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Weightmans head of local government Simon Goacher, whose wife died after contracting sepsis earlier this year, will be part of a 15-strong team doing the Birmingham Half Marathon in aid of the Sepsis Trust. Please donate by going to the Just Giving page.

Councillor pleads guilty to posting offensive messages on social media
Councillor at Rutland pleads guilty to four counts of sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing message or matter

Borough defeats High Court challenge to refusal to register land as village green
Council successfully defends High Court challenge to its decision to refuse to register land as new town or village green; claimant argued, amongst other things, that local authority erred in not holding whole of its decision-making process in public

Elderly resident evicted after drug dealers take over her home
Cleveland Police defends its actions in case in which elderly women was removed from her home after it was taken over by drug dealers

Irish court sanctions return of child taken from council care
High Court of Ireland gives Lincolnshire County Council order for return of child taken out of UK by its parents while in council’s care

Second round of mediation to be held in Sheffield trees dispute
Further round of mediation chaired by bishop and run by CEDRs to take place later this month in bid to resolve long-running dispute over council’s programme of felling street trees

Capsticks secures presence in North West with acquisition of social housing firm
Capsticks secures its first offices in North West with acquisition of social housing law firm Whiteheads Solicitors (on Public Law Today)
DON'T MISS: Adult Community Care Conference - Invicta Law (Kent, 10 October); Removal of squatters and trespassers - High Court Enforcement (Online, 18 October)
SEARCHING FOR A TRAINING CONTRACT? Cornwall, Wirral and Merseyside Fire & Rescue/Merseyside Police are all hiring.

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DPS - Practice management software for local government including ABSs

LGO slams “continual failure” of council to support boy with learning difficulties
Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman sharply criticises local authority for its “continual and repeated failure” to support boy with learning difficulties.

Wildlife trust sends pre-action letter over expressway scheme
Trust threatens legal challenge against Highways England and Department for Transport over their chosen route for Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

Parish crowdfunds challenge to council over "excessive development"
Parish seeking to take Cornwall to judicial review over grant of planning permission which it says overrides its neighbourhood plan

London borough names 14 firms to £9m legal services panel
Southwark Council appoints 14 law firms to legal services framework worth estimated £9m over four years (on Public Law Today)

See all of our most recent news stories
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Council persuades TCC that outdoor advertising dispute falls outside EU rules
London Borough of Hammersmith And Fulham’s decision on letting an outdoor advertising contract was not covered by concession contract rules

Planning reforms to give councils more flexibility to dispose of surplus land
Government announces plans to consult on further reforms to planning system, including giving local authorities more flexibility to dispose of surplus land that could instead accommodate new homes

Protest group granted statutory review of fracking decision
Community group from Harthill in Yorkshire brings legal challenge against Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government over whether planning inquiry involving fracking was properly conducted

Council wins possession of garden but eviction must wait for JR hearing
Judge confirms London borough's right to possession of wildlife garden in Deptford as part of housing project, but said it cannot take place until seven days after High Court judge holds oral hearing into whether to grant permission for judicial review challenge
MARKETPLACE: Kennedy Cater
Capsticks secures NW presence with acquisition of social housing firm
Bevan Brittan strengthens Leeds litigation team with partner hire

Southwark names 14 firms to £9m legal services panel
FTB bolstered by arrival of planning specialist Emyr Jones


LOCUM ROLES: Senior Property Lawyer (East Anglia), Complaints Officer/Lawyer (Northern Home Counties; new role), Adult Social Care Lawyer (North West), Criminal & Civil Litigation Solicitor (London), Childcare Solicitor (East Midlands), Childcare Lawyer (London), Employment Lawyer (West Midlands), Employment Lawyer (South Wales) and Civil Litigation Lawyer (Birmingham).

This week's analysis
Legislation not the 'agent of change'
Ralph Kellas examines recent developments in relation to the ‘agent of change’ principle, including the revision of the National Planning Policy Framework and the withdrawal of legislation.

Privilege revisited
Helen Simm looks at what a recent Court of Appeal on privilege means for public bodies, who may find themselves facing a criminal or regulatory investigation as a result of an incident, accident or whistleblower allegations.

The High Court on concession contracts
The High Court has handed down guidance on what constitutes a “concession contract”. James Goudie QC and Joanne Clement analyse the ruling.

The inequalities fight – the challenges and risks faced by local government in Scotland
Rory Alexander looks at the opportunities - and challenges - for local authorities as a result of the Scottish Government's decision to enforce the Fairer Scotland Duty.
Key changes to residential landlord and tenant law
Mathew McDermott picks out some important changes and events in the residential landlord and tenant field coming into force this month.
Houses in Multiple Occupation and licensing reform
Significant changes have been introduced to the licensing regime for houses in multiple occupation. Kate O'Brien and Matthew Watts report.


We are delighted to announce the publication of our Monitoring Officers 2018 report, in association with Lawyers in Local Government.

