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Local Government Act 1958

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Reviews by Local Government Commissions

17The Local Government Commissions

(1)There shall be a Local Government Commission for England and a Local Government Commission for Wales, which shall be charged as respects England, exclusive of the metropolitan area, and Wales respectively with the duty of reviewing the organisation of local government—

(a)in the areas specified in the Third Schedule to this Act (hereinafter referred to as " special review areas "),

(b)in the remainder of England (exclusive of the metropolitan area) or Wales, as the case may be,

and of making such proposals as are hereinafter authorised for effecting changes appearing to the Commissions desirable in the interests of effective and convenient local government.

(2)If the Commission make a representation in that behalf, the Minister may by order direct that the Third Schedule to this Act shall have effect as if there were specified therein any such additional special review area in England as may be defined by the order, being the area specified in the representation or that area with such additions thereto or deletions therefrom as the Minister may determine to be expedient; but no one order under this subsection shall provide for more than one additional special review area.

(3)The provisions of the Fourth Schedule to this Act shall have effect as to the constitution of the Commissions and otherwise in relation to them and their members.

(4)In this Act " the metropolitan area" means the area specified in the Fifth Schedule to this Act.

(5)In this Part of this Act " the Commissions " means the Commissions established by this section, and " the Commission " means the Local Government Commission for England in relation to England, and the Local Government Commission for Wales in relation to Wales.

(6)For the purposes of this Part of this Act Monmouthshire shall be deemed to be part of Wales.

18General scope of Commission's proposals

The changes which may be put forward in proposals of the Commission on the review of any area are changes to be produced by any of the following means or any combination of those means (including the application of any of the following paragraphs to an area constituted or altered under any of those paragraphs):—

(a)the alteration of the area of an administrative county or county borough (including the abolition of any county district in the course of the extension of a county borough);

(b)the constitution of a new administrative county by the amalgamation of two or more areas, whether counties or county boroughs, or by the aggregation of parts of such areas or the separation of a part of such an area;

(c)the constitution of a new county borough by the amalgamation of two or more boroughs (whether county or non-county), the conversion of a non-county borough or urban district into a county borough, or the division of an existing county borough into parts and the constitution of all or any of the parts a county borough;

(d)the abolition of an administrative county or county borough and the distribution of its area among other areas, being counties or county boroughs

(e)the conversion of a county borough into a non-county borough and its inclusion in an administrative county;

(f)the inclusion of the Isles of Scilly, as one or more county districts, in an administrative county.

19Scope of proposals for special review areas

In relation to proposals on the review of a special review area, the foregoing section shall have effect as if the following paragraphs were added thereto:—

(a)the alteration of the area of a county district;

(b)the constitution of a new non-county borough by the amalgamation of a non-county borough with one or more other county districts ;

(c)the constitution of a new urban or rural district by the amalgamation of areas being urban or rural districts or by the aggregation of parts of county districts or the separation of a part of a county district;

(d)the abolition of an urban district or rural district;

(e)the conversion of a rural district into an urban district or of an urban district into a rural district.

20Special review areas: distribution of functions

(1)Where it appears to the Commission, and it is so stated in their report, that the nature of a special review area or a part of it is such that the organisation of local government therein should take the form of a continuous county, but that there should be a redistribution of functions as between the county council and the councils of the county districts in the county, the Commission may put forward proposals for—

(a)the exercise of county functions by the councils of the said county districts or any of them,

(b)the exercise of district functions by the county council, either as respects the whole or as respects a part of the county.

(2)In this section " continuous county" means a county within the extent of which there are no county boroughs, and in this Act—

  • " county functions" means functions which under the general law are exercisable by a county council, and includes the establishment, maintenance and administration of a police force and any other functions of the Standing Joint Committee,

  • " district functions" means functions which under the general law are exercisable by councils of county districts or of county districts of any description.

21Procedure for Commission's reviews

(1)In determining the order in which reviews are to be carried out of special review areas, the Commission shall comply with any directions of the Minister.

