Glossary of Terms & Acronyms

The purpose of this glossary is to give a concise summary of some of the more common financial, managerial and operational terminology which Members, Officers and the public are likely to meet during their day to day contact at the Council. It is not, however, intended to be a definitive document. Useful acronyms are also included.


toc goes in here

Access to Information

By law the public must be given reasonable notice of matters to be discussed at a Council, committee or sub-committee meeting. They must be enabled to see copies of reports and background papers/materials. Councillors will have access to any information required to fulfil their duties as a Councillor.

Affordable Housing

Suitable housing which is available to households in need at significantly less than the minimum market price (rent or value). The provision of affordable housing must be appropriate in size, layout and design to meet the needs of specific households identified by the local authority as part of its strategic assessment of housing need.

Allocated Site

Land or site proposed in the Borough Council’s Local Development Framework for a specific type of development e.g. housing.

Approved List

A list of contractors and consultants which may be maintained by the Council. They will have been vetted by the Council in terms of quality and cost. The Council may also use Approved lists compiled by the Borough Council (see Standing Orders for Contracts)

Area of Special County Value for Landscape

An area which is particularly important in the County because of its quality of landscape.


An independent review of a Council’s financial activities to develop sound and efficient systems to minimise the risk of errors and to detect fraud. As well as an external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission, the Council must appoint an internal auditor.

Audit Commission

An independent body set up by the Local Government Finance Act 1982. It is responsible for the appointment of external auditors to local councils. The coalition government propose to abolish this body, probably by 2013, but what will succeed it is not yet decided.

Best Value

The Local Government Act 1999 places a duty on principal councils to demonstrate Best Value in all its services and to secure continuous improvement to their quality and efficiency. Described as a duty on local authorities to provide the quality of service that local people expect, at a price they are willing to pay.

Billing Authorities

These defined authorities calculate the amount to be raised through the Council Tax after taking into account the precept of all precepting authorities and issue the appropriate bills and collect the relevant amounts. Cheshire East Borough Council is the billing authority

Blue Collar

An out-of-date description of employees engaged in jobs of a manual nature, who are paid on a weekly basis. Also commonly referred to as ‘manual’.

(The different conditions of service associated with white collar and blue collar employees are being combined under a Single Status Agreement.)

Boundary Committee for England

This was part of the Electoral Commission, to undertake periodic electoral reviews o all local authorities in England. It was abolished in 2010-see Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

Business Link

Business Link is a service badge used nationally by the Small Business Service for delivery of their services.

Cabinet Office

Government Department responsible for supporting the Prime Minister in leading Government and security & intelligence

Capital Expenditure

Whereas revenue expenditure covers daily running costs and is financed from current income, capital expenditure is expenditure on something which will produce an asset capable of providing benefits to the community for several years to come. Such expenditure can be financed from a number of sources, including borrowing, capital receipts arising from the sale of other assets, capital grants from the Government, by leasing land or buildings owned by the local authority, via agreements with the private sector, or by a contribution from the authority’s current account. Examples of capital expenditure might include building a new leisure facility, modernising buildings, or purchasing computer equipment.


A survey of all persons present in the UK normally undertaken every 10 years by the Registrar General. The 2011 Census may be the last.

Citizens Charter

A central government scheme to promote quality in public services. Local authorities are under a statutory duty to produce performance indicators for local people which are published nationally by the Audit Commission. Organisations with responsibility for delivering public services can also be considered for a Charter Mark.

Charter Mark

Award within the Citizen’s Charter initiative for excellence in delivering a pubic service. The awards are administered by the Office of Public Service & Science (OPSS) but final decisions are made by the Prime Minister’s Citizen’s Charter Advisory Panel and the Chancellor of The Duchy of Lancaster. All Charter Mark winners can use the Charter Mark logo for three years on their promotional material.

Committed Land /Site Development

Land which is already considered as being acceptable for a particular purpose by virtue of having a current or past planning permission or which is presently under construction.

Community Care

The provision of services and support which people who are affected by the problems of ageing, mental illness, mental handicap or physical or sensory disability need to be able to live as independently as possible in their own homes, or in “homely” settings in the community.

Community Plan

Also called Community Strategy or Sustainable Community Strategy. A requirement of the Local Government Act 2000. This is a plan prepared by the Local Strategic Partnership, but facilitated by the Borough Council. It sets out the priorities of the Borough’s communities and the action needed to address them.

