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SUMMARY OF LEGISLATIVE CHANGES AND PUBLIC LAW CASES - 15 NOVEMBER

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Summary of legislative changes and public law cases affecting local government from Butterworths Law Direct daily u...
Summary of legislative changes and public law cases affecting local government from Butterworths Law Direct daily update. For more details see www.butterworths.co.uk

Name: Greater London Authority Act 1999.

Royal Assent: 11 November 1999.

Commencement: Partly on 11 November 1999; fully as from a day or days to be appointed.

Outline: Establishes the Greater London Authority consisting of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly of 25 members. Provision is made for the time of ordinary elections, voting at ordinary elections, vacancies in the Assembly and in the office of Mayor, and qualifications and disqualifications. Sets out the purpose and general powers of the Authority, the exercise of the functions of the Authority, the exercise of the Mayor's functions, public accountability, meetings and procedure of the Assembly, general functions of the Assembly, and staff. In particular, the Authority has the purpose of promoting economic and social development in Greater London and the improvement of the environment in Greater London, and may only exercise its powers where those purposes will be furthered.

Contains financial provisions, covering the status of the Authority as a precepting authority, budget requirements, calculation of council tax, the budget for the Metropolitan Police Authority, grants, credit approvals, capital grants and mutual grants, the Mayor's capital spending plan, administration, accounts and audit. Requires the Mayor to develop and implement policies for the promotion and encouragement of safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within Greater London. Makes a number of provisions relating to the functions of Transport for London, which replaces London Regional Transport.

Establishes the London Development Agency and makes miscellaneous provision as to its accountability. Amends the Police Act 1996 so as to provide for the establishment and membership of the Metropolitan Police Authority under that Act. Abolishes the office of the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District. Reconstitutes the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority as the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. Provides that the Mayor is required to direct, prepare and publish a spatial development strategy formulating the Mayor's strategy for spatial development in Greater London. Establishes the Cultural Strategy Group for London which is to formulate a draft strategy containing proposed policies with respect to culture, media and sport in Greater London.

Name: Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Royal Assent: 11 November 1999.

Commencement: Partly on 11 November 1999; fully as from a day to be appointed.

Outline: Empowers the Secretary of State to make an Order which may provide (for example) for leave to enter the United Kingdom to be granted in advance of arrival, otherwise than by the usual form of a passport stamp, for leave not to lapse on leaving the common travel area, and for visas to act as leave to enter. Gives the Secretary of State similar broad powers as respects leave to remain. Introduces new administrative removal procedures, which mirror those which currently apply in respect of illegal entrants, for persons who fail to observe conditions, overstayers and those who obtain leave by deception, and allows the Secretary of State to require financial security to be given before entry clearance is given. Makes further provision as respects passenger information and notification of non-EEA arrivals, and the supply of information to and from the Secretary of State. Obliges registrars to report marriages which they have reasonable grounds to suspect to be sham marriages. Extends and strengthens offences in respect of obtaining leave by deception and making false statements. Imposes a new civil penalty on persons responsible for the transport of clandestine entrants. Replaces the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987.

Makes provision as regards conditions of bail and arrest for breach of bail conditions. Restates the arrangements for the appointments of adjudicators and the constitution of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. Appoints an Immigration Services Commissioner whose duty is to promote good practice. Makes provision relating to support for asylum-seekers. Extends immigration officers' powers as respects arrest and powers of search. Places on a statutory footing the operation and management of detention centres. Amends the Marriage Act 1949 as respects sham marriages.

Name: R v Housing Benefit Review Board for Swale Borough Council, ex parte Marchant.

Cite: BLD 1111991367.

Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division.

Judge: Henry, Potter and Waller LJJ.

Hearing Date: 9 November 1999.

Representation: Richard Drabble QC and John Holbrook (instructed by Russell Campbell of Shelter) for the applicant. Richard Clayton (instructed by W D Milne) for the council.

