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SENIOR ROLES: Norfolk is recruiting a Chief Legal Officer (competitive salary). Wakefield is also hiring a Chief Legal Officer. Closing: 1 August.

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Councils criticise delivery test as revised National Planning Policy Framework issued
Communities face “punishment” if developers fail to build enough homes in their areas, Local Government Association warns after government publishes revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework

Council defeats challenge to prioritisation of residents with 10 years in borough
London Borough of Hillingdon successfully defends High Court challenge brought by refugee to prioritisation under council’s housing allocation scheme of those people who have been resident in borough for 10 years
Decision to close 36 police stations in London lawful, Divisional Court rules
Decision by Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in October 2017 to close 36 police stations in London was lawful, Divisional Court rules; however, judges are heavily critical of consultation process and rule that decision was flawed in relation to one station

Court of Appeal to consider general circumstances of housing in district and PSED
Appeal judges due to consider for first time interplay between legislation allowing local authorities to have regard to general circumstances of housing in their district and public sector equality duty
Second s.114 notice issued at financially-troubled Northamptonshire
Director of finance at beleaguered Northamptonshire issues second Section 114 notice and warns councillors of potential £60-70m shortfall in this current financial year

Council defends employment tribunal claim brought by whistleblower
Cheshire East successfully defends employment tribunal claim brought by former member of staff who alleged she had been dismissed due to her making whistleblowing disclosure on sleep-in shifts and pay

Chair of Natural Resources Wales resigns after timber contract failings
Natural Resources Wales chair Diane McCrea resigns after auditors qualified regulator’s account for third consecutive time over unlawful timber contracts; Wales’ auditor-general said NRW had failed to act correctly over 59 contracts for selling timber from its land

Group of councils launches claim over LOBO loans
Group of local authorities issue protective claim against bank regarding its involvement in manipulation of LIBOR benchmark rate and impact of this on their ‘lender-option, borrower-option’(LOBO) loan transactions

Housing Associations Legal Alliance names 12 firms to £6.4m legal panel
Fifteen-member Housing Associations’ Legal Alliance appointed 12 law firms to new Solicitors panel worth £6.4m over four years (On Public Law Today)
MUST-READ: The Court of Appeal in Mencap
Nathaniel Caiden considers the significant implications of the Court of Appeal ruling on sleep-in shifts and the National Minimum Wage.

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Judge to hear challenge this week to £5m cuts by city council to SEND budget
Rolled-up hearing to be held at Bristol Civil Justice Centre over Bristol City Council’s decision to reduce special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) spending by £5m in local area, it is reported

Local government complaints to Ombudsman rose 3.5% in 2017-18
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman received 17,452 complaints and enquiries about local government in 2017-18, compared with 16,863 in previous year, its annual review of local government complaints - published this week - reveals

MPs slam NHS outsourcing of primary care support services to Capita
NHS England’s outsourcing of primary care support services to Capita Business Services was a shambles and put lives at risk, Public Accounts Committee says. Neither NHS England nor Capita understood the service that was being outsourced, and both misjudged the risks, according to report

Judge refuses permission for challenge to district council HQ relocation plans
High Court judge refuses permission for judicial review of Warwick District Council’s plans to relocate its headquarters; Mr Justice Garnham concluded claim was “not properly arguable” and that council did have regard to its planning policy

Brokenshire “minded to” end government intervention at Rotherham
Government set to end its intervention into Rotherham Council three years after calling in inspectors over serious systemic failures at local authority, Communities Secretary announces
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MPs call for ‘Bill of Rights’ for pupils and parents over exclusions
Education Committee calls for measures to act as 'Bill of Rights' for pupils and parents to help combat existing lack of information and rights around exclusions; report expresses concern also at rise in ‘hidden exclusions’

County council granted fresh injunction over 11+ exam information
County granted injunction restraining man who runs websites dealing with 11 Plus examination from breaching confidentiality of papers

Planners slam England-only proposal for post-Brexit environmental watchdog
Government proposal for post-Brexit environmental watchdog that only has jurisdiction for England and no ability to impose fines is “deeply flawed”, Royal Town Planning Institute warns

