Borough proposes £100m fund for survivors of abuse at children's homes
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London borough proposes £100m fund for survivors of historic child sexual, physical and psychological abuse at its former children’s homes; says scheme would provide swift and compassionate redress, “while ensuring compensation for survivors of abuse is not swallowed up by lawyers’ fees”
Council secures fines for planning company over obstruction of officers
Planning company, and its representative, fined for wilfully obstructing officers from council in Essex in course of their work
Upper Tribunal judge refuses to set aside flawed SEN school ruling
First Tier Tribunal made legal error in case concerning which school child with special needs should attend, but not one so serious that it required its decision to be set aside, Upper Tribunal judge rules
Director of legal services and monitoring officer at NW council resigns
Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer at Cheshire East Council resigns with immediate effect; had been one of three officers at authority who were suspended as neutral act
MPs call for strengthened overview and scrutiny in local government
Overview and scrutiny in local government often not held in high esteem, leading to lack of constructive challenge to improve services for residents, MPs claim. Committee also calls for increased scrutiny of combined authorities, Local Economic Partnerships and arm’s length bodies
Estate agents fined £35k over failure to provide safety information on HMO
Foxtons fined £35,000 following action against it by London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Council criticised for failure to provide suitable education to boy with SEN
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticises county council for failing to provide suitable education to boy with special educational needs (SEN) for two terms after he stopped attending his special school
Council loses appeal over quashed permission and community donation
Court of Appeal rejects appeals by council and wind turbine developer over quashing of planning permission because planning committee took into account proposed donation to community
Digital bundling & court presentation software now includes video streaming.
CaseLines, the world’s leading solution for evidence management and courtroom presentation announces that its latest innovations are available from today on G-Cloud 9, the Crown Commercial Service procurement framework. The latest release now includes a world first; one-click video streaming, in court, of pre-recorded evidence. Users can now add video in any format as easily as they could add a page of paper evidence. Once in CaseLines, lawyers can add comments, tab interesting points in the video, and launch the video with a single click in the courtroom. CaseLines can stream video from any source including body worn video, CCTV or pre-recorded evidence from children or other vulnerable witnesses. Read more...
Government policy on rough sleeping by EEA nationals unlawful: High Court
Home Office policy of treating rough sleeping by EEA nationals as abuse of EU treaty rights, rendering individuals liable to removal if proportionate to do so, is unlawful, High Court judge rules
Ombudsman finds fault in seven out of ten homelessness complaints
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found fault in 70% of complaints about homelessness it investigated in detail in 2016/17
Law Commission to consider reforms to administrative review procedures
Law reform advisory body to consider whether reforms are needed to procedures for administrative reviews, where public bodies look again at decision when someone complains that they have been treated unfairly
Sheffield lifts suspension of Uber licence, but York refuses to renew
Sheffield City Council lifts its suspension of ride-hailing app Uber’s operating licence after what it described as “productive discussions” with company, but City of York committee decides not to renew company's licence
South London Legal Partnership to partner with external firms
Shared service providing legal advice to five councils seeks to enter number of non-exclusive relationships with external legal advisers
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Human rights watchdog launches inquiry into Grenfell Tower tragedy
Equality and Human Rights Commission launches inquiry into human rights and equality dimensions of Grenfell Tower tragedy, saying it would determine if State is fulfilling its duties under human rights and equality law
Environment Agency consults on revised enforcement and sanctions policy
Environment Agency has launched a consultation on updates to its enforcement and sanctions policy
Warning of legal threat to procurement of residential care places for children
Independent Children's Homes Association warns that legal challenge to local authority procurement of care places is possible without radical reform of current system
Action urged on funding gap as child protection investigations reach 500 a day
More than 500 child protection investigations were started every single day on average last year by councils, Local Government Association research reveals
See all of our most recent news stories
South London Legal Partnership to partner with external firms
University names two law firms to £4m contract for legal services
This week's analysis
Academies and DfE statutory guidance
Are academies legally obliged to comply with Department of Education statutory guidance? If so, what is the source of that obligation? LexisPSL Local Government
Continuing issues with CIL
analyses some of the thorny issues thrown up by regime for the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Limitation period for recovering care home fees
A High Court ruling has provided important clarity for local authorities on limitation periods and care home recovery, writes Jonathan Auburn
SPDs and Local Plans
A recent High Court ruling has some important lessons as to what can and cannot be contained in supplementary planning documents, writes Roy Pinnock
When is a non-material amendment material?
examines the difficulties around a local planning authority's power to approve non-material amendments to planning permissions.
