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TRADE-FOR-PROFIT BILL INTRODUCED

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A Labour MP is to introduce a Bill into the Commons which would give councils a clear right to trade for profit. ...
A Labour MP is to introduce a Bill into the Commons which would give councils a clear right to trade for profit.

The move is being backed by the Association of Direct Labour Organisations and comes despite a government U-turn in its interpretation on the existing law governing councils' powers to trade.

The Bill will not become law, but it will raise the profile of the issue among MPs.

Legal opinion issued by the DoE in December said councils could trade for profit with the private sector and other councils (LGC, 15 December).

But ADLO claims there are still grey areas which could leave councils open to legal challenge. The Local Authority (trading and competition powers) Bill, which will be put forward by the member for Pendle, Gordon Prentice, will attempt to remove this doubt.

'The legislation will aim to give local authority specific powers to trade for profit,' said ADLO director John Roberts.

He said the Bill would give councils the power to trade for profit with the private sector and make it easier for authorities to introduce schemes under the private finance initiative.

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