Localism Act 2011

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2011 c. 20


Localism Act 2011

2011 CHAPTER 20

An Act to make provision about the functions and procedures of local and certain other authorities; to make provision about the functions of the Commission for Local Administration in England; to enable the recovery of financial sanctions imposed by the Court of Justice of the European Union on the United Kingdom from local and public authorities; to make provision about local government finance; to make provision about town and country planning, the Community Infrastructure Levy and the authorisation of nationally significant infrastructure projects; to make provision about social and other housing; to make provision about regeneration in London; and for connected purposes.

[15th November 2011]

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:-

1 Local Government

PART 1

Local Government

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

General powers of authorities

General powers of authorities

S-1 Local authority's general power of competence

1 Local authority's general power of competence

(1) A local authority has power to do anything that individuals generally may do.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to things that an individual may do even though they are in nature, extent or otherwise-

(a) unlike anything the authority may do apart from subsection (1), or

(b) unlike anything that other public bodies may do.

(3) In this section "individual" means an individual with full capacity.

(4) Where subsection (1) confers power on the authority to do something, it confers power (subject to sections 2 to 4) to do it in any way whatever, including-

(a) power to do it anywhere in the United Kingdom or elsewhere,

(b) power to do it for a commercial purpose or otherwise for a charge, or without charge, and

(c) power to do it for, or otherwise than for, the benefit of the authority, its area or persons resident or present in its area.

(5) The generality of the power conferred by subsection (1) ("the general power") is not limited by the existence of any other power of the authority which (to any extent) overlaps the general power.

(6) Any such other power is not limited by the existence of the general power (but see section 5(2)).

(7) Schedule 1 (consequential amendments) has effect.

S-2 Boundaries of the general power

2 Boundaries of the general power

(1) If exercise of a pre-commencement power of a local authority is subject to restrictions, those restrictions apply also to exercise of the general power so far as it is overlapped by the pre-commencement power.

(2) The general power does not enable a local authority to do-

(a) anything which the authority is unable to do by virtue of a pre-commencement limitation, or

(b) anything which the authority is unable to do by virtue of a post-commencement limitation which is expressed to apply-

(i) to the general power,

(ii) to all of the authority's powers, or

(iii) to all of the authority's powers but with exceptions that do not include the general power.

(3) The general power does not confer power to-

(a) make or alter arrangements of a kind which may be made under Part 6 of the Local Government Act 1972 (arrangements for discharge of authority's functions by committees, joint committees, officers etc);

(b) make or alter arrangements of a kind which are made, or may be made, by or under Part 1A of the Local Government Act 2000 (arrangements for local authority governance in England);

(c) make or alter any contracting-out arrangements, or other arrangements within neither of paragraphs (a) and (b), that authorise a person to exercise a function of a local authority.

(4) In this section-

"post-commencement limitation" means a prohibition, restriction or other limitation e xpressly imposed by a statutory provision that- (a) is contained in an Act passed after the end of the Session in which this Act is passed, or (b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force on or after the commencement of section 1;

"pre-commencement limitation" means a prohibition, restriction or other limitation expressly imposed by a statutory provision that- (a) is contained in this Act, or in any other Act passed no later than the end of the Session in which this Act is passed, or (b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force before the commencement of section 1;

"pre-commencement power" means power conferred by a statutory provision that- (a) is contained in this Act, or in any other Act passed no later than the end of the Session in which this Act is passed, or (b) is contained in an instrument made under an Act and comes into force before the commencement of section 1.

S-3 Limits on charging in exercise of general power

3 Limits on charging in exercise of general power

(1) Subsection (2) applies where-

(a) a local authority provides a service to a person otherwise than for a commercial purpose, and

(b) its providing the service to the person is done, or could be done, in exercise of the general power.

(2) The general power confers power to charge the person for providing the service to the person only if-

(a) the service is not one that a statutory provision requires the authority to provide to the person,

(b) the person has agreed to its being provided, and

(c) ignoring this section and section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003, the authority does not have power to charge for providing the service.

(3) The general power is subject to a duty to secure that, taking one financial year with another, the income from charges allowed by subsection (2) does not exceed the costs of provision.

(4) The duty under subsection (3) applies separately in relation to each kind of service.

S-4 Limits on doing things for commercial purpose in exercise of general power

4 Limits on doing things for commercial purpose in exercise of general power

(1) The general power confers power on a local authority to do things for a commercial purpose only if they are things which the authority may, in exercise of the general power, do otherwise than for a commercial purpose.

(2) Where, in exercise of the general power, a local authority does things for a commercial purpose, the authority must do them through a company.

(3) A local authority may not, in exercise of the general power, do things for a commercial purpose in relation to a person if a statutory provision requires the authority to do those things in relation to the person.

(4) In this section "company" means-

(a) a company within the meaning given by section 1(1) of the Companies Act 2006, or

(b) a society registered or deemed to be registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 1965 or the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

S-5 Powers to make supplemental provision

5 Powers to make supplemental provision

(1) If the Secretary of State thinks that a statutory provision (whenever passed or made) prevents or restricts local authorities from exercising the general power, the Secretary of State may by order amend, repeal, revoke or disapply that provision.

(2) If the Secretary of State thinks that the general power is overlapped (to any extent) by another power then, for the purpose of removing or reducing that overlap, the Secretary of State may by order amend, repeal, revoke or disapply any statutory provision (whenever passed or made).

(3) The Secretary of State may by order make provision preventing local authorities from doing, in exercise of the general power, anything which is specified, or is of a description specified, in the order.

(4) The Secretary of State may by order provide for the exercise of the general power by local authorities to be subject to conditions, whether generally or in relation to doing anything specified, or of a description specified, in the order.

(5) The power under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) may be exercised in relation to-

(a) all local authorities,

(b) particular local authorities, or

(c) particular descriptions of local authority.

(6) The power under subsection (1) or (2) to amend or disapply a statutory provision includes power to amend or disapply a statutory provision for a particular period.

(7) Before making an order under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) the Secretary of State must consult-

(a) such local authorities,

(b) such representatives of local government, and

(c) such other persons (if any),

as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(8) Before making an order under subsection (1) that has effect in relation to Wales, the Secretary of State must consult the Welsh Ministers.

S-6 Limits on power under section 5\\(1)

6 Limits on power under section 5\\(1)

(1) The Secretary of State may not make provision under section 5(1) unless the Secretary of State considers that the conditions in subsection (2), where relevant, are satisfied in relation to that provision.

(2) Those conditions are that-

(a) the effect of the provision is proportionate to...

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