475.Sections 205 to 211 concern the establishment of joint waste authorities. The provisions allow two or more local authorities to submit a proposal to the Secretary of State for the creation of a joint waste authority to discharge some, or all, of their waste functions (collection, disposal and/or street cleansing) through that authority. The decision to make a proposal to form a joint waste authority is a voluntary one. The Secretary of State may then implement the proposal, with or without limited modifications, by order.
476.The Secretary of State may issue guidance to advise authorities on what proposals for joint waste authorities should seek to achieve and the issues that authorities should consider when preparing proposals. The Secretary of State may also make regulations that set out what matters the proposals must cover and what information must accompany them.
477.The provisions give the Secretary of State the power to implement proposals by order, with or without modifications. However, the Secretary of State may not establish a joint waste authority for an area other than that specified in the proposal or to discharge functions other than those specified in the proposal.
478.The Secretary of State has the power to dissolve a joint waste authority in two circumstances: where all the member authorities have requested him to do so; or where he considers it necessary to do so.
Section 205: Proposals for joint waste authorities in England
479.This section provides for local authorities to make proposals to create joint waste authorities in England and sets out the requirements for those proposals. Subsection (2) provides that a proposal may be made only by all the local authorities that are local waste authorities for the area specified in the proposal. Subsection (3) defines local waste authority for the purpose of subsection (2). Subsection (4) provides that a proposal may not be made if there is a local authority for the whole of the specified area which has all of the specified functions.
480.Subsection (5) provides that the Secretary of State may make regulations on the matters to be included in a proposal and information that is required to accompany a proposal. Subsection (6) provides further detail on the scope of the regulations made by the Secretary of State, such that they could require proposals to provide detail on the membership of joint waste authorities; procedures for appointing chairman and vice-chairman; and how costs of the proposed authority will be met by each of the local authorities.
481.Subsection (7) requires local authorities to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State as to what a proposal should seek to achieve and matters that should be considered when making a proposal. Subsection (8) sets out definitions for the section. Subsection (9) defines local authority for the purposes of this Part.
Section 206: Consultation
482.Subsection (1) requires local authorities to consult relevant electors and any interested person in their area on a draft of the proposal. Subsection (2) defines ‘relevant electors’ for the purpose of subsection (1). Subsection (3) defines ‘local government electors’ for the purpose of subsection (2).
Section 207: Implementation of proposals by order
483.Subsection (1) provides that the Secretary of State may implement a proposal for a joint waste authority in England by order with or without modification. Subsection (2) provides that any authority established under subsection (1) shall be referred to in this Part as a ‘joint waste authority’.
484.Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State, in the order establishing the joint waste authority, to make provision enabling him to require that authority to submit a scheme for winding-up that authority, and for the transfer of its functions, property and staff, rights and liabilities, to appropriate local authorities. Subsection (4) allows the Secretary of State to implement any scheme submitted under subsection (3) by order to dissolve an authority. Subsection (5) sets out the limitations to the Secretary of State’s powers under subsection (4) such that the Secretary of State can only dissolve an authority where a request is received from all the constituent local authorities or he considers it necessary to do so.
485.Subsection (6) provides that once an authority has been established the Secretary of State can by order exclude functions for which it has been established.
486.Subsection (7) allows incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provisions to be included in orders made under this section. Subsection (8) expands on the type of provisions that might be made under subsection (7), this would allow for provisions to address the details of the transfer of property, rights, liabilities, staff, other staffing matters, such as pensions, from constituent authorities to a joint waste authority, and ensure that any outstanding legal action regarding these matters is also transferred.
487.Subsection (10) sets out the limitations to the Secretary of State’s powers under subsection (1). The Secretary of State cannot establish a joint waste authority for an area that is different from the area specified in the proposal, or establish a joint waste authority to discharge functions that are not specified in the proposal.
488.Subsection (11) sets out definitions of ‘appropriate local authority’ and ‘waste functions’ for the section.
Section 208: Membership of joint waste authorities
489.This section sets out the requirements for membership of joint waste authorities.
Section 209: Consequential amendments
490.This section sets out the necessary consequential amendments. Subsection (1) amends section 24 of the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 to make joint waste authorities in England that have the disposal function waste disposal authorities for the purposes of the 2003 Act. Subsection (2) provides that other consequential amendments relating to joint waste authorities are provided in Schedule 13.
Section 210: Joint waste authorities in Wales
491.Subsection (1) provides that the Welsh Ministers may by order make provision which apply sections 205 to 208 in relation to Wales. Such an order may also apply any provisions of Part 17 (final provisions), in so far as those provisions relate to sections 205 to 208. An order under section 210 may apply the provisions of sections 205 to 208 with such modifications as the Welsh Ministers consider appropriate.
492.Subsection (2) allows incidental, consequential or supplementary provisions to be included in orders made under this section. These provisions may amend or modify any enactment or any instrument made under any enactment.
Section 211: Interpretation
493.This section sets out definitions for this Part of the Act for ‘joint waste authority’ and ‘local authority’.