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NEWS HEADLINES

Local authority legal disputes set to rise: research
Significant majority of local authorities expect litigation to rise in foreseeable future with adult social care disputes leading the way, research conducted by Local Government Lawyer in association with Thomson Reuters finds

Royal prerogative cannot be used to give notice of withdrawal from EU, Divisional Court rules
Government does not have power under Crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for UK to withdraw from  European Union, three senior judges rule

Battle over allotments ends after judge rejects challenge to appropriation
Major health and housing development goes ahead as four-year battle over fate of allotments in Watford ends, with judge rejecting legal challenge to Communities Secretary’s third attempt to grant consent lawfully for appropriation of land

Men given lifelong anonymity amid fears of jigsaw identification of child
Four men who were subject of interim injunctions over suspected child sexual exploitation should have their anonymity protected for life after no action was taken against them, High Court judge rules. Police and council feared identification of vulnerable child

Baker Small director agrees rebuke from SRA after investigation into tweets
Mark Small, solicitor at centre of furore in June over tweets that boasted of ‘great win’ over parents of children with special educational needs, agrees to be rebuked by Solicitors Regulation Authority
 
Council defeats High Court challenge to registration of 14 acres as village green
County council, acting as commons registration authority, successfully defends in High Court its decision to register 14 acres as town and village green
MUST-READ FOR LICENSING AND PLANNING LAWYERS: Licensing and Planning
The operation of premises for licensable activities requires both planning and licensing authorisations. There will be overlaps as issues such as noise nuisance may be considered by both planning and licensing committees when deciding whether to grant authorisations and any conditions to be attached. Prof Roy Light explains.
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Legally-qualified strategic director named joint chief exec at two councils
Qualified barrister and current strategic director set to be appointed Joint Chief Executive of two district councils in Suffolk

Finalists revealed for Local Government Legal Awards 2016
Final shortlists for Local Government Legal Awards 2016 revealed, ahead of awards ceremony in Leeds on 18 November

Watchdog prosecutes NHS employees who accessed data on people they knew
Information Commissioner’s Office successfully prosecutes two cases where former NHS employees had unlawfully accessed information on people they knew

Councillor at London borough sentenced for housing fraud
Former councillor given custodial sentence of 22 weeks after being found guilty of housing fraud
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MORE NEWS STORIES....

Developer fails in High Court challenge to neighbourhood plan
Developer loses court challenge over Leeds City Council's decision in November 2015 to allow neighbourhood plan to go to local referendum

Wales Bill lacks clarity and risks causing future litigation, peers warn
Legislation so badly drafted that it might inadvertently reduce rather than increase powers of Welsh Assembly, House of Lords constitution committee says

Council right to seek injunction against vegetable processing plant: judge
It was reasonable for council to apply for interim injunction against company over allegations of bad odour from its vegetable processing plant, High Court judge rules in costs battle

Judge orders disclosure of identities of police in nightclub licence case
Undercover police officers whose report led to Islington Council’s controversial decision to close Fabric nightclub must reveal their identities in court, judge rules
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South London Legal Partnership shortlisted for 4 LGC awards for digital courtrooms
Legally-qualified strategic director named joint chief executive

 
High Court judge quashes DEFRA air quality plan over non-compliance
Environmental law charity secures quashing of Government’s Air Quality Plan 2015 over its failure to bring UK into compliance with law “as soon as possible”

Legal challenge over new sixth form settled after DfE withdraws approval
Legal proceedings over Government’s decision to grant permission for new school sixth form settle, after ministers agree to withdraw approval of plans (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Councils issue nearly 4,000 community protection notices: report
Campaign group’s Freedom of Information requests find that councils issued 3,943 community protection notices in year to October 2015

See all of our most recent news stories
KEY EVENTS: Enforcement Appeals - Ivy Legal. A course specifically covering enforcement appeals determined by way of written representations, informal hearing or public inquiry.

Education Law Seminar for Local Government - FTB. This free seminar will provide an opportunity to be informed about and discuss the latest developments in education law. 10 am to 12 pm on 23 November in London.


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Analysis on Local Government Lawyer

Long residence "of little consequence"
The Court of Appeal has handed down a ruling that will be welcomed by public sector landlords dealing with possession claims against 'failed successors', and cases involving public law defences based on failure to comply with policy, argue Ranjit Bhose QC and Emma Dring.

Managing property development by local authorities
Clive Read sets out nine practical steps local authorities can take to successfully manage their property development.

