Local Government Lawyer
The Localism Act - Two Years On

The Localism Act ReportHas the general power of competence inspired councils to innovate their way through austerity? What has been the effect of the revised standards regime? When will communities begin to assert their rights over services and assets? And what are the implications for legal teams?

Click here to read our exclusive supplement, produced in association with Freeth Cartwright LLP.

News headlines
ProjectsKey elements of Localism Act fail to live up to Government promises: survey Research finds general power of competence yet to make significant positive difference at vast majority of councils. One in four councils also report that revised standards regime has led to worse behaviour from members

C-section case shows need for radical changes on transparency: Munby "Many more judgments must be published," President of Family Division says

Court of Appeal issues key NPPF ruling in cases where no local plan yet Judges criticise ambiguity in drafting of paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework

Council sees off developer at Court of Appeal over retail park restrictions Developer sought to rely on later permissions for building operations to argue for release from restrictions limiting retail sale to bulky goods

Report from QC clears council and officers over waste incinerator contract No evidence that Cabinet exceeded its authority in authorising contract

Auditor says payments at council to buy out allowances "unlawful" One-off payments made to chief officers over car and leave allowances were intended to harmonise terms and conditions with other staff

Surrey authorities to set up legal panels worth £6-20m Framework to be accessible by local authorities in Surrey, East Sussex and Berkshire

Brussels publishes new public procurement thresholds But vagaries of exchange rates have major impact

Major blow for Law Society as motion of no confidence in leadership passed Criminal lawyers angry over Chancery Lane's negotiations with Ministry of Justice over legal aid reforms


To see all roles on LGL, click here. There are locum roles across all practice areas: Legal Services Manager (South East)Civil Litigation LawyerEducation LawyerProperty LawyerCommercial and Procurement SolicitorPlanning Solicitor and Childcare Solicitor. Please let them know you saw the job on Local Government Lawyer.

ENJOY THE FESTIVE BREAK: This is the last newsletter of 2014, with the next issue coming out on 10 January. We will continue to keep the site updated over Christmas and New Year. Thanks for your continued support.

More news stories....

Spending watchdog issues damning report on use of confiscation orders NAO criticises lack of awareness within criminal justice system and Government's failure to produce coherent strategy. Report also says sanctions for non-payment are not working

Borough council becomes second authority to adopt late night levy Cheltenham to implement scheme in April 2014

Watchdog warns gambling businesses after half fail test purchase Many independent high street businesses do not have sufficient controls in place at premises

LGO urges admissions authorities to learn lessons of London appeal case Report finds council wrongly identified appeal as infant class size appeal, sent parents its response from a different case

Enshrine community benefits of fracking in law, says LGA Demand after Government publishes regulatory roadmap and strategic environmental assessment

North West housing association to set up £800k legal advice panels

Double raid on same market sees £7m+ of counterfeit goods seized

National agreement on behaviour of 'chuggers' sees fall in complaints

See all of our most recent news stories

LAST CALL: We are keen to find out what readers think of the site and what other features you would like to see. To complete the survey, click here. One respondent will receive a £50 John Lewis voucher in time for Christmas.

GET CPD AT YOUR DESK: Courses on Local Government Law TV include modules Procurement Challenges – Tactics, Timings and RemediesAn Introduction to the Data Protection Act 1998The New EU Procurement Directives and Tenants in Trouble.  Take out an individual or team subscription today. Or buy a course from as little as £25+VAT.

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New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonShared services and public to public cooperation under the new directive
Peter Ware examines the codification of the Teckal case through the new public procurement directive.

The Court of Appeal rules again on relief from sanctions
The Court of Appeal has issued its first ruling on relief from sanctions following the Mitchell/'plebgate' case. Gordon Exall considers the judgment.

Contracting out homelessness review decisions
The High Court has held that a local housing authority did not lawfully contract out its homelessness review decisions because the relevant authorisation should have been given by the Cabinet and not the Council. The authority had, however, retrospectively ratified the authorisation. Toby Vanhegan reviews the judgment.

