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JOIN A NEW TEAM: Buckinghamshire and Wycombe are recruiting to an exciting range of new roles ahead of the move to unitary status in 2020: Litigation Lawyers (to £48,616), Planning & Highways Lawyers (to £48,616), Education Lawyer (to £51,225) and Adult Social Care & Education Lawyer (to £49,878). Go to Public Law Jobs for more superb roles:

Petition support means city set to hold referendum on proposed change in governance

Activists in Sheffield use provisions of Localism Act 2011 to require city council to hold referendum on ending cabinet system and reverting to committees

 
Defendant who brought fraudulent 'phantom passenger' claim against council given suspended sentence
Man who brought fraudulent claim against Cardiff Council in ‘phantom passenger’ road traffic accident case has been sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months, it is reported
County to pay mother £24k after Ombudsman report into overcrowding and failure to comply with care order
Council agrees to pay £24,000 after Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation into case where mother of three, who also took on care of her two grandchildren, had to sleep on a mattress in her living room for more than 10 years because local authority did not deliver support it had agreed to
Judge refuses "without much enthusiasm" appeal by council over grant of retrospective planning permission
High Court judge “without much enthusiasm” refuses appeal by Tower Hamlets against inspector’s grant of retrospective planning permission to demolish three homes
Information watchdog identifies three key GDPR compliance challenges for town and parish councils
Information Commissioner’s Office sets out what it considers to be the three GDPR compliance challenges for local councils
Charity threatens legal action over appointment of Lord Carlile as independent reviewer of Prevent
Human rights charity sends letter before action over Home Office’s appointment of Lord Carlile, saying he “cannot be truly independent” because he oversaw Government's first review of Prevent in 2011, and had been member of Prevent Oversight Board in recent years
County council defeats legal challenge to conversion of school to academy
East Sussex defends judicial review challenge to proposed conversion of Peacehaven Community School to academy
Browne Jacobson advises council on key cyber central development acquisition
Law firm acts for Cheltenham Borough Council on its £37.5m investment into cyber central development in West Cheltenham area

MUST-READ: Section 73 permissions and the New CIL Regulations

Christopher Cant assesses the application of the Community Infrastructure Levy regime to planning permissions granted under section 73 in relation to post-CIL parent permissions.

 
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Government faces legal challenge over impact on pension changes on teachers and doctors
Law firm Leigh Day says it is preparing to bring legal claims on behalf of teachers and doctors against Government over age discrimination if they have been moved onto less beneficial pension scheme
Campaigners refused permission to appeal ruling on closure of children's centres
Campaign group fails to obtain permission to appeal High Court ruling that decision by Cabinet at Buckinghamshire County Council to close 19 out of its 35 children’s centres was lawful
City council hails success of scheme to clamp down on 'beds in sheds'
Oxford City Council says it has shut down 21 ‘beds in sheds’ and served 31 enforcement notices since January 2018 when it received government funding to tackle the issue
Councils saw £800m overspend on children's social care in 2018/19: LGA
Councils were forced to overspend on their children’s social care budgets by nearly £800m last year, Local Government Association says, blaming “severe funding shortages and huge demand pressures”
LOOKING FOR A TRAINING CONTRACT? East Hampshire and Havant are hiring: Trainee Solicitor (£19,814 - £24,943).
MUST-READ: Declarations of ineffectiveness and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015

A recent procurement case has brought into into focus the circumstances when the remedy of a declaration of ineffectiveness may be available under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, write Richard Collins and Kathrine Eddon.
 
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The Sheriffs OfficeHigh Court enforcement for local authorities
High Court enforcement services can be useful for local authorities in several circumstances. The Sheriff's Office outlines the main occasions when councils may need to use enforcement services and the procedures they will need to follow when they do (sponsored editorial).

