Local Government Act 1986

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1986 c. 10


Local GovernmentAct 1986

1986 CHAPTER 10

An Act to require rating authorities to set a rate on or before 1st April; to prohibit political publicity and otherwise restrain local authority publicity; to require the mortgagor's consent and make other provision in connection with the disposal of local authority mortgages; to amend the law as to the effect of retirement and re-election of, and the allowances payable to, members of certain authorities; and for connected purposes.

[26th March 1986]

Be 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:—

I Rating

Part I

Rating

S-1 Duty to make rate on or before 1st April.

1 Duty to make rate on or before 1st April.

(1) A rating authority shall make a rate for a financial on or before 1st April in that year.

(2) In this section—

(a ) ‘rating authority’ means an authority having power to make a rate under section 1 of the General Rate Act 1967 ;

(b ) ‘rate’means a general rate except that—

(i) in the case of the City of London, it includes the poor rate, and

(ii) in the case of the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple, it means any rate in the nature of a general rate levied in the Inner Temple or Middle Temple, as the case may be; and

(c ) ‘financial year’ means a period of twelve months beginning with 1st April.

(3) This section shall not be construed as invalidating a rate made by a rating authority for a financial year after 1st April in that year.

II Local Authority Publicity

Part II

Local Authority Publicity

S-2 Prohibition of political publicity.

2 Prohibition of political publicity.

(1) A local authority shall not publish any material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party.

(2) In determining whether material falls within the prohibition—

(a ) regard shall be had to whether the material refers to a political party or to persons identified with a political party, and

(b ) where material is published as part of a campaign, regard shall be had to the effect which the campaign appears to be designed to achieve.

(3) A local authority shall not give financial or other assistance to a person for the publication of material which the authority are prohibited by this section from publishing themselves.

S-3 Other restrictions of existing powers.

3 Other restrictions of existing powers.

(1) In section 142 of the Local Government Act 1972 and section 88 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (general powers to provide information)—

(a ) in subsection (1) (power to make information available) after ‘other authorities’insert ‘mentioned in subsection (1B) below’ and for ‘as to local government matters affecting the area’ substitute ‘relating to the functions of the authority’;

(b ) after that subsection insert—

(1A) A local authority may arrange for the publication within their area of information as to the services available in the area provided by them or by other authorities mentioned in subsection (1B) below.’;

(c ) in subsection (2)(a ) (power to publish certain information) for ‘on matters relating to local government’ substitute ‘relating to the functions of the authority’.

(2) After the subsection (1A) inserted by subsection (1) above, in section 142 of the 1972 Act insert—

(1B) The other authorities referred to above are any other local authority, the Inner London Education Authority, a joint authority established by Part IV of the Local Government Act 1985 and any authority, board or committee which discharges functions which would otherwise fall to be discharged by two or more local or other such authorities.’;

and in section 88 of the 1973 Act insert—

(1B) The other authorities referred to above are any other local authority and any authority, board or committee which discharges functions which would otherwise fall to be discharged by two or more local authorities.’.

(3) In section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 (power to incur expenditure for purposes not otherwise authorised), after subsection (2B) insert—

(2C) A local authority may incur expenditure under subsection (1) above on publicity only—

(a ) for the purpose of promoting the economic development of the authority's area where the publicity is incidental to other activities undertaken or to be undertaken by the authority for that purpose, or

(b ) by way of assistance to a public body or voluntary organisation where the publicity is incidental to the main purpose for which the assistance is given;

but the following provisions of this section apply to expenditure incurred by a local authority under section 142 below on information as to the services provided by them under this section, or otherwise relating to their functions under this section, as they apply to expenditure incurred under this section.

(2D) In subsection (2C) above—

‘publicity’ means any communication, in whatever form, addressed to the public at large or to a section of the public; and

‘voluntary organisation’ means a body which is not a public body but whose activities are carried on otherwise than for profit.’;

and in section 83 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973(which makes corresponding provision for Scotland), after subsection (2B) insert—

(2C) A local authority may incur expenditure under subsection (1) above on publicity only by way of assistance to a public body or voluntary organisation where the publicity is incidental to the main purpose for which the assistance is given; but the following provisions of this section apply to expenditure incurred by a local authority under section 88 below on information as to the services provided by them under this section, or otherwise relating to their functions under this section, as they apply to expenditure incurred under this section.

(2D) In subsection (2C) above—

‘publicity’ means any communication, in whatever form, addressed to the public at large or to a section of the public; and

‘voluntary organisation’ means a body which is not a public body but whose activities are carried on otherwise than for profit.’.

S-4 Codes of recommended practice as regards publicity.

4 Codes of recommended practice as regards publicity.

(1) The Secretary of State may issue one or more codes of recommended practice as regards the content, style, distribution and cost of local authority publicity, and such other related matters as he thinks appropriate, for the guidance of local authorities in determining whether to incur expenditure on publicity.

(2) Codes may deal with different kinds of publicity or different kinds of local authority or the same kind of local authority in different circumstances or different areas.

(3) The Secretary of State may revise or withdraw a code issued under this section.

(4) The Secretary of State shall before issuing, revising or withdrawing a code consult such associations of local authorities as appear to him to be concerned and any local authority with whom consultation appears to him to be desirable.

(5) A code shall not be issued unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(6) Where the Secretary of State proposes to revise a code he shall lay a draft of the proposed alterations before each House of Parliament and—

(a ) he shall not make the revision until after the expiration of the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which the draft is laid (or, if copies are laid before each House of Parliament on different days, with the later of those days), and

(b ) if within that period either House resolves that the alterations be withdrawn, he shall not proceed with the proposed alterations (but without prejudice to the laying of a further draft).

In computing the period of 40 days no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

S-5 Separate account of expenditure on publicity.

5 Separate account of expenditure on publicity.

(1) A local authority shall keep a separate account of their expenditure on publicity.

(2) Any person interested may at any reasonable time and without payment inspect the account and make copies of it or any part of it.

(3) A person having custody of the account who intentionally obstructs a person in the exercise of the rights conferred by subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(4) The regulation making power conferred by section 23(1) (e ) of the Local Government Finance Act 1982 or section 105(1) (d ) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (power to make provision as to exercise of right of inspection and as to informing persons of those rights) applies to the right of inspection conferred by subsection (2).

(5) The Secretary of State may by order provide that subsection (1) does not apply to publicity or...

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