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The Local Government (Structural Changes) (Transitional Arrangements) Regulations 2008

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PART 1PRELIMINARY

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Local Government (Structural Changes) (Transitional Arrangements) Regulations 2008 and come into force on 29 August 2008.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations—

“the 2007 Act” means the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007;

“the 2000 Regulations” means the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000(1);

Implementation Executive” means a committee of a preparing council’s executive established in pursuance of a section 7 order;

“predecessor council” means a local authority which, by or in consequence of a section 7 order, will cease to exist on the reorganisation date;

“preparing council” means a local authority which, in accordance with a section 7 order, becomes a single tier council on the reorganisation date;

“reorganisation date”, in relation to a section 7 order, means the date specified in that order as that on which a structural change comes into effect;

“section 7 order” means an order under section 7 of the 2007 Act;

“shadow council” means an authority (not being a local authority) which, in accordance with a section 7 order, becomes a single tier council on the reorganisation date;

“shadow executive”, in relation to a shadow council, means the executive created by the council in accordance with a section 7 order;

“single tier council” means a local authority which on and after the reorganisation date is the sole principal authority for an area;

“successor council”—

(a)

in relation to a predecessor council whose area is to become part of the area of a sole single tier council on the reorganisation date, means the preparing or shadow council which will become that single tier council;

(b)

in relation to a predecessor council whose area is to become the area of more than one single tier council on the reorganisation date, means the preparing or shadow councils which will become those single tier councils; and

“transitional period” means the period beginning—

(c)

on the date on which these Regulations come into force; or

(d)

in relation to a section 7 order made after that date, the first date on which any action is required to be taken in accordance with that order,

and ending immediately before the reorganisation date.

PART 2RESPONSIBILITY FOR FUNCTIONS

Continuity

3.—(1) Anything which is in the process of being done by or in relation to a predecessor council—

(a)immediately before the beginning of the transitional period;

(b)in the exercise of, or in connection with, any function which is to be exercised by the preparing or shadow council by virtue of these Regulations,

may be continued by or in relation to the successor council.

(2) Anything done by or in relation to a predecessor council in the exercise of, or in connection with, any function which is to be exercised by the preparing or shadow council by virtue of these Regulations shall have effect as if done by or in relation to the successor council.

Responsibility for functions exercised by a shadow council

4.—(1) This regulation applies to a shadow council whose shadow executive is appointed by, or nominated in accordance with, a section 7 order.

(2) Any function which is to be exercised by the shadow council by virtue of these Regulations shall be the responsibility of its shadow executive notwithstanding any other enactment by virtue of which the function—

(a)would not be the responsibility of its executive; or

(b)may, but need not, be the responsibility of its executive.

Responsibility for functions exercised by a preparing council

5.—(1) This regulation applies to a preparing council for which there is an Implementation Executive.

(2) Any function which is to be exercised by the preparing council by virtue of these Regulations shall be a transitional function for the purposes of the section 7 order which establishes that council’s executive (and accordingly the responsibility of the Implementation Executive) notwithstanding any other enactment by virtue of which the function—

(a)would not be the responsibility of its executive; or

(b)may, but need not, be the responsibility of its executive.

Modification of the 2000 Regulations

6.  In relation to the exercise of functions by a council to which regulation 4 or 5 applies, the 2000 Regulations (which make provision as to functions which are not, or need not be, the responsibility of an executive) shall have effect subject to the modifications specified in the Schedule to these Regulations.

PART 3GOVERNANCE

Establishment of parishes and parish councils under the 2007 Act

7.—(1) This regulation applies—

(a)in relation to recommendations or proposals made, or a petition received, by a predecessor council under Part 2 of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 which by virtue of the Schedule to the 2008 Order are to be treated as recommendations made in a community governance review under Part 4 of the 2007 Act; or

(b)where a predecessor council undertakes, or has undertaken, a community governance review under Part 4 of the 2007 Act,

where the predecessor council has not exercised its powers under section 86 of the 2007 Act to give effect to the review’s recommendations before the beginning of the transitional period.

(2) Sections 86 and 96 to 100 of the 2007 Act shall have effect as if the successor council were the principal council.

(3) Where a predecessor council undertakes a community governance review during the transitional period and its successor council is a shadow council—

(a)section 79(3) of the 2007 Act shall have effect as if the requirement for a district council to notify the county council were a requirement to notify both the county council and the shadow council; and

(b)section 92 of that Act shall have effect as if the shadow council were a principal council.

