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Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Reviews

13Local government review

(1)If the Secretary of State is considering whether to cause a referendum to be held in a region about the establishment of an elected assembly for the region, he may direct the Boundary Committee for England—

(a)to carry out a local government review of the region;

(b)to make recommendations as to the matters considered by the review.

(2)But the Secretary of State must not give a direction unless he has considered the level of interest in the region in the holding of a referendum.

(3)If at any time the Secretary of State is considering whether to cause a referendum to be held in two or more regions he may consider (for the purpose of deciding in respect of which (if any) regions to give a direction) any differences in the levels of interest in the different regions in the holding of a referendum.

(4)For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3) the Secretary of State must consider—

(a)views expressed and information and evidence provided to him;

(b)such published material as he thinks appropriate.

(5)For the purposes of deciding in respect of which (if any) regions to give a direction the Secretary of State may also consider—

(a)the effects he thinks the carrying out of a local government review will have on the relevant local authorities (taken as a whole) in the region;

(b)differences in the effects he thinks the carrying out of local government reviews will have on the relevant local authorities (taken as a whole) in different regions;

(c)the implications for the Boundary Committee of the making of directions in respect of two or more regions at the same time or in close proximity of time;

(d)the resources needed for the Boundary Committee to carry out local government reviews;

(e)whether the Boundary Committee have made any recommendations in respect of a region in pursuance of an earlier direction under this section.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5)(a) and (b) the Secretary of State—

(a)must have regard (in particular) to the number of relevant local authorities in a region and the number of people living in the areas of those authorities;

(b)must ignore any effect of the implementation of recommendations of the Boundary Committee following a review.

(7)It is immaterial that anything done for the purposes of subsection (4) or (5) is done before the passing of this Act.

(8)A direction may require the Boundary Committee—

(a)to start the review not later than a specified date;

(b)to make their recommendations not later than a specified date.

(9)But the Secretary of State must not give a direction containing such requirements unless he has consulted the Boundary Committee as to the dates he proposes to specify.

(10)A direction under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent direction.

14Local government review: supplementary

(1)This section applies for the purposes of section 13.

(2)The number of people living in an area is taken to be the most recent estimate of that number published by the Office for National Statistics.

(3)A local government review is a review to consider—

(a)appropriate structural change for the region;

(b)whether any boundary changes should be made in the region in connection with or to facilitate the carrying out of the structural change.

(4)Relevant local authorities are the county council and district council for any area in the region in relation to which both councils have functions.

(5)The Boundary Committee must not consider any boundary change in relation to—

(a)any area in the region which is not the area of a relevant local authority unless it has the effect that any part of the area of a relevant local authority becomes part of the area of a local authority which is not a relevant local authority;

(b)any area outside the region.

(6)The Boundary Committee for England may require a public body to give the Committee such information as they reasonably require in connection with their functions under this Part.

(7)A public body must comply with a requirement under subsection (6).

(8)In carrying out their functions under this Part the Boundary Committee must—

(a)assume that there is an elected assembly for the region;

(b)recommend structural change for so much of the area of the region as is comprised of the areas of all of the relevant local authorities in the region;

(c)have regard to the need to reflect the identities and interests of local communities;

(d)have regard to the need to secure effective and convenient local government;

(e)have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

15Review procedure

The provisions of the 1992 Act specified in the left hand column of the Table apply to a review carried out by the Boundary Committee for England in pursuance of a direction under section 13 of this Act as they apply to a review carried out by them under Part 2 of that Act subject to the modifications specified in the right hand column:

Section 14
(a)

In subsection (1) for references to the Electoral Commission substitute references to the Boundary Committee for England;

(b)

In subsection (1)(b) for “independently of any such change” substitute “otherwise”;

(c)

Subsection (1)(c) must be ignored;

(d)

Subsection (3)(b) does not apply to a parish;

(e)

In subsection (3) paragraphs (d), (e), (f) and (g) must be ignored;

(f)

Subsection (4) must be ignored;

(g)

Subsection (5)(ba) must be ignored;

(h)

In subsection (6) omit “subject to any necessary electoral changes”;

(i)

Subsection (8) must be ignored.

Section 15
(a)

In subsection (1)(b) omit “under this Part”;

(b)

Subsections (2) and (6) to (8) must be ignored;

(c)

In subsection (3) omit “or (2)(c)”;

(d)

In subsection (4) for references to the Electoral Commission substitute references to the Secretary of State.

Section 15A
(a)

For “Where the Electoral Commission consider it appropriate they may direct the Boundary Committee for England” substitute “If the Boundary Committee for England think it appropriate they may decide”;

(b)

In paragraph (c) for “Electoral Commission” substitute “Secretary of State”.

Section 16References to the Electoral Commission must be ignored.

16Boundary Committee recommendations

(1)This section applies in relation to recommendations made by the Boundary Committee in pursuance of section 13(1)(b).

(2)The recommendations must include at least two options for structural change in relation to each county area in the region.

(3)At any time after he receives the recommendations the Secretary of State may—

(a)direct the Boundary Committee to supply him with additional information or advice;

(b)reject one or more of the options.

(4)If the Secretary of State rejects one or more of the options he may direct the Boundary Committee either—

(a)to make different recommendations, or

(b)to carry out a further local government review of the region and to make further recommendations.

(5)If the Secretary of State acts under subsection (4)(b), sections 13(8) to (10), 14(3) to (8), 15 and this section apply for the purposes of the further review and recommendations.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5) it is immaterial whether the Secretary of State has considered any of the matters in section 13(5).

(7)County area must be construed in accordance with section 2(3).

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