Councils to take battle over planning policies and housing to Supreme Court
Cheshire East and Suffolk Coastal Councils looking to take key case over what are ‘relevant policies for the supply of housing’ to Supreme Court
Official Solicitor and partner fail in claim against councils for misfeasance
High Court dismisses misfeasance in public office claim brought by Official Solicitor (in private capacity) and his partner against two councils following refusal of planning permission for new house in Kent
Scheme reserving lettings for working households and model tenants "unlawful", rules High Court judge
Scheme under which London council removed 20% of available lettings from the general pool and reserved them for working households and ‘model tenants’ was discriminatory and unlawful, High Court judge rules
Hynes expresses concern over status of monitoring officer role
Former President of Lawyers in Local Government expresses concern at councils pushing monitoring officer further down organisation as they respond to austerity measures
SOLACE produces guidance note for chief officers on EU referendum
Society of Local Authority Chief Executives produces guidance for chief officers ahead of EU referendum on 23 June
Home Office targets public officials with plans for ‘illicit enrichment’ offence
Government consults on creation of new offence “for use when a public official has a significant and inexplicable increase in their assets”
Senior childcare lawyer warns of pressures from “remorseless” rise in cases
Significant rise in public law children cases is putting more pressure on social workers and child care lawyers, all of whom are experiencing significant budgetary cutbacks, senior local authority lawyer warns
Club sees premises licence revoked just weeks after it was granted
Venue in Birmingham has its 4am premises licence revoked just five weeks after it was granted
The Local Government Lawyer Dispute Resolution Survey, in association with Thomson Reuters
Take part and enter a draw to win £100 of John Lewis vouchers.
If you are an in-house public sector litigation lawyer or your practice involves you in the resolution of disputes in any way, we would like to invite you to take part in the Local Government Lawyer Dispute Resolution Survey 2016, in association with Thomson Reuters. The aim is to identify where disputes are most likely to arise in the foreseeable future and what strategies are being deployed to deal with them when they arise. It also examines topical themes including the rise in litigants-in-person, changes to the judicial review and costs regimes, and the use of alternative forms of resolution. Survey participants will receive an advance copy of the (anonymised) results as well as being entered into a draw for £100 of John Lewis vouchers. The survey should take around 15 minutes to complete and the link to the questionnaire is: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lgldisputes
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Judge concern over council tax enforcement and Valuation Tribunal appeals
High Court judge expresses concern at “the substantial degree of uncertainty that exists” in relation to how courts, both magistrates and the bankruptcy county court, should deal with enforcement of domestic council tax liability orders in context of availability of remedy by way of appeal to Valuation Tribunal
Legal threat sees NHS England review decision-making on HIV treatment
NHS England to review its plans to end its decision-making process over whether to make HIV prevention drug PrEP available, after legal threat from charity and row with councils
High Court gives green light to challenge to cruise liner terminal approval
High Court gives permission for judicial review challenge to Royal Borough of Greenwich's decision to give planning approval to riverside development that includes passenger cruise liner terminal. Air pollution assessment at heart of crowd-funded legal action
Supreme Court allows appeal over civil legal aid residence test
Plan by Ministry of Justice to introduce civil legal aid residence test through draft Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014 was ultra vires
the enabling statute, Supreme Court rules
Spending watchdog warns on devolution deals and accountability
There are significant accountability implications arising from ‘devolution deals’ which central government and local areas will need to develop and clarify, National Audit Office says
High Court to hear challenge over closure of mental health hospital
Court gives permission for judicial review challenge brought by service users over closure of mental health hospital in York
Councils to net new powers over removal of road signs
Councils will have new powers to remove unnecessary and out-of-date road signs, Transport Secretary says
See all of our most recent news stories
ON THE MARKETPLACE
NE transport body seeks legal advisors for new Metro concession
West Midlands transport body to set up £5m legal services panels
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Wasteney: the case of a Christian giving a Muslim a book
Susan Belgrave considers the difficulties for employees and employers in dealing with proselytising at work.
Non-domestic rate collection: never too late?
In the first of his three-part series on debt recovery, Marc Samuels revisits the circumstances in which local authorities can issue late demands for non-domestic business rates.
When PFI contractors fail to perform
What rights and remedies do you have when PFI contractors fail to perform? David Hunter explains.
Housing associations and judicial review
A recent High Court ruling shows that you cannot judicially review all housing association decisions, writes Jon Holbrook.
Sex and the simple test
Alex Ruck Keene analyses the latest ruling on an individual’s capacity to have sexual relations and to marry.
