LGA concern at absence of Local Government Finance Bill in Queen's Speech
It is “hugely concerning” that Government has not reintroduced Local Government Finance Bill in Queen’s Speech, Local Government Association says. Find out more about key Bills/Draft Bills and non-legislative measures
Allegations against monitoring officer over safeguarding case resolved
Allegations against MO at council in relation to handling of historic individual child safeguarding case resolved by disciplinary panel. Chief exec resigned before hearing, while panel recommends dismissal of another officer
Council appeals £150k fine imposed over publication of sensitive data
Basildon confirms it is to appeal imposition by Information Commissioner of £150,000 monetary penalty for publishing sensitive personal information about family in planning application documents that were made publicly available online
Borough takes urgent legal advice over cladding on five of its tower blocks
Camden says it is taking urgent legal advice after testing of cladding on five of its tower blocks suggested that some of panels that were fitted were not to standard that council had commissioned. See also: Chief exec quits amid criticisms of response to Grenfell Tower fire
Chief executive of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea resigns amid criticisms of authority’s response to Grenfell Tower fire. In statement he said Communities Secretary had asked Leader to seek his resignation, but DCLG denies involvement
Landlords to pay £3k in costs after unreasonable behaviour in appeal
London borough secures £3,000-plus costs order in its favour after judge found that landlords had “behaved unreasonably in bringing an appeal which they never intended to pursue properly...."
MUST-READ: Licensing: the negative side of “Positive Partnerships”
Partnership working may be the current preoccupation in licensing but it is not the solution to all its ills, warns Gerald Gouriet QC
Council rapped after care home charges for care it could not show it provided
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticises council after care home it contracted with charged vulnerable dementia patient for care it could not prove it had provided
Coventry wins Legal Services of the Year at MJ Awards 2017
City council wins Legal Services of the Year category at MJ Awards 2017, with judges saying team was “delivering wide- ranging initiatives in-house with long-term benefits for the communities it serves”
Council agrees £2k payout over mental capacity assessment delays
County council to pay man who suffered stroke £2,000 over delays in carrying out mental capacity assessments and not considering fully all options available to him
The Solution to IR35
Law On Demand
Locum lawyers have consistently been the solution for local authorities in times of increased workload or staff shortages. And as most working in local government will know, from April 2017, IR35 is changing. This has now created a dilemma for many local authorities who rely on locums to provide additional support. Read more...
Head threatens legal action over misinformaton about school on social media
Headteacher warns of legal action against anyone spreading misinformation about his school on social media
LGA issues guidance on introducing Public Space Protection Orders
Local Government Association publishes guidance on issues local areas should consider where they are contemplating introducing PSPO
Make Seven Principles of Public Life a cornerstone, ‘metro mayors’ urged
Committee on Standards in Public Life writes to six new ‘metro mayors’ calling on them to embed Seven Principles of Public Life “as driving force during their time in office”
Council agrees £13m payout to family of boy injured at swimming pool
End of long-running legal battle sees borough agree to pay £13m to family of boy who was left with brain injuries after nearly drowning in council swimming pool in 2002
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LOCUM JOBS OF THE WEEK: Senior Contracts Lawyer (London), Senior Litigation Lawyer (East of England), Senior Childcare Lawyer (London), Commercial Contracts & Employment Solicitor (East of England), NQ Planning Lawyer (Surrey), Adults Lawyer (Dorset), Adult Social Care Solicitor (London), Prosecutions Solicitor (West Midlands), Commercial Property Solicitor (East of England), Litigation Solicitor (East Midlands) and Legal Officer - Police Disclosure (Manchester).
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City sets up independent inquiry over election and postal vote problems
Plymouth sets up independent investigation over administrative issues in lead-up to general election
High Court hears challenge over Government failure on Dubs Amendment
High Court will this week hear legal challenge to Government’s failure to implement Dubs Amendment in relation to unaccompanied refugee children
Campaign group crowd funds in bid to go to Court of Appeal over QPR training site
Campaigners seeking to raise £25,000 through crowdfunding in bid to go to Court of Appeal over proposed siting of Championship football club’s training facilities on metropolitan open land
UN human rights chief calls for changes to Prevent strategy
United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights calls for fundamental changes to UK’s Prevent strategy, which is designed to counter extremism but has been heavily criticised in some quarters
Air quality plans "unfairly shift burden" to local authorities: CIEH
Government’s plan to tame nitrogen dioxide pollution seeks to unfairly shift burden of solving problem to local authorities, Chartered Institute of Environmental Heath says
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This week's analysis
Local authority employees, tied accommodation and Article 14 challenges
The High Court has rejected an Article 14 challenge regarding security of tenure for local authority employees occupying ‘tied accommodation’. Andrew Lane
and Tara O'Leary
The correct approach to 'setting'
The Planning Court has endorsed a broad approach to 'setting'. Emma Dring
explains the ruling.
