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NEWS HEADLINES

Tribunal refuses to force council to disclose legal advice over costs of employment case involving mayor
Member of public fails in bid to force Liverpool City Council to disclose legal advice behind its decision to pay costs incurred by elected mayor Joe Anderson in his unfair dismissal case

Warwickshire secures licence from SRA for alternative business structure
Legal services team at county council launches trading arm following its successful application to Solicitors Regulation Authority for alternative business structure (ABS) licence; team already brings in £1.5m pa in external income

City wins tribunal case over student accommodation and council tax
Valuation Tribunal dismisses appeal by student accommodation provider over application of council tax exemptions to student flats

High Court hears judicial review challenge over £2bn development vehicle
High Court begins hearing judicial review challenge to Haringey Council’s decision to establish largest local authority development vehicle of its kind; case reported to involve important and novel questions of local government law
 
Council wins appeal over residential care payments and revenue streams
Court of Appeal allows council’s appeal over whether it could lawfully take into account three revenue streams – private fees, top up payments and NHS payments – when making evaluative judgement of what it would expect to pay for residential care for elderly
 
ICO warns NHS staff about snooping after another prosecution
Information Commissioner’s Office fires another warning to NHS employees about risks of snooping into patient records without valid legal reason, after its latest prosecution of staff member
 
Judge gives green light to legal action over permission for hotel in national park
Planning Court judge grants permission for legal challenge to national park authority’s grant of planning permission for conversion of building into 28-room hotel, it is reported
 
NW council to launch judicial review over £200m dual carriageway proposal
Leader of Sefton reveals that it will bring judicial review proceedings against Highways England over route for proposed dual carriageway to improve access to Port of Liverpool
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Council defeats appeal over HMOs, business premises and number of storeys
Business premises situated below house in multiple occupation (HMO) will count towards number of qualifying storeys, High Court judge rules

Council to take legal action against driver for damage to resurfaced road
North Yorkshire intends to take proceedings against driver who caused more than £50,000 worth of damage to newly resurfaced road
 
SW procurement body for housing to set up £10m legal advice framework
Advantage South West, central purchasing body owned by four housing associations, to set up multi-Lot, multi-supplier framework for provision of estimated £10m in legal advice to its members and other organisations (On Public Law Today)
 
LGO urges councils to address problems with education, health and care plans
Families of children with special educational needs can face “disproportionate burden” to get support they need, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman says after first 100 investigations
DPS - Practice management software for local government including ABSs
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MORE NEWS STORIES

Southwark presses ahead with £18-25m legal panel after soft market testing

London borough to press ahead with procurement of four-year, £18-25m framework for solicitors services, after holding soft market testing exercise (On Public Law Today)

Serial fly-tipper in Hertfordshire sentenced to 10 months in prison
Serial fly-tipper sentenced to 10 months in prison following prosecution brought on behalf of three local authorities in Hertfordshire
 
CLG Committee to review local authority powers to tackle rogue landlords
MPs on Communities and Local Government Committee launch probe into whether councils have tough enough powers to tackle rogue landlords
 
Welsh Government unveils Bill for minimum alcohol pricing

Bill that would see local authorities enforce minimum price for alcohol sales in Wales introduced by Welsh Government

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SW procurement body for housing to set up £10m framework
Southwark presses ahead with £18-25m legal panel

EVENTS:

This week's analysis

Separate but (not?) equal
Ofsted recently won a high-profile Court of Appeal case over a Birmingham school’s practice of segregating boys and girls over the age of nine, despite it being nominally a mixed school. Richard O'Dair analyses the ruling.

Direct action: natural justice
James Goudie QC examines a recent Planning Court challenge to a council's decision to take direct action under s.178(1) TCPA in order to demolish the claimants' dwelling house.

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 20 October and its provisions should make life easier for bereaved parents at a very difficult time, writes Fiona Anthony.

Making demands for a service charge
A recent Court of Appeal case demonstrates how care is needed when making demands for a service charge, writes Sian Evans.

Green space borough-wide preventative injunctions: the next stage
Where one local authority obtains protection in the form of a borough-wide  injunction to prevent incursions onto its green spaces, a neighbouring borough becomes vulnerable to an increase in incursions. Steven Woolf explains what they should do.

Deadlines and supplementary information
Allowing supplementary information after the deadline for bid submissions – how far can you go? Fran Mussellwhite reports.