Comprehensive Performance Assessment

Linked to Best Value. A detailed inspection by the Audit Commission of a principal Council’s corporate governance and service delivery.

Complaints Procedure

The Council have adopted a written Complaints Policy and which is set out in it’s Constitution.

Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT)

A process whereby authorities were required to tender services to competing contractors. The legal requirement for CCT has now been abolished and replaced by a requirement for Best Value under the Local Government Act 1999.

“Computer” (or “computer system”) means any device for automatic storing and processing of data and includes mainframe computer, minicomputer, microcomputer, personal computer(whether hand-held laptop, portable, standalone, network or attached to a mainframe computer), workstation, word processing system, desk top publishing system, office automation system, messaging system or any other similar device;

“Computer data” means any information stored and processed by computer and includes programs, text, geographic, pictures, video and sound.


A personal adviser service to support 13-19 year olds to stay in education or undertake training. The initiative aims to raise levels of educational achievement and help prevent adverse outcomes such as truancy and crime.

Conservation Area

An area designated by the Council as having architectural or historic value the character of which is worthy of protection and enhancement. The demolition of certain buildings within its boundaries may only be undertaken if the consent of the local planning authority is sought and obtained. Special consideration is given to planning applications made within a designated Conservation Area. Grants may also be available for the cost of certain repairs to buildings of architectural and historic interest.

Contaminated Land

Defined in Part 11A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as “land where there are substances in, on or under the land which are causing significant harm by identified pathways to identified targets or are causing pollution of controlled waters, or are likely to do so”.


Money set aside in the revenue estimates to meet unforeseen items of expenditure.


External service provider which provides services as agreed in a contract.

Core Values

Principles on which a council’s policies are based. (see Corporate Strategy)

Corporate Strategy

The broad strategy of the authority which identifies the major issues which are to receive priority in discharging its business and services.

Cost Centre

A cost centre is a local authority function or service area for which a specific budget is prepared and costs identified within the authority’s accounts.

Council Constitution

A statutory document for principal authorities but a voluntary one for local councils, which sets out how the Council runs its affairs and its power and duties.

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe has 43 member states and its activities cover all major issues facing European society other than defence. Its work programme includes the following fields of activity: human rights; media; legal cooperation; social and economic questions; health; education; culture; heritage; sport; youth; local democracy and trans-frontier co- operations; the environment; and regional planning.

Council Tax

A banded property tax set by local authorities and levied on domestic properties. Each domestic property is allocated to one of eight bands, depending on its open market value at the 1 April 1991.

Council Tax Benefit

An allowance to persons on low income to meet in whole or in part their Council Tax liability. Administered by the Borough Council.

Current Expenditure

Day-to-day revenue spending on, for example, employees’ salaries and wages, the purchase of goods and services, the rent of premises and maintenance costs of assets.

Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1984 sets out the legal requirements with regard to the holding of personal data on computer systems, e.g. computer systems for council tax must be registered with the Data Protection Registrar. The provisions of the 1984 Act also cover the processing of council tax information held on document image processing systems and microfilm/microfiche systems with computer-aided retrieval.

Delegated Powers

By law the Council can give its Committees, Sub Committee and officers power to make certain decisions.

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Government department responsible for food, water, farming & fishing.

Department of Health

Government department responsible for health and social care.

Department of Trade and Industry

Government department responsible for enterprise and business.

Department of Transport

Government department responsible for transportation.

Department of Work & Pensions

Government department which brings together benefits and job search agencies.

Department of Culture, Media and Sport

Government Department for arts, sports, national lottery etc.

Department for Communities and local Government

Government department responsible for local government and the regions.

Department of Education & Skills

Government department for education, learning and workforce development.

Derelict Land

Land so damaged by industrial or other development that it is incapable of beneficial use without treatment. This includes disused spoil heaps, worked out mineral excavations, abandoned industrial installations and land damaged by mining subsidence. It excludes land derelict from natural causes, land still in use and land with a planning permission containing conditions requiring after-treatment.


Defined in Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as “The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over, or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land’”.

Development/Planning Brief

A document, approved by the Borough Council, relating to a specific site to assist the manner in which future development of the land is carried out. It aims to clarify and expand upon the physical and policy constraints affecting the development of the site, and offers information and guidance to prospective developers. The document also acts as the basis for the consideration of any planning applications which may subsequently be submitted in respect of the site.

