Credit Suisse and Another v Waltham Forest London Borough Council: CA 20 May 1996

Parliament had made detailed provision in a number of Acts for the discharge of the housing duties by local authorities. These detailed provisions did not contain a power to give a guarantee in connection with a bank loan to a company which the local authority had formed to assist in the acquisition and development of housing for its statutory housing functions.
Held: A Local Authority may not use an independent company to discharge its housing duties; a loan guarantee given to support the company was ultra vires and void.
Neil LJ said: ‘where Parliament has made detailed provisions as to how certain statutory functions are to be carried out there is no scope for implying the existence of additional powers which lie wholly outside the statutory code. Section 111(3) makes it clear that the power to enter into financial obligations is subject to any statutory controls which may be imposed’
Peter Gibson LJ added: ‘I agree with Neill L.J. that, having regard to the detailed statutory scheme governing the housing functions of a local authority and in particular the express provisions relating to raising money to provide housing and to giving financial assistance to others to acquire housing, there is no scope for treating section 111 as authorising a local authority to give a guarantee and indemnity such as were given in the present case. It is simply inconsistent with the statutory scheme that a local authority should have the power to set up a company and give a guarantee of the company’s liabilities and an indemnity.’


Neill, Peter Gibson LJJ


Times 20-May-1996, [1997] QB 362


Local Government Act 1972 111


England and Wales


Appeal fromCredit Suisse and Another v Waltham Forest London Borough Council QBD 8-Nov-1994
A Council was not acting ultra vires in establishing a company to lease properties to the homeless. . .

Cited by:

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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Housing

Updated: 28 April 2022; Ref: scu.79607