Local Government Lawyer
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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News headlines

ContractsWirral 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

InjunctionInjunctions: 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.

Seeing reason
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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HardwickeThe Localism Act 2011 and Housing: Flexible Tenures This webinar looks at the potential practical implications and outcomes of the new, more flexible, tenures available to social landlords since April under the Localism Act 2011.

HardwickeThe Localism Act 2011 and Housing: Homelessness New powers for local authorities to deal with homelessness are being introduced through the Localism Act. This course looks at the main changes to local authority duties and powers and assesses how these are likely to be deployed.

HardwickeThe Localism Act 2011 and Housing: Strategies, Finance and Regulation This courses addresses two major changes: the need for housing authorities to produce a tenancy strategy by early 2013 and the new mechanism for dealing with tenants' complaints.

HardwickeThe 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.

Hill DickinsonManaging a Local Authority Estate Keeping up-to-speed with property law developments is more important than ever for local authority solicitors and property professionals.This webinar outlines the key emerging topics for local authorities as owners, landlords and tenants.

39 Essext StreetArticle 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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BlogsThe 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

Jobs of the week

Head of Legal and Democratic Services

A public sector body requires a Head of Legal and Democratic Services for a 3- 6 month term. The individual will preferably have experience of working in the public sector and will preferably have acted in a similar role in the past.

Principal Lawyer 

This South West council is looking for a qualified solicitor or barrister with in-depth knowledge and practice in planning and administrative law.

Contracts and Property Lawyer
A successful local authority in the South West is recruiting a Solicitor in its Contracts and Property team on a permanent basis.

Prosecutions Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Locum Lawyer in the South East London area. You will have previous experience dealing with prosecutions and litigation.

Criminal Litigation Lawyer
A public sector organisation in the North West is looking for a Criminal Litigation Solicitor with experience of human rights appeals and complaints appeals.

Planning Lawyer
A fantastic Planning Locum position has become available at a local authority in the North West.

Litigation Lawyer
A large public sector body in London is keen to add an experienced solicitor to its legal team, on a permanent, part-time basis.

Childcare Solicitor
Large, well respected local authority based in the North West requires a part-time Childcare Solicitor to assist on a three-day-a-week basis.

Other featured jobs

Legal Practice Manager
A local authority based in the East Midlands is looking for a legal practice manager to join it on an initial three-month assignment.

Commercial Property Solicitor
Our client, a local authority in the Midlands, is looking for a Property Solicitor to join its legal services team on a locum basis three days a week.

Adult Care Solicitor
An opportunity has arisen for a Solicitor to join a local authority in Cheshire on a temporary contract dealing with adult care.

Adult Social Services Lawyer
A local authority in the East Midlands is keen to recruit an experienced Solicitor with a sound knowledge of adult social services and community care law.

Immigration Solicitor
A not-for-profit organisation offering advide on a full range of legal issues is keen to recruit a part-time immigration solicitor to cover a period of maternity leave.

Regulatory Paralegal
An opportunity has arisen for an experienced paralegal to join the regulatory team of this large public body in the South West.

Civil Litigation Paralegal
A local authority in the Midlands is recruiting a Paralegal to work within its busy team on litigation and planning matters.

Data Information & Corporate Law Specialist
We are recruiting a Data Information and Corporate Law specialist to join a public sector organisation in Wales.
Search all jobs

Spotlight on Procurement and Contracts roles

Commercial ICT Procurement Lawyer
A North-West based council is looking for a Commercial Lawyer who has public sector experience for a six-month position.

Contracts Lawyer
A public sector organisation in the West Midlands is looking for a Contracts Lawyer with at least one year's pqe.

Locum Commercial Contracts and Procurement Solicitor
An excellent opportunity for a Locum Commercial Contracts and Procurement Solicitor within a busy local authority on the South Coast for an initial three to six months.

Commercial Contracts and Property Solicitor
A local authority based in the Northern Home Counties is seeking a Commercial Contracts and Property Solicitor.

Contracts Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Locum lawyer in the Eastbourne area, to advise on all aspects of contracts and procurement matters.

Contracts Paralegal
A public sector client is seeking a commercial contracts paralegal or legal assistant to join the legal team with immediate effect.

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