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We would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year plus a big thank you for your continued support. This shortened newsletter is the last one of 2015; our next issue will come out on 8 January. The site will continue to be updated on a regular basis.

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

Find out the most-read stories and features on Local Government Lawyer for each practice area in 2015.
NEWS HEADLINES

Council entitled to terminate £160m outsourcing deal, says High Court
Cornwall Council was entitled to terminate its £160m outsourcing contract with BT Cornwall, judge rules as he describes agreement as "very hard to work with, including by reason of its impractical length"

Welsh claimant loses court battle over compulsory detention in Brighton
21-year-old claimant from Swansea with complex mental health condition loses judicial review challenge brought following her compulsory detention in hospital in Brighton

Council fails in legal challenge over frequency of trains to regeneration site
London Borough of Enfield fails in legal action brought against Transport Secretary over number of trains per hour stopping at nearest station to major regeneration site

Nightclub wins appeal over conditions requiring sniffer dog and ID scan
Fabric wins appeal after licensing authority sought to impose condition requiring deployment of drugs ‘sniffer dog’ at entrance of premises for 50% of opening hours

Three quarters of care proceedings in Wales now completed within 26 weeks
Nearly 77% of care proceedings in Wales are now completed within 26-week time limit, Cafcass Cymru reports

Support network fined for mistakenly revealing names of HIV patients
Information Commissioner’s Office fines patient support network for inadvertently revealing the identities of HIV patients through email error
 
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Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: Capacity, marriage and consent
A Family Division judge was recently asked to consider whether to make a declaration of non-recognition of a marriage in Pakistan, after he concluded that the husband lacked capacity to marry and consent to sexual relations. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers look at the outcome.

Children: Section 20: Conscious uncoupling
Justin Slater looks at the President of the Family Division's important comments on local authorities' use of section 20 of the Children Act.

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
Morris Hill and Ken Slade analyse a recent Upper Tribunal decision intended to bring clarity to SEN funding comparison costs cases.

Employment: The Court of Appeal on disability discrimination law
Disability discrimination law has been clarified by a significant Court of Appeal ruling, but it remains complex when applied to ill-health absence, writes Phil Allen.

Governance: The Modern Slavery Act 2015
Simon Goacher 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.

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
Catherine Rowlands rounds up of some of the most important Court of Appeal rulings this year in the homelessness field.
 
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.


Licensing: Exempt lotteries and deregulation
The long-awaited relaxation of rules on exempt lotteries has finally been announced, writes Anna Mathias.

Licensing: Shadow licences – a cause for concern or not?
Andrew Woods considers the law on so-called “shadow licences” under the Licensing Act 2003.

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.

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:
The Housing and Planning Bill: consents with benefits?
Rebecca Clarkson considers how the Government’s proposed duty to list financial benefits associated with planning may create trip wires for development.

Planning: Trump’s tilt at windmills
James Findlay QC analyses the Supreme Court's ruling in Donald Trump's challenge to an offshore windfarm and in particular highlights Lord Carnwath's significant comments on implied conditions In planning permissions.

Planning: Permission in principle: one step removed from prior approval and permitted development?
John Bosworth and Lee Ward consider the implications of the Government's proposed introduction of 'permission in principle'.
European State Aid Law and Policy Third Edition Conor Quigley
Procurement: More on 'living wages' in public contracts
The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has recently ruled on the extent that public authorities can require contractors and their sub-contractors to comply with regional legislation imposing a 'living wage'. David Hansom reports.

Projects: Comparing project management methodologies
LexisPSL Public Law and Andy Cooke of PA Consulting Group compare three project management methodologies – PRINCE2®, PMBOK® and Agile. 

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

Reguatory: 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: 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.

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