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Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009

Chapter 3: Duties of Public Authorities
Section 23 - Duty of public authorities to secure involvement

51.Subsection (1) places a duty on those authorities listed in subsection (2) to involve representatives of interested persons in the exercise of their functions, where they consider that it is appropriate to do so. It sets out that those authorities will need to consider each of three ways of securing such involvement, namely informing the representatives, consulting them and involving them in other ways.

52.Subsection (2) lists the affected authorities and subsection (3) explains that, with the exception of the Secretary of State, the relevant functions of the authorities listed are all functions they exercise in respect of or in relation to England. In respect of the Secretary of State, subsection (3)(b) provides that the relevant functions are limited to those specified (arrangements with respect to obtaining employment or employees and for the provision of probation services), in so far as they are exercisable in relation to England. Subsection (8) makes the Secretary of State’s functions under subsection (3)(b)(ii) “probation provision” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Offender Management Act 2007 (see in particular section 3 of that Act (power to make arrangements for the provision of probation services by another person as provider of probation services)).

53.Subsection (4) provides that the duty to involve representatives of interested persons does not grant an authority any additional powers. Where there is a conflict between this duty and another duty, the latter takes precedence.

54.Subsections (5) and (6) enable the Secretary of State to provide exemptions from the duty by secondary legislation subject to the negative resolution procedure.

Section 24 - Duty of public authorities to secure involvement: guidance

55.Section 24(1) provides that the Secretary of State may issue guidance on the discharge of the duties under section 23. Subsection (2) sets out that the guidance may be general or for a particular authority, may be different for different authorities and must be published. Subsection (3) requires the Secretary of State to consult authorities to which the guidance relates before it is issued. Subsection (4) states that an authority must have regard to any such guidance that relates to it.

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