§ Mr. Dewar
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out in detail the range of default powers open to him and other Ministers in dealing with local authorities in Scotland in the same form as used by his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment in his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) on 11 April 1984, Official Report, column 249.
§ Mr. Younger
[pursuant to his reply, 5 December 1984, c. 217]: I have identified the following default powers.
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, section 211The Secretary of State or any appropriate Minister, if he is satisfied that a local authority have failed to do what is required of them under any enactment or if he is of opinion that an investigation should be made into whether they have SO failed, may cause a local inquiry to be held. If after the inquiry the Secretary of State or appropriate Minister is satisfied that there has been a failure on the part of the authority he may make an order declaring them to be in default and directing them to remedy the default.(Note: Under section 211(3) of the 1973 Act, and, in respect of other default powers mentioned below, under section 91 of the Court of Session Act 1868, if a local authority fails to comply ultimate enforcement may be by order of the Court of Session on an application by the Lord Advocate.)
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, section 104The Secretary of State may make an order giving effect to any recommendation by the Commission for Local Authority Accounts in Scotland where the Controller of Audit has made a special report to the Commission. (Under section 102(3) of the 1973 Act the Controller of Audit is required to make a special report to the Commission on a local authority's accounts in certain specified circumstances. These include (a) failure to bring into account any sum which ought to have been brought into account; (b) loss arising from negligence by any person or from failure of the authority to carry out a statutory duty; (c failure by the authority to take steps to remedy the accounting of any sum to the wrong account. If the Commission find that any item of expenditure falls within the specified circumstances they are required to send the special report to the Secretary of State together with their findings, and they may recommend him to make an order (a) requiring any person responsible to make a payment to the local authority or (b) directing the authority to rectify its accounts.)
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, section 111Under subsections 1(d) and (e) the Secretary of State may make regulations providing for the payment of interest by one local authority to another or to a body such as a joint board in respect of payments of rates or requisitions which are not made by the prescribed date.
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1981, section 19If information required from an authority under section 199 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 is not given timeously, the Secretary of State may make an estimate of any element of the required information, which is then deemed to be information given by the authority.
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972, section 15The Secretary of State may carry out a survey or prepare, alter, repeal or replace a structure or local plan; or may authorise another planning authority to do these things.
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972, section 260(1)The Secretary of State, after consulting with the planning authority, may make orders under section 42 (revoking or modifying planning permission), section 49 (requiring the discontinuance or removal of development), section 49A (prohibiting resumption of winning and working of minerals), 333W section 49B (requiring steps to be taken for the protection of the environment after suspension of winning and working minerals) and tree preservation orders. Section 260(4) provides that the Secretary of State must give the planning authority an opportunity of being heard by a person appointed for the purpose if he proposes to make an order under section 260(1).
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972, section 260(5)The Secretary of State may, after consulting with the planning authority, serve a completion notice under section 41, an enforcement notice under section 84, a stop notice under section 87 and a listed building enforcement notice under section 92.
Town and Country Planning (Enforcement of Control) (Scotland) Regulations 1984, Regulation 8This applies the Regulations to enforcement notices issued by the Secretary of State under section 260(5) of the 1972 Act.
The Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Act 1957, section 16The Secretary of State may, after holding an inquiry, make orders declaring an auhtority to be in default of an overspill agreement or town development scheme and requiring the authority to remedy the default by taking such action as may be specified in the orders.
Tenants' Rights Etc. (Scotland) Act 1980, section 30(9)The Secretary of State may direct an islands or district council to change the rate of interest which it charges on its home loans if he considers that the rate being charged does not satisfy the requirements of subsection 30(4).
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980, section 70The Secretary of State may, if he is satisfied that an education authority, the managers of a school or educational establishment, or other persons, have failed to carry out any duty imposed on them by or for the purposes of the Act or of any other enactment relating to education, make an order requiring them to discharge that duty by a specified date. If the duty is not then discharged by the specified date the Secretary of State may make arrangements for the discharge of the duty, recovering the expenses incurred from the person or persons in default of the duty; or, on the application of the Lord Advocate the Court of Session may order specific performance of the duty.
Sex Discrimination Act 1975, section 25This applies section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 to the performance by education authorities of the duties imposed by sections 22, 23 and 25 of this Act.
Race Relations Act 1976, section 19This applies section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 to the performance by education authorities of the duties imposed by sections 17, 18 and 19 of this Act.
