East Devon District Council

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Policy Street name and numbering policy

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3. Statutory Context

Definition of a street

The naming of a street includes any road, square, court, alley or thoroughfare, within the limits of the Towns Improvements Clauses Act 1847 or relates to any thoroughfare which when named will be included in an official postal address.

Public Health Act 1925

Section 19 (Adoptive Provision)

Provides us with the duty to ensure that the name of every street, which is maintained at public expense, is shown in a conspicuous position and also to alter or renew it if it becomes illegible.

Anyone found guilty of damaging or removing a sign is liable to prosecution.

Signs for private streets are the responsibility of the residents.

Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847

Section 21:

This section gives the power to us to alter the street name or any part of a street and assign a street name to all or part of a street where a name has not been given.

We may, with the consent of two thirds of the rate payers and people who are liable to pay council tax in any street, alter the name of the street or any part of the street. We will consider this if the Town or Parish Council has received the request and can provide proof of consent from the required number of residents.

In such instances we will consult with Royal Mail, Fire Authorities and Police Authorities.

An appeal would be to the Local Government Ombudsman – 21 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1.

Section 64:

We can cause to be put up or painted the numbers to the houses, as we think fit.

Section 65:

The Occupiers of houses and other buildings in streets must mark them with such numbers as we approve and they must renew them whenever we think it reasonably necessary.

Where an occupier fails to do this in a week from the notice from us, they are liable to a fine in the magistrates’ court if we decide to pursue them. We can mark or renew the numbers and the occupier must pay our cost of the work where we have had to take this course of action.

Power to charge under Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003

A best value authority may charge a person for providing a service if the authority is authorised, but not required, to provide the service – that is the service must be discretionary. There must be a power to provide the service, the person receiving the service must agree to its provision, and the charge must not exceed the cost of providing the service.

Therefore the Council cannot charge for street naming services (since the duty to provide this service is not discretionary), but it can charge for the numbering of houses and other buildings (which is a discretionary service) by virtue of section 64 and 65 of the 1847 Act coupled with section 93 of the 2003 Act.