Costs and planning enforcement
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal for costs in legal aid funded planning enforcement proceedings. Saira Kabir Sheikh QC explains why.

Closure of children’s centres
A court has for the first time explained how the split between a local authority’s executive functions and full council functions affects the discharge of the public sector equality duty and other procedural obligations.Christopher Knight analyses the judgment.

The scrapping of the Education Bill
The Education Secretary's decision to drop proposed legislation that would have seen the academisation of all schools in England mirrors the new Government's approach to devolution, writes Frances Woodhead.

Radicalisation and state intervention
Tara Vindis examines a recent High Court ruling on parents’ extreme religiously motivated views and whether the state should intervene

Gender variance and care orders
A mother’s determination that a child was “gender variant” did him significant harm, the Family Court has ruled. Rosalind English reports.



BLOGS

National Infrastructure Commission responds and asks for evidence: by Angus Walker
Unperturbed by the arguments over whether it should be established in statute, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has produced its next tranche of work: a response to the consultation on its scope and methodology, and a call for evidence on specific projects and more general measures.

Heathrow: timetable and observations
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: CCTV and care packages
The use of CCTV in packages of care in the community represents a serious risk issue for commissioners, providers and care co-ordinators. Hannah Taylor explains the key issues.

Adult Social Services: Private deprivations of liberty
This LexisPSL Local Government article produced in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane considers the concept of 'private' deprivations of liberty for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, involving people who lack the material decision-making capacity.

Adult Social Services: Bulk applications for deputyship remuneration
The Court of Protection recently considered a not-for-profit organisation's 'bulk application' in relation to deputyship remuneration. Bethan Harris looks at the judgment.

Children: When is enough, enough?
Hannah Slarks analyses a recent High Court ruling on runaways and the duty to accommodate under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

Children: Adoption and family placements
The Court of Appeal recently considered the approach to be taken in determining a child's long-term welfare once the child has become fully settled in a prospective adoptive home and, late in the day, a viable family placement is identified. Laura Briggs reports.

Children: Children giving evidence
Are more children about to give evidence in care proceedings? Jason Hadden reports on a recent Court of Appeal ruling.

Children: Children, consent and deprivation of liberty
This LexisPSL Local Government article, produced in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane considers recent court decisions on whether a parent can consent to the confinement of their child which, absent a valid consent, would amount to a deprivation of liberty.

Children: How to draft a local authority threshold document in care proceedings
LexisPSL Local Government in partnership with Tim Earl, Solicitor to the Council and Head of Legal Services of Suffolk County Council, explains how to draft a local authority threshold document in care proceedings.

Community Safety: Busy Bodies charter or effective tool?
Bans on hats, lying down in public, car cruisers and skateboarders...what next for Public Space Protection Orders? Kuljit Bhogal reports.

Education: Tackling illegal schools
Councils have been calling for greater powers to tackle illegal schools. Tom Tabori examines some of the issues raised.

Education: Schools, sport and the duty of care
A recent Northern Ireland case provided guidance on, and a useful review of the case law in England and Wales relating to, the duty of care owed by a school to its pupils when participating in sport, write Bruce Ralston and Richard Rowe.

Employment: Policing social media
New guidelines have been issued by the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecutors deciding whether or not a criminal offence has been committed by the sending of a communication via social media. Laurie Child reports.

Employment: Unfair dismissal: extension of time
Harmajinder Hayre examines a case involving a school which looked at the issue of time limits on Tribunal claims.

Employment: Mind the TUPE gap
Graham Richardson considers a recent case where the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) was found not to apply on termination of a Council contract, despite the service continuing with a new provider.

Governance: Setting up community libraries
A High Court judge recently concluded that a council's decision to set up five community libraries was lawful. James Goudie QC analyses the ruling.

Governance: Decisions under challenge
When it comes to judicial review, which decision is the one you are being challenged upon or should challenge? Nathan Holden examines the issue.

Healthcare: No longer the end of the road
The High Court has issued a key ruling on challenging factual accuracy comments in the Care Quality Commission's regulatory process. Jonny Landau and Andrew Parsons analyse the outcome.

Housing: Warrants for possession and suspended possession orders
The Court of Appeal has issued an important ruling on warrants of possession and suspended possession orders. Carys Williams analyses the judgment and sets out the key points for local authorities and social housing landlords.

Housing: Council housing companies – another new build model
With councils beginning to build homes again, Ian Doolittle examines the legal issues arising out of the use of local housing companies.

