Local Government Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART II, ARRANGEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO EXECUTIVES - continued
Provisions with respect to executive arrangements - continued

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Overview and scrutiny committees.     19. - (1) Executive arrangements by a local authority must include provision for the appointment by the authority of one or more committees of the authority (referred to in this Part as overview and scrutiny committees).
 
      (2) Executive arrangements by a local authority must ensure that their overview and scrutiny committee has power (or their overview and scrutiny committees have power between them)-
 
 
    (a) to review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the executive,
 
    (b) to make reports or recommendations to the authority or the executive with respect to the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the executive,
 
    (c) to review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the executive,
 
    (d) to make reports or recommendations to the authority or the executive with respect to the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the executive,
 
    (e) to make reports and recommendations to the authority or the executive on matters which affect the authority's area or their inhabitants.
      (3) The power of an overview and scrutiny committee under subsection (2)(a) to review or scrutinise a decision made but not implemented includes power-
 
 
    (a) to recommend that the decision be reconsidered by the person who made it, or
 
    (b) to arrange for its function under subsection (2)(a), so far as it relates to the decision, to be exercised by the authority.
      (4) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority may not discharge any functions other than its functions under this section.
 
      (5) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority-
 
 
    (a) may appoint one or more sub-committees, and
 
    (b) may arrange for the discharge of any of its functions by any such sub-committee.
      (6) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, may not include any member of the authority's executive.
 
      (7) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or any sub-committee of such a committee, may include persons who are not members of the authority, but (subject to subsection (9)) any such persons are not entitled to vote at any meeting of such a committee or sub-committee on any question which falls to be decided at that meeting.
 
      (8) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, which has functions in relation to any education function which is the responsibility of the executive must include persons appointed-
 
 
    (a) to represent parent governors at maintained schools in the authority's area, and
 
    (b) to represent persons who appoint foundation governors for voluntary schools in the authority's area.
      (9) Any person appointed to an overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee by virtue of subsection (8) is to be entitled to vote at any meeting of the committee or sub-committee on any question which relates to any education function mentioned in that subsection and which falls to be decided at the meeting.
 
      (10) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, is to be treated-
 
 
    (a) as a committee or sub-committee of a principal council for the purposes of Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972 (access to meetings and documents of certain authorities, committees and sub-committees), and
 
    (b) as a body to which section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (duty to allocate seats to political groups) applies.
      (11) An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority-
 
 
    (a) may require members of the executive, and officers of the authority, to attend before it to answer questions, and
 
    (b) may invite other persons to attend meetings of the committee.
      (12) It is the duty of any member or officer mentioned in subsection (11)(a) to comply with any requirement so mentioned.
 
      (13) In this section-
 
 
    "foundation governor" and "voluntary school" have the same meaning as in the Education Act 1996,
 
    "maintained school" and "parent governor" have the same meaning as in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
Access to meetings and information etc.     20. - (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision-
 
 
    (a) with respect to the access of the public to meetings of executives or committees of executives (including provision enabling such meetings to take place in private),
 
    (b) for or in connection with requiring written records to be kept of decisions made, or other action taken, by executives, or members or committees of executives, in connection with the discharge of functions which are the responsibility of executives,
 
    (c) for or in connection with requiring written records falling within paragraph (b) to include reasons,
 
    (d) for or in connection with requiring written records falling within paragraph (b) to be made available to the public,
 
    (e) for or in connection with the creation of offences in respect of any rights or requirements created or imposed by the regulations.
      (2) The provision which may be made by virtue of subsection (1) includes provision which applies or reproduces (with or without modifications) any provisions of Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972.
 
      (3) Nothing in subsection (2) affects the generality of the power under subsection (1).
 
Further provision.     21. Schedule 1 (which makes further provision in relation to executive arrangements) has effect.
 
Absence of requirement for political balance.     22. Neither-
 
 
    (a) a local authority executive, nor
 
    (b) a committee of a local authority executive,
  is to be regarded as a body to which section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (duty to allocate seats to political groups) applies.
 
 
Procedure with respect to operation of executive arrangements
Proposals.     23. - (1) Every local authority must-
 
 
    (a) draw up proposals for the operation of executive arrangements, and
 
    (b) send a copy of the proposals to the Secretary of State.
      (2) In drawing up proposals under this section, a local authority must decide-
 
 
    (a) which form the executive is to take, and
 
    (b) which of the functions specified in regulations under section 11(2)(b) are to be the responsibility of the executive.
      (3) In drawing up proposals under this section, a local authority-
 
 
    (a) must take reasonable steps to consult local government electors, and other interested persons, in the authority's area, and
 
    (b) must comply with any directions given by the Secretary of State.
      (4) Proposals under this section must include-
 
 
    (a) such details of the executive arrangements as the Secretary of State may direct,
 
    (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.
      (5) A copy of proposals under this section which is sent to the Secretary of State must be accompanied by a statement which describes-
 
 
    (a) the steps which the authority took to consult local government electors, and other interested persons, in the authority's area, and
 
    (b) the outcome of that consultation and the extent to which that outcome is reflected in the proposals.
      (6) The Secretary of State may by order specify a date by which every local authority, or every local authority falling within any description of authority specified in the order, must comply with this section.
 
Proposals not requiring referendum.     24. - (1) Where a local authority's proposals under section 23 do not involve a form of executive for which a referendum is required, the authority must implement the proposals in accordance with the timetable included in the proposals.
 
      (2) Any reference in this Part to a form of executive for which a referendum is required is a reference to-
 
 
    (a) a mayor and cabinet executive,
 
    (b) a mayor and council manager executive, or
 
    (c) a form of executive prescribed in regulations under section 10(5) which is expressed in those regulations to be a form of executive for which a referendum is required.
 
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