Commentary on Sections

Section 40 – Local well-being plans: role of community councils

156.Section 40 places a duty on specified community councils to take all reasonable steps towards meeting the objectives included in the local well-being plan for their area.

157.This section sets out the criteria for specifying which community councils are subject to this duty, the criteria are currently expressed as a financial threshold. Only those community councils whose gross income or gross expenditure was at least £200,000 for each of the three financial years preceding the year in which the local well-being plan was published are subject to this duty. These community councils will remain subject to the duty until a new local well-being plan is published following each subsequent ordinary election, as defined in section 26 of the Local Government Act 1972, at which point the community council will determine whether they remain subject to the duty by applying the criteria.

158.The Welsh Ministers may amend these criteria. In specifying the revised criteria, the Welsh Ministers may reflect provisions made in respect of community councils in regulations made under section 39 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004. From 31 March 2015, the relevant regulations will be the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014.

159.Prior to exercising their powers to amend the criteria, the Welsh Ministers must consult the Commissioner, any community council that would be affected by the change, and any other person that they consider appropriate.

160.Where a community council is subject to the duty, it must publish a report for each relevant financial year, detailing its progress in meeting the objectives contained in the local well-being plan. The Welsh Ministers are under a duty to issue guidance to community councils who are subject to the duty and those councils must take such guidance into account when discharging the duty.