Common assault after being escorted from a meeting
The High Court has rejected a claim that a defendant's conviction for common assault after she had been escorted out of a meeting of a local Police & Crime Panel was unsafe. Claire Booth
Bonds, liabilities and the Court of Protection
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
look at a local authority's attempt to have part of a bond held by a mother and deputy called in.
READ THE FIRST EDITION OF INSIGHT:
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: Safeguarding and the Court of Protection
Safeguarding issues frequently underpin or arise in welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection. LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Alex Ruck Keene and Michelle Pratley
both of 39 Essex Chambers
and the Legal Action Group
, set out the key considerations.
Adult Social Services: Contraception, safeguarding and best interests
A Court of Protection judge recently had to consider whether it was in the best interests of a woman with a learning disability to be given a contraceptive patch. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine the decision.
Adult Social Services: Families, confinement and Rule 3A Representatives
District Judge Bellamy has added to the small but important body of case-law concerning Rule 3A in the context of so-called Re X applications for judicial authorisation of deprivation of liberty, writes the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
Adult Social Services: After-care services and personal injury damages
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a personal injury award cannot be considered when making provision for after-care services. Morris Hill
looks at the reasoning.
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
, a former local authority head of legal, sets out how he tried to make good use of his strengths and overcome his weaknesses.
Children: NAI or not?
examines the Family Court's disposal of care proceedings in what was originally thought to be a case of non-accidental injury.
Children: Dealing with the stalking of a foster placement
A recent Court of Appeal case will be of significant interest to local government family practitioners, writes Dominic Boothroyd
Children: Kinship assessments
A Family Court judge recently found kinship assessments carried out by social workers to be fundamentally flawed. Elisabeth Richards
Children: The Upper Tribunal on age assessments
In a recent ruling the Upper Tribunal has given guidance on age assessments. Tessa Buchanan
sets out its findings.
Children: Adoption update
Elizabeth Isaacs QC
looks at the key points from the latest judgments in relation to adoption.
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 Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims
sets out and discusses the newly in force Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, which applies to public bodies - amongst others - claiming payment from an individual.
Dispute Resolution: Concurrent delay conundrum conquered
The Technology and Construction Court has just resolved a longstanding conflict between two competing principles of construction law, deciding that the “prevention principle” doesn’t stop clients placing the whole risk of concurrent delay on their contractor. Emily Aldridge
Dispute Resolution: Making a finding of fundamental dishonesty
Does dishonesty or fraud have to be pleaded for the court to make a finding of fundamental dishonesty? Chris Booth
reports on a Court of Appeal ruling.
Education: 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.
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
Employment: Pregnant employees and performance management
Can you performance manage a pregnant employee? Paul McFarlane
and Louise Singh
consider the key issues.
Employment: Short term gain; long term pain?
looks at incentivising employees to leave public sector pensions.
Employment: Whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and employers' knowledge
examines a whistleblowing case that clarifies the law in relation to employers' knowledge in unfair dismissal claims.
Employment: Discrimination and religious beliefs
A tribunal has rejected a claim of religious discrimination by a NHS non-executive director opposed to same-sex adoption. Catherine Casserley
considers the judgment.
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
Health: Introduction to CTO Recall: Part 1
In the first in a two-part series, Clementine Robertshaw
considers the law and procedure of the recall process for community treatment orders.
Health: Withdrawal of CANH and the need for legal proceedings
comments on the latest Court of Protection case on best interest decisions and the requirement for legal proceedings.
Housing: Norton your nelly!
The Court of Appeal has rejected a starter tenant's policy-breach complaints. Dean Underwood
Housing: Housing associations, reclassification and public bodies
Do housing associations still exercise “public functions”? Andy Lane
looks at the impact of the reclassification of registered providers as private rather than public bodies.
Housing: EU nationals and the immigration tribunal
Families of EU nationals have won a court battle for a right of appeal. Rajiv Sharma
explains the Court of Appeal's ruling.
Housing: Homelessness update
looks at recent Court of Appeal decisions that provide guidance on vulnerability under section 189(1)(c), Housing Act 1996; contracting out and the Public-Sector Equality Duty (PSED); and intentional homelessness - breaking the causal link.
