Council Tax

February 10th, 2014

The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/165, made by the Secretary of State pursuant to Sections 8 and 20 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, and amending the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001, SI 2001/3384, were laid before Parliament on 31 January 2014 and will come into force on 25 February 2014.  The Amendment Regulations are “localism” in reverse, imposing “best practice”.  They require that the votes at key budget decision meetings by local authorities are recorded, something of course which it is already open to local authorities to do.  There is a diktat that in the Minutes of such meetings there must be a record of how each member present voted on the budget ie voted on the council tax or the issuing of the precept in the case of precepting authorities.  Moreover, the Explanatory Notes state (para 8.3) that CLG’s “expectation” is “that all councils will follow this practice at their budget meetings even where these are held in advance of the practice becoming mandatory”.

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