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JOBS OF THE WEEK: Want to work in an innovative environment providing high quality services? The South London Legal Partnership – the shared service providing legal services to Merton, Richmond, Kingston and Sutton Councils – has four fantastic roles available: Senior Lawyer - Property; Senior Lawyer - Procurement and Contracts; Property Lawyer; and Procurement and Contracts Lawyer
NEWS HEADLINES

Clark intervenes amid concerns over approach of inspector to Local Plan
Communities Secretary Greg Clark directs that district council’s Local Development Plan be submitted to him for his approval, after local authority expressed concern about approach taken by planning inspector

Oxford defers decision on Public Spaces Protection Order after Liberty opinion
Oxford City Council is to defer a decision on whether to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order, after receiving a legal opinion commissioned by Liberty from 11KBW barristers that argues the plans were unlawful

Council axes references to rough sleepers in Public Spaces Protection Order
London borough to remove references to ‘rough sleepers’ from its PSPO, after petition attracted 80,000+ backers amid claims measure criminalised the homeless

Wildlife charity challenges permission for development over impact on bats
High Court to hear Devon Wildlife Trust's judicial review challenge to council’s grant of planning permission for 230-home development

Councils and housing associations to be hit by bankruptcy threshold rise
Calls for public sector carve out amid fears proposed increase in minimum threshold for creditor’s bankruptcy petition from October 2015 could hit local authorities and housing associations particularly hard
 
Fully mutual housing cooperatives boosted by High Court ruling
High Court clarifies status of fully mutual housing cooperatives after granting Southward Housing Co-operative an order for possession against defendants in rent arrears

Redbridge to pilot planning enforcement and direct action policy
Neighbourhood and Communities Service Committee at London council backs proposals to pilot direct action policy

Review finds procedural errors and weak practice in CQC procurements
But independent report into two contracts worth almost £1.5m combined says allegations of bullying or harassment at Care Quality Commission were unsubstantiated
On the Public Law Today/Local Government Marketplace:

Council to appoint law firm to give property advice on 840 hectare project
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council looking to secure property and commercial legal advice for major development covering 840 hectares

Education and local government law specialist Lawson joins Serjeants' Inn
TOP JOBS AT ALL LEVELS: Kent County Council is looking for Senior Solicitors/Barristers and Solicitors/Barristers (up to £56,147) to join its busy Social Services Legal Teams. INTERIM ROLES: Property Lawyer/Team Leader (London), Procurement Locum (North West), NHS Contracts Solicitor (South West) and Adult Social Services Lawyer (North West)To see all roles on LGL, click here.
MORE NEWS STORIES....

Borough considers plan to let public put forward debates in full council

Motions will need to attract 500+ signatures on council's website. Measure is part of package of reforms intended to make authority's meetings more relevant to residents

Watchdog praises Care Act implementation but warns of burden on councils
Department of Health’s cost estimates and chosen funding mechanisms for implementing first phase of the Care Act 2014 have put local authorities under increased financial risk, National Audit Office says

Statutory guidance amended after changes to legislation on gang injunctions
Home Office issues revised statutory guidance to reflect changes to legislation on gang injunctions intended to make it less prescriptive and more flexible

Delays in handling applications for personal independence payments unlawful
Extensive delays in determination of two disabled claimants’ applications for personal independence payments were “not only unacceptable….but unlawful”, judge rules

Be more transparent over new burdens on councils, NAO tells Whitehall
Need to ensure councils perceive process as fair, says watchdog, as it emerges that DCLG has not carried out single post-implementation review since 2009

High Court hears challenge to legal aid Exceptional Case Funding scheme
Judicial review challenge to operation of the Exceptional Case Funding scheme for legal aid amid claims that scheme obstructs purpose of legislation

Councils lack powers and funds to meet legal duties to young NEETs: LGA
Just 7% of councils say they have the powers and funding to meet their legal duties when it comes to supporting teenagers not in employment, education or training, according to Local Government Association research

Enforcement officers destroy illegally moored boats in riverside clampdown
Kingston Council’s enforcement officers remove and destroy two illegally moored boats and also remove unauthorised structures on riverside as part of joint initiative between range of public bodies including Environment Agency

See all of our most recent news stories
CALLING ALL HEADS OF LEGAL: We are conducting a survey on the future of local authority legal departments. If you have not received a link to the questionnaire, please contact Derek Bedlow on 020 7239 4917 or by email.

KEY EVENTS:
FEATURED SUPPLIER: Edulaw Chambers provides specialist advice, advocacy and training in education law. We regularly act for local authorities, schools/academies, as well as parents and young people.
New articles on Local Government Lawyer

The Supreme Court on vulnerability
Matt Hutchings discusses the Supreme Court's interpretation of vulnerability in relation to homelessness in the three linked appeals of Hotak, Kanu and Johnson.
 