Legislation Considered: Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, s 130; Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987, SI 1987/1971, regs 14, 15; Rent Officers (Additional Functions) Order 1995, SI 1995/1642.

Outline: Housing benefit-Assessment. The effect of SI 1987/1971, regs 14 and 15 was that a child of a claimant for housing benefit for whom the claimant's former spouse or partner was responsible should be excluded from the definition of occupier, as defined by SI 1995/1642, para 2 for the purposes of the claimant's application for housing benefit. The question of whether or not a person was to be treated as responsible for a child turned upon whether the child in question was normally living with that person.

Name: Consultation Paper: Calculation of the Major Repairs Allowance.

Issuing Department: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Issue Date: 9 November 1999.

Outline: Invites the views of interested parties on ways in which the Major Repairs Allowance ('MRA') might be calculated when it is implemented. In particular, views are being sought on: the proposal that the estimated need to spend on newly arising needs should be based on assumed replacement of all dwelling elements at the end of their standard life rather than at a time determined by surveyors' view of their likely remaining useful life; whether the proposed assumptions on standard elemental lifetimes are appropriate; the proposal that the standard assumptions should be reviewed every 5 years when new data becomes available for estimating average national necessary expenditure for each archetype; and the proposal that the way in which in-year stock charges are dealt with in the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system at present should also be used for the MRA. Comments are invited by 28 January 2000.

Name: Hearne v National Assembly for Wales and another.

Cite: BLD 0911991350.

Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division.

Judge: Lord Woolf MR, Pill and Judge LJJ.

Hearing Date: 22 October 1999.

Representation: A Masters (instructed by Battens, Yeovil) for H. Alice Robinson (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the respondents.

Legislation Considered: Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, s 24; Town and Country Planning Act 1990, s 289.

Annotations: Runnymede BC v Secretary of State for the Environment [1992] JLP 178 disapproved.

Outline: Enforcement notice-Appeal against notice. The relevant time for deciding whether an applicant for planning permission was a gypsy, and therefore entitled to take advantage of those provisions in the planning policies appropriate to gypsy caravan sites, was at the time of the inspector's inquiry into the application.

Name: Demetri v City of Westminster.

Cite: BLD 0811991340.

Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division.

Judge: Stuart Smith, Mance LJJ and Douglas Brown J.

Hearing Date: 4 November 1999.

Representation: Stephen Knafler (instructed by Traymans) for D. Collette Wilkins (instructed by Colin Wilson) for the council.

Legislation Considered: Housing Act 1996, ss 202(1),(2), 204.

Outline: Homeless person-Duty of housing authority to provide accommodation. When the Housing Act 1996, s 204(1) referred to a review under s 202 of the 1996 Act, the omission to any reference to any subsection was deliberate, the statutory scheme was clear and an appeal had to be brought within 21 days of the appellant being notified of the decision on the review requested under s 202(1) and not 21 days from a discretionary reconsideration of it under s 202(2).

Name: Local Elections (Northern Ireland)(Amendment) Order 1999.

Number: Draft.

Enabling Power: Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, s 38(1)(a).

Legislation Affected: Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962, Sch 5 amended.

Outline: Amends the local elections rules in the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962, Sch 5 to make provision equivalent to that which the amendments in the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998, Sch 2 made to the parliamentary elections rules in the Representation of the People Act 1983, Sch 1. Gives returning officers the power to reject nomination papers which include a description which is likely to lead voters to associate the candidate with a registered political party unless the description is authorised by or on behalf of the registered nominating officer of that party. Also provides for the inclusion of emblems of registered parties on ballot papers.

Name: Housing (Right to Buy)(Priority of Charges)(England) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2919.

Enabling Power: Housing Act 1985, s 156(4).

Commencement: 16 November 1999.

Outline: Specifies three bodies as approved lending institutions for the purposes of the Housing Act 1985, s 156. Such bodies hereby also become approved lending institutions for the purposes of the 1985 Act, s 36 and the Housing Act 1996, s 12. The specified bodies are also approved lending institutions for the purposes of rights under the Housing Act 1996, s 16.

