Local Government Lawyer
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...


Jobs latest: A fantastic and rare opportunity has arisen at the Local Government Association to be a Corporate Legal Adviser (salary: £71,564 to £81,763). 

Are you a procurement specialist employed in the public sector? In asssociation with Bevan Brittan, Local Government Lawyer is conducting research into procurement law issues and is interested to hear your views. Please complete our survey here.

Are you a head or deputy head of legal? Look out for our forthcoming management survey in association with Kennedy Cater later this week. If you don't receive an email with a link to the survey form in the next few days, please email derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk to be added to the list.

 


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News headlines

ContractsMonitoring 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

InjunctionOut 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.

Finding value
Anna Sweeney and Jessica Cumming examine a recent briefing note on Best Value Guidance and the Compact issued by the DCLG and Compact Voice.

Screen test
The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct test for screening decisions in relation to environmental impact assessments, writes Polly Reynolds.

Altered images
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. 

Single minded
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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St Philip'sThe 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.

EvershedsRenegotiating Contracts In this webinar Ruth Connorton considers the main ways authorities can renegotiate their existing contracts and assesses the potential procurement implications.
 

St PhilipsWater 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?

TPPAcademies 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.

4-5 Gray's Inn SquareTop 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.

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BlogsThe 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?
  • ...an integral part of my authority's management team
  •  
  • ...a technical service provider to client departments
Click here to vote now


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 says.

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.


Corporate Legal Adviser, Local Government Association
 

Jobs of the week

Interim Assistant Head of Law
A public sector organisation in the North West is looking for an Interim Assistant Head of Law to join its legal services team on a locum basis.

Local Government & Police Solicitor
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Local Government & Police Solicitor to join a leading law firm in the Midlands on a permanent basis.

Childcare Lawyer
Fantastic opportunity for an experienced Childcare Lawyer (3 pqe+) to join a leading not-for-profit organisation to give legal supervision and legal advice within the organisation.

Commercial or Property Solicitor
A commercial contracts or property solicitor is required to join one of the country's most forward thinking local authorities in the Midlands.

Litigation Lawyer
A public sector authority requires a Litigation Lawyer for a three to six-month term. 

Scroll down for opportunities in Adult Social Services

Other featured jobs

Property and Planning Solicitor
A public sector organisation in the South East is recruiting a Property and Planning Solicitor for a 12-month period. 

ASB Lawyer
This large legal team based in North London is seeking an experienced Housing Lawyer to join its team. You must have strong experience in ASB particularly.

Housing Locum
An opportunity has arisen for a Housing Lawyer to join a local authority on a contract basis. You will have a minimum of 2 years' pqe. 

Industrial Disease Locum
This Legal 500 firm requires an experienced solicitor, legal executive or paralegal to join its busy industrial disease team for a period of three months with the potential to become permanent.

Childcare Solicitor
An opportunity has arisen for a Childcare Solicitor to join a reputable firm in the Kent area.

Planning Lawyer
A local authority based in Greater Manchester is seeking a Planning Lawyer to join its team as soon as possible on a part-time basis.

Litigation Lawyer
A well respected local authority in the East Midlands is seeking a Litigation Lawyer with at least two years' pqe to provide a service to a range of public sector clients.

Contracts Lawyer
A local authority based in the West MIdlands is looking for a Contracts Lawyer to join its legal services team on a locum basis.

Litigation Locum
An opportunity has arisen for a Litigation Locum to join a local authority in the East Midlands for approximately six months with possibility for extension.

Commercial Contracts Locum
An excellent opportunity for a Commercial Lawyer in the North West.

Childcare Solicitor
We are currently recruiting for a fantastic Childcare Solicitor position based in Hertfordshire.

Search all jobs 
 


Spotlight on Adult Care roles

Adult Social Care Lawyer
A local authority in London is looking to recruit an Adult and Social Care Lawyer. 

Adult and Community Care Lawyer
This well run and stable team, commutable from London, is seeking an Adult and Community Care Lawyer for up to one year. 

Adult Social Services and Childcare Lawyer
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Adult Social Care Lawyer to join a public sector organisation in Wales. 

Adult Social Services Solicitor
A local authority based in the North West is looking for an Adult Social Services Solicitor to join its legal services team. 














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