Editor's blog: New resolutions
One of the first stories I ever wrote for Local Government Lawyer
, when we launched back in late 2009, was on a report claiming that local authorities were failing to use mediation in judicial reviews, despite its potential to deliver substantial costs savings.
Fast forward three years and we have news that the Government is planning to introduce a local authority-specific version of its 'Dispute Resolution Commitment'. But will it have a meaningful impact? Read more...
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Monitoring officers warned against 'gold-plated' approach to standards regime In letter to local authority leaders, Minister says bureaucratic approach has no place in new framework
Government plans to bring in local authority-specific 'Dispute Resolution Commitment' later in 2012 Bid to encourage greater use of alternative dispute resolution backed by Local Government Association
Local authority urges ministers to resolve poll hurdles Doubts over plans to hold 'preferendum' on biomass plant at same time as police commissioner election
LGO raps council over restrictions on care at expense of direct payments Ombudsman acknowledges financial pressures faced by authorities but says people have right to choice and flexibility
Doncaster defeats legal action over libraries and budget setting Case was billed as testing the balance of power between elected mayors and all of an authority's elected councillors
MoJ consults on personal injury discount rate as claimants push for cut Any reduction in rate could have significant impact on damages paid by defendants
Committee of MPs attacks public bodies for "dumping data" Public Accounts Committee says presentation of much information is poor, suggests that 'commercial confidentiality' being used as inappropriate reason for non-disclosure of data
Serious Case Review into Winterbourne View details catalogue of failings Call for greater investment in community-based care
NHS trust in South West handed third highest fine for data breach ICO levies penalty after sensitive information on staff published on trust's website
Council to pay £100,000 to vulnerable man after error led to funding cut Ombudsman report found that Bradford gave wrong information to the Independent Living Fund
DCMS consults on listed building consent reforms, tackling buildings at risk Consultation paper says local authorities find it difficult to expercise powers to serve Urgent Works Notices or to pursue Compulsory Purchase Orders
Councils slammed after homeless 16-year-old forced to live in tent for nine months Ombudsman says authorities breached Children Act 1989 and Housing Act 1996
Council pledges funds towards JR of plans to close children's heart surgery unit Pledge of £5,000 as charity looks at legal options over proposed closure of unit at Leeds General Infirmary
London boroughs name five firms to £7.5m insurance litigation panel
East of England housing association to set up £1m legal services panel
Suffolk councils pursue joint management including head of legal
Law firm with public sector practice latest to become ABS
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Out of control?
A recent Opinion of the Advocate General focuses attention on the degree of control a public authority must have over a company jointly owned with other authorities in order to take advantage of the Teckal exemption, writes Richard Auton.
Chief Exec, Head of Paid Service or both?
Nicholas Dobson looks at the recent judicial review battle in the High Court between a city council and its former chief executive.
Anna Sweeney and Jessica Cumming examine a recent briefing note on Best Value Guidance and the Compact issued by the DCLG and Compact Voice.
The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct test for screening decisions in relation to environmental impact assessments, writes Polly Reynolds.
Can registered providers be held liable for defects in a property created by tenant damage or alterations? Sian Evans analyses an important High Court ruling for councils and housing associations.
So you think you are covered?
A recent High Court ruling on insurance cover is significant for local authorities whether they are the landlord or tenant of a property, writes Helen Westran.
Jane Johnson looks at a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case on organised groupings of employees and TUPE.
The validity of advance decisions
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street consider the first reported case upon the validity of advance decisions.
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The Public Sector Equality Duty The aim of this course is to provide practical advice to local authorities and other public bodies on how to ensure that they comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty introduced by the Equality Act 2010.
Renegotiating Contracts In this webinar Ruth Connorton considers the main ways authorities can renegotiate their existing contracts and assesses the potential procurement implications.
Water pollution: Cause and culpability Is it possible to prove that a a defendant caused a pollution incident even if that defendant is not culpable. And, if so, what is the purpose of showing cause when culpability cannot be proven?
Academies and Free Schools: Understanding the Legal Implications This course examines the features of academies and free schools, the motivations and process for setting one up and what the key legal and other issues are for local authority teams who are called upon to facilitate their establishment.
Top Ten Public Law Cases of the Past 12 Months Richard Clayton QC reviews 10 of the most important public law decisions of the past 12 months, including important judgments on community care provision, consultation, legitimate expectation, reasons and the public sector equality duty.
IP Issues, Branding and Local Government What is branding and how is it relevant to local authorities? This webinar explains the different types of protection available, and gives practical solutions to common issues encountered by local authorities.
Infrastructure Planning and the role of Local Authorities The webinar also looks at the operation of the Infrastructure Planning Regime with particular reference to the role of local authorities, both as parties affected by infrastructure projects and promoters of infrastructure schemes.
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The latest blogs...
Ten infrastructure projects under examination
by Angus Walker
Today's entry is a round-up of news on some selected larger infrastructure projects - and a late National Policy Statement or two.
Snap judgement: How do you see your role as a local authority lawyer?
Click here to vote now
...an integral part of my authority's management team
...a technical service provider to client departments
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: Financial protection Simon Edwards
examines the options for a local authority for the management of P's finances.
Children's Services: Schools, sport and injuries
Local authorities should welcome a recent Court of Appeal ruling in a case where a pupil was injured during a golf lesson at school, Ridwaan Omar
Community Safety: Aiming at the target
The issue of clusters of betting shops appearing on high streets has risen up the licensing agenda. Gerald Gouriet QC
sets out a possible way forward.
Employment: The Public Sector Equality Duty - change for the Equality Act?
The Government has announced 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.
Governance: A knotty problem
A Charity Commission investigation highlights the dangers for local authorities who are the sole trustees of a charity, writes Andrew Uprichard
Healthcare: Advance declarations to withdraw treatment
A recent case has highlighted the problems of expressing advance wishes to end life-sustaining treatment, and has addressed the issue of the costs of the Official Solicitor. Andrew Parsons
considers the ruling.
Housing: The role of mutuals in social housing Mike Gaskell
examines the place of mutuals in the social housing field and reports on the setting up of the novel Rochdale Boroughwide Housing structure.
Licensing: Casino licensing and collateral challenges
A decision from the High Court has wide significance regarding later challenges to licence grants through the medium of statutory reviews, writes Philip Kolvin QC
. The judgment is of importance to public lawyers generally.
Litigation: Root cause
A Court of Appeal ruling in a case involving property subsidence caused by tree roots is significant for local authorities, writes Andrew Plunkett
Planning: Tree preservation orders - all change Charles Mynors analyses a planning case in the High Court that examined the protection of local businesses as a material consideration.
Procurement: The show must go on
What can you do when a contractor is unable to deliver? Emily Heard
and Laura Brealey
look at the options available to public authorities.
Projects: Blowing in the wind Michael Fahy
looks at some of the more contentious property aspects surrounding wind farms.
Property: All mapped out?
Camden Council has successfully overturned the controversial "squatters' roadmap" decision on apeal to the Upper Tribunal. Anya Proops
examines the ruling.
Regulatory: Injunctions - a no-brainer?
Local authorities should consider making greater use of injunctions to ensure compliance with planning and environmental laws, argues Jack Smyth