Name: Consultation Document: Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000.

Issuing Department: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Issue Date: 3 November 1999.

Relevant Legislation: Environment Act 1995, ss 83, 87; Air Quality Regulations 1997, SI 1997/3043; Draft Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000.

Outline: Seeks views on the draft Regulations which will give effect, for the purposes of Local Air Quality Management, to the revised objectives set out in the draft Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These Regulations will come into effect early next year, following the publication of the Air Quality Strategy. Comments are invited by 20 December 1999.

Name: Consultation Document: New Deal for Communities-Race Equality Guidance.

Issuing Department: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Issue Date: 3 November 1999.

Outline: Contains consultation draft guidance to support New Deal for Communities ('NDC') Partnerships in developing ways to address race equality issues through their programmes. The draft guidance offers: reasons why race equality issues are important for all NDC Partnerships; an overview of the key principles associated with race equality issues and the NDC programme; advice on how to involve people and organisations from black and ethnic minority communities in the work of NDC Partnerships; advice about applying a race equality approach in each of the NDC priority outcome areas (Jobs, Education, Health and Crime); guidance on monitoring & evaluation for race equality; and guidelines for assessing the needs of black and ethnic minority communities in the NDC area. Consultation ends on 31 December 1999.

Name: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council v Begum.

Cite: BLD 0311991309.

Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division.

Judge: Stuart-Smith, Auld and Sedley LJJ.

Hearing Date: 1 November 1999.

Representation: Ranjit Bhose (instructed by Russell Power) for the appellant council. John Howell QC and Sylvester Carrott (instructed by McMillen Hamilton McCarthy) for B.

Legislation Considered: Housing Act 1996, ss 175, 202, 204; Rules of the Supreme Court (Revision) 1965, SI 1965/1776, Ord 55, r 3(1).

Annotations: R v Brighton & Hove DC, ex p Nacion (1 February 1999, unreported) considered.

Outline: Homeless person-Duty of housing authority to provide accommodation. As a matter of construction and of policy, the Housing Act 1996, s 204, in providing for an appeal to the county court 'on any point of law arising from' the review or original decision, gave it a power akin to that of judicial review exercisable in the High Court, including the power to quash a decision on the ground of procedural error, questions of vires, irrationality and inadequacy of reasons.

Name: District of Salisbury (Electoral Changes) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2924.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, ss 17, 26.

Commencement: Partly on 10 October 2002; fully on 1 May 2003.

Legislation Affected: SI 1975/1815 revoked.

Outline: Gives effect to recommendations by the Local Government Commission for England for electoral changes in the district of Salisbury, to have effect in relation to local government elections to be held on or after 1 May 2003. Abolishes the existing wards of the district and provides for the creation of 28 new wards. Makes provision for the names and areas of, and the number of councillors for, the new wards. Also makes electoral changes to specified wards. Revokes SI 1975/1815.

Name: Skrenty and another v Harrogate Borough Council and another.

Cite: BLD 0211991305.

Court: Chancery Division.

Judge: Bernard Livesey QC siting as a deputy judge of the High Court.

Hearing Date: 26 October 1999.

Representation: Earnest Scamell (instructed by Plant Gold & Co) for the claimants. Ruth Stockley (instructed by the solicitor to Harrogate Borough Council) for the defendants.

Annotations: Attorney-General v Antrobus [1905] 2 Ch 188 applied; William-Ellis v Cobb [1935] 1 KB 310 considered.

Outline: Stone buttress built on private land next to highway-Long history of public use as viewing platform over picturesque valley. To be capable of dedication and acceptance, an alleged highway had to consist of a right of passage exercisable along a defined route, and, where implied dedication was relied upon, had to lead, as a general rule, to a destination to which the public was entitled to go. Since the right to use a bench and platform on private land could not subsist as a public right, its use was necessarily permissive. There could be no public right in the nature of ius spatiandi, that is a right merely to wander on private land.

Name: R v Leicester City Council, ex parte Powergen UK plc.

