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Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972

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Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 05 June 2023. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Help about Changes to Legislation


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  1. Introductory Text


    1. 1.District councils.

    2. 2.Boroughs.


    1. Councillors

      1. 3.Qualifications.

      2. 4.Disqualifications.

      3. 5.Disqualifications to become inapplicable in certain cases.

      4. 6.Penalties for acting while disqualified.

      5. 7.Declaration on acceptance of office.

      6. 7A.Northern Ireland code of local government conduct.

      7. 8.Resignation.

      8. 9.Vacation of office on account of non-attendance.

      9. 10.Declaration of vacancy in office in certain cases.

    2. Chairman and vice-chairman

      1. 11.Chairman.

      2. 12.Payment of allowance to chairman.

      3. 12A.Election of chairman.

      4. 13.Vice-chairman.

      5. 14.Declaration of acceptance of office.

      6. 15.Resignation.

      7. 16.Vacation of office on account of absence from district.

      8. 17.Casual vacancy in office of chairman.

    3. Committees

      1. 18.Power to appoint committees and sub-committees.

      2. 19.Joint committees.

      3. 19A.Voting rights of members of committees, sub-committees and joint committees.

      4. 20.Expenses of joint committees.

      5. 21.Disqualification for membership of committees.

    4. Procedure of council and committees

      1. 22.Meetings and proceedings.

    5. Admission to meetings

      1. 23.Admission of public to meetings.

      2. 24.Information to be given as to meetings.

      3. 25.Facilities for newspaper representatives.

      4. 26.Certain publications to be privileged.

      5. 27.Savings.

    6. Pecuniary interests

      1. 28.Disclosure of councillors' pecuniary interests and disability from voting on account thereof.

      2. 29.Restrictions on application of section 28.

      3. 30.Relatives of councillors.

      4. 31.Recovery of wrongful gains and remedies against councillor guilty of reprehensible conduct.

      5. 32.Ancillary powers of the High Court in exercising jurisdiction under section 31.

      6. 33.Time limit for proceedings under sections 28, 30 and 31.

    7. General provisions as to councillors, chairman, vice-chairman and members of committees, etc.

      1. 34.Re-election.

      2. 35.Validity of acts done by unqualified person.

      3. 36.Payments to councillors.

      4. 37.Expenses of official and courtesy visits, etc.

      5. 38.Expenses incurred in attending conferences and meetings.

      6. 39.Insurance against accidents to councillors.


    1. 40.The Staff Commission.

    2. 41.Appointment and qualification of officers.

    3. [41A.Appointment of Officers by the Executive.

    4. 41B.Loans to officers for purchase of motor cars or motor cycles.

    5. 42.Councillors not to be appointed officers.

    6. S.43 rep. by 1973 NI 10

    7. 44.Retirement of officers.

    8. 45.Insurance against default of officers.

    9. 46.Duty of officers to disclose pecuniary interest.

    10. 47.Prohibition of acceptance of unauthorised fee or reward.

    11. 47A.Delegation of functions to officers.

    12. 48.Protection for officer acting in execution of duty.

    13. 49.Officers of joint committee.


    1. 50.Local government boundaries

    2. 51.Change of name of district.

    3. 52.Supplemental provisions as to alterations of boundaries or names.


    1. Annual budget and financial arrangements

      1. 53.Annual budget.

      2. 54.Arrangements for handling receipts and payments.

    2. Funds

      1. 55.The district fund.

      2. 56.Power to establish capital fund and renewal and repairs fund.

      3. 57.Capital fund.

      4. 58.Renewal and repairs fund.

      5. 59.Proceeds of sale of capital assets.

      6. 60.Limitation on application of funds.

    3. Borrowing

      1. 61.Purposes for which money may be borrowed.

      2. 62.Modes of borrowing.

      3. 63.Security for borrowing.

      4. 64.Priority of securities.

      5. 65.Repayment of money borrowed.

      6. 66.Power to suspend annual provision for repayment of, and to borrow for payment of interest on, certain borrowed money.

      7. 67.Application of unexpended portion of borrowed money.

      8. 68.Power to re-borrow.