The aim of the report is to identify and analyse the challenges ahead for monitoring officers, their deputies and other lawyers involved in the governance of local authorities. It comes at a time when the role is under great pressure and the survey - in which more than 100 local authority monitoring  officers took part - aims to identify the key issues that they face and, with the help of some of the most senior current practitioners, identify effective strategies to address them.

Click here to access the report. Also available to download as a pdf.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: Asylum seekers post 18
The High Court has backed a local authority's withdrawal of council support for a failed asylum seeker post-18. Carmel Maher explains why.

Adult Social Services: The role of the 'IMCA'
Jane Bennett and Hannah Taylor consider the role of the 'IMCA' in decision making and the issues raised for a local authority.

Children: Children lacking capacity: which court?
When it comes to restrictions on the liberty of children who lack capacity, which court is best? Nageena Khalique QC looks at the issue of jurisdiction, procedural requirements and relevant factors to be taken into consideration.

Children: Trialling the New Orleans Intervention Model
Victoria Burgess looks at the London Infant and Family Team's trial of the New Orleans Intervention Model.

Children: Relinquished babies
A judge recently set out the cardinal principles in relinquished baby cases where declarations are sought that a putative parent or extended family should not be informed of a prospective adoption, write Simon Wilkinson and Charlotte Wilce.
Community Safety: Gang injunctions, human rights and standards of proof
The Court of Appeal recently rejected a legal challenge brought on human rights grounds over a gang injunction obtained by Birmingham City Council. Jonathan Manning and Ayesha Omar explain why.

Dispute Resolution: Collateral warranty claim struck out
Juli Lau and Alexandra Bellis a recent Technology and Construction Court ruling on a dispute over the state of a council-owned stadium.

Dispute Resolution: Historic child abuse cases: a claimant’s perspective
Claimant lawyers Kieran Chatterton and Paul Durkin call for a more collaborative approach to the handling of historic child abuse cases.

Education: When must a local authority carry out an EHC needs assessment?
Lexis PSL Local Government, in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers, examine the issues raised by the replacement of statements of special educational needs with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

Education: When court and classroom meet
How should teachers and school management deal with disputes between separated parents or people with parental responsibility? Lottie Tyler looks at the issues raised

Education: Academy conversions without a Commercial Transfer Agreement
Can a school convert to an academy without a Commercial Transfer Agreement (CTA)? Helen Snow and Sophie Thring consider the issues where local authorites push back against entering into the contract.

Employment: Has your employee resigned?
Usually it is clear when somebody intends to resign, but sometimes it can be uncertain. Phil Allen analyses the problem of ambiguous notice.

Employment: Staff transfers
James Goudie QC analyses a dispute arising out of the transfer of public health staff from an NHS trust to a London borough and a bid to change their terms of employment.

Employment: References: Top 10 tips for responding to requests
A recent Employment Tribunal decision serves to remind employers of the care that should be taken when giving a reference, writes Claire Hollins.

Governance: Election expenses
The Supreme Court recently considered an important issue around authorisation and declaration of election expenses. James Goudie QC examines the outcome.

Governance: Publishing the home address of election candidates
James Goudie QC analyses a recent High Court case over whether there was a requirement to publish a mayoral election candidate's home address.

Health: ICS and Place
Esther Venning and Jenna Wong examine how health bodies and local authorities can navigate the governance challenge around integrated care systems and place-based commissioning structures.

Health: NHS service reconfiguration
The High Court has quashed proposed service reconfiguration in Corby. Alistair Robertson and Amy Smith look at the lessons to be learned.

Housing: Homelessness - vulnerable groups
LexisPSL Public Law explores the special provisions which apply to groups who are particularly vulnerable to homelessness and refers to the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities, February 2018.

Housing: Secure tenancies and capacity
Is there statutory or other prohibition preventing a person who lacks capacity succeeding to a secure tenancy in Wales if the section 87 of the Housing Act 1985 requirements are met? This Q&A was written for Lexis PSL Local Government in partnership with Kevin Long of Hackney Law Centre.

Housing: Charging for Housing Act licences: the consequences of Gaskin
Dean Underwood considers the Divisional Court's recent decision on fees for licensing houses in multiple occupation and its far-reaching implications for local housing authorities nationwide.

Housing: Possession, disability and proportionality
Jane Talbot examines a recent High Court decision on possession orders and disability discrimination.
Housing: The merry-go-round of social housing regulation
Sarah Greenhalgh sets out the key points arising from the Social Housing Green Paper and accompanying consultation, and her initial view on the likely targets for regulatory reform.
Housing: Tenancy deposit stakeholders and HMOs
Is a Tenancy Deposit Stakeholder a 'person managing' under s.263 of the Housing Act 2004? Nicholas Grundy QC and Jack Kane set out the lessons from a recent prosecution.

