HC Deb 25 March 2002 vol 382 cc651-2W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list additional statutory obligations placed upon local authorities by the Government in each of the past five years. [40215]

Dr. Whitehead

The information for all Departments is not held centrally. The main new duties placed on local authorities by my Department in the last five years include:

Local Government Act 1999 Duty of best value to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which they exercise their functions, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Greater London Authority Act 1999 Duty on London borough councils and the common council of the City of London to have regard to the Mayor's transport strategy, municipal waste management strategy and London air quality strategy; and to consult the Mayor on their unitary development plan to ensure it is in general conformity with the Mayor's spatial development strategy.

Local Government Act 2000 Duty to consult, draw up proposals and implement new executive arrangements. Duty to hold a referendum on a directly elected mayor if their proposals involve a form of executive which includes a directly elected mayor, where a valid petition is submitted or the Secretary of State directs the authority. Duty to appoint an overview and scrutiny committee. Duty to prepare a community strategy. Duty to adopt a code of conduct within six months of the new model code coming into force. Duty to establish a standards committee. Duty to set up an independent remuneration panel to advise on their allowance scheme.

Transport Act 2000 Duty to prepare and keep under review a local transport plan, which includes a bus strategy, for their area. Duty to offer disabled residents and elderly people of state pension age a free pass entitling them to half fares on local bus services.

Representation of the People Act 2001 and Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 Various duties, or changes to duties, in relation to local, parliamentary, and European parliamentary elections, including the registration of electors and the conduct of elections in their areas.

Homelessness Act 2002> Stronger duties to accommodate and assist homeless people. Duty on housing authorities to adopt a homelessness strategy every five years based on a homelessness review, and a duty on social services to co-operate in this on request. Duty on housing departments to co-operate with social services when dealing with homeless families with children.