0370 270 6000

Local government, devolution and powers to charge and trade

26 March 2015

Councils have a wide number of powers which allow them to trade and to charge for services which are often underused. This is often because the perception of councils making a ‘profit’ is controversial. We only need to consider the views of Mr Pickles and vocal criticism of parking enforcement and other fines to see the extent of this difficultly for councils.

Charging and trading powers are, in any event, subject to a complex legal framework and this complexity does not help in making the best use of the opportunities available.

However if councils are going to be able to throw off some of the chains of central government control, part of that has to involve taking ownership of how it charges for certain services and whether it ought to trade in others. One of the conclusions following our recent roundtable on regional devolution was that relaxation of the rules could allow councils greater freedom to collaborate with other private and public sector organisations and make use of a greater number of their functions and powers in order to generate income.

Related opinions

Environmental Protection Act 1990 claims - the next big thing for claimant solicitors?

Over the last few years, our local authority and housing association clients have reported a significant increase in the number of claims received, usually from one of a specific group of claimant solicitors acting on behalf of tenants alleging a breach of their landlord’s repairing obligations.

View blog

School not liable for reckless actions of a student

The decision reinforces that the standard of the duty of care owed by schools is one or reasonableness.

View blog

An exit for public sector exit pay

It took over 5 years for secondary legislation implementing the £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments to be brought into force; only a few months later, the Government has announced that the Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) will be revoked, citing “unintended consequences” which have been identified after “extensive review”.

View blog

The Debt Respite Scheme and its implications for creditors

The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 is due to come into force on 4 May 2021. It’s a snappy title but what exactly is it?

View blog

Peter Ware

Peter Ware

Partner and Head of Government Sector

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up