA. Section 329 replaces the reference in that Schedule to the LFCDA being the fire authority for Greater London with a reference to the LFEPA.

Section 330: Civil Defence

512.Section 330 provides that the LFEPA, like the LFCDA, will be a local authority for the purposes of the Civil Defence Acts 1939 and 1948. This allows regulations made by the Secretary of State to confer functions under those Acts on the LFEPA.

Sections 331 to 333: Openness, discharge of functions and miscellaneous powers and duties

513.Sections 331 to 333 provide that the following provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 will apply to the LFEPA in the same way as they apply to the LFCDA: Part VA (access to meetings and documents), Part VI (discharge of functions) and Part VII (miscellaneous powers and duties).

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