Five South of England councils pursue legal services partnership plan
Orbis Public Law initiative to achieve greater resilience and deliver savings through economies of scale, avoidance of duplication and income generation
Councils to be investigated by Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Four councils amongst range of organisations to be scrutinised in first phase of investigations into extent to which institutions failed to protect children, Chair of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse says
Councils must have ABS to trade reserved legal services beyond their local area: SRA
Regulator's stance on need for authorisation could cause disquiet amongst local government legal teams looking to boost revenues by providing services such as litigation and court advocacy
Ministers eye making legal regulators independent of professional bodies
Government will consult by Spring 2016 on making legal services regulators independent from their representative bodies, ministers say. See also: SRA supports move towards independence from Law Society
Council in legal bid to secure information on children at risk of radicalisation
London borough takes legal steps to secure information on children considered at risk of radicalisation, after redacted details issued by school in response to FOI request were manipulated by third party to reveal blocked-out names
High Court orders fresh hearing after council wins street renaming appeal
Judge remits dispute between local authority and residents over renaming and renumbering of properties on housing estate back to the Magistrates’ Court for reconsideration
West Midlands housing associations to set up £10-40m legal panels
Two housing associations in West Midlands to procure legal services panels worth between £10m and £40m over four years (on Public Law Today)
Dog walkers in Daventry face fine, prosecution if they fail to pick up poo
Dog walkers in Daventry who fail to pick up their dog’s poo - or fail to have means for picking it up - risk £100 fine and potentially prosecution under Public Spaces Protection Order introduced by district council from the beginning of month
University of Edinburgh starts procurement of £2.7m legal panels
Bond Dickinson partner to chair Compulsory Purchase Association
Leeds City Council names Pinsent Masons as advisers to East Leeds Extension
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French Government loses challenge over mega-basement next to embassy
French Government fails in challenge to validity of two certificates of lawfulness issued by London borough for works to basement of property next door to embassy
Brussels revises procurement thresholds applicable from January 2016
European Commission announces revised procurement thresholds that will apply from 1 January 2016
Spending watchdog issues toolkit on competitive and demand-led grants
National Audit Office produces good practice toolkit on competitive and demand-led grants, which it says have high risk of fraud
Watchdog consults on where gaming machines can be played
Gambling Commission launches consultation on where category B gaming machines can be played
Ombudsman warns councils on duties towards home-schooled children
Local Government Ombudsman calls on local authorities to ensure they meet their duty to satisfy themselves that children who are not in school system are receiving suitable education, after investigation leads to borough agreeing to pay out more than £3,500
MPs express concern over New Burdens Doctrine and funding of Care Act
Public Accounts Committee expresses concern that Government’s New Burdens Doctrine does not guarantee funding for significant new costs for councils such as those arising out of implementation of the Care Act 2014
Ealing Council and Ivy Legal win enforcement awards at Planning Awards
London Borough of Ealing recognised for Outhouse Project - tackling sub-standard outbuilding conversions used as dwellings - that it runs in partnership with law firm Ivy Legal
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
The Supreme Court has put an end to the confusion over break clauses, apportionment and implying contractual terms. Martin McKeague and Emma Porritt look at the key lessons from the ruling.
A chink in the armour
A High Court judge has ruled that the Government's benefits cap unlawfully discriminated against disabled people by failing to exempt their carers. Alexander Campbell reports on the judgment.
Catherine Rowlands rounds up of some of the most important Court of Appeal rulings this year in the homelessness field.
The HCA on consumer complaints
The Homes and Communities Agency has outlined its approach to dealing with consumer complaints. Daniel Milnes reports.
French government loses basement challenge
The French government has failed in a judicial review challenge over a mega-basement next to its embassy in London. Paul Brown QC examines the High Court's judgment.
LGPS asset allocation
The Government has unveiled plans to liberalise the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) investment regime. Clifford Sims explains the significance of the move.
The Supreme Court on ordinary residence
The Supreme Court earlier this year considered the question of 'ordinary residence' in relation to people without capacity to decide where to live. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine the ruling.
SEN funding comparison costs
Morris Hill and Ken Slade analyse a recent Upper Tribunal decision intended to bring clarity to SEN funding comparison costs cases.
