Cabildo de Tenerife

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Inherent competences

In accordance with article 42 of Territorial Law 14/1990 of July 26th, concerning the Legal Framework for Canarian Public Administrations (hereinafter, LRJAPC), the Insular Councils possess the inherent competences attributed to them as such in Law 7/1985 of April 2nd concerning the Regulation of the Fundaments of Local Government (hereinafter LBRL) and the laws governing the various sectors of public activity. Competences transferred to the Insular Councils via laws issued by the Parliament of the Canary Islands have the same consideration as inherent competences.

  • Competences resulting from the Council’s position as the island’s governmental, administrative and representative body: Article 43 of the LRJAPC sets forth a number of the inherent competences of the Insular Councils, which, as we have stated, coincide with the competences attributed to the Provincial Councils via the LBRL:
    • Coordinating municipal services on the island in order to ensure comprehensive coverage throughout the entire insular territory, supplementing the actions of Town and City Halls when their lack of resources prevents them from providing essential municipal services or carrying out the public functions established in the LBRL.
    • Assisting and cooperating in terms of the legal, economic and technical affairs of the municipalities, particularly in the case of municipalities with lower economic and management capacities.
    • The provision of public services that are beyond the scope of the municipalities.
    • Approving the Insular Plans for Public Works and Services, which are drawn up in collaboration with the Town and City Hall on each island. Thus, the Town and City Halls draw up proposals for public works that affect their respective municipal areas, which can not be modified by the corresponding Insular Council, save in those situations where cessation is justified and subsequent to an audience with the Town or City Hall in question.
    • Promoting and managing the specific interests of each island.
  • Competences transferred to the Councils: Transferral of competences is carried out via a Law issued by Parliament of the Canary Islands. This law stipulates that the Insular Councils exercise transferred competences as autonomous bodies; however, the Autonomous Region always assumes the corresponding basic legislative, regulatory and external organisation of the areas to which the aforementioned competences and functions relate.

    The transferral of competences and functions to the Insular Councils necessarily includes all Councils. Competences that are transferred to the Councils must be accompanied by the necessary material and human resources to ensure that the corresponding services are maintained, with a view to the principal of financial sufficiency.

    In contrast to the delegation of competences, transferral implies that exclusive responsibility for the competence is passed to the Administration in question: the LRJAPC states that the Insular Councils will be responsible for the competences transferred to them, in the same manner as their inherent competences, thereby drawing a parallel between each type of competence.

    The First Additional Provision of Law 14/1990 of July 26th, concerning the Legal Framework for Canarian Public Administrations, stipulates that the following competences are transferred to the Councils of each island:

    • The territorial demarcation and alteration of the boundaries and names of the municipalities, subsequent to a report issued by the Consultative Board of the Canary Islands.
    • The functions assigned to the Agencies for Farm and Agricultural Land.
    • Experimental Farms.
    • Forestry services, cattle routes and pasture.
    • Aquaculture and marine cultivations.
    • Environmental protection.
    • The management and conservation of protected natural areas, within the framework of current regional legislation.
    • Hunting.
    • Rural infrastructure of an insular nature.
    • Subrogation with regards to municipal competences relating to Urban Development, in accordance with the stipulations of current sectoral legislation.
    • Roads, except in those cases where they are declared to be of regional interest, within the framework of current regional legislation relating to this sector. In the case of roads of regional interest, the Councils have responsibility for exploitation, use and conservation in addition to the system of sanctions.
    • The management of ports of refuge and marinas, except in those instances where they are declared to be of regional interest.
    • Hydraulic structures that are not of regional or general interest, the conservation and policing of hydraulic structures and the insular management of fresh waters in the terms established in regional legislation relating to this sector.
    • Road and cable car transport. Railways, within the framework of the stipulations of regional legislation relating to this sector.
    • nsular trade shows and markets.
    • The policing of performances and live events.
    • The promotion and policing of insular tourism, except with regards to legal authority for inspection and health.
    • Aggravating, unhealthy, harmful and dangerous activities.
    • The policing of housing.
    • The conservation and management of public housing.
    • The management of student residences on the island.
    • The promotion of culture, sports, employment, leisure and recreational activities on the island.
    • The conservation and management of the island’s artistic and historical heritage. Museums, libraries and archives that are not retained by the Autonomous Region.
    • The promotion of craftwork.
    • Social work and social services.
    • The defence of consumers.
    • Campaigns to capture stray and abandoned animals and to promote animal welfare.

In accordance with Transitional Provision 3 of the LRJAPC, in order to make the exercise of competences transferred by Law operative, the corresponding Decree of Transferral must be passed by the Government of the Canary Islands, wherein the functions that are transferred, shared and reserved by the original body are detailed. Furthermore, in order to enable the Insular Councils to put the exercise of the transferred competences into effect, the Government of the Canary Islands, subsequent to an audience with the Insular Council in question, must also approve any appendixes accompanying the transferral, wherein the relevant human and material resources and means that have been transferred along with the new competences are detailed. Having approved and published the appendix, the Insular Council in question and the Autonomous Region are required to undersign the corresponding certificate of reception and delivery wherein the services, files, assets, personnel and resources that have been transferred are detailed.


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