      9. 69.Lenders relieved from certain inquiries.

      10. 70.Securities regulations.

      11. 71.Appointment of receiver.

      12. 72.Consolidated loans fund.

      13. 73.Use of money forming part of capital fund or renewal and repairs fund.

    4. Local government auditors

      1. 74.Local government auditors.

      2. 75.Audit Fees

    5. Audit

      1. 76.Audit of accounts of councils.

      2. 77.Duties of officers as to audit.

      3. 77A.Confidentiality of officers' records.

      4. 78.Production of, and declaration as to, documents.

      5. 79.Right to objection.

      6. 80.Auditor's report.

    6. Surcharge, etc.

      1. 81.Declaration that item of account is unlawful.

      2. 82.Recovery of amount not accounted for, etc.

      3. 82A.Power of auditor to issue prohibition order.

      4. 82B.Effect of and appeals against prohibition orders.

      5. 82C.Supplementary provisions as to prohibition orders.

      6. 82D.Power of auditor to apply for judicial review.

    7. Functions of Ministry as to accounts and audit

      1. 87.Regulations as to accounts and audit.

      2. 88.Extraordinary audits and inspections.

      3. S.89 rep. by 1992 NI 6

    8. Studies for improving economy, etc. of services

      1. 89A.Studies for improving economy, etc. of services.


    1. 90.Bye-laws.

    2. 91.Procedure, etc., for making bye-laws.

    3. 92.Penalties for contravention of bye-laws.

    4. 93.Enforcement of bye-laws.

    5. 94.Evidence of bye-laws.


    1. Land

      1. 95.Provisions of offices, halls, etc.

      2. 96.Acquisition, etc., of land.

      3. 97.Acquisition of land otherwise than by agreement.

      4. 98.Power to enter on land.

    2. Contracts

      1. 99.Contracts of councils.

      2. 100.Sealing of contracts

    3. Local and personal Bills

      1. 101.Power to promote or oppose local or personal Bills.

      2. 102.Sanction of council to promotion of, or opposition to, Bills.

      3. 103.Taxation of costs.

    4. Co-operation with other councils, public bodies and government departments

      1. 104.Agency arrangements

      2. 105.Arrangements for the supply of goods and services or interchange of staff.

      3. 106.Contribution to other councils, etc.

    5. Co-operation with voluntary bodies, etc.

      1. 107.Contributions for development of trade, tourism and cultural activities.

      2. 108.Contributions to other voluntary bodies.

    6. Advice and information

      1. 109.Instruction, lectures, etc., on questions relating to the functions of councils.

      2. 110.Information centres.

    7. Other miscellaneous functions

      1. 111.Subscriptions.

      2. 112.Insurance.

      3. 113.Exercise of certain functions outside district.

      4. 113A.Power to provide advice and assistance.

      5. 114.Acceptance of gifts.

      6. 115.Expenditure for special purposes.

    8. Publicity

      1. 115A.Publicity Prohibition of political publicity.

      2. 115B.Codes of recommended practice as regards publicity.

      3. 115C.Separate account of expenditure on publicity.

      4. 115D.Sections 115A to 115C: supplementary provisions.


    1. Legal proceedings

      1. 116.Power to prosecute or defend.

      2. 117.Appearance in legal proceedings.

      3. 118.Name of council need not be proved.

      4. 119.Evidence of resolutions, etc.

    2. Administrative provisions

      1. 120.The seal.

      2. 121.Inspection of documents.

      3. 122.Public notices.

      4. 123.Penalty for destroying notices.

      5. 124.Authentication of documents.

      6. 125.Custody of records.

      7. 126.Compensation for damage by council.

    3. Supervision of councils

      1. 127.Information, reports and returns.

      2. 128.Inquiries and investigations.

      3. 129.Default of council.

    4. Jurisdiction of High Court

      1. 130.Exercise of jurisdiction of High Court.


    1. 131.Abolition of existing local government areas and dissolution of existing local authorities, with certain exceptions.

    2. 132.Charters

    3. 133.Transfer of functions.

    4. 134.Supplementary and transitional provisions.

    5. 135.Transfer of officers

    6. 136.Superannuation officers.

