Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: Shoot the messenger?

The attack on monitoring officers by Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis and his predecessor Bob Neill during a Westminster Hall debate a few days ago was powerful stuff. The duo laid a range of criticisms at officers' door, accusing them of giving poor advice and 'gold-plating' the revised standards regime. Read more...

JOBS LATEST: HB Public Law is a local government legal practice with a very big future ahead of it. The service, hosted at Harrow Council, is growing and looking to hire lawyers at various levels of seniority across a range of different practice areas.

The closing date for the Group Manager, Legal and Democratic Services at North East Lincolnshire Council (£60k) is meanwhile fast approaching: 25 January. There are a whole host of other top roles on the site as well: Assistant Solicitor - Derbyshire DalesCounty Solicitor - Cardiff (£120k); Senior Contracts Lawyer - Ealing (to £53k); and Commercial/Procurement Lawyer - Staffs and West Mids Probation Trust (to £39k). And don't forget all the locum roles on our searchable database. Please let them know you saw the advert on Local Government Lawyer.

Book your place at the Town and Village Green Roadshow with 12 College Place and Durham County Council on 7 February.

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News headlines

ProjectsACSeS hits back at minister in row over monitoring officers Association sends open letter to Brandon Lewis after he accused some officers of giving poor advice and 'gold-plating' revised standards regime. See also the original story: Minister attacks monitoring officers for giving "far too much poor advice" 

Probity watchdog attacks Localism Act standards regime Committee for Standards in Public Life warns over lack of available sanctions and independent scrutiny

Mandatory ground for possession will only make delays worse: Law Society Chancery Lane criticises flagship DCLG proposal for eviction cases

Government "in no doubt" that courts will still say courts cannot bring defamation claims: minister Lord McNally reveals discussions between MoJ and DCLG after Rutland considered legal action 

Claimant wins permission to take youth cuts case to Court of Appeal Challenge to North Somerset's reduction in provision for youth services

Another council loses High Court battle over fees for care home providers Authority claims to pay highest rates in the North East. See also: Councils accused of "bully boy tactics" over care home fees

Law Society broadens practice note on local authority Children Act meetings Now covers all solicitors attending, not just those employed by councils

British Beer & Pub Association takes legal action over council guidance Association seeks judicial review of guidance on protection of pubs

Supreme Court refuses Cornwall permission to appeal £4.5m leases case Unitary seeking to argue that predecessor authorities had breached fiduciary duties

Call for Law Society to keep two seats on council for local government ACSeS says two representatives are a minimum, argues for more

SLG calls for nominations for Young Solicitor of the Year award Ninth year of award that recognises contribution of local government solicitors to their authorities and communities

London boroughs slam DCLG measures to tackle planning underperformance Proposals described as "excessive" to deal with small number of authorities

Many public law child cases will not conclude within 26 weeks, magistrates warn Concerns also expressed at limits being placed on scrutiny of care plans

Failure to comply with planning enforcement notices sees man fined £250k

Scottish Government extends FOI to certain companies set up by councils

LGA criticises reforms to street trading rules, warns of "free-for-all"

Town hall chiefs attack plan to remove oversight role in dispersal powers

Council ordered to pay £35k after 29 park employees develop hand injuries

See all of our most recent news stories

New courses on Local Government Law TV

Top Cases of 2012 In this course, leading public law barrister James Goudie QC analyses the most important judicial decisions of 2012 as they affect local authorities.
Procurement Law Update This course covers recent important public procurement case law affecting development contracts, “Abnormally low” tenders, mistakes and clarifications, judicial reviews and implied contract claims.
Employment Law Review This course is composed of three sections on changing terms and conditions, redundancy and an analysis of the government's reforms to the employment tribunal system.
Mental Health and Community Care Made up of three presentations, this course looks at effect of the mental health legislation on community care law from three important perspectives: the duties owed by under s.117 of the MHA, Deputyship and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Local Authorities and Commercial Contracts This course provides an overview of local authorities' common law obligations when entering into any private arrangement with a contractor.

All courses are CPD-qualifying. Your first course is FREE.

Departmental subscriptions from £495 + VAT for 12 months unlimited access.
Click here for details.

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonThe LPA as landowner and how to tackle s106s
Caroline Bywater discusses the quagmire that surrounds securing s. 106 obligations where the local planning authority is the landowner.

Health and social care commissioning: the procurement implications
Emma Trundle outlines the application of the public procurement regime to health and social care contracts and how forthcoming changes impact local authorities. 

Dealing with anti-social behaviour - the proposed new tools
Following publication of the draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill, Donna McCarthy looks at the tools that are to be made available.

The inherent jurisdiction: where are we now?
Alex Ruck Keene looks at the status of the High Court's inherent jurisdiction after the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and examines the uncertainty caused by recent rulings.

