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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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Can a parish council delegate a function, under s101 of the

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Can a parish council delegate a function, under s101 of the Local Government Act 1972, to their clerk to unilaterally comment on planning applications received from the local planning authority, and without convening a meeting to discuss the applications, and then submit the employee’s comments to the local planning authority as representations of the parish council? I always believed that this function was delegated to the parish council or a sub-committee of the parish council and not to an individual officer. Thank you.

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Section 101(1)(a) LGA 1972 states the local authority may arrange for the discharge of their functions by a committee, a sub-committee or an officer of the authority. Reference to "an officer of the authority" means that the functions you have mentioned can be delegated.
LGA 2000, s 13(2) provides that subject to specified exceptions any function not specified in the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations (SI 2000/2853) is to be the responsibility of the council’s executive.
In England, LGA 2000, s 14 enables arrangements for the discharge of functions by the executive itself, another member/members of the executive, a committee/committees of the executive or by an officer/officers of the council.
There has been case law on the subject and the legal authorities suggest that so long as there is a proper framework in place for delegation of tasks then certain functions can be carried out by council officers.
In terms of the specific issue that you have raised, there is nothing in the case law to suggest that the clerk cannot act - but if the issue involves voting or similar decision making processes then the task should not be delegated to one person and should be referred to a committee.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for your explicit answer!

My pleasure. Have a good evening.