    7. 137.Compensation of officers

    8. S.138 rep. by 1985 NI 15

    9. S.139 rep. by SLR 1980

    10. 140.Bye-laws, etc.

    11. S.141 rep. by 1985 NI 15


    1. 142.Application of Act to joint committees.

    2. 143.Orders and regulations.

    3. S.144 rep. by SLR 1980

    4. 145.Payments due by councils to government departments, etc.

    5. 146.Interpretation: pecuniary interests.

    6. 147.Interpretation: “provide” and “maintain”.

    7. 148.General interpretation.

    8. 149.Amendments, repeals and savings.

    9. 150.Short title and commencement.


    1. SCHEDULE 1



    2. SCHEDULE 2


      1. Holding of meetings (1) . . . . . . . . . . ....

        1. Holding of meetings

          1. 1.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        2. Convening meetings

          1. 2.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        3. Chairman of meeting

          1. 3.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        4. Quorum

          1. 4.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        5. Names of councillors present to be recorded

          1. 5.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        6. Person authorised by Ministry may attend meetings

          1. 6.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        7. Decision on questions

          1. 7.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        8. Mode of voting

          1. 8.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        9. Minutes

          1. 9.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        10. Standing orders

          1. 10.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        11. Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate proceedings

          1. 11.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

        12. Proceedings of committees

          1. 12.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

    3. SCHEDULE 3


      1. Members (1) Section 18(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (except, in relation to...

        1. Members

          1. 1.Section 18(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (except, in relation to members other...

        2. Allowances

          1. 2.The Staff Commission may pay— (a) to its chairman such remuneration; and (b) to its...

          2. 2A.The Staff Commission may make payments to its members for, or in relation to anything...

        3. Expenses

          1. 3.Before the commencement of each financial year the Staff Commission shall prepare an estimate of...

          2. 4.In preparing the estimate mentioned in paragraph 3, the Staff Commission shall take into account...

          3. 5.The Staff Commission shall, with the approval of the Ministry, apportion the amount estimated in...

          4. 6.Any question arising in connection with an apportionment under paragraph 5 shall be referred to...

          5. 7.The amount apportioned under paragraph 5 as arising from matters directly concerning councils shall be...

          6. 7A.The amount apportioned under paragraph 5 as arising from matters directly concerning the Executive shall...

          7. 8.Any sum which is payable by a council [ or, as the case may be,...

          8. 9.The amount apportioned under paragraph 5 as other expenditure shall be defrayed as expenses of...

        4. Borrowing

          1. 10.The Staff Commission may borrow, by way of temporary loan or overdraft from a bank...

        5. Accounts, etc., and audit

          1. 11.The Staff Commission shall keep such accounts and records as the Ministry directs.

          2. 12.The accounts of the Staff Commission shall be audited annually by the local government auditor,...

        6. Information, reports and returns

          1. 13.The Staff Commission shall— (a) make such reports and returns, and (b) give such information...

    4. SCHEDULE 4



        1. Interpretation

          1. 1.In this Schedule “ a Commissioner ” means a Local Government Boundaries Commissioner.

        2. Appointment

          1. 2.(1) Section 18(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 applies to the appointment of...

        3. Assistant Commissioners and assessors

          1. 3.(1) The Department may, at the request of a Commissioner, appoint one or more Assistant...

        4. Officers

          1. 4.The Department shall appoint— (a) a secretary; and (b) such other officers to assist a...

        5. Remuneration and expenses

          1. 5.The remuneration and expenses of a Commissioner, any Assistant Commissioners and the secretary and any...


        1. Procedure for Commissioner appointed under section 50(1)(a)

          1. 6.(1) This paragraph applies where a Commissioner is appointed under section 50(1)(a). (2) As soon...

        2. Procedure for Commissioner appointed under section 50(1)(b)

          1. 7.(1) This paragraph applies where a Commissioner is appointed under section 50(1)(b). (2) As soon...

        3. Procedure for Commissioner appointed under section 50(4)

          1. 8.(1) This paragraph applies where a Commissioner is appointed under section 50(4). (2) As soon...