Information Law: Information law roundup
Sarah Thorley rounds up recent developments that those dealing with information law in the public sector should be aware of.

Information Law: Costs and vexatiousness
Christopher Knight sets out the key points from recent Upper Tribunal rulings on freedom of information, vexatiousness and costs.

Licensing: Taxis: the burden of proof
Professor Roy Light analyses the issues around the burden of proof in ‘fit and proper person’ taxi licensing applications and appeals.

Licensing: Private hire: scope of the fit and proper test
A recent Crown Court case considered the scope of the fit and proper test for private hire licences. Philip Kolvin QC analyses the outcome.

Management: Local authorities: getting started with legal apprenticeships
One of the great privileges of working with councils to deliver apprenticeships is observing the different approaches legal departments take to deploying and developing apprentice staff, writes Noel Inge.

Management: The best of both worlds
Tiffany Cloynes and Gillian Duckworth outline the benefits of the partnership between Sheffield City Council and law firm Geldards for the public and private sector alike.

Planning: Habitats Directive: what mitigation can be taken into account?
The ECJ has confirmed that mitigation cannot be taken into account when screening a project under the Habitats Regulations; it has also clarified between mitigatory and compensatory measures. Elizabeth Dunn and Jen Ashwell report.

Planning: Land Value Capture – not quite there
Richard Harwood OBE QC reviews recent developments in relation to land value capture, including a report on the subject from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.

Planning: “They flee from me that sometime did me seek”
Is the revised National Planning Policy Framework the beginning of the end for neighbourhood plans, asks Sue Chadwick.
Procurement & Contracts: Abnormally low bids
A recent High Court case between a contracting authority and an unsuccessful tenderer has provided a useful insight into various aspects of procurement law in practice, write Melanie Pears and Tim Care.

Procurement & Contracts: Stop the clock
There have been some contrasting developments in extending the time limit for starting procurement challenge proceedings, writes Colin Ricciardiello.

Procurement & Contracts: Contractual interpretation: the Amey dispute
Deborah Down considers how a contractor’s rigid approach to what a highways maintenance contract said, led to unintended consequences for the authority.

Procurement & Contracts: Procurement awards and mandatory injunctions
In December 2017, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) ruled that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had breached public procurement law in relation to a public tender process for the Royal Navy. LexisNexis PSL reports.

Projects: The ghost of PFI
In a county council somewhere in Middle England, County Solicitor Douglas Ludlow reflects on his long local government career, until the ghost of PFI returns to haunt him….

Projects: What next for heat networks?
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its final report on heat networks, calling for new regulation. David Kilduff, Ben Sheppard and Richard Butterworth consider the implications for local authorities.
Property: Possession claims and public law duties
A recent case has established that public bodies must consider their public law obligations before taking steps to evict an occupier, even if the occupier does not have any private law right to remain in the property (such as a trespasser). Michelle Bendall reports.

Property: Residential extensions and CIL
Action needs to be taken over exemption for residential extension from the Community Infrastructure Levy, writes Christopher Cant.

Regulatory: Game of Drones the Law - Season Two
There have been a number of recent developments in the law and regulation of drones. Paul Feild sets out the key points for local government lawyers.

Regulatory: Local authorities prosecuting manslaughter
Sarah Wilson sets out the key considerations in the recent prosecution for manslaughter of a defendant who sold 'fat-burning capsules'.

Transport & Highways: Highways and inspection systems
A council’s annual inspection system was recently found by a court to be adequate for the purposes of S.58 of the Highways Act 1980 (the Act) when determining liability. Lucie Evans and Suzanne Milne report.

Transport & Highways: Installing barriers on public highways
LexisPSL Local Government, in partnership with Laura Hughes of Browne Jacobson, deals with the question of the powers available to a local authority when installing gates or barriers on public highways.

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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Copeland Borough Council
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Bi-Borough Shared Legal Services for Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster
Senior Planning Solicitor x 2

Birmingham City Council
Solicitor – Planning & Transportation Team

Telford & Wrekin Council
Solicitor: Planning

Sevenoaks District Council
Principal Planning Lawyer

Oldham Borough Council
Legal Assistant – Family Legal Team

Portsmouth City Council
Lawyer – Commercial, Procurement and Projects
Childcare Lawyer

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Childcare Solicitor

Legal Services Lincolnshire
Senior Lawyer: Litigation Team

City of York Council
Senior Solicitor - Planning

Blaby District Council
Legal Services Officer/Solicitor/Legal Counsel

Cheshire East Council
Cheshire East Council
Senior Commercial Property Lawyer
Adults & Education Lawyer
Childcare Lawyer
Planning & Highways Lawyer

Leicestershire County Council
Leicestershire County Council
Education Solicitor
Environment Lawyer

Merseyside Fire & Rescue/Merseyside Police
Hambleton District Council
Hambleton District Council
Solicitor - Planning

Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council
Project Legal Adviser


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