Religious education and state impartiality
A High Court judge has issued a significant ruling on the law governing the teaching of, and curriculum-setting for, religious education in schools and academies. Paul Greatorex analyses the judgment.
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The latest blogs...
Final descent for runway decision by Angus Walker
Today’s entry reports on the imminent government decision on new runway capacity in the south east of England.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: The Care Act 2014 – six months on
Has the Care Act 2014 been successful since it came into force? Carolyn Hunnisett
talks to LexisNexis
about the positives and the negatives of a landmark piece of legislation.
Adult Social Services: The (indemnity) cost of getting it wrong
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the award of indemnity costs against a local authority for breaching a disabled woman's rights.
Children: Section 20: Conscious uncoupling
looks at the President of the Family Division's important comments on local authorities' use of section 20 of the Children Act.
Children: Looked after children and deprivations of liberty
A judge has recently ruled that a local authority cannot consent to the deprivation of liberty for a Looked After Child, writes Harjinder Sandhu
of Coventry City Council.
Children: Expect the unexpected
Kent County Council recently obtained a High Court order requiring the return of a 13-year-old girl who had been taken to Sudan and was feared to be at risk of female genital mutilation. Graeme Bentley
of Kent Legal Services explains what the court proceedings involved.
Education: Grammar school expansion
Rachel Kamm considers the legal issues surrounding the Education Secretary's decision to back a new annex proposed by a grammar school.
Education: But you promised!
The High Court has found that a council breached the substantive legitimate expecation of a 21-year old man who was statemented and to whom it provided support. Tom Cross
looks at the reasons why.
Education: Tackling failing or 'coasting' schools
sets out the key elements of the Government's proposed new approaching for addressing underperformance in schools.
Employment: Dismissal and consistency of sanctions
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal has shown how consistency of disciplinary sanctions is important, but that different sanctions do not always make dismissal unfair. Phil Allen
Governance: The Modern Slavery Act 2015
and Peter Wake
consider what the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will mean for the public sector.
Healthcare: Conditional discharge and DoL
An Upper Tribunal judge has handed down a key ruling on conditional discharges and deprivations of liberty that has wider implications. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report.
Healthcare: Producing reports for children proceedings: a practical guide
Jane Bennett outlines some of the areas of focus for healthcare professionals asked to prepare a report for children proceedings.
Housing: Reclassifying housing associations as public sector bodies
How will housing associations be affected by the recent decision by the Office of National Statistics to reclassify them as public sector bodies? Julie Cowan-Clark
and Jonathan Turner
offer some views on this development and other changes.
Housing: Affordability of previous accommodation
The Court of Appeal has analysed what local authorities can take into account when considering the affordability of previous accommodation for the purposes of deciding whether a person is intentionally homeless for failing to pay the rent. Jonathan Manning and Emily Orme report.
Information Law: In theory - local authority data retention
What are a local authority’s data retention obligations? John Atkinson talks to LexisNexis about at the practical steps councils should consider taking to ensure they do not fall foul of their legal obligations with regards to data retention schedules.
Information Law: Re-using public sector information
This Q&A from the LexisPSL Public Law
team examines the key changes implemented by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, which came into force from 18 July 2015, replacing the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
Licensing: The impact of cumulative impact
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on two recent licensing cases concerning the application of cumulative impact policies.
Licensing: Gambling licensing and risk prevention
The Gambling Commission has published the 5th Edition of the Guidance to Licensing Authorities. Stephen McGowan
looks at what is new.
Licensing: Costs awards in licensing appeals
A group of residents in Mayfair were recently ordered to pay the licensing appeal costs of another group of residents. Gary Grant
Litigation: Part 36 offers
The High Court has issued what is thought to be the first ruling on whether a Part 36 offer was a genuine attempt to settle. Andrew Cousins
reviews the outcome of an age assessment case involving a local authority.
Litigation: Vulnerable parties, witnesses and children in the family courts
With a consultation on new rules having just closed, Amanda Johnson and Kate Tompkins provide a useful reminder of the factors to be taken into account when approaching the multiple problems arising from cases involving vulnerable witnesses.