Costs budgets and detailed assessment
The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in an important costs budgeting case involving a NHS trust. Roger Mallalieu
sets out its findings.
Service charges, double recovery and third-party funding
analyses a singular service charge case about double recovery and third-party funding and warns of increased uncertainty following a Court of Appeal ruling.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017
looks at the impact on local authorities of the significant changes to be introduced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Subject access requests: the ICO revises its guidance
The Information Commissioner's Office has changed its guidance in relation to subject access requests. Robin Hopkins
sets out the key points.
BLOGS: Understanding the objectives of clients
What will make your clients relish the opportunity to work with you again: content or delivery? Geoff Wild
considers the issues.
SUPPLIER OF THE WEEK: Improve any case or matter with Objective Connect for Local Government Legal Teams, which has been designed specifically to address challenges associated with securely working with people outside of your organisation.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: The role of the Care Quality Commission
LexisNexis Local Government
, in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane
, sets out the role, powers and functions of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Adult Social Services: Litigation capacity under the spotlight
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine a recent case where the law relating to litigation capacity was applied in practice.
Adult Social Services: Who guards the guards?
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine a recent case on responsibility for monitoring standard authorisations.
Children: Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 – local authority duties
LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Claire Cousin
, provide a comprehensive guide to local authorities' duties under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
Children: Age disputes and interim accommodation
What happens young people whose age is questioned approach a local authority as homeless? Must they be accommodated as children, or can they be accommodated in temporary adult accommodation until their age is determined by the local authority? Jonathan Auburn
Dispute Resolution: Roberts v Johnstone in a time of a negative discount
, Paul Taylor
and David Williams
analyse a recent High Court ruling on the impact of a recent change in the discount rate on a Roberts v Johnstone
claim for accommodation.
Dispute Resolution: Recovering costs – helpful hints (private law)
James E. Petts
sets out some key considerations for local authorities looking to recover their costs.
Dispute Resolution: Bouldering claim falls over obvious risks
The duties of organisations providing sporting activities which include a risk of injury, and the extent to which a participant's acceptance of the inherent risks should impact on a subsequent injury claim, has again been considered by the courts. David Williams
and Richard Rowe
examine the latest case.
Dispute Resolution: Ever decreasing circles
, Andrew Northage
and Robert Starr
analyse the latest case to further limit legal professional privilege. Although a criminal case, it applies equally to civil and regulatory investigations.
Dispute Resolution: The extent of the Court of Protection's powers
The Supreme Court has handed down an important ruling on the limits of the Court of Protection’s powers, writes Ben Zurawel
Education: Getting schooled by the Supreme Court
The Isle of Wight Council, backed by the Government, recently won a high-profile appeal to the Supreme Court in a case on unauthorised school absence. Alexander Campbell
analyses the judgment.
Education: The Upper Tribunal on Education, Health and Care plans
The Upper Tribunal has issued an important ruling on the education of young people with special educational needs. Tom Tabori
highlights the key findings.
Employment: ‘Sleep-ins’ and the National Minimum Wage
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has provided guidance on sleep-ins' and the National Minimum Wage. Nick Newman
explains its impact on employers.
Employment: Calculating strike pay deductions
If a teacher takes part in lawful strike action, how much pay is their employer entitled to deduct? Phil Allen
looks at a recent Supreme Court ruling.
Governance: Councillors, council tax arrears and FOI
looks at how local authorities have responded when faced with FOI requests asking for the names of councillors in arrears over their council tax.
Governance: The impact of becoming British on EU rights
An Advocate General has recently concluded that becoming British does not mean the end of an EU citizen’s EU rights. George Peretz QC
Governance: Election challenges
With the 2017 UK parliamentary general election this week, returning officers and their teams may be considering what options are open to the disgruntled candidate or elector who seeks to challenge the result of an election. Emyr Thomas
Governance: Polling Day and the Count
As 8 June approaches, Mark Heath
reviews issues that may arise on Election Day itself around polling and the count to provide guidance as to how the day should be approached.
Governance: The widening gap in the law in England and Wales
examines the increasing divergence between the law in England and Wales and considers what this means for local authorities.
Health: Deprivation of liberty on discharge: conditional discharge and CTOs
The Court of Appeal has handed down an important ruling in relation to deprivations of liberty, conditional discharge and community treatment orders. Louise Wilson
analyses the judgment.