District Audit Service

Auditors employed directly by the Audit Service to audit the accounts of principal local authorities. Among other things, the external auditors will check the accounts for legality, reasonableness, willful misconduct and value for money.

DLO (Direct Labour Organisation)

A distinct in-house organisation set up by a local authority to carry out construction/maintenance work set up under compulsory competitive tendering. Under Best Value no longer a legal requirement and now often integrated into client departments. Sometimes referred to as Direct Service Organisation (DSO).

Electoral Commission

An independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections. The Commission is independent of Government and is answerable to Parliament.

English Heritage

A Government agency to look after the Countries Heritage. Their responsibilities include listed buildings and conservation areas.

English Partnerships

A Government agency set up in November 1993, to stimulate the reclamation and development of land across England to produce jobs and environmental benefits, including the administration of derelict land grant. Now part of regional development agencies.

Environmental Audit

The most widely used definition of environmental audit is given by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). A management tool comprising a systematic, periodic and objective evaluation of how well environmental organisation, management and equipment are performing with the aim of helping to safeguard the environment by :- Facilitating management control of environmental practices; and Assessing compliance with company policies which would include meeting regulatory requirements.

In essence an audit provides the means for ensuring compliance with legislation and for verifying the adequacy and efficiency of organisational systems.

European Social Fund (ESF)

Funds, training, human resources and equal opportunities schemes to promote employability of people in both Objective 1 and 3 areas (see below). In Objective 2 areas, ESF may be used to complement ERDF activities.

EU Structural Funds

The European Union’s main instruments for supporting social and economic restructuring across the Union, including the ESF.

European Regional Development Fund

Aims to improve economic prosperity and social inclusion by investing in projects to promote development and encourage the diversification of industry into other sectors in areas lagging behind. The fund is available in Objective 1 and 2 areas.

External Audit

The independent examination of the activities and accounts of local authorities to ensure the accounts have been prepared in accordance with legislative requirements and proper practices, and to ensure that the authority has made proper arrangements to achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Financial Regulations

Internal rules and regulations concerning all financial transactions and related matters for all members and officers.

Freedom of Information Act

Requires public bodies to make information publically available and to make this known in a Publication Scheme.

General Permitted Development Order

Sets out those categories of development which may be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission, i.e. “permitted development”. The Local Planning Authority can seek to make a legal direction requiring planning permission to be obtained for development that would normally be allowed by the Order (Article 4 Direction).

Government Offices for the Region

Set up in 1994, they form a national network which bring together the regional offices of several departments: Environment, Transport, Trade & Industry and Education & Employment. In addition to delivering the Government main spending programmes, they are also largely responsible for coordinating the Government’s main regeneration programmes such as the (SRB) Challenge Fund. GONW is the office for the North West.

Green Belt

An area designated to be subject to special protection from built development in order to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas, to safeguard the countryside from further encroachment, to prevent neighbouring towns from merging with one another, and to assist in urban regeneration.


An area of undeveloped land often in agricultural use which may have potential for new built development but where no infrastructure services are available and is outside the built up area of an existing settlement.


A set timetable agreed by resolution to limit debate and bring a meeting to a close.


A unit of property capable of separate occupation which would be shown as a separate item on valuation for rating purposes.

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

A non-departmental public body that funds new affordable housing in England. It was established by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 as one of the successor bodies to the Housing Corporation, and became operational on 1 December 2008.

Household Waste Site

Established by the waste disposal authority (locally Cheshire East Council), where householders can dispense of bulky refuse which cannot be collected by the Borough Council’s refuse team.

Housing Associations

Independent, non-profit making organisations which exist to provide affordable accommodation to those in housing need.

Housing Benefit

An allowance to persons on low income to meet in whole or part of their housing costs. Benefit is allowed and paid by the Borough Council but Central Government refunds part of the cost of the benefits and the running costs of the service to it.

Housing Needs Survey

A survey undertaken to ascertain the housing needs of a district council’s area to assist in establishing affordable housing policies and the Borough Council’s Housing Strategy.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

The definition of HMOs is broad, and includes hostels, nurses’ homes, bed-sit accommodation and dwellings where residents share kitchen/bathroom/living room facilities, but have separate rent arrangements with the landlord for their bedrooms.