The meaning of “housing supply policies”
The Court of Appeal may have brought clarity to what are relevant housing supply policies (at least until the Supreme Court has its say), but it is not open season for housebuilders, argues John Pugh-Smith.
Setting up a trading company
Philip Roberts examines some of the key legal issues that local authorities need to consider when setting up a trading company.
Devolution and regeneration investment
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 is the latest measure to implement an enhanced devolution agenda. It must also be viewed as an important tool to stimulate investment in regeneration, writes Alan Aisbett.
CORNERSTONE ON....The practical guides - now you can have their skills with you, even when they're not.
FREE WEBINAR FOR MEMBERS OF LAWYERS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Neighbourhood planning: a legal perspective - John Pugh-Smith and Daniel Stedman Jones of 39 Essex Chambers look at how lawyers can square the circle of greater localism in the planning system and the need for more housing and infrastructure development. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration and other queries.
The latest blogs...
Government responds to three NIC reports
by Angus Walker
This entry reports on Wednesday’s government responses to the three National Infrastructure Commission reports published in March.
CCS DCO refused for lack of funding
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Changes made to the Care Act Guidance
highlights the key changes that the Department of Health has made to the Care Act Guidance.
Adult Social Services: Case Management Pilot published
The draft Court of Protection case management pilot has been issued. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers
set out the key points.
Adult Social Services: Whose call?
Alex Ruck Keene
analyses where decision-making responsibilities lie – and the role of social workers – when it comes to powers of attorney, care homes, best interests and deprivations of liberty.
Adult Social Services: “I reasonably don’t believe you”
looks at the issues when local authorities consider refusing social care support on credibility grounds.
Children: Section 17 and Child Arrangements Orders
sets out some practice points arising out of a recent case involving section 17 and Child Arrangements Orders.
Children: Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 – local authority duties
LexisPSL Local Government
and Claire Cousin
outline a local authority’s duty to provide accommodation to children under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, identifying the challenges a local authority may face including parental consent and capacity.
Education: Educational Excellence Everywhere?
The Government has recently published a white paper that is essential reading for those in education. Rachel Kamm
examines the key proposals.
Education: Criminal records disclosure
and Trish D’Souza
report on a recent successful judicial review challenge against the criminal records disclosure scheme.
Education: Government challenges to industrial action
The High Court has ruled that in a dispute involving sixth form college employees, the Government may challenge the validity of industrial action. Paul McFarlane r
Education: School closure consultation
The High Court has rejected a legal challenge to a Welsh council’s plans to close a secondary school. James Goudie QC
Employment: Gagging orders and settlement agreements
What are the rules on gagging orders and settlement agreements in local government? Athelstane Aamodt
Employment: Knowledge of an employee's condition
analyses an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling in a case which looked at the impact of an employer's knowledge of an employee's condition on disability discrimination.
Employment: Reasonable adjustment after Griffiths
analyses a significant Court of Appeal ruling on the correct comparator in a disability claim.
Employment: Caring for your carers
The Supreme Court has handed down an important decision in the case of the duties employers owe to employees working outside in areas over which they have no control. Steven Conway
looks at the impact of the ruling.
Governance: Article 8 and decision-making
Two recent decisions demonstrate the reach, applicability and importance of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in terms of the functions and decision-making of public bodies, write Peter Wake a
nd Nick Peel
Governance: Is your Constitution due a health check?
With Annual Council only a few months away, now is the time to be checking your authority’s constitution, write Judith Barnes
and Frances Woodhead
Healthcare: Equality claims and health regulators
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the availability of judicial review did not oust the jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal to hear an alleged discrimination claim against a health regulator, writes Jeremy Hyam QC
Healthcare: A human rights cautionary tale?
A recent High Court judgment involving claims against an NHS trust and an ambulance service dealt with the legal test for liability, causation and victim status. Francesca O'Neill
reports on the outcome. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Healthcare: Corporate manslaughter and public bodies
The first prosecution of an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter collapsed. Tracey Longfield
and Colin Moore
explain what the case tells us. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Housing: Income generation: housing delivery vehicles
Are housing delivery vehicles the solution when it comes to councils generating income? David Isaacson
looks at the key considerations when setting them up.
Housing: The latest on 'Pay to Stay'
The Government is pressing ahead with its controversial 'pay to stay' policy in social housing. John Murray
looks at the latest development.
Housing: Declaring a property as an HMO
A local authority has won an Upper Tribunal appeal after its declaration that a property was a house of multiple occupation was revoked by the First-tier Tribunal. Harriet Holmes
Housing: The mandatory ground post Akerman-Livingstone
One year after the Supreme Court ruling in Akerman-Livingstone
, whither the ‘new’ mandatory ground for possession? Toby Huggins
Information Law: Information requests, purdah and the pre-election period
considers the approach public bodies should take to dealing with freedom of information requests during the pre-election period.
