This paper was orginally presented at a seminar at 39 Essex Street in March 2005.
“The focus of this presentation is section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000, which introduced a novel and important series of powers for local authorities to exercise in the service of the public good. It is trite law that local authorities are creatures of statute and cannot act in a particular domain without being specifically authorised or empowered to do so. We do not need to be reminded that there are a multitude of statutory and regulatory provisions, perhaps too many in practice, governing all aspects of a local authority’s activities. But, I think that it is clear that Parliament realised in 2000 that, notwithstanding the depth and breadth of a local authority’s armoury, there were always likely to be gaps and “missing areas” – deserving cases which typically fell between the interstices of two, not quite abutting, provisions, and where the law needed to be more accommodating…”