LBLA looks to open membership up to all London boroughs
The 10-member strong London Boroughs Legal Alliance (LBLA) is to invite all councils in capital to join group. See also: London boroughs cut number of chambers on £25m panel by a third
Number of sets reduced from 29 to 19
Rotherham MBC names Pearson as Assistant Director of Legal Services
Acting City Solicitor at City of Bradford takes over as Rotherham's new Assistant Director of Legal Services
Councils rapped for telling care providers to delay DoLS applications
Care Quality Commission expresses concern that some local authorities may be advising care providers to “delay, stagger or minimise” applications they are making under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Somerset County Council pulls out early from Southwest One joint venture
Local authority quits multi-million pound contract with outsourcing provider it part owns with IBM and other public bodies
LGA attacks "frivolous, commercially or research driven" FOI requests
Applicants should be required to set out public interest in requesting information, Local Government Association says in submission to call for evidence from Independent Commission on Freedom of Information
Central Bedfordshire pursues plans for fully integrated shared legal service
Executive at unitary authority approves in principle establishment of shared legal services arrangement with another local authority, via joint ownership of Teckal company, as it seeks to deliver £240,000 in savings in 2016/17. Potential bidders identified include LGSS Law and HB Public Law
Shared legal service rolls out complete digital solution for care proceedings
South London Legal Partnership joins forces with suppliers to develop entirely digital process for care proceedings, with solution being rolled out in London courts after successful pilot
Snack van owners win appeal over ban on them being near schools
Sheriff overturns condition imposed by council’s licensing committee banning snack van operators from being located within 250 metres of local schools
SRA proposes qualifying examination for all new solicitors
Solicitors Regulation Authority consults on plan to require new solicitors to pass Solicitors Qualifying Examination
CILEx Regulation consults on regulating alternative business structures
Treasury Solicitor joins investigations and audits team at Matrix
Arden bolsters local government team with Campbell hire
NW housing provider to appoint legal advisers to £1m+ contract
|FEATURED SUPPLIER: Leading sets Dyers Chambers and One Paper Buildings have merged to create Drystone Chambers. Drystone Chambers boasts a membership of 87, including 7 QCs, and will provide enhanced services to its public authority clients across the country.
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Judge refuses council permission to take part in crime contracts challenge
High Court judge says London Borough of Newham did not have sufficient standing to take part in judicial review proceedings over Legal Aid Agency’s recent award of new legal aid crime contracts. See also: Newham seeks involvement in legal aid crime contracts judicial review
Bevan Brittan builds new Leeds office with three more partners
Law firm bolsters housing and commercial property teams at its new Leeds office with three new partners
Campaigners use crowdfunding in bid to challenge library plans
Campaigners seeking to challenge Barnet Council’s plans for future of area’s libraries service use crowd-funding to obtain funds to pay for preparatory work for judicial review challenge
Government consults on wider definition of affordable housing
Department for Communities and Local Government launches consultation on changes to national planning policy, including proposed broadening of definition of affordable housing
Licensing committee at Camden approves plans for late night levy
Prospect of third late night levy in London moves step closer after licensing committee at Camden Council backs plans to introduce scheme from 28 April 2016
Housing association fined £75,000 after disabled man died following scalding
Scottish housing association fined £75,000 after 60-year-old disabled man died two weeks after he sustained severe scalding
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Section 106 and switching planning permissions
The Court of Appeal has recently considered whether a developer could switch between two different planning permissions, so as to avoid planning obligations imposed by one of those permissions. John Hunter analyses the ruling.
TfL and roads in the capital
A High Court judge has ruled on a dispute over the extent of Transport for London’s interests in London’s roads. Charles Banner reports on the outcome.
Shadow licences – a cause for concern or not?
Andrew Woods considers the law on so-called “shadow licences” under the Licensing Act 2003.
Problems with a fact-finding hearing
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers look at the lessons from a Court of Appeal ruling that a judge’s fact-finding exercise was fatally flawed.
TUPE transfers and change in identity of employer
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently considered TUPE transfers in the context of joint employment and multiple transferee/transferor cases. Peter Edwards, Ron Simms and Raj Basi report.
Wind turbines and the Broads
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a judgment upholding an inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for a 125m wind turbine. Richard Honey explains why.
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The latest blogs...
