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2.5 Delegation of certain local government functions

Under the 1971 Temples Order, the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple and Under Treasurer of the Middle Temple were entitled to delegate the exercise of certain functions to the City Corporation, acting as their agent, for payments to be agreed with the City Corporation. A precedent for this delegation of duties lay in the Patchett Order of 1903. This Court Order, which was later given statutory force, restrained the City Corporation from enforcing the City of London Sewers Acts within the Inner and Middle Temples since they lay outside the City's jurisdiction, provided that the Societies made a voluntary payment to the Corporation lieu of sewer rates.

The 1971 Order specifically provided for the exercise of the following functions by the Common Council of the Corporation of London within 'the Temples' (i.e. the Inner Temple and Middle Temple):

  • matters concerning local authority health, children's and civil defence functions
  • accommodation and welfare of disabled and old persons
  • land drainage, flood protection, sewerage etc [the Temple sewers are private sewers which enter the public sewers outside the boundaries of the Temple]
  • local taxation licences
  • local land charges
  • the Registration Service Act 1953
  • dog licensing
  • food and drugs and milk from diseased cows
  • matters re Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1960 & Matrimonial Act 1965
  • public libraries and museums

Some of these functions no longer apply because of subsequent changes in legislation (for example the abolition of dog licensing) or have been transferred to other bodies (for example the transfer of responsibility for sewerage from the Corporation of London to Thames Water under the Water Act 1973). In recognition of these changes, there was an attempt in the 1980s to introduce a new Temples Order to replace the 1971 Temples Order. However, by 1992 government ministers had decided not to proceed with it.

2.6 Remaining local government functions

The Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple and Under Treasurer of the Middle Temple are currently left to exercise only a small number of local authority functions which include:

  • Environmental protection
  • Licensing (events and liquor)
  • Paving and lighting [although roads within the Temple are classified as private roads]
  • Planning (except development plans and listed buildings)
  • Public health and safety
  • Refuse collection
  • Water supply

Legislation governing these functions includes:

  • The Public Health Acts 1936 & 1961
  • The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984
  • The Water Acts 1945 & 1989
  • The Water Industry Act 1991 (in relation to those local authority functions specified in sections 77 to 85 inclusive)
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (to exercise all the powers contained in sections 20(2), 21,22 & 25)
  • The Agriculture Act 1970
  • The Hydrogen Cyanide (Fumigation of Buildings) Regulations 1951
  • The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 as amended
  • The Food Safety Act 1990
  • The Food and Environment Protection Act part III as amended by the Pesticides (Fees and Enforcement) Act 1989 (in relation to those enforcement powers which may be exercised by an officer of a local authority).
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (in relation to the Joint Statutory Recycling Plan under section 49).
  • Licensing Act 2003