Number 1 for local government law jobs, news, analysis and events.
JOBS OF THE WEEK: The Greater Manchester Pension Fund Legal Team, based at Tameside MBC, is looking for an experienced legal professional for a Compliance Officer role (£41,791 to £46,091).
INTERIM JOB OF THE WEEK: Principal Childcare Solicitor (Hertfordshire).
Cabinet at Essex gives green light to alternative business structure
Cabinet at county council backs plans for Essex Legal Services to set up ABS, seen as key enabler for growth that is forecast to deliver £1.8m additional surplus through to 2019/20
Charges against head of legal and other officers at Welsh council dropped
Charges of misconduct in public office against head of legal services, chief executive and deputy chief executive are dropped. Serious questions of CPS must be asked over length of time taken, says Leader
Court of Appeal allows appeal in deprivation of liberty at home case, removes High Court judge
Court of Appeal allows agreed appeal in case over whether mentally incapacitated woman was being deprived of her liberty in her own home. Also removes High Court judge from hearing case, saying his view that majority decision of Supreme Court in Cheshire West
was wrong, was distorting his approach to such cases
Council leader at Guildford resigns over governance changes
Leader steps down as councillor as well after authority voted to introduce governance changes, including new executive advisory boards
LLG fires gun on Deputy Vice President nomination process
Lawyers in Local Government invites nominations for role of Deputy Vice President from members who hold full membership
Law Society President hails crucial role played by local government solicitors
Jonathan Smithers also says - at launch of shared service – that it is essential in-house regulation is “responsive to the market needs, proportionate and effective otherwise it inadvertently places local government solicitors on the back foot”
Judge adjourns contempt of court hearing in 'straw bales' house case
High Court judge adjourns contempt of court proceedings in long-running litigation over construction of house behind straw bales, after man who built the home failed to attend hearing
|WIN £100 IN JOHN LEWIS VOUCHERS BEFORE CHRISTMAS: We are conducting a survey of public sector lawyers looking at how changes to the structure of legal teams are affecting their career and development prospects and their morale and attitudes in general. It also aims to identify steps employers can take to address any concerns. Please complete the survey here. All participants will be entered into a draw for one reader to win £100 of John Lewis vouchers. Questions are not compulsory and the results will be published only in aggregated and anonymised form.
Eversheds boosts local government team with ex-head of legal at Cardiff
11KBW bolsters public law practice with Auburn hire
Leading public law barrister on Northern Circuit joins 39 Essex Chambers
Scottish Qualifications Authority chooses two firms for £850k contract
VWV strengthens procurement team in London with double hire
APPLY TODAY: Senior Solicitor (West Midlands), Prosecutions Lawyer (Yorkshire), FOI Lawyer (North West), NQ Litigation Lawyer (Bedfordshire) and Housing Litigation Lawyer (West Midlands).
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
LGA urges Department for Education to change rules on term-time holidays
Local Government Association calls on DfE to change rules on term-time holidays, saying “a reasonable, common sense approach” should be allowed
DfE launches consultation on proposals to tackle ‘coasting’ schools
Department for Education consults on its proposals to address underperformance in ‘coasting’ local authority-maintained schools
Consider options when taking steps to safeguard children, LGO tells councils
Local Government Ombudsman reminds councils to fully consider their options when taking steps to safeguard potentially vulnerable children
Council to consider costs pursuit after judgment issued in libraries dispute
Lincolnshire says it will consult its lawyers about recovery of its costs after High Court judge set out why in July she rejected legal challenge to authority’s plans for its libraries services
Ministers plan community trigger as part of counter-extremism strategy
‘Extremism Community Trigger’ – involving new duty on police and local authorities to review complaints about extremism – to be introduced as part of Government’s updated counter-extremism strategy, ministers say. Review will also look at how public bodies are to be safeguarded from infiltration by extremists
L&Q to back smaller housing associations with £100m untapped sites plan
One of the UK’s largest housing associations has launched a £100m ‘Untapped Sites Initiative’ under which it will develop sites in London and then offer them to smaller housing associations at cost on completion.
