7. Section 123 – Delegation of management of allotment sites
7.1 Section 123 allows a local authority to agree to a request to delegate certain functions under Part 9 of the 2015 Act to a person (usually an allotment association) who represents the interests of all or the majority of the tenants of the allotments on a particular site. The functions that may be delegated are clearly described in section 123(3).
7.2 Delegation is not a substitute for local authority responsibilities regarding the management of allotment sites and waiting lists. Local authorities will retain overall responsibility for the allotment site and waiting list even if certain functions are delegated.
7.3 Local authorities are expected to consider each application on its merits, and consider how each person or body requesting delegation intends to fulfil their obligations under the relevant section of the Act. It is for the local authority to be satisfied that the person or body requesting delegation is able to fulfil the role in order to agree to the delegation request.
7.4 The local authority must be satisfied that the person or body requesting delegation does indeed represent the interests of all or the majority of tenants on the allotment site, and that the tenants of the site for which delegation is requested are aware of that delegation request and of the outcome.
7.5 It would be prudent for local authorities to ensure the person or body requesting delegation fully understands their responsibilities, liabilities, risks and the legal implications that might come with delegation of the requested function(s).
7.6 The local authority will be required to prepare a revised lease setting out the responsibilities of both sides should a request for delegation of certain functions be granted.
7.7 If an authority agrees to delegate functions to a person, consideration should be given to whether a reduction in rent might be warranted. This is a matter for the individual local authority.
7.8 If, after investigations and discussions with the person or body requesting delegation of management of any of the functions listed in section 123(3), the local authority is not satisfied that the person or body requesting delegation will fulfill the requirements of the delegation effectively, the local authority can refuse the request.
7.9 Local authorities should monitor the operation of delegated functions. If delegation of functions is granted, the local authority can, at a later date, recall that delegation if the local authority considers that the delegated functions are not being satisfactorily carried out, or there is a material disagreement between the local authority and the delegated person or body about the carrying out of the functions. The local authority should ensure that the delegated person or body is aware of the authority's existing complaints procedure if necessary, should there be a material disagreement between the local authority and the delegated person or body about the carrying out of the functions.
7.10 The local authority may wish to consider whether there is value in providing training to those who have requested delegation, or to those who are to be granted delegation, of certain site management functions. Should the local authority determine that this would be of value, the local authority could consider whether training could be funded under powers set out in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 or the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003.
Question 13 Is section 123 of the statutory guidance clear and understandable, to allow the local authority to deliver its statutory obligations under Part 9?
If no, i.e. you consider that the guidance is not clear and understandable, please tell us why you think this, and how it needs to be improved. Please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 13 comments:
Question 14 Are there any gaps or omissions in section 123 of the statutory guidance?
If yes, i.e. you consider that there are gaps or omissions, please tell us what you think is missing. If appropriate, please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 14 comments:
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