Cite: BLD 0211991306.

Court: Queen's Bench Division.

Judge: Dyson J.

Hearing Date: 29 October 1999.

Representation: John Taylor QC and Vincent Fraser (instructed by Wragge & Co, Birmingham) for P. Tobias Davey (instructed by Leicester City Council) for Leicester City Council. Duncan Ouseley QC (instructed by Clifford Chance) and Michael Redman, solicitor advocate, of that firm for an interested party.

Legislation Considered: Town and Country Planning Act 1990, s 73.

Outline: Permission for development-Condition. The applicant did not have a legitimate expectation, arising from a course of correspondence, that a condition of planning permission would be given a particular interpretation where the officers of the planning authority did not have delegated power to vary or waive the condition.

Name: District of Kennet (Electoral Changes) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2922.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, ss 17, 26.

Commencement: Partly on 10 October 2002; fully on 1 May 2003.

Legislation Affected: SI 1976/297 revoked.

Outline: Gives effect to recommendations by the Local Government Commission for England for electoral changes in the district of Kennet, to have effect in relation to local government elections to be held on and after 1 May 2003. Abolishes all of the existing wards of the district and provides for the creation of 29 new wards. Also makes electoral changes to specified wards. Revokes SI 1976/297.

Name: District of North Wiltshire (Electoral Changes) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2923.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, ss 17, 26.

Commencement: Partly on 10 October 2002; fully on 1 May 2003.

Legislation Affected: SI 1979/1015 revoked.

Outline: Gives effect to recommendations by the Local Government Commission for England for electoral changes in the district of North Wiltshire. The changes have effect in relation to local government elections to be held on and after 1 May 1003. Abolishes the existing wards of the district and provides for the creation of 38 new wards. Also makes electoral changes to specified wards. Revokes SI 1979/1015.

Name: District of West Wiltshire (Electoral Changes) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2926.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, ss 17, 26.

Commencement: Partly on 10 October 2002; fully on 1 May 2003.

Legislation Affected: SI 1979/1108 revoked.

Outline: Gives effect to recommendations by the Local Government Commission for England for electoral changes in the district of West Wiltshire. The changes have effect in relation to local government elections to be held on and after 1 May 2003. Abolishes all of the existing wards of the district and provides for the creation of 25 new wards. Also makes electoral changes to specified wards. Revokes SI 1979/1108.

Name: Borough of Swindon (Electoral Changes) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2927.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, ss 17, 26.

Commencement: Partly on 22 October 1999; fully on 4 May 2000.

Legislation Affected: SI 1975/1921, 1986/237 revoked; SI 1995/1995 revoked in part.

Outline: Gives effect to recommendations by the Local Government Commission for England for electoral changes in the Borough of Swindon. Abolishes the existing wards of the borough and provides for the creation of 22 new wards. Also makes electoral changes to specified parishes. Revokes SI 1975/1921, 1986/237, and 1995/1995, Pt III.

Name: Major Precepting Authorities (Excessive Budget Requirements-Payments)(England) Regulations 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2842.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1999, s 31(5),(6).

Commencement: 15 November 1999.

Outline: Contain provisions for the calculation and timing of sums payable by major precepting authorities whose budget requirements are excessive to billing authorities to which those precepting authorities may issue a precept.

Name: Local Government Residuary Body (England)(Winding Up) Order 1999.

Number: SI 1999/2890.

Enabling Power: Local Government Act 1992, s 22(3)(b).

Commencement: 15 November 1999.

Legislation Affected: SI 1995/401 revoked in part.

Outline: Winds up the Local Government Residuary Body which was established to deal with the residual matters of abolished authorities following the review of the structure of local government in England. All remaining property, rights, liabilities and functions are transferred to the Secretary of State. Revokes SI 1995/401, Pt II which established the Residuary Body.

Butterworths Local Government Law Direct can be found at www.butterworths.co.uk. Subscribers to LGCnet are entitled to a 20% discount to an annual subscription.

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