Commons committee whisks through Housing-in-NSIPs clause by Angus Walker
The committee of 20 MPs considering the Housing and Planning Bill has finally reached clause 107, the one that will allow ‘an element of housing’ to be included in applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs).
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: The Supreme Court on ordinary residence
The Supreme Court earlier this year considered the question of 'ordinary residence' in relation to people without capacity to decide where to live. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine the ruling.
Adult Social Services: The Care Act 2014 – six months on
Has the Care Act 2014 been successful since it came into force? Carolyn Hunnisett
talks to LexisNexis
about the positives and the negatives of a landmark piece of legislation.
Adult Social Services: The (indemnity) cost of getting it wrong
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the award of indemnity costs against a local authority for breaching a disabled woman's rights.
Children: Section 20: Conscious uncoupling
looks at the President of the Family Division's important comments on local authorities' use of section 20 of the Children Act.
Children: Looked after children and deprivations of liberty
A judge has recently ruled that a local authority cannot consent to the deprivation of liberty for a Looked After Child, writes Harjinder Sandhu
of Coventry City Council.
Children: Expect the unexpected
Kent County Council recently obtained a High Court order requiring the return of a 13-year-old girl who had been taken to Sudan and was feared to be at risk of female genital mutilation. Graeme Bentley
of Kent Legal Services explains what the court proceedings involved.
Education: SEN funding comparison costs
and Ken Slade
analyse a recent Upper Tribunal decision intended to bring clarity to SEN funding comparison costs cases.
Education: Religious education and state impartiality
A High Court judge has issued a significant ruling on the law governing the teaching of, and curriculum-setting for, religious education in schools and academies. Paul Greatorex
analyses the judgment.
The High Court has found that a council breached the substantive legitimate expecation of a 21-year old man who was statemented and to whom it provided support. Tom Cross
looks at the reasons why.
Employment: LGPS asset allocation
The Government has unveiled plans to liberalise the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) investment regime. Clifford Sims
explains the significance of the move.
Employment: Dismissal and consistency of sanctions
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal has shown how consistency of disciplinary sanctions is important, but that different sanctions do not always make dismissal unfair. Phil Allen
Governance: The Modern Slavery Act 2015
and Peter Wake
consider what the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will mean for the public sector.
Healthcare: Conditional discharge and DoL
An Upper Tribunal judge has handed down a key ruling on conditional discharges and deprivations of liberty that has wider implications. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report.
Healthcare: Producing reports for children proceedings: a practical guide
Jane Bennett outlines some of the areas of focus for healthcare professionals asked to prepare a report for children proceedings.
Housing: A chink in the armour
A High Court judge has ruled that the Government's benefits cap unlawfully discriminated against disabled people by failing to exempt their carers. Alexander Campbell
reports on the judgment.
Housing: Homelessness roundup
rounds up of some of the most important Court of Appeal rulings this year in the homelessness field.
Housing: The HCA on consumer complaints
The Homes and Communities Agency has outlined its approach to dealing with consumer complaints. Daniel Milnes
Information Law: In theory - local authority data retention
What are a local authority’s data retention obligations? John Atkinson talks to LexisNexis about at the practical steps councils should consider taking to ensure they do not fall foul of their legal obligations with regards to data retention schedules.
Information Law: Re-using public sector information
This Q&A from the LexisPSL Public Law
team examines the key changes implemented by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, which came into force from 18 July 2015, replacing the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
Licensing: The impact of cumulative impact
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on two recent licensing cases concerning the application of cumulative impact policies.
Licensing: Gambling licensing and risk prevention
The Gambling Commission has published the 5th Edition of the Guidance to Licensing Authorities. Stephen McGowan
looks at what is new.
Licensing: Costs awards in licensing appeals
A group of residents in Mayfair were recently ordered to pay the licensing appeal costs of another group of residents. Gary Grant
Litigation: Part 36 offers
The High Court has issued what is thought to be the first ruling on whether a Part 36 offer was a genuine attempt to settle. Andrew Cousins
reviews the outcome of an age assessment case involving a local authority.
Litigation: Vulnerable parties, witnesses and children in the family courts
With a consultation on new rules having just closed, Amanda Johnson and Kate Tompkins provide a useful reminder of the factors to be taken into account when approaching the multiple problems arising from cases involving vulnerable witnesses.
Litigation: A respondent's right to a fair committal application
Toby Huggins sets out some of the key provisions to be borne in mind if committal applications are to succeed.