Housing Investment Programme (HIP)

Annual submissions by district local authorities to central government which outline the strategy for meeting housing needs in the area and detail capital spending plans.

Housing Strategy

The Borough Council’s Housing Strategy is a comprehensive document which sets out how the Council will achieve its aims and objectives in meeting housing need both through partnership and as a major provider of social housing

Internal Audit

Internal Audit is an independent appraisal function established by the management of an organisation for the review of the internal control system as a service to the organisation.

It objectively examines, evaluates and reports on the adequacy of internal control as a contribution to the proper, economic, efficient and effective use of resources.

Learning and Skills Council

Responsible for funding and planning education and training for over 16 year olds in England. It operates through 47 sub-regional offices (local learning and skills councils) and a national office in Coventry.

Listed Building

A building included in a list compiled by the Secretary of State for National Heritage as being of special architectural or historic interest as defined in Section 1 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Buildings are classified in grades to show their relative importance (Grade I, II* and II). The effect of listing on a building, in planning terms, is to safeguard it from unauthorised demolition or insensitive alteration.

LMS (Local Management in Schools)

A system of delegation of management responsibility and budgets to schools. Introduced by the Education Reform Act 1988.

Local Agenda 21

Local Government’s strategy on sustainability, following the adoption of Agenda 21 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Local Enterprise Partnership

Local enterprise partnerships will replace the eight regional development agencies outside Greater London in England, under the current coalition government. The measures are expected to be implemented in April 2012. 22 have been given provisional approval, including one for Cheshire and Warrington

Local Government Association

Represents all principal local authorities as a national voice.

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

The body is responsible for three types of review: electoral reviews; administrative boundary reviews; and structural reviews.

Local Government Review (LGR)

The 1992 Local Government Act established a Local Government Commission with the express remit to review the boundaries of English non-metropolitan local authorities.

A further review of two tier areas took place in the three northern regions. No changes resulted from this.

Further reviews were undertaken in some parts of the country in 2007/8. This resulted in two new unitary councils in Cheshire from April 2009, including Cheshire East Borough Council

Local Plan

This is a comprehensive document produced by the Borough Council, required by statute and subject to public consultation which sets out that Council’s policies and proposals with respect to land use and planning over a period of years. Its major tasks are to:

  • Identify appropriate sites for new development;
  • Meet local needs for facilities and amenities; and
  • Protect the Borough’s national and built assets.

It is gradually being replaced by the Local Development Framework

Local Strategic Partnership (LSPs)

Local strategic partnerships draw the key service providers in a local area into a single partnership with which the community is actively engaged, giving communities a greater say in the running and delivery of public services.

Local Area Partnerships

An non statutory arrangement by Cheshire East Council to work closely with communities.

Local Transport Plan

An annual plan which the highways authority( Cheshire East) have to forward to the Government, identifying their plans for sustainable transport.

Market Towns Initiative

Government funding from the Countryside Agency and the Regional Development Agencies to support market town regeneration. This is now discontinued as a national initiative.


The Mayor of the Council is elected by Members from among their number and the appointment is ratified at the Annual General Meeting of the Council. The office is ceremonial rather than political and involves representing the authority at civic functions and other events and chairing Council meetings. Both Macclesfield Town Council and Cheshire East Borough Council have Mayors.

Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG)

Non statutory body established by Cheshire East Council to deal with very local issues and actions.

Neighbourhood Planning

A proposal under the Localism Bill 2010.. Neighbourhood plans will enable communities to permit development – in full or in outline – without the need for planning applications. New Neighbourhood Plans will be designed to help lift the burden of centralised controls and give neighbourhoods and local areas the flexibility to innovate, be creative, access new resources and control their own futures.

National Association of Local Councils

Represents all local councils which are members to act as a national voice. Thee is also a County branch

National Non-Domestic Rates

These are paid on commercial, business and non-residential property, i.e any property which is not a domestic dwelling. The level of NDR is determined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, although local (billing) authorities are still responsible for its billing and collection. The level of NDR can only be increased year on year up to the level of the increase in the Retail Price Index.

