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Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

Section 136: Parish councils and community councils etc not to be best value authorities

355.Section 136 amends the definition of local authorities in England and Wales that are best value authorities for the purposes of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1999.

356.Subsection (1)(a) removes parish councils and parish meetings from the definition of “local authorities”. This has the effect that parish councils and parish meetings will no longer be subject to the best value duties set out in the Local Government Act 1999.

357.In practice, an Order(1) made by the Secretary of State under section 2(5) of the Local Government Act 1999 exempted all English parish councils and meetings, except those whose budgeted income for 1997, 1998 and 1999 was over £500,000, from the duties set out in sections 3 to 6 of the Local Government Act 1999. The Act will disapply the best value duties for the 41 larger English parish councils.

358.Subsections (1)(b) and (c) make equivalent provision for Wales, where the equivalent of a parish council is a community council. They provide that a community council is not a best value authority. An Order(2) made by the National Assembly for Wales under section 2(5) of the Local Government Act 1999 exempted all community councils with an income of under £1,000,000 in 1998 and 1999 from any of the duties in sections 3 to 6 of the Act. In practice, this exempted all community councils from the best value regime, as none had an income in excess of that sum.

359.Subsection (2) removes local precepting authorities(3) from the list of authorities and bodies to which the Secretary of State may by order extend the best value regime. In effect it removes the ability of the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers to re-apply the best value regime to parish councils, parish meetings and community councils or to apply it to other local precepting authorities, such as charter trustees.

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