Suspension of taxi drivers' licences
Roy LIght looks at the role suspension of a taxi driver's licence plays in the aftermath of a key High Court ruling in 2012.

Staying the course?
A High Court judge has granted an urgent 'out of hours' stay to prevent the closure of a lap dancing club in Leeds. Isabella Tafur explains the background to the case.

Land ahoy
Clive Bleasdale looks at how local authority land can be used as a tool for promoting growth.

Dealing with industrial action short of a strike
With industrial action looming in the fire and rescue services, Allison Cook looks at ten key questions and sets out a checklist of things to consider.

Latest courses on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Procurement Challenges – Tactics, Timings and Remedies £25.00 This course outlines the main reasons for challenges to procurement decisions, the procedures which must be followed, the sanctions and remedies available and provides tips for contracting authorities on how best to respond to - and prevent - challenges.
Managing Evaluation and Post Contract Changes £25.00 This course analyses how the new EU Procurement Directives will change the way that public tenders are evaluated and post-contract changes enacted when the regime - expected by 2015 - is put into place.
The New EU Procurement Directives £25.00 This course analyses the provisions of the new EU Procurement Directives and assesses how - and when - they will affect contracting authorities. It also examines the main procedures that will be available to contracting authorities under the new regime.
An Introduction to the Data Protection Act 1998 £25.00 This course provides an introduction to the main provisions of the Data Protection Act, outlines and examines the main principles of the Act and its definitions and explains how its provisions are applied in practical situations.
Tenants in Trouble £25.00 This course sets out the remedies open to public sector landlords when faced with commercial tenants in rent arrears or other breaches of their lease conditions and provides practical advice on when they are suitable and how they should be exercised.

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

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

The latest blogs...
Infrastructure planning review of 2013 and a competition by Angus Walker
As this is the last entry for 2013, it is time for a retrospective. Back in January I made ten predictions about 2013 - how accurate were they?

Shortlist of first nationally significant airport projects published

Compulsory pre-application consultation introduced for tiny wind farms

Snap judgement: Are Alternative Business Structures...

...the future for local authority legal practices in an outsourced world

...only suitable for specific situations

...the beginning of the end for in-house teams

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: The Court of Protection and declarations of capacity
When should the Court of Protection decline to make a declaration as to capacity? The CoP team at 39 Essex Street report on an important ruling.

Children's Services: Consent orders and school exclusions
The High Court has provided useful guidance on settlement of school exclusion cases where all parties are agreed on the desired outcome. Alexander Campbell analyses the judgment.

Community Safety: Tenancy agreements and gang membership
Sarah Mansfield considers how tenancy agreements can be amended to prevent tenants being members of a gang.

Employment: Settlement agreements and the risk of accidental contracts
Graham Richardson looks at the practical lessons to be learned by public bodies from a High Court decision on pre-contract negotiations, and analyses the new legislative approach to settlement agreements.

Governance: Changes to defamation law from 1 January 2014
Wesley O'Brien looks at the key provisions in the Defamation Act 2013 for entities that provide public services or perform public functions and who are seeking to protect their own reputation or that of officers and employees, and also for those organisations who receive a defamation claim.

Housing: Major housing reforms unveiled in Wales
Byron Britton examines the key proposals in the Welsh Government's Housing (Wales) Bill.

Licensing: A matter of policy
A High Court judge has ruled as to which licensing policy applies if a new policy is issued after the date when the application is made but before the date of the hearing by the licensing sub-committee or the Magistrates' Court on appeal. Philip Kolvin QC explains the ruling.

Litigation: The Supreme Court on "prohibitively expensive" costs: Aarhus again
David Hart QC looks at the latest Supreme Court ruling in a long-running case on the costs of environmental litigation.

Planning: Pushed to the limit
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the time limits in s. 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 are not incompatible with the Environmental Impact Assesment Directive. Mary Cook explains the ruling.