(2)As respects the review by the Commission of the organisation of local government outside special review areas.—

(a)the Minister may direct the Commission to hold separate reviews for such areas as may be specified in the direction;

(b)subject to any such direction the Commission may hold such reviews separately for such areas as they may determine;

(c)in holding separate reviews the Commission shall comply with any directions of the Minister as to the order in which the reviews are to be held.

(3)In holding a review of any area, the Commission shall investigate the circumstances of local government in the area and consult with all local authorities in the area and with all such other public authorities and bodies of persons as appear to the Commission to be concerned, and shall then either—

(a)prepare draft proposals and furnish copies thereof to those authorities and bodies, or

(b)if the Commission have not formed the opinion that there are changes which are desirable in the interests of effective and convenient local government, shall notify the said authorities and bodies that they have no draft proposals to put forward, and in either case shall specify a time within which any representations with respect to the draft proposals or, as the case may be, as to the desirability of proposals being put forward by the Commission, may be made.

(4)The Commission shall consider any representations made within the time specified under the foregoing subsection and confer with representatives of such of the authorities and bodies mentioned in that subsection as desire to be represented, and shall then formulate their proposals, if any.

(5)The following provisions shall have effect for informing the public of the holding of reviews and the action taken by the Commission under subsection (3) of this section:—

(a)before entering on their review of any area, the Commission shall give public notice, in such manner as appears to them sufficient for informing persons likely to be concerned, that they are proceeding to hold the review;

(b)on furnishing to local authorities copies of their draft proposals on any review, the Commission shall give public notice as aforesaid that the copies have been furnished, stating that a copy of the draft proposals is available for public inspection at the offices of each of the local authorities in the area to which the review relates during such time (being the time within which under subsection (3) of this section representations with respect to the draft proposals may be made) as may be specified in the notice, and it shall be the duty of each local authority to whom copies of the draft proposals have been furnished to keep a copy thereof available for public inspection at their offices during that time;

(c)if the Commission notify local authorities that they have no draft proposals to put forward, the Commission shall give public notice thereof.

22Commission's reports to Minister

(1)When on any review the Commission have completed their proceedings under the foregoing section, they shall submit to the Minister a report on the review together with the proposals they have formulated or, as the case may be, a notification that they have no proposals to put forward.

(2)The report of the Commission on any review shall, if the Minister has so directed, include the Commission's observations on any matter specified in the direction, whether or not the Commission make proposals with respect to that matter.

(3)On any review of an area outside the special review areas—

(a)the Minister may direct the Commission to submit a separate report on any matter on which they are reporting to him, whether or not they make proposals with respect to that matter ;

(b)subject to the foregoing paragraph, it shall be for the Commission to determine whether they report to the Minister on the review in one or several reports.

(4)The Commission shall comply with any directions of the Minister as to the form in which their proposals and report on any review are to be submitted to him.

(5)The Minister shall secure that the report of the Commission on any review, together with copies of the proposals of the Commission or, as the case may be, their notification that they have no proposals to put forward, is furnished to all local authorities in the area to which the review related and to any other public authorities appearing to him to be concerned, that public notice of the submission of the report and proposals or notification is given and facilities are provided for enabling members of the public to inspect the report and any proposals, and that a time is fixed within which representations may be made with respect to any proposals by any local or public authority or member of the public.

23Power of Minister to give effect to proposals

(1)Proposals of the Commission made on any review held in pursuance of section seventeen of this Act may be given effect by order of the Minister in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)If within the time fixed under subsection (5) of the foregoing section an objection is made by any local authority, parish council or police authority concerned, and is not withdrawn, the Minister shall cause a local inquiry to be held into the objection:

Provided that, except where the objection is one made by a local authority to a proposal that the area of the authority should cease to be a separate area of local government, or should become a county district, the Minister may dispense with an inquiry if he is satisfied that for the purpose of considering the Commission's proposals he is sufficiently informed as to the matters to which the objection relates.

