Orders of the Day — Local Government (Contracts) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:54 pm on 23rd June 1997.

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Photo of Mr David Rendel Mr David Rendel Liberal Democrat, Newbury 4:54 pm, 23rd June 1997

I am not sure whether the Minister has yet read the European charter for local self-government. Article 2 refers, in effect, to a power of general competence. Of course, powers of general competence for local authorities are restricted by Governments in terms of those areas where there should not be competence for local government. It is clear, however, that there is a huge difference between giving local government power over any matter that is not specifically excluded by statute, and not giving local government powers until they are included by statute. That is what the power of general competence means, as the Minister ought to know.