Respite service reprieved following threat of legal action, says claimant law firm
Irwin Mitchell claims legal pressure was key factor in Lancashire County Council rescinding plans to end its ‘Lancashire Break Time’ service of brief respites for carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities; local authority says it had already decided to conduct more engagement over plans before involvement of law firm
Spending watchdog consults on new draft Code of Audit Practice
National Audit Office launches public consultation on its proposed update of Code of Audit Practice ahead of it coming into effect in April 2020; Code sets out what local auditors of relevant local public bodies (such as councils, police, fire and NHS bodies) are required to do to fulfil their statutory responsibilities under Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
Failure to pay confiscation order leaves recycling fraudster facing further eight years in prison
Defendant convicted of defrauding electrical waste recycling industry sentenced to prison for further eight years after he failed to meet £1.3m confiscation order; Environment Agency investigated original case
Isles of Scilly Council to appoint legal adviser for support on electronic vehicle technology project
Council of the Isles of Scilly plans to appoint legal services provider to support project developing alternative fuelling network, multi modal travel hubs and mobility platform to encourage adoption of ultra-low carbon transport
See all of our most recent news stories
MUST-READ: Facebook postings and vicarious liability of employers

Charles Pigott examines an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling that racially offensive Facebook posting was not done in the course of employment.
 

DPS - Practice management software for local government including ABSs
EXCEPTIONAL PRIVATE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES: Leading law firm Sharpe Pritchard is hiring: Senior Associate - Planning, Data and IT Solicitor - PT, Legal Executive - CPOs and Legal Internship.

CLOSING DATES APPROACHING: Don't miss out - SIGN UP TO RECEIVE JOB ALERTS: TOP LOCUM ROLES: Senior Planning Solicitor (Bristol; to £50/hr); Senior Governance Solicitor (East Midlands; to £55/hr), Commercial Contracts Lawyer (North West; to £40/hr) and Information Governance Lawyer (East Midlands; £300-350/day).

Batten Disease families get green light for High Court challenge over decision not to provide treatment
Four children with neurodegenerative condition given permission to bring judicial review challenge over decision by NICE to not make potentially life-saving treatment available through NHS in England
Council concern over extent of private equity role in fostering agencies
Local authorities are growing alarmed about activities of private equity firms which are buying up small fostering agencies, it is reported
Welsh council puts school changes on hold amid procedural concerns: report
Isle of Anglesey County Council puts change to its plan for schools on hold, it is reported
Browne Jacobson advises on major North West NHS university hospital trusts merger
Law firm acts as legal adviser on merger clearance of deal that will lead to formation of one of North of England’s biggest university hospital trusts
Boost your career: Firm foundations
Are you intrigued about working in local government but hesitant to take the plunge? Real estate lawyer Matthew Dineen explains how he overcame his initial doubts and never looked back
The Great Bundle Takeaway Debacle
On 4 April 2019 new rules came into effect for the removal of court bundles in what’s now earned the name of “The Great Bundle Takeaway Debacle.” The debate itself is notable for how little of it is focused on a digital solution...(Sponsored editorial)

Borough council names solicitor as chief executive
Isles of Scilly Council to appoint legal adviser for support on electronic vehicle technology project
Browne Jacobson advises council on key cyber central development acquisition
Browne Jacobson advises on major North West NHS university hospital trusts merger
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LOCUM ROLES: Principal Childcare Lawyer (North West), Senior Childcare Locum Lawyer (West Midlands), Adults Lawyer (London), Commercial Contracts Lawyer (East Midlands), Contracts and Procurement Lawyer (London), Planning Solicitor (East Midlands), Information Governance Paralegal (West Midlands) and Childcare Paralegal (Swindon).

People over Wind: still blowing through planning guidance and the High Court

Michael Dempsey analyses the latest developments in relation to Habitat Regulations Assessment and appropriate assessment.

 
In the frame
Anja Beriro and Peter Ware analyse some of the key considerations around the use of frameworks in public procurement.
Service charges and additional provisions
The Upper Tribunal has considered whether a tenancy agreement allowed a social landlord to charge for additional services. John Murray reports on the outcome.
Making the most of commercial assets
How can housing associations make the most of their commercial assets? Jo Judge explains. (From our latest housing law newsletter - sign up here)
Housing case law update: July 2019
Charlotte Rawson and Ian Larkins round up the latest housing law cases, including judgments on housing policies supporting people with protected characteristics, alleged discrimination in not offering housing, and homelessness following shortfalls in benefits. (From our latest housing law newsletter - sign up here)

