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The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (Electronic Communications) (Wales) Order 2001

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Explanatory Note

(This note does not form part of the Order)

Section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 (“the 2000 Act”) confers a power on the appropriate Minister (as defined in sections 9(1) and 10(1) of the 2000 Act) to modify legislation for the purpose of authorising or facilitating the use of electronic communications or electronic storage.

Section 10 of the 2000 Act sets out the circumstances and the manner in which the Section 8 power is exercisable in relation to Wales by the National Assembly for Wales.

Sections 80A, 87 and 88 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (“the 1989 Act”) are amended in so far as they relate to Wales by this Order. The functions of the Secretary of State under the 1989 Act (with certain exceptions) are exercisable in Wales by the National Assembly for Wales by virtue of the provisions of the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999. Consequently, all references in the amendments to the 1989 Act to the “Secretary of State” are therefore in effect (in Wales) to the National Assembly for Wales.

The amendments are made by applying to Wales the amendments to the 1989 Act made by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (Electronic Communications) (England) Order 2000 (SI 2000/3056). Those amendments are set out in the Schedule to this Order.

The effect of this Order is to amend section 80A of the 1989 Act to allow the National Assembly for Wales, to use electronic communications: —

  • to notify a local housing authority of its final decision as to the amount of Housing Revenue Account subsidy payable to that authority for the year, or

  • to publish the decision on a website and notify the authority that it has done so, where the decision may be found and how it may be accessed (if it has so agreed with the authority).

The effect of this Order is also to amend section 87 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, to allow the Assembly:

  • to use electronic communications to send to a local housing authority a copy of any determination made under Part VI of the 1989 Act (a determination of the amount of Housing Revenue Account subsidy payable under section 80 of the 1989 Act, or a determination of formula in accordance with which credits and debits should be calculated under Item 8 of Part I and Item 8 of Part II of Schedule 4 to the 1989 Act).

This amendment also allows the National Assembly for Wales to discharge its obligation to send a copy of a determination to an authority by publishing the determination on a website and notifying the authority that it may be found there, and how it may be accessed there (if it has so agreed with the authority).

An authority which is no longer willing to accept electronic communication of a determination or decision may give notice of its withdrawal of notification of its address to which electronic communications may be sent, and of its revocation of an agreement that it may be notified by consulting a website. Such withdrawal or revocation shall take effect on a date specified by the authority which must be at least one month from the date on which notification of the withdrawal or revocation is given by the authority.

Finally, the effect of this Order is to amend section 88 of the 1989 Act by inserting definitions of “electronic communication” and “address” for the purposes of electronic communications.

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