        4. Commissioner's procedure - general

          1. 9.In relation to a notice published by a Commissioner under paragraph 6(7), 7(3) or (8)...

          2. 10.A Commissioner may direct any hearing under this Schedule to be held before an Assistant...

          3. 11.A Commissioner may, if he thinks fit, submit interim reports to the Department before making...

          4. 12.Subject to paragraphs 7 to 11, a Commissioner may regulate his own procedure.

          5. 13.Every document purporting to be an instrument made or issued by a Commissioner and to...


        1. 14.Regard shall be had to the desirability of determining district and ward boundaries which are...

        2. 15.A townland shall not, except where in the opinion of the Commissioner it is unavoidable,...

        3. 16.As far as practicable— (a) a district shall not be wholly or substantially severed by...

        4. 17.In determining the number and boundaries of wards within a district regard shall be had...

        5. 18.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (3)— (a) in the district of Belfast the number...

        6. 19.(1) Within any one district there shall, as far as is reasonably practicable having regard...

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      (1) If a council determines to repay by means of a sinking fund any sums...

      1. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      2. 1.If a council determines to repay by means of a sinking fund any sums borrowed...

      3. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      4. 2.Every sum paid to a sinking fund shall, unless applied in repayment of the money...

      5. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      6. 3.In the case of an accumulating sinking fund, the interest received in any year from...

      7. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      8. 4.(1) A council may at any time apply the whole or any part of a...

      9. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      10. 5.Any surplus of a sinking fund remaining after the discharge of the whole of the...

      11. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      12. 6.If at any time it appears to the council that the amount in a sinking...

      13. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      14. 7.If the council desires to accelerate the repayment of any money borrowed by it, it...

      15. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      16. 8.If the amount in a sinking fund, together with the sums which will be payable...

      17. This div-1 has a number but no title; creating a P1group with an empty Title

      18. 9.If at any time the amount in a sinking fund, together with the accumulations thereon...

    6. SCHEDULE 6


      1. Preliminary procedure (1) A council which proposes to acquire land otherwise than by agreement may...

        1. Preliminary procedure

          1. 1.A council which proposes to acquire land otherwise than by agreement may submit to the...

          2. 2.Notice of the application, in such form and manner as the Ministry directs,— (a) shall...

        2. Making of vesting order

          1. 3.(1) After the expiration of one month from the date of the last publication of...

          2. 4.A vesting order shall contain such provisions as the Ministry thinks necessary or expedient for...

        3. Validity and operation of vesting orders

          1. 5.(1) The following provisions of this paragraph shall have effect with respect to the validity...

          2. 6.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), a vesting order shall operate, without further assurance, to vest...

          3. 7.A vesting order, or the title created by such an order (if it relates to...

          4. 8.Where a vesting order relates to any land forming part of a holding which is...

          5. 9.On and after the date of vesting the council or any person authorised by the...

          6. 10.(1) Section 92 of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 shall not have effect in...

        4. Reference of disputed cases to the Lands Tribunal

          1. 11.(1) As soon as a vesting order has become operative, any question of disputed compensation...

          2. 12.(1) When any question of disputed compensation arises, the council shall as soon as practicable...

        5. Special powers of the Lands Tribunal

          1. 13.(1) The Lands Tribunal shall have the same power of apportioning any rent-service, rent-charge, chief...

        6. Satisfaction of claims

          1. 14.(1) The council, on paying to any person any compensation (whether the amount has been...

          2. 15.(1) Where the compensation payable (whether the amount thereof has been settled by agreement or...

          3. 16.Any person claiming to be entitled to any money paid to another person pursuant to...

          4. 17.(1) Where the amount of compensation has been determined but for some reason it is...

          5. 18.(1) The council shall pay interest upon the compensation money from the date of the...

        7. Payment of Ministry's costs by council

          1. 19.(1) All costs incurred by the Ministry in carrying the provisions of this Schedule into...

        8. Interpretation

          1. 20.(1) For the purposes of this Schedule the interest of a grantee under a fee...

    7. SCHEDULE 7


    8. Schedule 8 —Amendments

    9. Schedule 9—Repeals

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