The proceeds from the tax are pooled and redistributed amongst local authorities in proportion to the Registrar General’s mid-1992 resident population (all ages). In areas served by more than one authority, the amount per head is split in proportion to each authority’s share of Council Tax for Standing Spending (CTSS)

Mandatory Relief: Where the ratepayer is a Charity or Trustees for a Charity and the hereditament (business premises) is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. The 80% relief of Business Rates will be given for the period in which the application is received.

Discretionary Relief: a council has the discretion to grant further relief to a maximum of 20% where an organisation is already receiving mandatory relief of 80%

Borough Councils can also grant discretionary relief up to 100% where Mandatory Relief does not apply but conditions of eligibility are met. Discretionary Relief can only be given at the beginning of the financial year in which the application is received.

National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal

Government initiative aimed at narrowing the gap between the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country on education, jobs, crime, health and housing. Managed within central government by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit.

National Vocational Qualifications

Introduced in 1993. NVQs are a nationally recognised qualification geared towards studying whilst in employment.

Need to Know Rule

A rule which allows Councillors who are not on a committee to inspect background papers for that committee if it affects their constituents.

Objective 1, 2 and 3 and 5b Programmes

These refer to the EU Structure Funds. A region may have access to one or more of the four structural funds, depending on whether it has Objective 1, 2 or 3 status:

  • Areas eligible for funding under Objective 1 are those that have less than 75% of the EU average GDP);
  • Objective 2 programmes aim to support the economic and social conversion of areas facing structural difficulties and areas qualify under four strands – industrial, rural, urban and fisheries;
  • Objective 3 programmes aim to develop labour markets and human resources;
  • Objective 5b programmes aim to assist the economic diversification of fragile rural areas.
  • In addition to the priority Objective areas, around 5% of the Structural Fund budget will fund fine Community Initiatives for which the UK will receive around $916 million for these during 2000-2006.


The measurable effect of schemes or projects.


The physical products, or measurable results, of schemes or projects.

Performance Indicators

Indicators used to enable people to gauge          the progress against pre-determined targets.

Performance Plan

From 2000/2001 every principal council has had to publish a plan setting out its performance targets, service standards and improvement proposals and its actual performances measured against them.

Performance Review

A system of monitoring an organisation’s standards of service against specific targets.

Planning Policy Guidance

A series of National policy guidance notes published by Government on specific planning matters or issues.


The levy made by precepting authorities on billing authorities, requiring the latter to collect income from council taxpayers on their behalf. (see precepting authorities).

Precepting Authorities

Those authorities which are not billing authorities, such as county councils, parish and town councils and police authorities.

Point of Order/Information

A question raised to clarify whether the procedural rules are being adhered to/ A question raised to clarify something that has been said at a meeting.

Principal Councils

County, Borough (district), Unitary, Metropolitan and London Borough Councils


Councillors seeking to carry out their duties, for example in a Council meeting, are given qualified privilege. This means that a Councillor who was being sued for defamation would have limited protection if (s)he honestly believed what was said and was not motivated by malice.

Public Open Space

Land normally held within the ownership of the Council over which all members of the public have rights and access to, for the purpose of informal recreation.

Public Right of Way

A footpath, bridleway or carriageway over which all members of the public have right of access.

Public Service Agreements (PSAs)

Departmental Public Service Agreements link the allocation of public expenditure to published targets with the aim of delivering modern, responsive public services. Local public service agreements area package of performance targets, easing of red tape and financial incentives designed to help local authorities deliver measurable improvements in services.

Publication Scheme- See Freedom of Information


Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations. The term ‘quasi government’ for which Quango is a popular acronym refers to both government-created and semi- private organisations which are both distinct from, but usually relate at ‘arms length’ to central government departments or local authorities. Quango is essentially an umbrella term under which a wide variety of organisations may be categorised.


The number of Members that must be present at a meeting to make proceedings valid. Usually this is a quarter of eligible Members, or three, whichever is larger. These are set the Standing Orders.

Regional Development Agency

Regional Development Agencies have been set up by Government to promote the economic prosperity of the region. Macclesfield is within the North West RDA. The coalition government propose to abolish all regional development agencies and replace them with Local Enterprise Partnerships in 2012.

Regional Economic Strategy

A regional framework produced by the Regional Development Agency.

Register of Members Interests

The Local Government Act 2000 and the Members Code of Conduct place requirements on Members for the registration and declaration of their interests and the consequences for the Members participation in consideration of an issue in light of these interests. Councillors need to review their situation regularly.