Catch up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
The MHA and the MCA in the community
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report on the outcome of a ruling dealing with streamlined Re X applications made by two local authorities.
Fluctuating capacity - micro vs macro decisions
Alex Ruck Keene looks at the lessons to be learned from the latest Court of Protection to address the issue of fluctuating capacity.
Costs and s21A applications
A judge recently rejected an application by the Official Solicitor for a London borough to pay its costs in proceedings under Section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the judgment.
Firm foundations
Are you intrigued about working in local government but hesitant to take the plunge? Real estate lawyer Matthew Dineen explains how he overcame his initial doubts and never looked back.
Home truths
What is it like to work as an in-house solicitor for a registered provider for social housing or housing association? Radian’s Scott Greenwood sets out the attraction and advantages, how the sector differs from private practice and how the transition can be made by those who may be considering a move.
Family proceedings and the police
The “long arm” of the police - how “confidential” are family proceedings? “Not very” seems to be the answer in a recent Court of Appeal decision, writes Adam Smith.
Accommodation under s20 Children Act and the wishes of the child
The Royal Borough of Greenwich recently successfully defended a Children Act judicial review. Tony Harrop-Griffiths explains how.
Crisis, not crisis?
Phil Booth summarises a Family Division working party's interim recommendations relating to public law and its comments on the role of local authority lawyers.
Committal applications in family proceedings
Phil Booth addresses apparent defects in the standard form used in committal proceedings and the factors that may apply if the court is invited to exercise its discretion to waive such defects.
PSPO challenges and legal aid
Human rights organisation Liberty has failed to secure legal aid for a challenge to a public spaces protection order. Kuljit Bhogal explains why.
Experts in Human Rights Act claims
Are human rights experts necessary in Human Rights Act claims? David Maggs examines the status of their evidence.
Entitlement to personal independence payments
The Supreme Court has this month considered an appeal over entitlement to Personal Independence Payments. Leon Glenister explains the ruling.
'Funding crisis' - a detailed look at the funding shortage in UK schools
According to campaigners, more than 200 schools in England are cutting their school weeks short due to funding shortages. This raises questions over legal ramifications and the responsibility of the government. Jean Tsang, associate at Bates Wells and governor of a maintained primary school, addresses these questions for LexisPSL and looks at the worrying effects of this ‘funding crisis’ on the ‘most vulnerable children’ in the educational system.
Judicial review challenge over closures of children's centres defeated by local authority
The case of R (on the application of L, an infant (by his mother and litigation friend)) v Buckinghamshire County Council represents the first time when the High Court considered in detail the meaning of the ‘sufficiency duty’ in section 5A of the Childcare Act 2006 (ChA 2006) in the context of whether a council’s consultation on the closure of a number of children’s centres was unlawful or not. James Goudie QC examines the background to and the practical implications of the judgment.
Forced academisation of schools - is resistance futile?
What are the circumstances which lead to a school being forced to become an academy, and is there anything that can be done to stop it happening?
Katie Michelon provides an overview of the forced academisation process, and explains the options available to schools, parents and local authorities when faced with the possibility of an Academy Order.
Whistleblowing - expanding protection to anticipated protected disclosures
A claimant recently successfully argued at first instance that it is unlawful to subject an individual to a detriment on the grounds that the employer perceived them to be considering making a protected disclosure. Jennifer Danvers considers the judgment and potential ramifications.
Distrinctly average: statistics, rate of pay and shifting burden of proof in equal pay cases
The Court of Appeal has recently held that when determining particular disadvantage in non-binary situations, Tribunals should look at male and female average pay, not the distribution of male and female pay within a band.  Daphne Romney QC explains the judgment.
Limiting the scope of non-disclosure agreements
The Government has unveiled new legislation to limit so-called “gagging clauses”. Tim Gooder examines the proposals.
Covert recordings by employees: misconduct?
A common question that is often asked by employers is what can they do if their employee has covertly recorded a meeting. James Barron explains the options.
How does a local authority establish a market?
The LexisPSL team outline the powers available to local authorities looking to establish a new market.
Community governance reviews and abolition of local councils
Two parish councils recently succeeded in a legal challenge to their proposed abolition. Chris Brown explains how one of the parishes did it and considers the lessons for public authorities arising from the case.
Court rejects implied duty to report change of address for council tax purposes
Samuel Genen, solicitor at Steel & Shamash, comments for LexisPSL on a Court of Appeal ruling that a failure to notify the local council of a change of address for the purpose of council tax did not constitute a criminal offence under the Fraud Act 2006. (Registration required)