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: Fares fair
A High Court judge has rejected a challenge to hackney carriage fares set by a borough council. Philip Kolvin QC
Licensing: Operating hours and restaurant conditions
The London Borough of Southwark has fought off a challenge by the operator of Rock Island Bar and Grill who sought to extend its operating hours and remove the “restaurant condition” from its premises licence just six months after it was granted. Gary Grant
Licensing: Taxi licensing, computerised software and cross-border bookings
The Administrative Court has dismissed a council's appeal over a judge's dismissal of its prosecution of a private hire company over cross-border bookings. James Goudie QC
analyses the judgment.
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
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.
Planning: Giving reasons for planning decisions: the Supreme Court's view
Ned Westaway and Charlie Merrett
consider the duty to give reasons for planning decisions in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in Dover District Council v CPRE Kent
Planning: Air Quality Management Area and adverse effects
A High Court judge has recently handed down an important air quality judgment. Ashley Bowes
looks at the implications for planning authorities, developers and those resisting development.
Planning: Local Plan interventions
The Communities Secretary recently announced the first 15 local authorities to face potential intervention for failing to produce a Local Plan. Simon Ricketts
looks at the issues this raises
Planning: "Up to 6" does not meet 5
The Court of Appeal quashed a Somerset planning permission for affordable housing, in a case concerning the correct interpretation of a development plan policy. Stephen Whale
Planning: Permission in principle for brownfield sites: what are the key points?
Government guidance on permissions in principle for brownfield sites was published on 28 July and further guidance on 10 October. Liz Dunn
and Sarah Sutherland
look at the key points for local authorities and developers.
Planning: 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.
Procurement: Supply chain sustainability
LexisPSL, in partnership with Simon Garbett
, Ian Skinner
and Sarah Rathke
of Squire Patton Boggs
, examine how authorities can ensure sustainable supply chains.
Procurement: What next for damages?
A recent EFTA (European Free Trade Association) Court ruling on whether the gravity of a breach of the EEA rules on public contracts is relevant for the award of damages is at odds with a Supreme Court judgment on the issue. Helen Prandy
explains why this could be important post-Brexit.
Procurement: If you snooze you lose – a story of railway sleepers
A recent Technology and Construction Court ruling has emphasised how an unsuccessful bidder must have a good reason if an extension of time is to be granted. Helen Prandy
Procurement: IObtaining interim relief
and Tim Care
look at a recent court decision in of the European General Court, in response to a claim brought against the European Central Bank (ECB), for the award of a contract to a third party instead of the applicant.
Procurement: Local authorities, VAT and outsourced management contracts
and Scott Harwood
consider the implications for local authorities of a recent Court of Justice of the European Union decision in a VAT case involving the London Borough of Ealing.
Projects: Running local authority trading companies
When it comes to local authority trading companies, who should be involved? Members, officers, others? Rob Hann
Projects: Is the district heat billing hiatus a "get out of jail free card"?
Are you waiting for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to issue an update relating to the installation of final customer meters for district heat networks? Maxim Laithwaite
provides a quick reminder of the current position regarding the regulations and in particular the cost effectiveness and technical feasibility tool.
Projects: Setting up local authority companies: top tips
After 21 years as author of Local Authority Companies and Partnerships (‘LACAP’) author and practising as a local government lawyer, Rob Hann
provides some practical tips for local authorities setting up LACAPs.
Projects: Should PFI projects be brought back in-house?
, who led the 4ps/Local Partnerships legal team throughout the PFI programme in local government, takes a look at Labour’s recent pledge that it will bring PFI contracts back in house if it gets into power.
Property: Fresh developments in the Assets of Community Value regime
The flow of interesting points on the Assets of Community Value regime continues, with recent appeal decisions before the FTT considering a number of important aspects of the regime, writes Christopher Cant
Property: The power to hold festivals in parks
The Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to the holding of music and other festivals in parks. Although the case involved a London authority, the case is important for local authorities nationwide, write Philip Kolvin QC
and Ranjit Bhose QC
Property: Business rates and heritage assets
When is a building a listed building? Peter Dixon
and Simon Whitfield
report on a recent Administrative Court case over whether the whole of a building or just part of it was listed.
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.
Transport & Highways: The Bus Services Act 2017
looks at major changes in the bus industry following the introduction of new legislation, and considers the opportunities they bring for local authorities.