Litigation: A respondent's right to a fair committal application
Toby Huggins sets out some of the key provisions to be borne in mind if committal applications are to succeed.
Management: Shared services: key issues
LexisPSL Local Government, Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers consider the statutory powers available to local authorities to provide shared services, the risks associated with exercise of those powers, and how delivery of shared services can be achieved.
Planning: Inspector’s decisions and the kitchen sink
A recent Planning Court decision highlights the need to handle early stage neighbourhood plans on appeal, write Lucy McDonnell
and Roy Pinnock
Planning: Defective planning permissions and negligence claims
A judge recently rejected a claim for compensation against a local authority based on alleged reliance on a defective grant of planning permission. Tom Challis
Planning: The new CPO Circular
The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued a new circular on compulsory purchase and the Crichel Down Rules. David Altaras
and Marc Samuels
review this key document for planning practitioners.
Planning: Mr Fidler’s castle
A long-running legal battle over a house built behind straw bales in the Green Belt reached a new stage this month with contempt of court proceedings. Martin Goodall
examines the case.
Planning: Procedural changes to planning statutory review
Significant changes to the procedural aspects of statutory planning related challenges have come into force, writes Stephen Morgan.
Procurement: 2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? (how do we evaluate?)
Mark Cook looks at the likely impact of much-heralded changes to the use of evaluation criteria.
Procurement: Location, location, location
examines the outcome of a recent Spanish procurement case where a contracting authority had sought to specify location requirements for a health service contract.
Procurement: Being upfront
When it comes to publishing the ‘procurement documents’ electronically, what do contracting authorities need to publish and when? Jenny Beresford-Jones looks at a new steer given by the Crown Commercial Service.
Projects: Comparing project management methodologies
LexisPSL Public Law
and Andy Cooke
of PA Consulting Group compare three project management methodologies – PRINCE2®, PMBOK® and Agile.
Projects: A question of place
Chris Plumley and Alex Tindall look at the nature of council engagement with developers.
Projects: The importance of Dispute Adjudication Boards
looks at the courts' approach to cases where there are contractually agreed methods of dispute resolution, such as appointing a dispute adjudication board.
Property: Assets of Community Value: the latest rulings
Two new judgments have provided further guidance on the operation of the Assets of Community Value regime, writes Christopher Cant
Property: Parking charges and penalties
A recent Supreme Court ruling is of great significance to all those organisations, including NHS bodies, which run car parks. Virginia Cooper
and Nadia Osborne
Property: Residential service charge recovery
Steven Eccles reviews two important rulings affecting the recovery of residential service charges by local authorities and housing associations.
Regulatory: High stakes
Significantly higher fines could be imposed for health and safety offences under new guidelines from the Sentencing Council. Helen Devery
looks at the likely impact on local authorities and their employees.
Regulatory: The 'Average Consumer' and reasonable care
The Court of Appeal has recently shed light on what the 'Average Consumer' should do with regard to taking reasonable care. Alan Conroy
looks at the lessons for local authorities when it comes to enforcement.
Transport: When is a highway not a highway?
Thom Wood examines a recent High Court case where a local authority was found to have been negligent in its response to a property search about whether a parcel of land formed part of a public highway.
|Housing: Key Developments in 2015
||Ranjit Bhose QC, Dean Underwood and Tara O’Leary present an update on key developments in housing law, focusing on recent changes to the right-to-buy regime, judicial alterations to allocations policies and welfare reforms.
|Implementing the Care Act: Legal issues for local authoritie
||This presentation looks at potential consequences of a number of key aspects of Care Act 2014 and outlines how local authorities can avoid or mitigate the potential issues it creates.
|The Importance of Judicial Review
||This presentation draws on legal and empirically based research on the use and effects of judicial review (JR) to consider why and how this process matters to local authorities and whether the process improves the quality of decision-making.
|Achieving Better Ethics Across Public Service Provision
||David Prince CBE, independent member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, outlines his organisation's proposals for ensuring that outsourced providers of public services are subject to the same ethical standards as public sector organisations.
|Procurement and State Aid Reforms – The Commercial Impact
||This course investigates how the new procurement rules and changes to the state aid regime will practically affect local authorities investors in public service delivery, trade in services or generally act as a catalyst in economic development.