National Association of Local Councils blasts MoJ court closure plans
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has called on the Government to halt its court closure plans, warning that they will leave communities without local access to justice.
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Shared services – issues for local government
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.
The appearance of bias
A High Court judge recently quashed a grant of planning permission on the ground that there was an appearance of bias on the part of a councillor. Simon Goacher examines the ruling.
Capacity is not an off-switch
A Court of Protection judge recently ruled that it would be unlawful for an NHS trust to carry out life-saving treatment against the patient's opposition. Alex Ruck Keene analyses the judgment.
Procuring perfect panels
Putting in place a panel of legal services suppliers is one way in which public sector organisations might control expenditure on legal services; but what does a “perfect” panel look like, and how might an organisation improve its chances of procuring one? Helen Edwards explores the issue.
A question of place
Chris Plumley and Alex Tindall look at the nature of council engagement with developers.
Late-night refreshment deregulation
The Home Office has recently made changes to the licensing of late night refreshment. Paddy Whur looks at the key changes.
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.
Transparency and professional lives
Morris Hill and Adam Morrison examine the latest FOI decision – this time involving the headteacher of a school – where the tribunal had to balance personal and professional lives.
Is it getting chilly in here?
A recent Upper Tribunal ruling has given more comfort to public bodies running arguments about the chilling effect dislosure of information might have on their activities. Christopher Knight reports.
The latest blogs...
Welsh changes to NSIPs and associated development by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the publication of the draft Wales Bill, a wide-ranging set of proposals to reformulate the devolution settlement, including changes to the Planning Act 2008 regime.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Been away? Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Deprivations of liberty and the streamlined procedure: the latest
Is the stream-lined procedure for dealing with certain deprivation of liberty cases back on track? Nicholas O'Brien
analyses a recent ruling by the Vice-President of the Court of Protection.
Adult Social Services: How far is too far?
A district judge recently refused to grant an order authorising a deprivation of liberty in a current placement. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
Children: Cases of Fabricated or Induced Illness
provides a guide to cases involving Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) and the many factors to be considered and analysed by practitioners, experts and judges in these complex proceedings.
Children: Does Article 8 survive adoption?
Do natural parents have post-adoption Article 8 rights? Keith Hollis
reports on a recent Family Division ruling.
Children: 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.
Education: Trojan Horse and the use of banning powers
The Department for Education has used its banning powers for the first time in a case arising out of the 'Trojan Horse' affair. Keri Tayler
analyses the decision.
Education: Sexual harassment and universities
What are universities' legal obligations when it comes to tackling sexual harassment on campus? Holly Stout
reports. (on Public Law Today)
Employment: Ill health and TUPE transfers
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling indicates that employees absent due to ill health might not TUPE transfer, writes Phil Allen
Employment: Employers and the Fit for Work scheme
Be careful – the Fit for Work scheme does not absolve the employer from its responsibilities, writes Victoria Duddles
Employment: TUPE and cessations of work
Does TUPE apply where employees’ work has temporarily ceased or reduced before the transfer? Phil Allen
reports on a recent EAT ruling.
Governance: Game of Mayors
analyses how accountability and standards can be upheld as the Government promotes power-house “regionalocalism”.
Healthcare: Vilification and patient information
The President of the Family Division has ruled that a ‘vilified’ doctor could not publish a patient’s private information contained in documents that were part of family court and fitness to practice proceedings. Robin Hopkins
considers the judgment.
Healthcare: Section 49 reports – the thorny issues
Alex Ruck Keene
considers some of the issues arising out of the responsibilities to provide s. 49 Mental Capacity Act reports.
Housing: Imposing conditions on selective licences
The Upper Tribunal has made some significant clarifications to the scope of conditions that can be imposed on selective licences. Matthew Paul
sets out the key conclusions.