(3)Subject to compliance with the foregoing subsection, the Minister may if he thinks fit by order give effect to the proposals of the Commission either as submitted to him or with modifications ; and any such order shall be laid before Parliament after being made, together with the report of the Commission.

(4)Where on the review of an area outside the special review areas the Minister gives effect (with or without modifications) to a proposal for any such change as is mentioned in paragraphs (b) to (f) of section eighteen of this Act, other than the conversion of a non-county borough or urban district into a county borough or the constitution of a new county borough by the amalgamation of two or more non-county boroughs, the Minister shall give effect thereto by an order not giving effect to any other proposals except such as appear to the Minister so connected with the first-mentioned proposal that it is requisite that effect should be given to them by the same order.

(5)On the review of an area outside the special review areas the power of the Minister to give effect to proposals with modifications shall include power to make provision for the conversion of a non-county borough or urban district into a county borough, or the constitution of a new county borough by the amalgamation of two or more non-county boroughs (with or without, in either case, the inclusion in the new county borough of part of another county borough or the whole or part of a county district), or for the extension of the area of a county borough (including the abolition of a county district in the course of the extension), in any case where an application for the change was made to the Commission by the council of the borough or urban district or, as the case may be, of any of the boroughs to be amalgamated and an inquiry has been held with respect to the change by reason of the council having objected to the Commission's proposals on the ground that they do not include a proposal for giving effect to the application.

24Power of Minister to initiate changes in default of proposals of Commission

(1)If, after consideration of the report and proposals of the Commission submitted to him on any review held in pursuance of section seventeen of this Act and after consultation with all local authorities in the area to which the review related, the Minister is of opinion—

(a)that the proposals submitted by the Commission are not, either as submitted or subject to modifications, apt for the purpose of securing the effective and convenient organisation of local government in the area reviewed, and that provision is required for that purpose, or

(b)that it is expedient that any particular provision should be made for that purpose, and that notwithstanding any proposals submitted by the Commission and his powers of modifying such proposals he has no power apart from this section to make that provision, the Minister may make proposals for the said provision.

(2)If, in a case where the Commission have notified the Minister that they have no proposals to put forward, the Minister is of opinion after consideration of the report of the Commission and of any representations made to him by any local or public authority or member of the public and after consultation with all local authorities in the area to which the review related, that provision is required for the purpose of securing the effective and convenient organisation of local government in the area reviewed, the Minister may make proposals for the said provision.

(3)The Minister shall give public notice, in such manner as appears to him sufficient for informing persons likely to be concerned, of any proposals of the Minister under this section, and shall consider any representations with respect to the proposals made within such time as may be limited by the notice, and shall cause a local inquiry to be held.

(4)After compliance with the foregoing subsection the Minister may by order give effect to the proposals, either as notified or with such modifications as appear to him expedient.

(5)Subsection (4) of the foregoing section shall apply in relation to proposals of the Minister under this section as it applies in relation to proposals of the Commission.

(6)Nothing in this section shall empower the Minister to make any provision which could not have been proposed by the Commission.

25Variation of special review areas

(1)At any time after the Commission have entered on the review of a special review area, but before they have formulated their proposals, the Minister may, by order made on the representations of, or after consultation with, the Commission, vary the area either by the exclusion of any part thereof or the inclusion therein of any area not specified in the Third Schedule to this Act. Before making an order under this subsection the Minister shall consult with every local authority whose area, or any part of whose area, is proposed to be excluded from, or included in, the special review area.

(2)If for the purposes of their review of a special review area it appears to the Commission expedient that the whole or any part of a county district adjoining the special review area, or of the remainder of a county district part of which is in that area, should be treated as if it were comprised in that area, they may after consultation with the councils of the county and of the county district notify the Minister and the councils of the county district and of the county within which it is comprised that they propose so to treat the county district or part, and unless within two months from the notification the Minister directs them not to do so they shall so treat the district or part and proposals may be made, and given effect to, as if it were comprised in the special review area.

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