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JOBS OF THE WEEK:
Islington outlines plan to publish affordable housing viability assessments
London council has warned developers that it will publish the viability assessments they use to highlight those that are contrived to try to avoid planning conditions requiring affordable housing.
Cornwall becomes first county to receive devolved powers
The government has granted Cornwall the first of its new county deals, devolving powers over health and social care integration, bus services and economic development to the unitary council.
House of Lords rejects compulsory mayors for combined authorities
The House of Lords has defeated the government over its proposal to demand elected mayors as part of devolution deals.
Government threatens to impose local plans on councils
Councils that fail to agree a local plan could face government intervention under a series of new reforms proposed by the government as part of its efforts to improve the UK’s productivity growth.
Supreme Court agrees to hear bus access case
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the Court of Appeal's recent decision FirstGroup Plc v Paulley
 EWCA Civ 1573 in which a bus operator succesfully defended a claim of discrimination brought by a wheelchair user denied access to a wheelchair space being occupied by a baby in a pushchair.
Law Commission launches consultation on law in Wales
The Law Commission has launched a consultation on simplifying the law in Wales due to confusion over the functions and powers exercised by Westminster and the Welsh Assembly and the growing divergence of many areas of the law in Wales.
SRA proposes 2015/16 Practising Fee freeze
Practising fees will be unchanged for the coming practising year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has proposed.
Government blocks bid to cap gambling machine stakes
The government has rejected a request by 93 local authorities, led by the London Borough of Newham, to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting machines from £100 to £2.
Welsh Government publishes minimum alcohol pricing law
A draft bill introduced by deputy health minister Vaughan Gething would create an offence for alcohol to be sold or supplied at less than 50p per unit.
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Council refuses DfE request to release land for Free School
Derby City Council has told education ministers that the city has ample primary school places and sees no need for a Sikh free school.
Complaints to LGO level despite transfer of responsibility for social housing reviews as social care and education complaints rise
The number of complaints made to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has remained constant despite the transfer of social housing complaints to the Housing Ombudsman, the organisation’s annual report has revealed.
Unions attack public sector strike law reforms
Public sector unions have attacked government plans to make it more difficult for them to call strikes in key parts of the public sector.
Retail planning consent nullified by High Court over 'misleading' officer's report
Officers of Ryedale District Council misled planning committee members over a proposed retail development in the centre of Malton, the High Court has ruled.
London Mayor launches 'Domesday Book' of publicly-owned property
15/07/15: Surplus public land in the capital will be identified for development by a new London Land Commission’s modern ‘Domesday Book’, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced.
Government announces infant cremations review
15/07/15: A consultation on changes to rules for infant cremations will take place later this year, justice minster Caroline Dineage has said.
See all of our most recent news stories
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Permission to speak freely?
Sue Chadwick reviews two recent court cases – including one involving an MP and a minister – where accusations of bias were made in relation to planning decisions.
Assets of Community Value - how the regime works in practice
Peter Wadsley looks at Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act and analyses some of the problems and pitfalls.
Limiting a planning permission and the role of conditions
The Court of Appeal recently clarified the effect of the principle that, when planning permission is granted for a certain use, any limitation on how that use is to be exercised should be imposed via a condition. Philippa Plumtree-Varley explains the ruling.
Listed building prosecutions: a practical guide
Jack Smyth sets out the pitfalls that local planning authorities should avoid when bringing listed building prosecutions.
Cumulative impact policies
Paddy Whur analyses Norwich City Council’s decision to introduce a Cumulative Impact Policy.
The new CDM regulations
The new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015. Martin Cannon, Craig Bennett and Rachel Drowley set out the key changes.
Disaggregation and housing land supply
An inspector has upheld a disaggregated approach to housing land supply and neighbourhood plan policies in dismissing a planning appeal. Tom Cosgrove reports.
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.
On Public Law Today
Health board drops defence of judicial review into plans to downgrade maternity services
Student numbers and procurement
Will removal of the cap on student numbers affect universities’ status as ‘contracting authorities’? Jenny Beresford-Jones
Employees smelling of alcohol
The Employment Tribunal has found that an NHS trust's dismissal of a healthcare assistant after he attended work smelling of alcohol and subsequently refused to attend a follow-up Occupational Health appointment was unfair. Helen Hughes
examines the case.
The HE sector and the Prevent duty
analyses the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Higher Education sector’s duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
The latest blogs...
Housing to be allowed in an NSIP as Energy Bill leaves Planning Act alone
Today as ‘the second half of the budget’, the government has published its productivity plan, Fixing the Foundations: Creating a More Prosperous Nation.
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 email@example.com
or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Liberty and the home
considers recent judgments on how protection against a deprivation of liberty can interfere with the right to live at home.
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.
Community Safety: Data retention and human rights
A recent Supreme Court ruling has significant implications for public bodies' data retention policies and practices, writes Emma Godding
Education: Part 4 of SEN statements
reviews recent Upper Tribunal decisions in relation to Part 4 of SEN statements.
Employment: The clampdown on severance payments
looks at how employers and employees should prepare for new government regulations on public sector severance payouts.
Governance: General counsel in the public sector
of Kent County Council considers the multi-faceted role of the general counsel in the public sector at a time of great change.
Healthcare: Giving evidence in a criminal trial
Attending court as a witness to give evidence in a criminal trial can seem like a daunting prospect. Hannah Taylor
provides a practical steer for health and social care professionals so that they know what to expect and what they should be doing.
Housing: The High Court on selective licensing
A council has successfully defended a High Court challenge to its decision to implement mandatory selective licensing in certain areas of the borough. Jonathan Manning
and Justin Bates
Housing: Councils, RPs and the housing crisis
looks at proposals from the Local Government Association and the National Housing Federation on how to tackle the housing crisis.
Information Law: Whistleblowing - protected disclosures
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered whether an employer had acted fairly in dismissing an employee who made a disclosure to the Information Commissioner's Office without approval. Helen Hughes
analyses the case.
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
Litigation: Recovery time
explains how to avoid a common mistake that can cost public bodies dearly in litigation.
Planning: Viability of developments
When is a development to be treated as viable? John Pugh-Smith
reports on a planning inspector's conclusions.
Planning: Not in my back yard!
examines the changes to judicial review and their impact on the development sector.
Procurement: Better contract management
outlines the top five contract management efficiency measures that can deliver savings in existing contracts and be used to future-proof new contracts.
Procurement: Top 5 tricky issues with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
analyses five “tricky points” arising out of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Property: Searching questions
An Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued an opinion in the key case on local authorities' ability to charge for the provision of property search information. Timothy Pitt-Payne QC
looks at the ramifications.
Property: LIFT schemes and payment mechanisms
Both landlords and tenants of premises that have been built using the Local Improvement Finance Trust ("LIFT") schemes need to be aware of a recent case which also has interest for landlords and tenants of PFI premises, writes Karen Andrews.
|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.
|Procurement Masterclass - The Tyranny of the "Sausage Machine"
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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.