Dedication of a highway and interruption
Chloe Karamian examines a recent High Court ruling in a case where a landowner claimed that the dedication of a way as a public right of way had been interrupted by its closure over the Christmas period.

The importance of record-keeping
A recent High Court decision has emphasised the importance to contracting authorities of creating a clear document trail when evaluating tenders in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, writes Emma Butcher.
 
TUPE and the Equality Act
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling suggests that an employee who has objected to a TUPE transfer will generally not have a remedy against the transferee under the Equality Act 2010. Simon Lambert reports.
 
The PQQ is Dead; Long Live the PQQ!
The Government has made strenuous efforts to limit the use of PQQs but the decision is short-sighted, writes Ian Thompson.
 
Sentencing very large organisations in environmental cases
The Court of Appeal has handed down its first ruling since the coming into force of the Environmental Sentencing Guideline on the sentencing of very large organisations. Chris Gillespie considers the impact.

The PCO regime and statutory applications under s. 288
Jon Darby examines a Court of Appeal ruling in a case where the Communities Secretary sought to appeal the granting of a protective costs order for a claimant in respect of her application for a quashing order under s. 288 TCPA 1990.


Public Law Today

On our sister publication Public Law Today (external site):

Betsi Cadwaladr becomes first NHS health board to be placed in special measures

NHS trust gives undertaking after series of cases where patient data sent to incorrect addresses

The Upper Tribunal on Part 4 of SEN statements

Rachel Kamm reviews recent Upper Tribunal decisions in relation to Part 4 of SEN statements

Human rights defences and possession orders
Alec Samuels analyses the case law in relation to the use of human rights as a defence to an application by the local authority for a possession order. 
The latest blogs...
Swansea tidal lagoon gets world's first approval by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the decision to grant consent for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.
 
BOOK REVIEWS
Want to be a book reviewer? Local Government Lawyer is soon to launch a new online bookstore and we are looking for practitioners to review the latest legal titles as they are published. Instant fame (and free legal books) guaranteed. Please contact Derek Bedlow at derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer:

Adult Social Services: The Court of Protection comes of age
The Court of Appeal has issued a hugely significant ruling for all those concerned with the MCA 2005 and decision-making in relation to those who lack capacity in domains related to their care arrangements. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.

Adult Social Services: Guardianship and DOLS (again)
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a difficult decision in relation to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and guardianship.

Children: Going for broke
Is there an alternative to adoption? Mark Roscoe considers options for placement which leave the door open to ongoing child/parent relationships and possible reunification.

Children: Disclosing child protection information
A recent High Court case involving a teacher has stressed that when disclosing child protection information, you must make sure you ask the right questions first, writes Robin Hopkins.

Community Safety: The new Civil Injunction Order
Scott Greenwood analyses the courts’ new powers to grant injunctions and the repeal of the ASBI.

Education: Plus ça change
The election of a majority Conservative government appears to have taken everyone by surprise, including perhaps the party itself. But what does it mean for schools and academies? Simon Ramshaw takes a look at four headline issues.

Employment: The rise of spinouts
The Conservatives’ general election victory could create further momentum in the move towards mutualisation and other spin-outs of public services. Bridgette Wilcox and Paul Pugh consider the implications.

Employment: Whistleblowing protection – when is a disclosure in the public interest?
Graham Richardson considers the implications of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on the meaning of “in the public interest” in the context of whistleblowing legislation.

Governance: Consultation – Moseley revisited
A High Court judge has concluded that public consultation does not necessarily need to set out alternative options. Brian Wong and Andrew Walls report on the latest ruling after the Supreme Court decision in Moseley.

Governance: Vexed by vexatiousness?
The Court of Appeal has for the first time considered provisions on ‘vexatiousness’ and ‘manifest unreasonableness’ in relation to information requests. Christopher Knight reports.

Housing: A narrow distinction
A recent Supreme Court ruling on ‘intentional homelessness’ could have major consequences for local housing authorities, writes Alexander Campbell.

Licensing: Irresponsible drink promotions
Are we any closer to understanding what is and what isn't irresponsible when it comes to drinks promotions? Paddy Whur reports.

Litigation: Imprisonment for council tax default
Rona Epstein looks at the legal background to the enforcement of council tax debt and the issues raised where defaulters are sentenced to imprisonment.

Management: Getting the most out of your legal suppliers
With legal department budgets set for further cuts, Helen Edwards outlines some of the ways that public sector bodies can ensure they get more bang for their bucks.

Planning: Viability of developments
When is a development to be treated as viable? John Pugh-Smith reports on a planning inspector's conclusions.

Procurement: Options for local government trading
Interest in the opportunities presented by local government trading has never been higher. Rob Hann examines the various delivery models and the challenges they bring.

