Brexit Implications for Sector
The NALC Legal Team have produced a briefing focussing on relevant sector changes post Brexit including procurement, data protection, donations, parish polls and easements. Updates to the Legal Topic Notes for charity law and policing will be forthcoming.
NALC has received queries about the references to the EU Procurement thresholds in Model Standing Order 18 and whether they are obsolete as of 1 January 2021. The answer is no. The figures in MSO 18 apply for the purposes of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016.
On a further procurement point, the end of the transition period also brings new advertising requirements and the introduction of “find a tender”. Government guidance, which also includes procurement policy notes, FAQs and a flow chart sums up the main points.
Requirements to advertise on ContractsFinder remain unchanged.
The EU GDPR will no longer apply directly in the UK at the end of the transition period.
However its requirements must still be complied after this point. The new regime is known as “the UK GDPR” and incorporates the Data Protection Act 2018 and other Regulations. NALC Legal will give further guidance as appropriate.
Covid Relief Voucher scheme - Powers
NALC is aware that councils without the ability to exercise the General Power of Competence are facing limitations in the form of s.137 donations. Recently, a principal authority set up a scheme enabling their councillors to make donations of vouchers to local bodies, including parish councils. The question asked was what councils could do if they did not have sufficient s.137 funds.
In the particular case it was NALC's view that s.139 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972 would apply as parish councils would be holding and administering gifts for the benefit of the inhabitants of their area. They wouldn’t be making donations of their own funds and, as such, s.137 would not be engaged.
The relevant regulations (The Parish and Community Meetings (Coronavirus) (Polls) (Amendment) (England) Rules 2020) have been updated to bring parish polls in to line with the other postponed elections so that no polls will be able to be held until 6 May next year.
LTN 57 (Easements over Common Land and Village Green) has been re-issued.