Licence reviews - proof of breach not required
A High Court judge has held that it is not necessary upon a review to prove that the licence was breached. Philip Kolvin QC explains the background.

A friend in need - how to manage litigants in person and McKenzie Friends
Sarah Mumford provides some top tips on how to manage a claim brought by a litigant in person and how to handle communication with someone acting as the LiP's lay adviser or 'McKenzie Friend'.

The Mid-Staffs public inquiry - whistleblowing, bullying and harassment
In the second of a two-part series, Jodie SinclairCarlton Sadler and John Moore look at the issues raised by the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust public inquiry in relation to whistleblowing, bullying and harassment.

Happy New energy certificate requirements!
Bill Chandler warns that on 9 January 2013 the Display Energy Certificate regime for public sector buildings was significantly extended, requiring many local authorities and other public bodies to obtain additional energy certificates for previously exempt buildings.

The latest blogs...
Fee simple: split views on examination costs by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the disagreement between some project promoters and the Planning Inspectorate over how fees should be charged for Planning Act applications. 

Snap judgement: Do you think that the Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis's comments that monitoring officers are providing poor advice to their authorities underlines the need for monitoring to be legally-qualified?

Yes - A proper understanding of the law is essential to do the job to the required standard

No - A focus on legal technicalities can prevent MOs from taking a wider view

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: Detention in a care home and Article 8 The Court of Protection has approved arrangements for safeguarding the Article 8 rights of a man detained in a private care home. Richard Mumford examines the ruling.

Children's Services: Reporting restriction orders and care proceedings The Sun newspaper recently claimed success in relation to an application for a reporting restriction order covering care proceedings. Rosalind English examines the High Court's ruling.

Community Safety: Outright or suspended The Court of Appeal has considered the correct approach to be taken in discretionary residential possession cases involving previous incidents of anti-social behaviour. Andy Lane analyses the implications of the judgment.

Employment: The Mid-Staffs public inquiry - staff recruitment, standards and engagement In the first of two articles, Julian Hoskins and Jodie Sinclair examine some of the workforce and employment law themes arising out of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust public inquiry.

Governance: FOIA update: part two In the second of a two-part series, Eleanor Grey QC looks at key FOI decisions in the last six months on such issues as vexatious requests, crime fighting and confidentiality 

Housing: The public sector equality duty, homelessness and the Pieretti principles A county court judge recently considered the application of the public sector equality duty in a case where a council concluded that a tenant had made herself intentionally homeless by reason of her failure to pay the rent. Arthur Moore reports on the outcome.

Licensing: The numbers game Andy Woods looks at the increasing reliance by responsible authorities on numerical statistics and argues that these must be subject to a comprehensive examination for them to be relevant in licensing hearings.

Litigation: Disclosure of social work records and litigation Those dealing with disclosure questions about sensitive records, in particular in relation to social work, need to take notice of a significant Court of Appeal ruling, writes Robin Hopkins.

Planning: Equalities: due regard duly paid Nicholas Dobson reports on a High Court ruling in a case where it was claimed that a council had breached the public sector equality duty when giving planning permission for the development of a school. 

Procurement: The use of Teckal company structures in public services delivery Shared services, spin-outs and 'in-house procurement' - Amy Auton-Smith looks at using a Teckal company structure to deliver public services.

Projects: Licence Lite: Too heavy for most? "Licence Lite" is an arrangement which can be made under an electricity supply licence condition allowing interested parties - such as local authorities - to supply electricity without having to sign up to the industry codes in full. Adam Davidson looks at what it involves, as well as other options for those organisations looking to get into the energy supply market.

Property: Housing Revenue Account reform - what next for local authorities? David Isaacson looks at the options open to local authorities in the new housing finance landscape. 

Regulatory: Relying on an unlawful act to found a prosecution Can a public authority rely on its own unlawful act to found a criminal prosecution? David Merson reports on a recent High Court ruling involving a caravan site.

Local Government Law.tv

We are pleased to announce the introduction of an annual corporate subscription that will provide access to a full year of CPD accredited legal training for your lawyers and your client departments