Procurement: Specifying technical requirements
John Houlden and Caroline Emslie examine how to specify technical requirements in procurement documents and obtain the best result.

Property: Replacing the Code for Sustainable Homes
Cathy Fishenden looks at the withdrawal of the Code for Sustainable Homes and its replacement regime.

Regulatory: Funding trading standards services
A recent judicial review application over cuts to a local authority’s trading standards team highlights the need to examine funding structures, writes Melissa Dring of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

 

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
The Importance of Judicial Review £25.00 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 £25.00 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 £25.00 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.
Procurement Masterclass - The Tyranny of the "Sausage Machine" £25.00 Michael Bowsher QC provides a personal view of some of the problems that the process-focused approach to public procurement is creating, and suggests some ways that lawyers can help achieve some of the social benefits it was intended to provide.
The New Governance Landscape £25.00 This presentation looks at how local authority lawyers can accomodate rapidly changing local government structures and delivery models against a legislative backdrop designed for another era.
Lessons for Scrutiny from Rotherham and Mid-Staffs £25.00 This presentation looks at the role that scrutiny - or the lack of it - played in the problems that came to light in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust and Rotherham Council and looks at how the effective systems of scrutiny can be designed and encouraged to pr
New Delivery Models: Managing Governance in a Diverse Landscape £25.00 As the number of new, and proposed, models for the delivery of public services continue to multiply, this course looks at the governance issues they create and how local authority lawyers and senior managers can manage an increasingly diverse landscape.
Top Local Government Cases 2014 £25.00 Leading public law barrister James Goudie QC outlines and analyses the most important judicial decisions of 2014 as they affect local authorities.
The Care Act 2014 £25.00 As the implementation of the Care Act 2014 fast approaches, this presentation identifies and explains the key elements of the Act that local authority lawyers need to be aware of.
Equality Act Defences £25.00 This course looks at the defences and tactics available to public authorities when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 and provides an overview of how to prevent claims arising in the first place through an examination of the case law.


Services Directory
 
37 Park Square
Specialisms in the areas of Court of Protection, Professional Negligence, Disciplinary Tribunals, Employment Law, Planning, Health & Safety and Immigration, experienced in acting on behalf of Local Authorities.
A&M Bacon Ltd
We are an independent leading firm of Costs Lawyers specialising in Defendant costs for both paying and receiving costs matters.
Cadogans
Cadogans is a group of engineers and scientists distinguished by its breadth of experience and ability to tackle problems that combine more than one discipline.
Easton Bevins
Easton Bevins is a leading independent Chartered Building Surveying Practice with a vastly experienced team of Expert Witnesses
Edulaw Chambers
Edulaw Chambers provides specialist advice, advocacy and training in education law. We regularly act for local authorities and schools/academies.
Francis Taylor Building
Francis Taylor Building is a long established leading public law set, with particular expertise in planning, land valuation, infrastructure, environmental, public law, licensing and regulatory law.
Gibbins Costs Lawyers
Gibbins has grown to become one of the North’s largest independent firms of Costs Lawyers and Consultants, serving Solicitors and Legal Practitioners nationwide.
Ivy Legal
Ivy Legal Ltd is an innovative planning enforcement law firm that specialises in supporting local authorities.
Joanna North Associates Ltd
Training & therapeutic consultancy for children, adults & families. Expert witness and Ofsted inspected adoption support agency
Jordan Publishing
Under our two brands, Jordans and Family Law, we publish practitioner books, looseleaf services, journals and law reports in both print and online format covering the entire range of legal practice and regulation.
Laird Assessors
We provide an expert witnesses service that is second to none. We have highly qualified, experienced & well trained motor engineers positioned strategically throughout the UK providing accident investigation and supporting services.
Legal Document Translation
Legal Document Translation provide you with a proven, trouble free translation process. We work for local authorities and solicitors UK wide.
Lextox Drug and Alcohol Testing
A specialist hair drug and alcohol testing laboratory established by experts to provide the most reliable results and most responsive customer service.
Professor Tony Monk
Professor Tony Monk is an eminent Architectural Expert Witness and is accredited to act in legal disputes covering design, technical and professional defects in the architectural and building industry.
TRL
TRL's widely respected Incident Investigation and Reconstruction Group consists of expert scientists, engineers and technicians, who specialise in the forensic investigation of incidents involving road traffic, the road environment and road user behaviour.
WeatherNet Ltd
With 15 years experience, WeatherNet can provide complete forensic legal weather reports or witness statements for a range of civil and criminal cases.
Wilkin Chapman Goolden
At Wilkin Chapman Goolden we offer a high level of expertise with the support of a full range of specialist lawyers offering expert advice on the complete range of legal services.
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