Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Nineteenth Report


APPENDIX IV

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1988 (COMPETITION) (ENGLAND) (NO. 2) REGULATIONS (S.I. 1997/2732)

Memorandum by the Department of the Environment,

Transport and the Regions

1.  The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point:

    The "specified proportion" of the functional work regulated by the various Regulations being amended and which is subject to the restriction in section 6 of the Local Government Act 1988 is defined in the substituted definitions in regulations 3(2)(c), 4(2)(b), 6(2)(b), 7(2)(b) and 8(2)(b) as an amount equal to the amount produced by the formula set out in those definitions.

Explain -

    (a) whether the formulae are capable of producing a negative or nil amount;

    (b) if so, whether the effect is to disapply section 6.

2.  With regard to (a), it is confirmed that the formulae are capable of producing a negative or nil amount.

3.  With regard to (b), the intention is not to disapply section 6. This is for the reasons set out in the Welsh Office's Memorandum to the Committee dated 11th August 1997 concerning the Local Government Act 1988 (Competition) (Wales) Regulations 1997 (S.I 1997/1699). The present Regulations were laid before Parliament on 21st November 1997. Subsequently, the Department saw the Committee's conclusions on the earlier Welsh Regulations which were contained in its 11th report published on 25th November 1997.

4.  The Department, like the Welsh Office, is still of the view that the fact that the formulae are capable of producing a negative or nil amount does not necessarily mean that section 6 of the 1988 Act is disapplied. In addition, it is Ministers' intention to introduce legislation at the earliest opportunity to replace the CCT regime and repeal the relevant Part of the 1988 Act. However, in view of the Committee's earlier conclusions, the Department is considering whether it may be possible, under existing powers, appropriately to amend the formulae so as to meet the Committee's concerns.

5th January 1998


 
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