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Local Authorities (Countryside Expenditure)

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 28 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the sums of money paid to landowners under the following agreements or orders are listed in the accounts of the local authorities making the payments, in a way that can be ascertained by an interested person exercising a right of inspection of an authority's accounts and associated documents under section 159(1) of the Local Government Act 1972: (a) a public path creation agreement under section 25 of the Highways Act 1980, (b) a public path creation order under section 26 of the Highways Act 1980, (c) an access agreement under section 64 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, (d) an access order under section 65 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and (e) a management agreement under section 39 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

There are no special statutory requirements governing the accounting for these payments. The form of account is therefore for the local authority to decide. A right of inspection may be exercised under section 17(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1982. Under section 17(2) of the Act, local government electors or their representatives also have a right to raise questions to the auditor on matters arising out of the accounts.