Highways: Outsourcing highway maintenance
examines the challenges of outsourcing highway maintenance in the new world of a ‘risk-based approach’.
Housing: Preference for existing social housing tenants
A High Court judge has ruled that a London borough's housing allocation scheme preferring existing social housing tenants was not unlawfully discriminatory, but that the operation of a system of direct offers was unlawful. Christopher Baker
and Richard Granby
Housing: Revisiting decisions on eligibility for homelessness assistance
A High Court judge has ruled that a London borough was not entitled to revisit a decision that an individual was eligible for homelessness assistance. Alice Richardson
Housing: Discretionary Housing Payment Policies: Long-term awards and relevant considerations
examines the lessons for local authorities on a key ruling in relation to discretionary housing payment policies.
Housing: Contracting out homelessness decisions
examines how issues over local authorities contracting out their homelessness functions continue to rumble on.
Information Law: Implementing the GDPR in the UK: lessons from Germany?
Can we learn from Germany's approach when it comes to implementation of the GDPR this time next year? Robin Hopkins
looks at the lessons.
Information Law: Local government GDPR readiness: good and will get better
Press reports on recent research by the Information Commissioner's Office into councils' preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation suggested a lack of readiness. Ibrahim Hasan
goes behind the headlines.
Licensing: A spent conviction by any other name
There has been a significant change to the law regarding the convictions and cautions that can be taken into account when assessing whether someone is 'fit and proper' to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire driver licence, which is leaving councils in the dark and unable to have regard to the totality of a person's criminal conduct, writes Tim Briton
Licensing: Bingo in pubs
In a key judgment, the Court of Appeal has ruled on the power of the Gambling Commission to refuse operating licences for bingo in pubs. Philip Kolvin QC
explains the outcome.
Licensing: Unlawful plying for hire – where now following Sajjad?
analyses an important High Court ruling on unlawfully plying for hire and driving without insurance, and discusses the options for licensing authorities.
Licensing: Licensing procedure – traps for the unwary
Ian de Prez
examines some of the procedural issues faced by licensing sub-committees, and considers a House of Lords committee's proposal that their responsbilities be transferred to planning committees.
Management: Have your cake, eat it … and lose weight
Who do local authority clients prefer to work with, in-house lawyers or external law firms? Geoff Wild looks at the relative attractions.
Planning: The Court of Appeal on certificates of lawfulness
In a case involving a basement development next to the French Embassy, the Court of Appeal has clarified the law relating to certificates of lawfulness of proposed use or development, write Tom Cosgrove QC
and Robert Williams
Planning: The scope of section 106s: re-stating the obvious
The Court of Appeal has recently considered planning authorities' use of s.106 obligations to prohibit applications for parking permits. John Pugh-Smith
reports on the outcome.
Planning: The Suffolk Coastal case and local planning authorities
Hereward Phillpot QC
considers the implications for local planning authorities from the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Suffolk Coastal District Council
Planning: You can’t park here!
looks at the ability of planning authorities to demand restrictions on applications for parking permits.
Procurement: Approaches to the experience of tenderers
and Tim Care
provide an overview of a recent Court of Justice of the European Union decision that offers useful guidance to contracting authorities on the approach which can be taken to tenderers' experience both when creating a procurement specification and when seeking to clarify documents provided by a tenderer.
Procurement: Procurement and information security
and Tim Care
provide an overview of the importance of "information security" (which includes but is not limited to cyber security) in the context of public procurement practices.
Procurement: Errors in major public procurement projects
In association with LexisNexis Public Law
, Richard Hanstock
considers the lessons from a high-profile dispute over the procurement of a contract to decommission nuclear facilities.
Projects: The pitfalls of contractual joint ventures
looks at some of the opportunities and pitfalls of joint ventures.
Property: Completed developments in breach of restrictive covenants
An Upper Tribunal decision on restrictive covenants surprisingly saw a court award in favour of a developer who had already built a social housing development in breach of a restrictive covenant. Katie Taylor
Property: Legal owners lacking mental capacity to deal with land
LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Rebecca Sharpe
of RJR Legal
Ltd, examine the options where a legal owner lacks mental capacity to deal with land.
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.
Regulatory: Confiscation orders and S.10A POCA
examines the role of section 10A of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the enforcement of confiscation orders – a useful tool for local authorities to get it right first time.
Regulatory: Enforcement of confiscation orders
sets out some key considerations when it comes to ensuring confiscation orders are enforced.
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.