Editor's blog: Sharing the load
Amid all the headlines created by councils agreeing to set up shared legal services, it can be easy to overlook the simpler arrangements of local authorities and other public bodies just handling legal work for each other.
So the selection by Coventry City Council of two other local authorities for places on its £6m legal services panels was a timely reminder. Read more...
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Wirral suspends director of law and two officers pending investigation Acting chief executive and deputy director of finance also told to stay home after critical public interest report on award of highways contract. Local authority stresses suspension is "neutral action"
Coventry appoints two councils alongside law firms on £6m panels Kent and Warwickshire county councils selected for childcare litigation, adult and general social law panel
Councils receive setbacks in empty property rate relief battles Ability of local authorities to take a hard-line approach called into question
Ministers to limit time standards committee member can be 'independent person' Department for Communities and Local Government minded to introduce provision saying they can only hold office until 30 June 2013
High Court judge refuses permission for JR of 'critical-only' care policy Claim that council's policy was irrational in Wednesbury sense was unarguable. Appeal likely
Ministers commission report on tougher rules on out of borough care placements Children's Minister Tim Loughton claims that some local authorities and homes are failing to act as proper 'parent'
Planning fees set to rise in latest Government reforms DCLG says details of approach to be taken for review of 6,000 pages of supporting planning guidance to be published "shortly", while details on speeding up process for determining planning appeals will be issued for consultation "later in the year"
Home Office takes key policy decisions on EMROs and Late Night Levy No exemptions for Early Morning Restriction Orders
Government makes pubs sector next in line for review of enforcement Part of the Focus on Enforcement campaign
DfT issues guidance on licensing motorcycles as PHVs Department says no compelling case for ruling motorcycles out on safety grounds
Poker club closed after ending appeal over certificate withdrawal by council Result of two-year operation by London borough, Gambling Commission and the police
DCLG publishes revised statutory guidance on social housing allocations Grant Shapps insists councils will have greater flexibility
Information Commissioner fires data warning as fines reach £2m ICO annual report also reveals 7.7% rise in freedom of information complaints
Council fined £20,000 after workers put at risk of asbestos exposure
HSE confirms plans to start cost recovery scheme in October
Business perceptions survey provides mixed picture on regulatory burden
SRA issues new guidance on alternative business structure applications
District council fined £25,000 after bin lorry death
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Injunctions: a no-brainer?
Local authorities should consider making greater use of injunctions to ensure compliance with planning and environmental laws, argues Jack Smyth.
Sizing up equality
Ken Slade and Morris Hill examine the impact on the disabled of the Court of Appeal's decision in the Burnip housing benefit case.
Is there a better way?
Paddy Whur looks at the frustration felt by a local authority when it was faced with its inability to defend its own decision to refuse the grant of a betting premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005.
The Public Sector Equality Duty – change for the Equality Act?
The Government has recently announced its proposals to reform a number of aspects of the Equality Act, including the public sector equality duty. Graham Richardson considers the potential impact of these changes for employers.
To RIPA or not to RIPA
The days of local authorities being able to use surveillance powers to tackle dog fouling and littering offences will soon be over. Ibrahim Hasan looks at what happens next.
A recent Upper Tribunal ruling in a service charge dispute has implications for all cases before the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, writes James Fieldsend.
Recipes for a lean future
Richard Craven and Wisham Sirhan examine the new approach to public sector construction recommended by a Government Task Group.
Equal to the task?
Jayne Flint examines an Employment Tribunal ruling that South Lanarkshire Council's job evaluation under the 1997 Single Status Agreement did not comply with equal pay legislation.
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The Localism Act 2011 and Housing: Part 6 Allocations This course sets out the main changes to Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996 brought about by the Localism Act, which enable local housing authorities greater discretion to set social housing allocation criteria.
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Article 5 and the Court of Protection This webinar analyses recent case law to find a clearer definition of a deprivation of liberty in Court of Protection cases.
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The latest blogs...
Doing the right thing
by Nicholas Dobson
The currently unravelling LIBOR debacle shows that regulation can never be the complete propriety answer.
Snap judgement: Is your authority ready for the new standards regime?
....Yes - errant members beware
....What new standards regime?
Click here to vote now
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: Supporting cast
How should a tenancy or licence of supported accommodation be created in favour of a person who lacks or may lack the mental capacity to enter into such an agreement? Simon Edwards
examines the issues.
Children's Services: Coming to an accommodation Sally Gore
considers a High Court ruling on the extent of care leavers' entitlement to the costs of term-time accommodation.
Community Safety: Dealer's choice
A recent report on Local Government Lawyer
of a case where the Court of Appeal upheld the eviction of a drug dealer's family by a housing association generated huge interest. Dorota Pawlowski
explains the background to the case.
Employment: Public law and employment disputes Rosalind English
reports on a case where the High Court rapped a NHS trust on the knuckles for refusing to reinstate a trade union activist. The ruling explored the extent to which a judicial review claim, or a free-standing claim under the Human Rights Act, may be precluded by a statute covering the same issue.
Governance: Of special interest
Publication of the regulations governing disclosable pecuniary interests has completed the standards regime jigsaw. Olwen Dutton
and Peter Keith-Lucas
cast a critical eye over the framework.
Healthcare: Breaching the Agenda for Change Jayne Flint
explains how a ruling that a NHS trust breached the Agenda for Change by deferring pay progression in cases of unacceptable sickness absence could have wider implications for the public sector.
Housing: A hard edge Brendan Mullee
analyses a recent case which raised the issue of factual disputes in section 204 Housing Act 1996 appeals.
Licensing: Sales of alcohol to children
Will changes to the legislation on sales of alcohol to children make a great deal of difference? Paddy Whur
reports on recent developments.
Litigation: A trip too far Michael Pether
and Hannah Mitchell
report on a recent Court of Appeal case that highlights the importance of identifying the threshold of viability for local authorities in standard tripping cases.
Planning: Tilting at turbines When it comes to wind farms, tensions between the localism agenda and the presumption in favour of sustainable development will lead to protracted battles before local planning authorities, planning inspectors and the courts, writes David Merson.
Procurement: A clear view
A recent court judgment has provided some welcome clarity to the areas of capacity to challenge, selection criteria and debrief feedback around tendering procedures, says Martin Vincent
Projects: The National Planning Policy Framework - now the dust has settled
It is three months since the National Planning Policy Framework came into effect. John Bosworth
looks at the lessons learned so far.
Property: Finding the way?
In the second of two summaries of recent cases concerning easements, Emma Humphreys
reports on a local authority's failure to show that use of the right of way had been with its permission.
Regulatory: 99 Problems....illegal ice cream trading and injunctions Adam Blenkinsop
and Katy Kidd
report on Lambeth Council's recent success in obtaining injunctions against unlicensed ice cream traders in London's South Bank, and outline the legal framework for local authorities bringing such actions.
Practice area pages: Adult social services, Children's services, Community safety, Employment, Governance and risk, Healthcare, Housing, Licensing, Litigation, Planning, Procurement and contracts, Projects, Property and assets, Transport, Management