Segregation on mental health wards
The Care Quality Commission recently published interim findings about the segregation in mental health wards of young people and people with a learning disability or autism. Holly Bridden looks at the lessons to be learned.
Discrimination claims and s204 appeals
The Court of Appeal has ruled that there is no home for discrimination claims in section 204 appeals, write Dean Underwood and Riccardo Calzavara. (From our latest housing law newsletter)
Responding to the 'Building a safer future' consultation
Andrew Millross sets out the key points from Anthony Collins Solicitors' response to the 'Building a safer future' consultation. (From our latest housing law newsletter)
Loosening the limits of statutory interpretation? Livewest v Bamber
Nicholas Grundy QC and Tristan Salter analyse an important Court of Appeal ruling for housing associations on fixed term assured shorthold tenancies, break clauses and notice.
The Court of Appeal and possession claims: what's next for PSED?
Earlier this month the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in a case concerning the impact of a breached 'public sector equality duty' (PSED) on a discretionary possession claim . Andy Lane writes his latest article on the subject of the duty, and takes stock of where the law has 'landed' in this important, though oft misused, defence.
Sentencing guidelines and housing offences
David Smith looks at the lessons to be learned from new generic sentencing guidelines applicable to housing offences.
GDPR: one year on
What have we learned from the 12 months that the General Data Protection Regulation has been in force? Ibrahim Hasan reports.
Making an exception to a cumulative impact policy
Southwark Council recently granted a 3am premises licence for a new live music venue as an exception to its cumulative impact policy. Gary Grant examines the reasons why.
Court finds judge in Uber licensing case was not biased
Philip Kolvin QC examines for LexisPSL the High Court’s decision in R (United Cabbies Group) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court to dismiss the claimant’s application for judicial review of a district judge’s grant of an operator’s licence for London private hire vehicles to the third interested party, Uber.
Selling local authority legal services
Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy examine how local authorities can go about generating additional income by selling their legal services.
Planning permissions and the duty to give reasons
A High Court judge has shed further light on the duty to give reasons for grants of planning permission and has disagreed in part with another recent decision. Jenny Wigley explains why.
Enforcement notices, breaches of planning control and earlier permissions
The High Court has dismissed an appeal against an enforcement notice issued against redevelopment of a Hackney synagogue. Leon Glenister explains why.
Challenges to revocation orders
What do you do when you have been granted planning permission by administrative mistake? Hashi Mohamed reports on a challenge to a council's revocation order.
The latest battle of Fulford: non-material amendments
Court of Appeal has considered the scope of the power to make a non-material amendment under s.96A Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and whether it extends to allow non-material changes to reserved matters approvals. Jonathan Easton reports on the outcome.
Section 73 TCPA: a guide
Richard Kimblin QC provides a short practical guide to section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act in the light of a recent Supreme Court ruling involving Lambeth Council.
Third country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market
Lucy Gregory analyses the key points from recent European Commission guidance on third country bidders.
Common mistake and rectification of contracts
The Court of Appeal has laid down a new test for rectification of contracts based on common mistake, write Adam Greaves and Liz Williams.
Court refuses to keep Circle in suspense
The High Court recently lifted the automatic suspension of the award of a contract for medical services in Nottingham. Jenny Beresford-Jones looks at the lessons to be learned from the case.
Local authorities and governance - LLG's Codes of Practice
Rob Hann looks at the Lawyers in Local Government’s Codes of Practice for Local Authority Companies.
Local authority companies - the importance of good governance
James Hawkins and Scott Dorling consider the key issues that councils must consider when setting up local authority companies.
Transfer agreements and overage payments
A local authority recently succeeded in a summary judgment application in relation to overage payments due under a transfer agreement. Lina Mattsson explains how.
Redevelopments and rating
The Upper Tribunal has clarified the law on rating of buildings undergoing redevelopment. Dan Kolinsky QC and Luke Wilcox analyse the ruling.
The changing landscape of local authority Trading Standards prosecutions?
Richard Heller considers for LexisPSL Local Government the potential impact the case of Qualter and others v Crown Court at Preston [2019] could have on the way regional Trading Standards services investigate and prosecute criminal offences. (registration required)
The definition of "commercial practice"
A recent Divisional Court ruling on unfair commercial practices will be of significant interest to trading standards teams across the country, writes Tony Watkin.
Highways maintainable at public expense
If a highway authority built a highway, it is highway maintainable at public expense. Matthew White reports on a significant High Court ruling for local authorities.
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