Procurement: How to succeed in Competitive Dialogue
What are the key issues that contracting authorities should bear in mind when looking to achieve a successful and efficient procurement using competitive dialogue? Craig Griffiths explains.

Procurement: Rescues, restructuring and state aid
Alex Kynoch highlights the key issues from a European Commission consultation on guidelines for state aid and rescues of 'non-financial' undertakings.

Projects: A huge day for infrastructure planning
Angus Walker reports on three significant developments affecting the Planning Act 2008 regime for nationally significant infrastructure. 

Property: Competence power strays into Harrogate and Convention Rights....
The general power of competence is back in the news thanks to a High Court case on its application and the DCLG consulting on Harrogate Council's proposed use of it to stage the Tour de France. Nicholas Dobson reviews developments.

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)
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 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 (119)

Services Directory
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Specialisms in the areas of Court of Protection, Professional Negligence, Disciplinary Tribunals, Employment Law, Planning, Health & Safety and Immigration, experienced in acting on behalf of Local Authorities and their client departments.
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Easton Bevins
Easton Bevins is a leading independent Chartered Building Surveying Practice with a vastly experienced team of Expert Witnesses
Edulaw Chambers
Edulaw Chambers provides specialist advice, advocacy and training in education law. We regularly act for local authorities, schools/academies, as well as parents and young people.
Francis Taylor Building
Francis Taylor Building is a long established leading public law set, with particular expertise in planning, land valuation, infrastructure, environmental, public law, licensing and regulatory law.
Gibbins Costs Lawyers
Gibbins has grown to become one of the North’s largest independent firms of Costs Lawyers and Consultants with over 25 staff, including 7 Costs Lawyers, serving Solicitors and Legal Practitioners nationwide.
In Real Time Translation
In Real Time Translation, a UK Company, provides document translation services, language interpretation services as well as sign language, Braille and other services for those with visual or hearing impairments.
Ivy Legal
Ivy Legal Ltd is an innovative planning enforcement law firm that specialises in supporting local authorities.
Joanna North Associates Ltd
Training & therapeutic consultancy for children, adults & families. Expert witness and Ofsted inspected adoption support agency
Jordan Publishing
Under our two brands, Jordans and Family Law, we publish practitioner books, looseleaf services, journals and law reports in both print and online format covering the entire range of legal practice and regulation.
Laird Assessors
We provide an expert witnesses service that is second to none. We have highly qualified, experienced & well trained motor engineers positioned strategically throughout the UK providing accident investigation and supporting services to every major UK city.
Lextox Drug and Alcohol Testing
A specialist hair drug and alcohol testing laboratory established by experts to provide the most reliable results and most responsive customer service to family law solicitors and child care proceedings.
LGG delivers an extensive annual CPD training programme that responds to changing needs, creatively identifies training requirements and is ultimately designed to provide the public sector legal practitioner
Local Government Law TV
Local Government Law.tv combines the experience of the leading local government legal training provider with the immediacy of an online news service to provide a comprehensive selection of up-to-date webinars
MBL Seminars
With over 80+ years of collective CPD experience we have provided learning and development to over 30,000 lawyers and other professionals to date.
Professor Tony Monk
Professor Tony Monk is an eminent Architectural Expert Witness and is accredited to act in legal disputes covering design, technical and professional defects in the architectural and building industry.
TRL's widely respected Incident Investigation and Reconstruction Group consists of expert scientists, engineers and technicians, who specialise in the forensic investigation of incidents involving road traffic, the road environment and road user behaviour.
WeatherNet Ltd
With 15 years experience, WeatherNet can provide complete forensic legal weather reports or witness statements for a range of civil and criminal cases.
Wilkin Chapman Goolden
At Wilkin Chapman Goolden we offer a high level of expertise with the support of a full range of specialist lawyers offering expert advice on the complete range of legal services.
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