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, sections 70 and 85The Secretary of State may direct a local authority to erect a traffic sign, or remove one or, on refusal, carry out the work and recover expense.
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, section 93The Secretary of State may arrange the placing or removal of bollards or other obstructions on any roads leading into or on any non-trunk road and recover the costs from the local authority concerned.
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, Schedule 9, paragraph 4The Secretary of State may require any local authority to make a traffic regulation or speed limit order or may prohibit the authority from making such orders. The Secretary of State may also on limited grounds make such orders himself.
Harbours, Piers and Ferries (Scotland) Act 1937, section 15The Secretary of State may serve notice on a harbour authority which has received assistance by way of grant or loan out of moneys provided by Parliament, to require it to carry out any 334W particular operation that is necessary in order to maintain a marine work in an efficient condition and proper state of repair. Where the authority fails to carry out the work the Secretary of State may have it done and recover the cost from the authority. There is provision for appeal to the Sheriff.
Harbours Act 1964, section 15The Secretary of State, with respect to a harbour owned by a local authority, may make a harbour revision order if he is satisfied that it ought to be made for the reconstituting and/or regulating of the procedure of the harbour authority. He can make the order despite the fact that no application to him for the making of it is received from the local authority who improve, maintain or manage the harbour.
Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, section 12The Secretary of State may by order empower any person to discharge any local authority rodent control function where he is satisfied that this function is not being satisfactory performed by the authority. He may recover from the local authority the cost incurred.
Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1958, section 10The Secretary of State may require any local authority to furnish him with information necessary to enable him properly to discharge his functions under the Act. Anyone failing to comply would be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine.
Medicines Act 1968, section 109(2) and (3)The Secretary of State may enforce regulations relating to the sale of animal feeding stuffs and also to their labelling and storage.
Agriculture Act 1970, section 67(8)The Secretary of State may, if of the opinion that local authority enforcement is insufficient, appoint one or more inspectors to discharge any local authority's functions in relation to the protection of fertilizers and feedingstuffs. He may recover the costs from the local authority concerned.
Animal Health Act 1981, section 59(1)The Secretary of State may order empower a named person to execute or enforce any of the provisions of the Animal Health Act 1981, or of an order made under the Act, where a local authority has failed to do so. Costs may be recovered from the local authority.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH MATTERS
Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897, sections 146 and 148The Secretary of State may institute proceedings againts a local authority to compel them to do their duty with respect to the removal of nuisances.
Coast Protection Act 1949, section 29The Secretary of State may cause an enquiry to be held if a coast protection authority is suspected of failing to take sufficient measures, and may make an order directing them to exercise their powers.
Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) Act 1951, section 12(3)The Secretary of State may direct a river purification board to delegate functions to a water authority.
Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) Act 1951, section 26(7) and (8)The Secretary of State may require river purification authority to make byelaws and may thereafter require the revocation of such byelaws if necessary. If the authority fails to comply the Secretary of State may himself revoke and make new byelaws as he considers necessary.
Food and Drugs (Scotland) Act 1956, section 55If the Secretary of State after communication with a local authority is of the opinion that the authority have failed to exercise any of their functions under the Act or any regulations or orders made thereunder by him he may by order empower an 335W officer of his department to exercise or procure the exercise of that function. He may recover from the local authority the costs incurred.
Clean Air Act 1956, section 31The Secretary of State may institute proceedings under sections 146 and 148 of the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897 against a local authority to compel them to do their duty with respect to the removal of smoke nuisances.
Spray Irrigation (Scotland) Act 1964, section 1(2)The Secretary of State may, in performance of his duty to promote the conservation of water etc, require a river purification board to make application for an order to control abstraction of water for the purpose of spray irrigation.
Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) Act 1965, section 5(1)The Secretary of State may direct a river purification authority to vary or revoke conditions governing discharges and, if the authority fail to comply, may himself give notice of variation of revocation.
Clean Air Act 1968, section 8(4)The Secretary of State may direct a local authority who have insufficiently exercised their smoke control powers to do so in such manner and within such period as he may specify.
Medicines Act 1968, section 109The Secretary of State may enforce or secure the enforcement of the Act and regulations or orders made under it if, after making such inquiry as he thinks fit, he takes the view that any body which has a duty to enforce the provisions of the Act as set out in subsections 108(4) to (8) has failed to perform the duty.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, section 45The Secretary of State may cause a local inquiry to be held where a local authority is considered not to have discharged its health and safety functions correctly. If appropriate, he may then direct the authority to perform its enforcement functions.
Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, sections 1(5) and (6) and section 3(9)The Secretary of State may, following a local inquiry, require a local authority to provide a plan for the deposit of refuse where they have failed to do so.
Water (Scotland) Act 1980, section 11The Secretary of State may, where it appears to him that a water authority or water development board has failed to undertake duties as required under the Act, direct the authority or board to remedy the default and, if they fail to comply, by order transfer the duties to another authority or board.
Police Grant (Scotland) Order 1947 (SI 1659), Article 3 (Made under the Police (Scotland) Act 1967, section 32The Secretary of State may withhold police grant in whole or part, permanently or for such time as he may determine, if he is not satisfied that the policy area is efficiently policed, that adequate co-operation is afforded by the police force to other police forces, that the police service is efficiently and properly maintained, equipped and administered, and that rates of pay and allowances of the force are as prescibed or approved by him.
Police (Scotland) Act 1967, section 11(2) and (4)The Secretary of State may, if it appears to him expedient in the interests of public safety or order that a police force should be reinforced or receive other assistance to enable it to meet any special demand, direct the chief constable of another police force to provide such assistance as he may specify; and the Secretary of State may give directions as to the arrangements for dividing the costs of such assistance between the police authorities concerned.
Police (Scotland) Act 1967, section 12(3) and (5)If it appears to the Secretary of State that any police functions can be more efficiently discharged by constables of two or more forces acting jointly, or that any premises, equipment or other 336W material or facilities can with advantage be provided jointly for the police forces in two or more areas, he may after, considering any representations made by the parties concerned, direct those parties to enter into an agreement for these purposes; and he may determine the arrangements for apportioning the costs among the police authorities concerned.
Police (Scotland) Act 1967, section 20If it appears to the Secretary of State that the expendiency in the interests of efficiency of making an amalgamation scheme for any police area should be considered, and no scheme satisfactory to him has been submitted to him by the police authorities concerned before such date as he may fix, he may by order make such a scheme.
Fire Services Act 1947, section 19 (as amended by section 7 of the Fire Services Act 1959)The Secretary of State has the power to make a new establishment scheme if an authority's scheme is unsatisfactory.
Fire Services Act 1947, section 33 (as expanded by section 29 of the Fire Precautions Act 1971)The Secretary of State may hold a public local inquiry into the manner in which an authority is discharging its functions under this Act and the Fire Precautions Act 1971, or the steps taken to deal with an individual fire.
Fire Services Act 1947, section 36The Secretary of State has the power to make a new administration scheme for a combined area if the constituent authorities' scheme is unsatisfactory.
Civil Defence Act 1948, section 2(2)(c) (as applied by Civil Defence (General) (Scotland) Regulations 1949, Regulation 5)The Secretary of State, where he is satisfied that a local authority has failed or has refused properly to discharge any of the civil defence functions conferred on it, may either empower himself to discharge those functions or authorise or require some other authority or person to do so (in either case in the name and at the expense of the defaulting authority).
The Civil Defence (Grant) (Scotland) Regulations 1953, Regulation 6The Secretary of State may withhold, in whole or in part, permanently or for such time as he may determine, payment of civil defence grant if a local authority has, among other things, failed to perform its civil defence functions efficiently or failed to comply with any directions issued by him with which the authority is bound to comply under the Civil Defence Act 1948.
Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965, section 7(8)Where a local registration authority (a Regional or Islands Council) has failed to fill a vacancy in the office of district registrar after being required to do so by the Registrar General, the vacancy is to be filled by the Secretary of State on the application of the Registrar General.
Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967, section 55The Secretary of State may make byelaws in default of the local authority's complying with a direction to do so themselves within 3 months.
District Courts (Scotland) Act 1975, section 5(4)The Secretary of State may, where it appears to him expedient to do so in order to avoid delays in the administration of justice in any district court, direct the local authority concerned to appoint a qualified person to act as a stipendiary magistrate in that court.
Licensing (Scotland) Act 1967, section 1(11)337WIf a Licensing Board is not elected at the time at which it ought to be elected, or an insufficient number of members is elected for a board the Secretary of State may by order provide for the holding of another election or elections for supplying such fault or deficiency in election at such times and in such manner as he may think expedient.
Representation of the People Act 1983, section 18(5)The Secretary of State may direct returning officers to alter polling arrangements when the returning officer fails to provide polling arrangements to meet the reasonable requirements of electors, and may make the alterations himself if the returning officer fails to make them within a month of the directive having been given.