Information Law: Dransfield revisited
Does the presence of public interest act as a barrier to a refusal of a request for information based on vexatiousness? Robin Hopkins reports on a ruling that should be welcomed by public bodies.

Information Law: Understanding FOIL compliance monitoring
The Information Commissioner’s Office recently announced that Trafford Council will be monitored over the timeliness of its responses to freedom of information requests. Jeremy Isaacson, in discussion with LexisPSL Public Law, considers the background to this announcement and the various issues surrounding monitoring.

Licensing: Licensing committees
This LexisPSL Local Government article was produced in partnership with Walaiti Rathore of Fraser Browne and sets out the law and practice in relation to the duties and responsibilities of a licensing authority under the Licensing Act 2003.

Licensing: Problems at licensed premises
Paddy Whur looks at a case where a responsible operator stopped the need for a review of his premises licence.

Litigation: Changes to the rules on civil appeals
Ben Zurawel reviews recent amendments to the rules governing civil appeals.

Litigation: Judicial review: key developments
The LexisPSL Public Law team provides a summary of key developments in judicial review and sets out some important dates for practitioners’ diaries.

Litigation: Litigants in Person and costs budgeting
Can litigants in person ‘escape’ the rules relating to costs budgeting in all claims? To what extent does the costs management regime under CPR 3.12 to 3.18 apply to the costs of a litigant in person? Ruwena Khan examines a recent ruling.

Management: Helping to define the client
With Lawyers in Local Government calling for clarification of who local authority solicitors can act for, Crispin Passmore sets out the Solicitors Regulation Authority's view.

Planning: Boundaries of the 'soft touch' approach
A High Court judge has handed down a significant decision marking the boundaries to the 'soft touch' approach adopted to the scrutiny of neighbourhood plans. Mark Lowe QC, Rob Williams and David Lintott report.

Planning: Improving the use of planning conditions?
The Government’s proposed reforms to the use of planning conditions do not go far enough, writes Georgina Reeves.

Planning: A cautionary note on reasons
The Court of Appeal has handed down a significant decision on the standard of reasons required when granting planning permission. Caroline Daly explains the ruling.

Planning: Is the force of localism still with us?
The Localism Bill was heralded as introducing “A new era of people power” in 2010. Since then, talk of the Big Society has been eclipsed, but neighbourhood plans have been bigger news than anyone expected. Sue Chadwick highlights some current issues and makes a few predictions for the future.

Procurement: Procurement challenges and damages as an adequate remedy
Joseph Barrett reports on the courts’ approaches to the lifting of automatic suspensions, following a challenge to the procurement of the UK perinatal mortality project.

Procurement: Procurement and social/environmental criteria
One of the stated objectives of the 2014 EU procurement Directives was to "facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement" – that is, ensuring greater consideration for social and environmental criteria. Melanie Pears and Tim Care examine the key provisions and recent guidance.

Procurement: Move over PQQ, here is the SQ!
The Government has issued a selection questionnaire to replace the current pre-qualification questionnaire. Jenny Beresford-Jones sets out the key points for procurement practictioners

Procurement: Dispute settlement and new tender procedures
LexisPSL Public Law analyses a ruling that the Public Sector Directive required a new tendering procedure to be carried out where the parties had made changes to the scope of a public contract, even though they were made pursuant to a settlement aimed at resolving difficulties that had arisen during performance of a complex project.

Procurement: Development agreements, best consideration and procurement
The High Court has dismissed best consideration and procurement claims against a local authority development agreement. Deborah Ramshaw explains why.

Procurement: Voluntary transparency notices
Is a voluntary transparency notice published in the OJEU? How in practice is this distinguished from the OJEU notices that are published in advance of a procurement process? The LexisPSL Public Law team report.

Procurement: Reservation of public contracts
What is the interrelationship between regulations 20 and 77 of the Public Contract Regulations 2015? The LexisPSL Public Law team analyse the reservation of public contracts.

Projects: Regeneration X: Failed CPOs
The Communities Secretary earlier this month refused to confirm a compulsory purchase order for a key regeneration scheme in London, prompting Southwark Council to announce a judicial review challenge. Simon Ricketts analyses the minister's decision.

Property: Interpreting tenancy agreements
William Dean summarises a recent ruling on the interpretation of tenancy agreements, where one of the parties was a city council.

Property: If in doubt, strip it out
Anna Ralston examines the vexed question of "vacant possession" and analyses the lessons from a recent High Court case.