What is included

  • unlimited access to the full library of webinar content for 12 months
  • the option to purchase DVD copies of the webinar training
  • discounted rates offered to attend LGG training courses
 Who can take the training?
  • lawyers and other professionals within your team, each of whom will be provided with personal login to enable them to earn and keep a record of their individual CPD credit.
  • members of your client departments, such as the child protection team, trading standards officers, planners, procurement professionals or social workers. On purchasing a corporate subscription, a client account login will be provided for use by your client departments to view online content at no extra charge.
What is the cost?
  • the cost relates to the numbers of individual registered users per authority, excluding those who use the client account.  These users will be registered for the full year of the subscription with the option to replace a registered user if somebody leaves the authority during the year of subscription.  Option 1 below
  • a DVD option will supply a DVD for every webinar booked – Option 2 below
  • in addition to option 1 a DVD can be purchased for an individual webinar at an additional £15 + VAT if required.  This can be ordered when booking the webinar
  • for a shared legal service serving more than one authority area, references to the number of registered users are to the combined aggregate number of users from the relevant authorities
  • registered users of a corporate subscription will benefit from discounted offers to attend LGG training events during the 12 months.
  Option 1
Online only
Option 2
Online + DVD
Individual subscription £199 (+VAT) £349 (+VAT)
Local authority with up to 10 registered users £495 (+VAT) £945 (+VAT)
Local authority with 10 – 30 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Local authority with more than 30 registered users £1295 (+VAT) £2295 (+VAT)
Law firms with up to 20 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Law firms with 20+ registered users £1500 (+VAT) £2495 (+VAT)
 How to register for a corporate subscription
Individual subscriptions can be purchased online at www.localgovernmentlaw.tv.
To set up a corporate account please contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917 or derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlaw.tv giving details of your authority, the number of users you would like to register and if you would like to take the DVD option for all booked webinars.
We will then contact you within 24 hours to confirm this subscription has been set up.  The corporate subscription members will then be able to register on the site and instantly access the webinar training.
Alternatively, if you would like to pay-as-you-go for webinar training by setting up a corporate pay-as-you-go account for your authority a monthly invoice will be produced and a 10% discount will be applied to all purchases by members of your authority.
There is also the option to take a free trial of a webinar (which includes CPD credit).  Register as a user on www.localgovernmentlaw.tv  and add your preferred course to the cart. During the checkout process, enter FREE TRIAL in the box where indicated (don't forget to click 'Submit'), and the cost of your course will be reduced to zero. Complete the process and your course will be instantly available to view and you can watch it as many times as required for 30 days, from any computer or most mobile devices.

Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (102)

Jobs of the week

HB Public Law is among the vanguard of a new wave of local government legal practices. The service, which is hosted by Harrow Council, is looking to recruit lawyers at various levels of seniority and across a range of practices, including social care and education, planning and regeneration, housing, litigation, property and contracts.


Assistant Solicitor
Derbyshire Dales District Council is looking for an enthusiastic and capable Solicitor to deal with legal matters across the whole of the authority's legal services.

County Solicitor
Cardiff Council is looking for a County Solicitor to translate its vision and priorities into a set of aligned and effective strategies for legal services. CLOSING DATE: 31 January.

Group Manager, Legal & Democratic Services
Following a restructure, North East Lincolnshire Council has created the new role of Group Manager, Legal & Democratic Services. CLOSING DATE: 25 January

Commercial/Procurement Solicitor or Barrister
Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust is looking for a solicitor or barrister with a minimum of three years' experience in procurement and contract law. 15-month fixed term contract. Salary: £34,677 to £39,424.

Senior Contracts Lawyer
Are you an experienced and highly skilled contracts and procurement lawyer looking for a new challenge? If so, the London Borough of Ealing wants to hear from you. Salary: £50,931-£53,796 pa inclusive.

Property Solicitors
A large local authority in Essex requires two commercial property solicitors to assist with an influx of work.

Senior Adult Social Services Lawyer
This three-month locum role at a public sector organisation in London will require the successful candidate to handle a varied adult social services caseload.

Senior Solicitor - Governance
A local authority in East Sussex is looking for a Senior Solicitor to support the Head of Law with additional project work.

Employment Lawyer
An experienced Employment Lawyer of 4 years' pqe is sought for a 6-12 month contract for a public body in the North West.

Legal Officer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Legal Officer to join a public sector organisation in Suffolk.

Litigation Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Litigation Lawyer in the West Midlands with previous experience of working for a local authority.

Other featured jobs

Commercial Contracts Locum
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Commercial Contracts and Procurement Lawyer to join a local authority in the East Midlands.

Social Care Lawyer
You will cover all legal work arising from the adult and children's social care departments at this London local authority.

Planning/Commercial Contracts
A local authority in the East Midlands requires a non-contentious solicitor to assist with planning and commercial contract matters.

Senior Local Government Specialist
A public sector organisation in the North West is looking for a senior local government specialist to join on a locum basis.

Commercial Property Solicitor
This large regional law firm has a busy commercial property team serving clients in the private and public sectors.

Childcare Locum
An excellent opportunity for a Childcare Locum has arisen in the West Midlands for a successful local authority legal team.

Senior Adult Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Senior Adult Lawyer to join a reputable local authority in West London.

Planning Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a locum Planning Lawyer in the East London area.

Junior Planning Opportunity
We have a fantastic opportunity for a junior planning/property solicitor to join a local authority in Wiltshire.

Litigation Lawyer
A local authority in the East of England is looking for a Litigation Lawyer or experienced FILEX to join on a locum basis.

Search all jobs 


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