Guidance is available from the Chief Officer or Borough Monitoring Officer, however, the ultimate responsibility for fulfilling the requirements rests individually with each Councillor.

Reserves and Balances

These are accounting terms which refer to the amount of money still held at the end of the financial year, after allowing for all the expenditure and income that has taken place.


A motion agreed by a meeting is subsequently referred to as a resolution.

Revenue Expenditure

Current expenditure plus debt charges.

Revenue Support Grant (RSG)

The main grant paid by Central Government to pay for day-to-day expenditure on Borough and County Council services.

Ring Fencing

The identification of a separate sum of money which may only be used for a specific purpose.

Scheduled Ancient Monument

Monuments of national importance designated by the Secretary of State for the Environment on advice from English Heritage by virtue of their historic or archaeological value.

Service Level Agreements

An agreement between organisations setting out the standards and terms on which one undertakes a service for another. SLAs may also be referred to as TAGs or Trading Agreements, although some authorities use TAGs as the agreement itself, which then refers to the detail contained in the SLA.

Settlement Zone Line

The boundary which defines the existing and proposed extent of the built-up area of a town or village, beyond which the land and buildings therein are classed as being in the open countryside or Green Belt.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Sites of national importance designated by English Nature and given statutory protection as areas of special interest by reason of flora, fauna, geological or physiological features.


Where a revenue or capital scheme does not progress at the expected rate of physical progress or spending originally forecast.

Standing Orders

Detailed rules governing the order and conduct of the Council and committee business which are designed to ensure that meetings are conducted in an organised and orderly manner. Matters covered include the procedures for giving notice of motions, the raising of questions at Council meetings and rules of debate.

Standing Orders Relating to Contracts

These are rules that govern how the Council awards contracts worth more than a specified sum. The point of them is to make sure that contracts are awarded fairly.

Strategic Rail Authority (SRA)

The SRA formally came into being on the 1 February 2001 following the passage of the Transport Act 2000. Its responsibilities cover the three main sectors of passenger, freight and infrastructure, The SRA’s key role is to promote and develop the rail network and encourage integration. As well as providing overall strategic direction for Britain’s railways, the SRA has responsibility for consumer protection, administering freight grants and steering forward investment projects aimed at opening up bottlenecks and expanding network capacity. It is also responsible for letting and managing passenger rail.

Structure Plan

Document produced by the former County Council which sets out the broad strategic planning framework over a fifteen year period for the location of new development, protection of the environment, and major transportation proposals and which guides the preparation of Local Plans. This will soon be replaced by the Regional Spatial Strategy.

Supplementary Estimate

If an area of expenditure arises during the year, for which there is no appropriate budget, then a formal request will be made of council to grant the approval of a Supplementary Estimate.

N.B. It is important to note that this procedure is only used where all other possibilities (e.g. Virement, etc.) have been totally exhausted.

Supplementary Planning Guidance

A series of documents prepared and approved by the Local Planning Authority following public consultation which give advice and explain the Borough Council’s approach to particular aspects of development. They are intended to be a guide to developers and indicate the requirements and standards of the Borough Council that will be applied in the determination of planning applications.


An initiative designed to improve the life chances of children by improving their health and social development and ensuring that they are ready to learn when they get to school so breaking the cycle of disadvantage.

Sustainable Development

As defined by the Brundtland Report – ‘Our Common Future’ (1987) “development which meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to achieve their needs and aspirations”.

Tax Base

The council tax base or resources of each authority is expressed in terms of its equivalent number of dwellings with two or more residents in valuation band D. This is used to set the tax rate of the authority and in the calculation of the authorities entitlement to Revenue Support Grant.

Tenant Services Authority (TSA)

The operating name of the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords, the current regulatory agency of registered providers of social housing in England. The Tenant Services Authority first took over the regulatory work of the Housing Corporation, inspecting housing associations and responding to concerns. Its remit was then expanded to regulate local authority housing, ALMOs and housing cooperatives from April 2010.


The making of an offer by a contractor to carry out work. Usually invited on a competitive basis but sometimes negotiated. Competitive tenders are returned of a given date and time.

The Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE)

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 by which the UK implemented the European Union directive on the acquired rights of workers.

Total Places

A pilot by Government to judge the performance of an area by monitoring all public agencies working together rather than individually.