Withdrawal of CANH and the need for legal proceedings
Natasha Partos comments on the latest Court of Protection case on best interest decisions and the requirement for legal proceedings.
READ THE FIRST EDITION OF INSIGHT: Insight cover

Click here for articles including:

Locums and IR35
Geoff Wild interview
Management: Make or buy?
Governance in a commercial council
Time for a new standards regime?
Legal risks and Grenfell Tower
ASB: a practitioner's view
Stephen McNamara in Myanmar


 
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: Court of Protection case law update
Ben Troke and Rebecca Fitzpatrick round up the latest key cases in the Court of Protection.

Adult Social Services: Inherently problematic?
A High Court ruling has raised significant issues around capacity thresholds, the inherent jurisdiction and autonomy, writes Alex Ruck Keene.

Adult Social Services: Deputyships and outsourcing
The Court of Protection recently considered an application to revoke a number of deputyships in place through a council's outsourcing arrangement and whether the borough could recover its costs. The COP team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.

Adult Social Services: ADULT SOCIAL CARE 2017 SUPPLEMENT – including the findings of our exclusive survey of 56 local authority adult care lawyers. In association with LexisNexis, the publication also looks at the impact of the Care Act 2014, the Law Commission’s proposed replacement for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, the challenges of health and social care integration, how to tackle bed blocking and much more.

Careers: Personal philosophies
Chris Guy, a former local authority head of legal, sets out how he tried to make good use of his strengths and overcome his weaknesses.

Careers: Aiming for the top
How should you go about securing the position of head of legal at a local authority? Chris Guy shares some thoughts.

Children: Relinquished babies and notification of family members
When it comes to relinquished babies, when does a local authority not have to notify extended family members? Kieran Coleman explains.

Children: Age assessment and withdrawal of support
A judge has considered the lawfulness of a council’s policy of withdrawing services from someone claiming to be an unaccompanied child asylum seeker at the same time as giving summary reasons for its decision that they were not under 18. Joshua Swirsky reports.

Community Safety: Securing gang injunctions
Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police have obtained what is believed to be the largest ever gang injunction. Jonathan Manning and Alice Richardson set out the judge's findings.

Dispute Resolution: The application of QOCS in multiple defendant cases
Can a defendant against whom the claimant discontinued seek to enforce and ‘set-off’ its costs against the damages/interest paid to the claimant by the ‘unsuccessful’ defendants? Caroline Cousins reports.

Dispute Resolution: Aarhus costs rule challenge
Three charities recently took the Ministry of Justice to the High Court over new costs rules for environmental cases. Andrew Parkinson explains the outcome.

Education: Challenging Ofsted
In a surprising twist to the long running saga‎ of Durand Academy the High Court ruled that a damning Ofsted report, following an inspection late last year, should be quashed. Andrea Squires reports.

Education: Cheating and exam malpractice
Andrea Squires sets out some of the lessons learned from investigating cases of cheating and exam malpractice.

Education: Governance in academies
Good governance in academies is a key focus for the Department for Education. Mark Johnson looks at the most important considerations.

Education: Universities and the Prevent Duty
The High Court has ruled on a legal challenge over the Prevent Duty guidance issued to higher education institutions. Paul Bowen QC and Zahra Al-Rikabi explain the outcome

Employment: Thoroughness of disciplinary investigations
Can a disciplinary investigation ever be too thorough? Gemma Cawthray examines a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.

Employment: Holiday pay and employee monitoring
Two recent employment cases have provided important follow-up on two key issues: monitoring and holiday pay, writes Sarah Maddock.

Governance: Devolution is a process not an event
As local government in England is handed additional powers and responsibilities, Lynda Towers, former Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament, gives her perspective on devolution and the lessons to be learned.

Governance: Getting tough on councillor misconduct
A DCLG consultation on proposals to update the criteria that bar individuals from becoming or being a local councillor or directly-elected mayor represents a missed opportunity, writes Judith Barnes.

Governance: Good governance in a 'commercial council'
As more and more authorities are following the ‘commercial council’ model, Richard Auton and Kate Webster outline and evaluate the risks that come with the rewards.


Health: Learning from deaths
Every NHS organisation should be collecting data about the number of deaths, conducting 'case record reviews' and getting ready to publish the results. Gemma Brannigan looks at the issues involved.

Health: NHS mergers and competition issues
For the first time, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has approved an NHS merger after having only carried out an initial phase 1 examination and not a more in-depth analysis. Melanie Pears and Tim Care report.

Housing: Homelessness and vulnerability
The Court of Appeal has held that whether a person has a priority need for accommodation by reason of vulnerability requires consideration of whether he is “significantly” more vulnerable in a way that is relevant to his ability to deal with the consequences of homelessness; the question is qualitative, not quantitative, writes Riccardo Calzavara.