(4) In this regulation, “the 2008 Order” means the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act (Commencement No.3, Transitional and Saving Provisions and Commencement No.2 (Amendment)) Order 2008(2).

Establishment of parish councils under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997

8.—(1) This regulation applies where the Secretary of State has given a direction under section 14 of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997(3) requiring a predecessor council to make provision to establish a parish council on or after the reorganisation date.

(2) Where the predecessor council has not complied with the direction before the beginning of the transitional period—

(a)references in the direction to the predecessor council shall have effect as references to the successor council; and

(b)a successor council which is a county council or a shadow council shall be treated as if it were a unitary county council for the purposes of making an order under section 16 of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997.

(3) Where the predecessor council has made provision by order to comply with the direction, sections 86 and 98 of the 2007 Act shall have effect for the purposes of enabling the successor council to vary or revoke any incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision made in that order as if—

(a)the successor council were the principal council; and

(b)a community governance review had been undertaken under Part 4 of the 2007 Act.

Old-style executive arrangements

9.  Schedule 4 to the 2007 Act (new arrangements for executives: transitional provision) shall have effect in relation to a predecessor council as if paragraphs 3 and 4 (which provide for a change in a local authority’s governance arrangements) were omitted.

Petitions on executive arrangements

10.  Part 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 (arrangements with respect to executives etc) shall have effect in relation to a predecessor council as if any regulations made under section 34 (holding of a referendum about the authority’s executive arrangements) did not apply to that council.

PART 4LOCAL AREA AGREEMENTS AND JOINT STRATEGIC NEEDS ASSESSMENTS

Preparation of new agreements and assessments

11.—(1) This regulation applies for the purposes of—

(a)the preparation, submission and approval of a local area agreement; and

(b)the preparation and publication of an assessment of relevant needs,

for the area of a single tier council.

(2) Part 5 of the 2007 Act shall have effect during the transitional period—

(a)in relation to a preparing council which is a district council as if it were a responsible local authority under sections 103 and 117 of that Act;

(b)in relation to a shadow council as if—

(i)it were a responsible local authority under sections 103 and 117 of that Act; and

(ii)the requirement in section 106(2)(c)(i) to have regard to its community strategy were a requirement to have regard to the community strategies of its predecessor councils (in so far as those strategies relate to the shadow council’s area); and

(c)in relation to a predecessor council which is a county council, as if it were a partner authority under sections 104 and 117 of that Act, and not a responsible local authority under sections 103 and 117.

(3) Where the predecessor council is a county council, its successor council and each partner PCT within the meaning of section 116 of the 2007 Act must consult with it when preparing an assessment of relevant needs under that section.

Application of existing agreements and assessments to a shadow council

12.  In relation to a local area agreement or an assessment of relevant needs of a predecessor council, Part 5 of the 2007 Act shall have effect as if a successor council which is a shadow council—

(a)were a partner authority(4);

(b)were a relevant district council for the purposes of section 116 of that Act.

PART 5ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION

Casual vacancies

13.  Section 89(1) of the Local Government Act 1972(5) (filling of casual vacancies in case of councillors) shall not apply where a casual vacancy in the office of councillor of a predecessor council arises within six months of the reorganisation date.

Returning officers and proper officers

14.—(1) The returning officer and the proper officer at an election to fill a casual vacancy in the office of councillor for the area of a shadow council shall be—

(a)the officers appointed as such by the shadow council; or

(b)if the shadow council has not appointed a returning officer or a proper officer at the date that the vacancy arises, the person designated by the section 7 order which established the council as the returning officer in relation to the first election of councillors.

(2) The returning officer and the proper officer at any election of councillors of parishes in the area of a predecessor council that will take place after the reorganisation date but for which proceedings must be taken by a returning officer or proper officer before that date shall be—

(a)the officers appointed as such by the successor council; or

(b)if the successor council has not appointed a returning officer or a proper officer before the date on which the notice of election must be published, the returning officer and proper officer appointed by the predecessor council.

(3) In this regulation, “proper officer” means—

(a)in relation to a casual vacancy in the office of councillor for the area of a shadow council, the proper officer for the purposes of Part 5 of the Local Government Act 1972;

(b)in relation to an election of councillors of parishes, the proper officer for the purposes of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006(6).

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

John Healey

Minister of State

Department for Communities and Local Government

4th August 2008

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