Information Law: FoI - how to recognise a vexatious request
considers the approach public bodies should take towards dealing with vexatious freedom of information requests.
Information Law: Personal data and politicians’ names
The Upper Tribunal recently ruled that, following an FOI request from a journalist, a council should disclose the identity of councillors who had failed to pay council tax on time. Julian Milford
examines the ruling.
Licensing: Licensing and illegal workers
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on an important High Court ruling after a restaurant owner appealed the revocation of his premises licence over the employment of an illegal worker.
Licensing: Children gaming
A district judge recently considered issues around the criminal liability of a betting operator where a child played a fixed odds betting terminal without challenge. Philip Kolvin QC
Licensing: The LGA on licensing fees, public health
The Local Government Association has responded to a recent Institute of Alcohol Studies report on the Licensing Act 2003. Paddy Whur
examines what they had to say.
Litigation: Moss and algae on the highway
Are councils under a duty to remove moss from the highway? Sarah Wilkinson
reports on a High Court ruling.
Litigation: McGeown, Young and slippery bridges
reports on the successful defence of a claim brought against a local authority after the claimant slipped on a wooden footbridge.
Litigation: Mind your step: When is a hazardous staircase not a defective staircase?
The Court of Appeal recently handed down a judgment which serves as an important reminder that a landlord’s duty to repair does not extend to improving a property so as to make it safe. But what other implications does the decision have for both residential and commercial landlords alike? Steven Conway
shares his views.
Litigation: Infrequently used highways and dangerousness
The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in a case that clarifies the test for dangerousness in respect of defects on infrequently used highways, writes Lucy Stranney
Management: Selling your services
deals with the question of what is permissible under the SRA's Handbook and the Legal Services Act 2007 for those local authorities looking to sell their services more widely.
Planning: Screening opinions and reasons
The High Court has recently examined whether a failure to give adequate reasons for a screening opinion automatically gives rise to a presumption that a planning permission should be quashed. John Hunter
looks at the judgment.
Planning: Sustainable development and heritage assets
A Planning Court judge has given guidance on the interaction between the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the restriction on development affecting heritage assets. Brian Hurwitz
analyses the ruling.
Planning: A growing reluctance to quash?
analyses a recent trend amongst the judiciary not to quash planning permissions, even where there has been an acknowledged legal error.
Planning: The correct interpretation of the NPPF 14 'Algorithm'
Jerry Cahill QC
and James Corbet Burcher
report on a developer's successful s288 defence to a challenge brought by a council in the Planning Court.
Procurement: Procurement - new draft regulations published
and Robert Prater
report on the latest developments in relation to the UK transposition of the Utilities and Concession Directives.
Procurement: The new procurement rules - one year on
New procurement rules were introduced with much fanfare a year ago. Alison Walton
, Tim Dennis
and Victoria Fletcher
examine their effect.
Procurement: Wrangling with TUPE in procurement documents
and John Houlden
analyse the issues raised for bidders and purchasers by TUPE in procurement.
Projects: Sweating your assets
How can local authorities get more from their assets without selling off the family silver? Owen Willcox
Property: Dealing with mistakes in registered land
examines a recent High Court case involving a London borough and the mistaken inclusion of a basement within the registered title for a ground floor property.
Property: Legal costs and service charges
When it comes to the recovery of legal costs as a service charge, what has changed since the Supreme Court ruling in Arnold v Britton? Howard Lederman
Regulatory: Game of drones – the law
examines the issues that local authorities may face as a result of the use of drones.
Regulatory: Contaminated land - one to watch
Stephen Tromans QC
and Victoria Hutton
provide an overview of a Part 2A Inquiry concerning a remediation notice served by a local authority.
Transport: 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.
|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
|Social Housing Fraud
||This presentation identifies the main types of social housing fraud committed, the remedies available to tackle it and provides guidance on which are most suitable for particular types of fraud.
|Governance and Monitoring
||This presentation focuses on four topical areas of local authority governance: employee surveillance (including on social media), decision-making (pecuniary interests, bias, and committee make-up), whistleblowing and the counter-terrorism Prevent duty.
|Managing Cuts Lawfully
||This presentation looks at how legal challenges to decisions resulting from budget cuts can be avoided, mitigated and defended, focusing on the two grounds of challenge which appear most frequently unlawful consultation and breach of the PSED.