Tree Preservation Order

An order made by the Local Planning Authority to prohibit the felling or lopping trees specified in the Order without the consent of the Local Planning Authority.

Two Tier Local Government

A system in which responsibilities for local functions and services are divided between two separate district and county councils. Scotland and Wales have only unitary local government as do some areas of England including Cheshire.. Many areas are actually “three tier” if town or parish councils are established.

Ultra Vires

Local authorities are empowered to do only those things authorised by statute. If they do anything not authorised by statute that action is said to be ultra vires (beyond the powers of). Under the Local Government Act 2000, principal councils only were given a general power to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.

Unitary Local Government

A system of single tier “all purpose” principal councils which are each responsible for all local authority functions in an area. In England this includes unitary district councils, metropolitan district councils and London borough councils.

Use Classes Order

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 specifies use classes for different categories of buildings and land use. Generally where a change of use falls within the same use class then development is not involved and no planning permission is required. A change of use from one class to another may constitute development and consequently would require planning permission.


This is an accounting term which refers to the transfer or resources between budget heads. Finance Regulations detail the levels at which virement may take place and the levels of authorisation required.

White Collar

Mainly office based staff paid on a monthly basis, also commonly referred to as ‘staff’’.

(The different conditions of service associated with white collar and blue collar staff are to be combined in the near future under a national Single Status Agreement.)

Useful Acronyms

Acronym Meaning
ACAS Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
ANPA Association of National Parks Authorities
BIGS Bought in Goods and Services
CCT Compulsory Competitive Tendering (see glossary)
CIEH Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
CPA Comprehensive Performance Assessment
CPRE Campaign for the Protection of Rural England
DA District Audit
DBFO Design, Build, Finance, Operate
DCMS Department for Culture, Media & Sport
DCLG Department of Communities & Local Government
DEFRA Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DfES Department for Education and Skills
DLG Derelict Land Grant
DLO Direct Labour Organisation (see glossary)
DSO Direct Service Organisation (see glossary)
DTI Department of Trade and Industry
DWP Department for Work and Pensions
EA Environment Agency
EFQM European Foundation Quality Model (Formerly Business Excellence Model)
EMU European Monetary Union
ERCF Estate Regeneration Challenge Fund
ESF European Social Fund
EU European Union
GDPO General Development Procedure Order
GONW Government Office for the Northwest
GPDO General Permitted Development Order
HRD Human Resource Development
ICT Information and Communications Technology
ILAM Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management
IRRV Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation
ISRM Institute of Sport and Recreation Management
IT Information Technology
LA Local Authority
LEA Local Education Authority
LEP Local Enterprise Partnership
LGA Local Government Association
LGC Local Government Chronicle or Local Government Commission
LGIB Local Government International Bureau
LHC Local Housing Company
LSC Learning and Skills Council
LSP Local Strategic Partnership
LSVT Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (of Housing Stock)
LTP Local Transport Plan
MBO Management Buy Out
MEP Member of the European Parliament
MJ Municipal Journal
MTI Market Town Initiative
NABMA National Association of British Markets Authorities
NAG Neighbourhood Action Group
NALC National Association of Local Councils
NNDR National Non-Domestic Rate
NSALG National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners
NVQ National Vocational Qualification (see glossary)
NWDA Northwest Development Agency
NWRA Northwest Regional Assembly
OFWAT Office of Water Services
OHP Overhead Projector
PC Personal Computer
PFI Private Finance Initiative
POS Public Open Space
PPG Planning Policy Guidance
PROW Public Right of Way
PSA Public Service Agreement
PSBR Public Sector Borrowing Requirement
RDA Regional Development Agency
RIBA Royal Institution of British Architects
RTPI Royal Town Planning Institute
SAM Scheduled Ancient Monument
SBI Site of Biological Importance
SBS Small Business Service (trades as Business Link)
SCA Supplementary Credit Approval
SEA Single European Act
SECE South East Cheshire Enterprise Ltd
SEM Single European Market
SMEs Small and Medium Enterprises
SOLACE Society of Local Authority Chief Executives
SRA Strategic Rail Authority
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest
TIC Tourist Information Centre
TIP Tourist Information Point
TPO Tree Preservation Order
TPP Transport Policies and Programme
VFM Value for Money
VOA Valuation Office Agency