National Alliance Against Tolls - Section 116 Local polls

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(page created 24 November 2008)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 2003 - Section 116 Local polls

From the Act:-

(1) A local authority may conduct a poll to ascertain the views of those polled about-

(a) any matter relating to-

(i) services provided in pursuance of the authority's functions, or
(ii) the authority's expenditure on such services, or

(b) any other matter if it is one relating to the authority's power under section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 (c. 22) (authority's power to promote well-being of its area).

(2) It shall be for the local authority concerned to decide-

(a) who is to be polled, and,

(b) how the poll is to be conducted.

(3) In conducting a poll under this section, a local authority must have regard to any guidance issued by the appropriate person on facilitating participation in a poll under this section by such of those polled as are disabled people.

(4) This section is without prejudice to any powers of a local authority exercisable otherwise than by virtue of this section.

(5) In this section, "local authority" means-

(a) in relation to England-

(i) a county council;
(ii) a district council;
(iii) a London borough council;
(iv) the Greater London Authority;
(v) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local authority;
(vi) the Council of the Isles of Scilly, and

(b) in relation to Wales, a county council or a county borough council.


356. This section confirms, by creation of an express power, the right of a local authority to conduct an advisory poll. There is no obligation on a local authority to hold such a poll, nor any requirement to act in accordance with the result of such a poll.

357. The extent of this express power is broadly drawn, allowing the local authority to hold a poll on any matter relating to the services for which it is responsible (including where these may be delivered by a third party), or the finance that it commits to those services, or any other matter that is one relating to the authority's power under section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 (authority's power to promote well-being of its area).

358. The section also provides express freedom to a local authority in determining, for any poll it proposes to hold, who to poll and how the poll is to be conducted. The clause also provides for the Secretary of State in England and the National Assembly for Wales in Wales to be able to issue guidance **, to which local authorities must have regard, on facilitating participation by disabled people in a local poll.

** As at November 2008, no guidance has been issued.

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