Government faces threat of legal action over introduction of T-Levels
Federation of Awarding Bodies sends letter before action to Department for Education and Institute for Apprenticeships warning of potential judicial review challenge to government’s T-Level programme (On Public Law Today)
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TOP LOCUM JOBS: Commercial Property Solicitor (East Midlands), Childcare/NRPF Lawyer (London), Prosecutions Lawyer (West Midlands), Childcare Advocate (South London), Childcare Lawyer (East Midlands), SEN Education Lawyer (London), Planning Lawyer (Surrey), Adult Social Care Lawyer (East Midlands), Commercial Property Lawyer (Staffordshire) and Legal/Scrutiny Review Officer (Northern Home Counties). 

This week's analysis

Setting of a listed building
The Court of Appeal has set out general principles to be applied when considering the setting of listed buildings and the effect of developments. Jacqueline Lean sets out the key points.

Judges meeting with children
A senior judge has given an update on the issues created by judges meeting children and the correct approach to be taken. Michelle Brown reports.

GDPR and civil claims
Kate Bear analyses areas of concern for local authorities when it comes to GDPR and the handling of civil claims.

Mixed data in the Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal has considered the correct approach to dealing with mixed personal data. Rupert Paines analyses its ruling, which is set to be the leading case in this area

Two-stage evaluations and the PCR
Now you can carry out a two-stage phased evaluation under the open procedure and still comply with the Public Contracts Regulation, writes Stephanie Rickard.

Minded-to letters and the right to make representations
Are housing authorities required to specify in a “minded-to” letter that applicants may make representations to the reviewer orally at a face-to-face meeting? Robert Brown analyses a Court of Appeal ruling.


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: A new model of healthcare body
The Administrative Court recently considered a challenge to the creation of a new model for the provision of health and social care in England. Jonathan Auburn analyses the outcome.

Adult Social Services: Ordinary residence and impaired capacity
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine some recent 'ordinary residence' disputes in relation to those with impaired capacity.
Children: Criminal law and family proceedings
What place does criminal law have in family proceedings? Mark Cooper reports on a Court of Appeal ruling.

Children: The impact of increasing social worker caseloads
With a more than 10% increase in social worker caseloads, is there an increase in risk? Sarah-Erwin Jones looks at the potential problems.

Children: How legal decisions influence social work practice
The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, retires this month. Naomi De Silva looks at how his rulings have affected social work.
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: Bringing it home?
John Pugh-Smith and Katie Scott consider conflict management and resolution, and analyse alternatives to litigation for local government in areas such as planning, compulsory purchase and the Court of Protection.

Dispute Resolution: Good expert or bad?
When it comes to historic social care claims, the answer lies in the prep, writes Laura Broadhead.
Dispute Resolution: Reopening final appeals
Jeremy Pike and Charles Streeten analyse an important Court of Appeal judgment on applications for permission to appeal, reopening final appeals, and s 31(2A) of the Senior Courts Act.
Education: Dealing with student sit-ins
With the current climate of strikes and further cuts to public services, the number of student sit-ins is again on the rise. Michelle Bendall considers the options for handling them.
  LexisPSL Local Government, in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers, considers the key issues around post-19 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Employment: Employment tribunals and interim relief
What does a claimant have to prove to obtain an order for interim relief from the employment tribunal? Eleanor Boyd reports.

Employment: When can we dismiss for misconduct?
Rebecca Driffield and Phil Allen look at the lessons to be learned from recent cases involving alleged unfair dismissals.
Employment: Equal pay, comparators and increases in pay
What happens when the pay of a comparator in an equal pay claim changes? Michael Halsey explains.

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.
  Raj Shah outlines important guidance and explains local authorities’ duties to ensure they comply with modern slavery legislation.
  The High Court has handed down an important ruling on the obligation to discipline councillors under the code of conduct procedure. Richard Clayton QC and Jonathan Goolden look at the lessons for local authorities.