Housing: The absolute ground and requests for a review
The Court of Appeal has handed down an important ruling on the timescales for the absolute ground for possession. Tina Conlan reports.

Housing: Housing association constitutions
Major changes are proposed to housing association constitutions. Matthew Waters reports on their likely impact, including in relation to councils.

Housing: Delays in the provision of housing
A High Court judge has refused permission for a sex offender’s challenge to councils over delays in the provision of housing. Matt Hutchings QC explains why.

Information Law: The wages of sin is: the ability to rely on Section 12
Christopher Knight analyses a recent freedom of information case on costs limits and public authorities' record-keeping.


Licensing: S.182 guidance – not the easiest read
Andy Woods looks at Chapter 16 of the section 182 Guidance under the Licensing Act 2003 and notes that anyone who wants guidance on this subject will have to be a patient reader.

Licensing: Licensing fees: the Supreme Court rules
The Supreme Court recently handed down the latest ruling in the long-running battle over the fees payable for licensing sex shops in Westminster. James Goudie QC sets out the judges’ findings.
 
Licensing: Summary reviews: sometimes a sledgehammer to crack a nut?
Are expedited reviews the only tools available for dealing with problem premises, or should they be reserved for only the worst-offending premises? Paddy Whur considers the best approach.

Management: Striking a balance
At a time when local government legal departments are entering uncharted territory, Helen Edwards looks at how the expertise in private practice firms can be utilised without breaking the bank.

Management: Making connections
Paul Phelan reports on the South London Legal Partnership’s digitised courtroom pilot scheme with the Family Court, a first step towards the development of online courts.

Management: Reliable and trustworthy or innovative and inflexible?
Offering a one-size-fits-all approach will inevitably undermine the relationships we have with our clients, writes Geoff Wild.

Planning: Implying terms into planning conditions
Can a whole new term be implied into a planning condition? Sasha Blackmore reports on a significant Planning Court ruling.

Planning: Planning applications, enforcement notices and certificates of lawfulness
Phillip Hopkins examines some conundrums created by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in relation to planning applications, enforcement notices and certificates of lawfulness of existing use or development.

Planning: The Planning Court on Grampian conditions
A Planning Court judge has recently handed down an important ruling on Grampian conditions. Dalee Kaur and Rachel Holt analyse the outcome.

Planning: Listed buildings and statuary
The High Court has rejected a challenge to a planning inspector’s decision dismissing appeals against a listed building enforcement notice and the refusal of listed building consent in respect of the removal of two early 18th century piers and urns. John Hunter and Gary Grant explain why.
 
Planning: Declining to determine planning applications
The High Court has revisited the limits of a local planning authority’s powers to decline to determine planning applications where an existing enforcement notice is in place. Annabel Graham Paul analyses the ruling.

Procurement: Exclusion of tenderers
Melanie Pears and Tim Care consider a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling that Directive 2004/18/EC does not preclude national rules for automatic exclusion of a tenderer in circumstances in which a member of a bidding consortium loses accreditation.

Procurement: Public procurement after the UK's EU departure
Simon Randall CBE has written a paper for the Society of Conservative Lawyers on public procurement after Brexit. Here he puts forward some of the key points.

Procurement: Procurement, remedies and not-for-profit organisations
Stephen Pearson analyses a recent procurement case on remedies that will be of interest to contracting authorities and not-for-profit organisations in particular.

Projects: Ensuring compliance with EU grant funding terms
Would your compliance with EU grant funding terms stand up to scrutiny? Tiffany Cloynes looks at the potential issues.

Property: TPOs and compensation
The Court of Appeal recently allowed a council's appeal over an Upper Tribunal judgment on tree preservation orders and compensation payable to a landowner. Claire Booth explains the outcome.

Property: Leasing open space land to private companies
A council’s decision to lease open space land to a limited company for private use has been held by the High Court to be unlawful. Robert Phillips and Stephanie James consider the ruling.

Property: Predecessor bodies and liability for contaminated land
A Court of Appeal judgment has wide ramifications for local authorities in relation to their liabilities under the contaminated land regime, writes Anna Fellows.

Regulatory: Seeing through the smog
How can local authorities interpret DEFRA’s Clean Air Zone Framework in compliance with the law? Anna Heslop looks at the background and an important legal test.

Regulatory: Eradicating hazards
The Court of Appeal has considered who should be served with improvement notices and what should be contained in them. Michael Paget examines its guidance.

Transport & Highways: The Bus Services Act 2017
Rob Hann looks at major changes in the bus industry following the introduction of new legislation, and considers the opportunities they bring for local authorities.
Neath Port Talbot - Head of Legal
Neath Port Talbot - Head of Legal


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