Management: Shared services: key issues
LexisPSL Local Government, Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers consider the statutory powers available to local authorities to provide shared services, the risks associated with exercise of those powers, and how delivery of shared services can be achieved.
Planning: French government loses basement challenge
The French government has failed in a judicial review challenge over a mega-basement next to its embassy in London. Paul Brown QC
examines the High Court's judgment.
Planning: Inspector’s decisions and the kitchen sink
A recent Planning Court decision highlights the need to handle early stage neighbourhood plans on appeal, write Lucy McDonnell
and Roy Pinnock
Planning: Defective planning permissions and negligence claims
A judge recently rejected a claim for compensation against a local authority based on alleged reliance on a defective grant of planning permission. Tom Challis
Planning: The new CPO Circular
The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued a new circular on compulsory purchase and the Crichel Down Rules. David Altaras
and Marc Samuels
review this key document for planning practitioners.
Planning: Mr Fidler’s castle
A long-running legal battle over a house built behind straw bales in the Green Belt reached a new stage this month with contempt of court proceedings. Martin Goodall
examines the case.
Planning: Procedural changes to planning statutory review
Significant changes to the procedural aspects of statutory planning related challenges have come into force, writes Stephen Morgan.
Procurement: 2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? (how do we evaluate?)
Mark Cook looks at the likely impact of much-heralded changes to the use of evaluation criteria.
Procurement: Location, location, location
examines the outcome of a recent Spanish procurement case where a contracting authority had sought to specify location requirements for a health service contract.
Procurement: Being upfront
When it comes to publishing the ‘procurement documents’ electronically, what do contracting authorities need to publish and when? Jenny Beresford-Jones looks at a new steer given by the Crown Commercial Service.
Projects: Comparing project management methodologies
LexisPSL Public Law
and Andy Cooke
of PA Consulting Group compare three project management methodologies – PRINCE2®, PMBOK® and Agile.
Projects: The importance of Dispute Adjudication Boards
looks at the courts' approach to cases where there are contractually agreed methods of dispute resolution, such as appointing a dispute adjudication board.
Property: Breaking point
The Supreme Court has put an end to the confusion over break clauses, apportionment and implying contractual terms. Martin McKeague
and Emma Porritt
look at the key lessons from the ruling.
Property: Assets of Community Value: the latest rulings
Two new judgments have provided further guidance on the operation of the Assets of Community Value regime, writes Christopher Cant
Property: Parking charges and penalties
A recent Supreme Court ruling is of great significance to all those organisations, including NHS bodies, which run car parks. Virginia Cooper
and Nadia Osborne
Property: Residential service charge recovery
Steven Eccles reviews two important rulings affecting the recovery of residential service charges by local authorities and housing associations.
Regulatory: High stakes
Significantly higher fines could be imposed for health and safety offences under new guidelines from the Sentencing Council. Helen Devery
looks at the likely impact on local authorities and their employees.
Regulatory: The 'Average Consumer' and reasonable care
The Court of Appeal has recently shed light on what the 'Average Consumer' should do with regard to taking reasonable care. Alan Conroy
looks at the lessons for local authorities when it comes to enforcement.
Transport: When is a highway not a highway?
Thom Wood examines a recent High Court case where a local authority was found to have been negligent in its response to a property search about whether a parcel of land formed part of a public highway.
|Housing: Key Developments in 2015
||Ranjit Bhose QC, Dean Underwood and Tara O’Leary present an update on key developments in housing law, focusing on recent changes to the right-to-buy regime, judicial alterations to allocations policies and welfare reforms.
|Implementing the Care Act: Legal issues for local authoritie
||This presentation looks at potential consequences of a number of key aspects of Care Act 2014 and outlines how local authorities can avoid or mitigate the potential issues it creates.
|The Importance of Judicial Review
||This presentation draws on legal and empirically based research on the use and effects of judicial review (JR) to consider why and how this process matters to local authorities and whether the process improves the quality of decision-making.
|Achieving Better Ethics Across Public Service Provision
||David Prince CBE, independent member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, outlines his organisation's proposals for ensuring that outsourced providers of public services are subject to the same ethical standards as public sector organisations.
|Procurement and State Aid Reforms – The Commercial Impact
||This course investigates how the new procurement rules and changes to the state aid regime will practically affect local authorities investors in public service delivery, trade in services or generally act as a catalyst in economic development.