Housing: Building more 'low-cost' homes
David Cameron has announced proposals to help the Government reach a target of building 200,000 more ‘low-cost’ homes for first-time buyers in the next five years. Charles Felgate
discusses what this may mean for developers and local authorities.
Housing: Residential service charge challenges: Court or Tribunal?
Errors by the court have left a tenant in difficulties in a recent residential service charge challenge, reports Karl Anders
Information Law: Charging ahead under the EIR
examines this week's key Court of Justice of the European Union ruling on local authorities' ability to charge for providing environmental information.
Information Law: Commercial interests and FOIA
When it comes to commercial interests, where does the balance lie under the Freedom of Information Act? Helen Prandy
looks at a recent First-Tier Tribunal ruling.
Licensing: Local policy making under the Licensing Act
looks at localised issues such as the length of time allowed at hearings, applicants and authorities not being allowed to ‘finesse’ applications, and Cumulative Impact Polices.
Litigation: Litigation capacity – what to do (and not to do)
A recent Court of Appeal child care case has emphasised the need for robust capacity assessments where mental capacity is in doubt. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
Litigation: Coventry v Lawrence: a considered view
looks at the lessons to be learned in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's costs ruling in Coventry v Lawrence.
Litigation: Harassment and injunctions
and Jonathan Moore
review a recent example of the court's approach to what amounts to harassment in the context of communications with, and criticism of, local authority members and staff
Management: Instructing lawyers effectively
looks at how public sector managers can ensure their organisation’s legal instructions are effective.
Planning: Rallying to the cause
James Maurici QC
reports on the High Court's judgment in the M-Sport world rallying facility noise judicial review.
Planning: Challenges to neighbourhood plans
What implications do recent legal challenges have for neighbourhood planning? Hereward Phillpot QC
Planning: Tackling unviable statutory ports and harbours
examines the difficulties for councils in running unviable statutory ports and harbours and a recent Department for Transport consultation on harbour closure orders.
Planning: The interaction between the planning and licensing regimes
A recent ruling serves as a useful reminder to food and drink retailers not to place undue reliance on the licensing regime to assist in obtaining planning permission, writes Matt Gilks
Procurement: Relying on Recital 4
Can contracting authorities rely on Recital 4 of the Directive 2014/24 to award contracts without running a procurement exercise? Mannah Begum
examines the issues.
Procurement: Procurement reform and social landlords
examines the key changes for social landlords arising out of the new procurement rules and the attraction of joining frameworks. (on Public Law Today)
Projects: The slow burn of PF2
looks at the take-up of PF2 and its use in the education sector in particular.
Projects: PFI ‘good faith’ obligations under scrutiny
The Technology and Construction Court has recently issued a ruling on a 'good faith' obligation contained in a PFI contract where a local authority was one of the parties. Leah Horn
examines the judgment.
Property: Tackling the love activists
looks at how local authorities can respond when their land or buildings are invaded by groups such as the 'Love Activists'.
Property: Time to reconsider the asset register
A High Court judge recently considered whether a council had undertaken the appropriation process correctly. Antonia Murillo
reports on the outcome.
Property: Residential service charge recovery
reviews two important rulings affecting the recovery of residential service charges by local authorities and housing associations.
Property: Top 3 property litigation Q&As
The LexisPSL Local Government
service regularly publishes Q&As on property litigation. Here are three of the most popular.
Property: When is 'enough' legally enough?
looks at the application of s.9 of the Limitation Act 1980 to a belated High Court claim to force a local authority to refer a compulsory purchase compensation dispute to the Upper Tribunal.
Property: Listed building prosecutions: a practical guide
sets out the pitfalls that local planning authorities should avoid when bringing listed building prosecutions.
Transport: State aid and community transport organisations
A recent European Commission decision about alleged State aid in the form of grants from local authorities to community transport organisations is useful reading for those seeking to rely on the exemption for funding for services of general economic interest. Edward Reynolds
|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.
|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.