Property: Public houses and the ACV regime again
A fresh batch of Assets of Community Value (ACV) appeal decisions has been released and inevitably most concern public houses. Christopher Cant analyses the rulings.

Property: Sub-tenants and section 20 consultation
Steven Eccles and Mark Robertson consider new law on dealing with sub-tenants when undertaking Section 20 consultation.

Regulatory: End of the pier?
Donna Makin and Nicholas Mallen analyse a Supreme Court decision which meant a local authority had to pay a significant amount of compensation over a decision to close a pier.

Transport & Highways: Standards of highway maintenance
This LexisPSL Local Government article, produced in partnership with Nicholas Hancox of Nicholas Hancox Solicitors, examines how the quality of highway maintenance required of those responsible for it depends almost entirely on the expected ordinary traffic on the highway in question.

Transport & Highways: Statutory incompatibility and deemed dedication of highways
Brendon Lee analyses the application of statutory incompatibility to deemed highway dedication following recent developments on such legal principle in a number of village green cases.
 
Name   Description
Governance changes introduced by the Localism Act 2011 This webinar looks at key elements of the Localism Act 2011 as they affect and reform the governance of local authorities, including the General Power of Competence, Standards, community empowerment, elected mayors and assets of community value.
Delegation of Functions What problems can local authorities encounter with their schemes of delegation? And what to do if things go wrong? Matt Hutchings looks at the case law.
Governance for Local Authorities This webinar provides an overview of the governance structures of local authorities, their legal underpinnings and the way that they function in practice.
Brexit, Social Care and Housing This presentation looks at how the status of EEA nationals in the UK will be affected by the relationship the UK finally chooses with the bloc and how this will affect their entitlements to support and housing and the obligations owed by local authorities
How will Brexit affect domestic planning and environmental law? This webinar assesses how planning and environmental law and related areas may be affected by the UK’s exit from the European Union.
How will Brexit affect public procurement and state aid? This presentation looks at the possible effects on Procurement and State Aid law of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, before, after and during the process of withdrawal.
Local Government Law Update 2016 Recorded in April 2016, leading barrister Richard Clayton QC outlines and analyses the key local government cases of the preceding 12 months across a range of disciplines. Includes a comprehensive downloadable paper.
CIL and Planning Obligations This presentation considers the past, present and future of the Community Infrastructure Levy in the light of forthcoming reforms to the regime.
Bringing Forward Development Will forthcoming changes to the NPPF, permitted development rights and the Housing and Development bill shift power towards or away from Local Planning Authorities?
Old and New Means of Development This course looks at the various measures being introduced by the Housing and Planning Bill to make development happen beyond the conventional planning permission system.
The LLG Competency Framework To assist local authority solicitors to comply with the new CPD regime, the Lawyers in Local Government group has produced a new competency framework. Helen McGrath, Development Officer for LLG, outlines the main features of the framework and explains how
Neighbourhood Planning: A Legal Perspective John Pugh-Smith and Daniel Stedman Jones look at how lawyers can square the circle of greater localism in the planning system and the need for more housing and infrastructure development.
Housing and Local Plans Peter Village QC and Rose Grogan analyse the key features of the Housing and Planning Bill and outline some of the problems and pitfalls created by Local Plans as identified by recent case law.
Human Rights, the Equality Act and Social Housing This course looks at the arguments faced by public authorities and social landlords when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 or the Human Rights Act 1998 and outlines some of the defences and tactics available to defend them.
Social Housing Eligibility Update 2015 This course looks at which groups of people subject to immigration control are and are not eligible for social housing in the light of changes to welfare and immigration rules and recent case law.
Possession Claims Update 2015 This presentation provides an update on new housing legislation, regulation and case law before going on to look at the issues faced by social landlords as the first flexible tenancies granted under the Localism Act 2011 begin to expire.
Local Government Law Update 2015 Recorded in April 2015, leading barrister Richard Clayton QC outlines and analyses the key local government cases of the preceding 12 months across a range of disciplines. Includes a comprehensive downloadable paper.
The Commercial Council Michael Mousdale and Bradley Martin provide a practical and legal guide for council officers and lawyers looking to establish local authority trading companies.
Information Law Update 2015 Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery at Information Commissioner’s Office, outlines and discusses the implications of some of the key developments surrounding Freedom of Information, the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.
FOI and Data Protection Update 2016 This presentation reviews the main changes in the past 12 months in the fields of Freedom of Information and Data Protection, with an extended look at Monetary Penalty Notices and an overview of the latest developments in relation to property search charg

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