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Law, Politics, and Local Democracy$
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Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.001.0001

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The Politics of Local Contracts

The Politics of Local Contracts

Chapter:
(p.278) (p.279) 9 The Politics of Local Contracts
Source:
Law, Politics, and Local Democracy
Author(s):

Ian Leigh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.003.0009

This chapter discusses the contractual powers of local authorities. It evaluates the courts' attitude to the interaction of politics and contract ‘contract compliance’, and the statutory exclusion of non-commercial criteria from contractual decision-making. Underlying these is a limited legal model of the role of local authorities, which sees their role purely as the effective or commercial delivery of services. This is quite at variance with aspects of the new vision of councils as community leaders. It is apparent that the consequence of applying public law principles to local government contracts has been the creation of a distinctive body of public contract law. The discussion suggests that the notion of commercial behaviour imposed on local government has in fact been a cover for a level of public control of public contracts.

Keywords:   contract compliance, contractual power, public contract, fettering doctrine, commercial behaviour, decision-making

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