Local Government Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART II, ARRANGEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO EXECUTIVES - continued

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Revised executive arrangements
Revised executive arrangements.     21. - (1) A local authority which is operating executive arrangements by virtue of a resolution under section 20(1) ("the existing executive arrangements") may draw up proposals for the operation of executive arrangements under which one or more of the following conditions is satisfied-
 
 
    (a) the executive takes a form which is different to its form under the existing executive arrangements,
 
    (b) the functions specified in regulations under 11(1)(b) which are the subject of the arrangements are different to those which are the subject of the existing executive arrangements,
 
    (c) the arrangements differ from the existing executive arrangements in any other respect.
      (2) In drawing up proposals under this section which involve an executive which takes a different form, a local authority must take reasonable steps to consult local government electors, and other interested persons, in the authority's area.
 
      (3) If-
 
 
    (a) under the existing executive arrangements the executive takes the form specified in section 10(2) or (4), and
 
    (b) the proposals under this section do not involve an executive which takes a different form,
  the local authority may not implement the proposals without the consent of the elected mayor under the existing executive arrangements.
 
      (4) The consent of the elected mayor is not required under subsection (3) if the arrangements which are the subject of the proposals mentioned in subsection (3)(b) differ from the existing executive arrangements only in respect of the operation and functions of overview and scrutiny committees.
 
      (5) If-
 
 
    (a) under the existing executive arrangements the executive takes the form specified in section 10(2) or (4), and
 
    (b) the proposals under this section involve an executive which takes a different form,
  then, subject to complying with section 30(1), the local authority must hold a referendum on the proposals before taking any steps to implement them.
 
      (6) If-
 
 
    (a) under the existing executive arrangements the executive takes the form specified in section 10(3), and
 
    (b) the proposals under this section involve an executive which takes a different form,
  then, subject to complying with section 30(1), the local authority must hold a referendum on the proposals before taking any steps to implement them.
 
      (7) If the result of a referendum under subsection (5) is to approve a local authority's proposals, the authority must implement the proposals but not before the end of the term of office of the elected mayor under the existing executive arrangements.
 
      (8) If the result of a referendum under subsection (6) is to approve a local authority's proposals, the authority must implement the proposals.
 
      (9) If the result of a referendum under subsection (5) or (6) is to reject a local authority's proposals, the authority may not implement the proposals.
 
      (10) Proposals under this section must include-
 
 
    (a) details of the revised executive arrangements (including details of the operation and functions of overview and scrutiny committees under the arrangements),
 
    (b) a timetable with respect to the implementation of the proposals, and
 
    (c) details of any transitional arrangements which are necessary for the implementation of the proposals.
      (11) Section 20 applies in relation to the operation of executive arrangements which are the subject of proposals under this section as it applies in relation to the operation of executive arrangements which are the subject of proposals under section 18 or 19; and the reference in subsection (1) to section 20(1) includes a reference to that section as it applies by virtue of this subsection.
 
 
Referendums
Referendum following petition.     22. - (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision requiring a local authority which receives a petition-
 
 
    (a) signed by not less than 5 per cent. of the local government electors for the authority's area, and
 
    (b) requesting a referendum on whether the authority should operate executive arrangements under which the executive takes the form specified in either section 10(2) or (4),
  to hold such a referendum in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the regulations.
 
      (2) The provision which may be made by regulations under subsection (1) includes, in particular, provision as to-
 
 
    (a) the form that a petition is to take,
 
    (b) the manner in which a petition is to be given to a local authority,
 
    (c) the verification of any petition,
 
    (d) the date on which, or the time by which, a referendum must be held,
 
    (e) the action to be taken by a local authority before a referendum, and
 
    (f) the action to be taken by a local authority after a referendum.
      (3) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(e) includes provision with respect to the drawing up of proposals for the operation of executive arrangements.
 
      (4) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(f) includes provision with respect to the implementation, or non-implementation, of proposals for the operation of executive arrangements.
 
      (5) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend subsection (1)(a).
 
Power of Secretary of State to require referendum.     23. - (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision enabling him, in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the regulations, to require a local authority to hold a referendum on whether they should operate executive arrangements under which the executive takes one of the forms specified in section 10(2) to (4).
 
      (2) The provision which may be made by regulations under this section includes, in particular, provision as to-
 
 
    (a) the date on which, or the time by which, a referendum must be held,
 
    (b) the action to be taken by a local authority before a referendum, and
 
    (c) the action to be taken by a local authority after a referendum.
      (3) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(b) includes provision with respect to the drawing up of proposals for the operation of executive arrangements.
 
      (4) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(c) includes provision with respect to the implementation, or non-implementation, of proposals for the operation of executive arrangements.
 
 
Guidance
Guidance.     24. - (1) A local authority must have regard to any guidance for the time being issued by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this Part.
 
      (2) The provision which may be included in guidance under this section includes, in particular, provision with respect to-
 
 
    (a) the time within which local authorities must draw up proposals under section 18,
 
    (b) the time within which local authorities must implement proposals under that section,
 
    (c) the availability to the public of information about the operation of executive arrangements, and
 
    (d) the operation and functions of overview and scrutiny committees under executive arrangements.
      (3) Guidance under this section may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of local authority.
 
 
Elected mayors
Elected mayors.     25. - (1) In this Part "elected mayor", in relation to a local authority, means an individual elected as mayor of the authority by the local government electors for the authority's area in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
 
      (2) Subject to regulations under section 26, the term of office of an elected mayor is to be four years.
 
 
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Prepared 26 November 1999