Health: Introduction to CTO Recall: Part 2
In the second article in a two-part series, Clementine Robertshaw analyses some of the challenges that the recall process for community treatment orders can bring.
  A claimant was recently held in contempt of court for grossly exaggerating a negligence claim against an NHS trust. Lucy Eastwood explains why.

Housing: Legal Aid in housing cases
John Murray looks into the Government's 'bigger is better' approach to enlarge geographic areas that providers of free legal services defending possession proceedings would be required to operate within, and examines a recent High Court application for judicial review on this issue.

Housing: Lack of succession rights and the HRA
John Murray analyses a recent High Court case whereby a council successfully retained a possession order against a mother and son who suffered from a range of medical issues and resided in a three-bedroom property, but had no succession rights.
A recent High Court case focussed on the issue of statutory succession where one of two joint secure tenants had died, then the remaining tenant later died leaving an adult child (the defendant) in occupation. Rebecca Sembuuze reports.
Housing: A pragmatic approach to policies and procedures
John Murray takes a look into a specific appeal against a housing association landlord's decision to serve notice on a starter tenant.
  The Court of Appeal has handed down an important judgment on the capacity to make a homelessness application. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine the ruling.
  LexisPSL Local Government, in partnership with Catherine Rowlands of Cornerstone Barristers, consider the issues around homelessness and local connection.

Information Law: GDPR: updating privacy notices
Are you caught in a last minute rush to update your privacy notice to comply with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? Ibrahim Hasan considers what is involved.
  Ibrahim Hasan looks at how data controllers can comply with the obligation to produce data protection impact assessment.

Licensing: Cross border hiring and localism
Gerald Gouriet QC analyses some of the thorny issues that can arise around cross-border hiring of private hire vehicle drivers.
  The Home Office has issued revised Guidance under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. Is there anything of substance in the changes? Paddy Whur reports.

Licensing: Capping the number of hackney carriages
A Yorkshire council has fought off a Crown Court challenge to the limit it placed on the number of hackney carriage licences. Gary Grant explains how.

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.

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.

Planning: Long players: time and money
Is there more that can be done to encourage timely resolution of issues that arise at planning application stage? Simon Ricketts investigates.
Planning: Pre-commencement conditions: when do you need written consent?
From October 2018, planning permission for the development of land may not be granted subject to pre-commencement conditions without agreement of the applicant. Cathryn Tracey and Gary Soloman examine the changes.

Planning: The ECJ on Habitats Regulations Assessments
An ECJ ruling on Habitats Regulations Assessments is straight bananas, writes Roy Pinnock.
Procurement & Contracts: Will the evaluation of social value become compulsory?
The UK government has announced changes to extend the scope of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, designed to rebuild trust after the collapse of Carillion. Patrick Parkin considers the implications.

Procurement & Contracts: Digging for victory
A High Court judge recently found that an open cast mine case - where a Welsh council sought specific performance of an escrow account agreement - was open and shut. Matt Hutchings QC and Shomik Datta set out why.

Procurement & Contracts: The need for clarity in procurement processes
The High Court recently examined whether it should order a contracting authority to amend its decision and award a contract to the claimant. Melanie Peers and Tim Care consider its approach.

Procurement & Contracts: Dealing with abnormally low tenders
How should contracting authorities approach a situation where they believe a tender could be abnormally low? Richard Wilson, George Lubega and Graeme Young offer some pointers.

Projects: The National Infrastructure Assessment and compulsory purchase
Richard Guyatt examines proposals in the National Infrastructure Assessment for making the process of compulsory purchase simpler and fairer.
Property: How to sell off council properties properly?
Rebecca Gilbert considers how councils can best approach the sale of their property assets.
Property: Crichel Down Rules: new case law guidance
A High Court case has offered new judicial guidance on the Crichel Down Rules that is of importance to local authorities and landowners. Patrick Robinson and Alex Minhinick set out the key points.
Property: Dealing with incursions
Wendi Batteson of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council sets out some of the lessons learned from a recent planning enforcement case.

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'.
  Steven Woolf sets out some new strategies to help local authorities turn the tide on fly-tipping.

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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Legal Services Lincolnshire
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Ashfield and Mansfield Shared Legal Service

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