0370 270 6000

Localism Bill imposes 'unfair' EU fines on local authorities

17 December 2010

The newly proposed Localism Bill contains in it a general power for the Secretary of State to order councils to contribute to the UK’s obligation to pay an EU fine, if an act or omission of the council can be shown to have contributed to the fine being imposed.

The EU Treaty clearly specifies that fines are attributable to the member state. This measure would allow the government to fine councils, extra-judicially by executive action, in order to raise money to pay fines legally imposed on the government.

Firstly, can such a measure be introduced without any consultation whatsoever? Secondly, how on earth will it be possible to fairly calculate any liability between the countries of the UK let alone the councils in England?

The current proposals seem unfair, difficult to administer and potentially very burdensome on local authorities. It might be better looking at how local and central government can work together to ensure the UK isn’t fined in the first place instead.

Related opinions

Homes England partners with local authorities to boost the levelling up agenda

Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, has partnered with two local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, in a new Strategic Place Partnership (SPP) which is designed to align with the government’s levelling up agenda by delivering new homes in the regions.

View blog

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Building Safety Bill receives Royal Assent

The new regime introduced by the Act will take shape over the next 18 months, but those who design, build or manage high rise buildings are being urged to get ready for the changes to be introduced through the act.

View blog

Local Health Systems: Relationships not structures

The Local Government Information Unit’s Local Democracy Research Centre report, there are calls for a reinvigorated role for local government as leaders of local health systems, to develop and strengthen relationships of trust, transparency and cooperation.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up