In order to avoid excessive demands on national bodies to send staff to regular meetings taking place in 43 local areas, Category 2 groups will be permitted in regulations to nominate appropriate representatives to act on behalf of more than one company.The Government appears to have Best Conveyancing adopted a pragmatic approach and we find nothing in the consultation in this respect which we disagree with.
Others who were undecided commented that, until the draft regulations were available, it was difficult to assess with any accuracy the costs of implementing the Bill proposals. was their observation that it concentrated almost entirely on the impact on the private sector and failed to take account of the suggested additional burdens for Category 1 responders. Even those Category 2 bodies which are most critical of the estimated additional costs in the Partial RIA, welcome the Bill.
They do not draw the conclusion that they should be removed from Category 2. It is agreed that funding through Civil Defence Grant is not appropriate and that a new method of funding local authorities for this area of activity is required. Those respondents who felt that specific grant should be retained wanted assurance that resources will always reach their intended target in their entirety. It was commented that transferring the specific grant into the RSG would lead to inconsistencies.
As the level of spending allocated to civil protection could vary from local authority to local authority. Specific grant, it was suggested, meant that funding could be protected from internal and external pressures.It was suggested that if shire districts are to carry out civil protection activity they should be eligible for funding from the RSG.
The policy of the Government and of the Local Government Association is that pressure for specific grant generally should be resisted. They both support transfer to RSG in this particular case.Local authorities should be free to make their own assessment of priorities in light of their statutory functions.