Local Authority Social Services Act 1970

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1970 c. 42


Local AuthoritySocial Services Act 1970

1970 CHAPTER 42

An Act to make further provision with respect to the organisation, management and administration of local authority social services; to amend the Health Visiting and Social Work (Training) Act 1962; and for connected purposes.

[29th May 1970]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Local authorities.

1 Local authorities.

The local authorities for the purposes of this Act shall be the councils of counties, county boroughs and London boroughs and the Common Council of the City of London.

S-2 Local authority to establish social services committee.

2 Local authority to establish social services committee.

(1) Every local authority shall establish a social services committee and, subject to subsection (3) below, there shall stand referred to that committee all matters relating to the discharge by the authority of—

( a ) their functions under the enactments specified in the first column of Schedule 1 to this Act (being the functions which are described in general terms in the second column of that Schedule); and

( b ) such other of their functions as, by virtue of the following subsection, fall within the responsibility of the committee.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order designate functions of local authorities under any other enactment for the time being in force as being appropriate for discharge through a local authority's social services committee other than functions which by virtue of that or any other enactment are required to be discharged through some other committee of a local authority; and any functions designated by an order under this section which is for the time being in force shall accordingly fall within the responsibility of the social services committee.

(3) Matters relating to the discharge by a local authority of the following functions of the authority, that is to say—

( a ) functions under section 22 of the National Health Service Act 1946 (care of certain mothers and young children) relating to the dental care of such mothers and children as are mentioned in subsection (1) of that section; and

( b ) any other functions under subsection (1) or (2) of the said section 22 specified in a direction given under subsection (4) below and for the time being in force, and any functions under section 12 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 (prevention of illness and care and after-care of the sick) so specified,

shall not stand referred to a local authority's social services committee.

(4) The Secretary of State may direct that such of the functions mentioned in subsection (3)( b ) above as are specified in the direction, being functions which appear to him to be mainly medical in nature, shall stand referred to the health committee of a local authority.

(5) A direction given under subsection (4) above may apply either to local authorities generally or to particular local authorities specified in the direction and may be revoked or varied by a subsequent direction so given.

(6) A matter which by this section stands referred to a local authority's social services committee shall not be included among the matters which stand referred to the authority's health committee under Part II of Schedule 4 to the National Health Service Act 1946.

(7) Section 33(2) of the National Assistance Act 1948 and Schedule 3 to that Act (establishment of committees or joint boards for the purposes of the functions of local authorities under Part III of that Act) and section 39 of the Children Act 1948 (establishment of children's committees of local authorities), shall cease to have effect.

S-3 Business of social services committee.

3 Business of social services committee.

(1) Except with the consent of the Secretary of State (which may be given either generally or with respect to a particular authority) or as provided by this section, no matter, other than a matter which by virtue of section 2 of this Act stands referred to a local authority's social services committee, shall be referred to, or dealt with by, the committee.

(2) A local authority may refer to their social services committee a matter arising in connection with the authority's functions under—

( a ) section 5(1)( c ) of the Health Visiting and Social Work (Training) Act 1962 (research into matters relating to functions of local health authorities), or

( b ) section 65 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 (financial and other assistance to voluntary organisations),

and appearing to the authority to relate to their social services; and a matter which by virtue of paragraph ( a ) above is referred to a local authority's social services committee shall not stand referred to the authority's health committee under Part II of Schedule 4 to the National Health Service Act 1946 .

(3) A local authority may delegate to their social services committee any of their functions matters relating to which stand referred to the committee by virtue of section 2 of this Act or this section (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘social services functions’) and, before exercising any of those functions themselves, the authority shall (unless the matter is urgent) consider a report of the committee with respect to the matter in question.

(4) Nothing in section 2 of this Act or this section prevents a local authority from referring to a committee other than their social services committee a matter which by virtue of either of those sections stands referred to the social services committee and which in the authority's opinion ought to be referred to the other committee on the ground that it relates to a general service of the authority; but before referring any such matter the authority shall receive and consider a report of the social services committee with respect to the subject matter of the proposed reference

S-4 Joint committees and sub-committees.

4 Joint committees and sub-committees.

(1) Two or more local authorities may, instead of establishing social services committees for themselves, concur in establishing a joint social services committee; and references in this Act to a local authority's social services committee shall, in relation to an authority which has so concurred with another or others, be construed as references to the joint committee, except where the context otherwise requires.

(2) A social services committee may, subject to any restrictions imposed by the local authority or, as the case may be, the local authorities concurring in the establishment of the committee, establish sub-committees and delegate to them any of the functions of the committee.

(3) The social services committees of two or more local authorities may concur in the establishment of joint subcommittees and may, subject to any restrictions imposed by the local authorities concerned, delegate to them any of the functions of either or any of the committees.

S-5 Membership of committees and sub-committee.

5 Membership of committees and sub-committee.

(1) Subject to subsection (3) below, the members of a local authority's social services committee may include persons who are not members of the authority or, as the case may be, of any authority concurring in the establishment of the committee, provided that they are not disqualified from being members of that authority or any such authority.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, a social services committee may, if authorised to do so by the local authority or, as the case may be, the local authorities concurring in the establishment of the committee and subject to any restrictions imposed by that authority or those authorities, co-opt persons to serve as members of the committee, provided that they are not disqualified from being members of that authority or any of the said authorities.

(3) At least a majority of the members of a local authority's social services committee shall be members of that authority or, as the case may be, of the authorities concurring in the establishment of the committee.

(4) The members of a sub-committee established under section 4(2) of this Act—

( a ) shall include at least one member of the local authority or, as the case may be, of each of the local authorities concerned; and

( b ) may include persons who are not members of the social services committee, provided that they are not disqualified from...

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