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Peterborough crowned Local Government Legal Team of the Year
Legal Department at Peterborough takes Legal Team of the Year award at the Lawyer in Local Government (LLG) Legal Awards 2015. Tim Earl, Head of Legal Services at Suffolk Legal, wins Legal Professional of the Year category. Click on the headline for a full list of the winners and placements plus photos from the ceremony
Spending Review 2015: key policy decisions by practice area
Local Government Lawyer
highlights some of the key policy decisions set out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the combined Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 as he seeks to deliver a £10.1billion surplus by 2019/20
Removal of consultation options over housing estate “unlawful”: High Court
High Court judge rules that London borough’s decision to stop consulting on refurbishment options for housing estate and focus on regeneration alone was unlawful
Judge accuses social workers of lying on oath, altering key report
Family Court judge names social workers he accused of “deliberate and calculated” alteration of assessment (making it less favourable to the parents), the withholding of the original report and lying on oath
Shropshire Leader apologises for code breach over conflict of interest
Leader apologises for breaching local authority’s code of conduct, after he failed to formally disclose conflict of interest at board meetings for the council’s wholly-owned trading business
Ombudsman accuses council of failing to apply correct law in planning case
Local Government Ombudsman urges borough council to provide conservation training for all its planning officers after accusing authority of failing to apply the correct law and guidance when handling planning application for cafe extension near Grade 1 listed building
Claimant lawyers hail case on local authority powers and trafficking victims
Claimant lawyers describe case on local authority powers to support victims of trafficking who are EEA nationals as “ground-breaking”
Pre-pack administration sees Parabis Group entities sold off
A number of entities within the Parabis Group – including its legal services operations – sold off as part of 'pre-pack' administration
Scottish housing association to procure new legal services framework
Veale Wasbrough Vizards promotes Cook and Hickman to partner
Knights to create £40m firm with Darbys acquisition
North East headquartered education group names firms to legal panels
DLA Piper nets £3m Welsh Government contract for infrastructure schemes
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Borough boosted by Government comments on land prices and viability
London Borough of Islington welcomes Government’s view that value of land should reflect planning requirements, made in correspondence over threatened judicial review
Independent Commission on FOI receives 30,000 submissions
Some 30,000 submissions made to the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information following its call for evidence
Welsh Government launches landlord registration and licensing scheme
Welsh Government to set up new registration and licensing scheme, Rent Smart Wales, aimed at preventing rogue landlords and agents from letting and managing properties
Underwood named as next chair of Social Housing Law Association
Member of Cornerstone Barristers to become next chair of Social Housing Law Association
Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar agree deal to create £250m firm
Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar to merge in deal that will create £250m-turnover business. Merger expected to formally complete in December 2015
Guidance issued for employers on recruiting and retaining transgender staff
Government Equalities Office publishes guidance for employers on recruitment and retention of transgender staff
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
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.
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.
The impact of cumulative impact
Philip Kolvin QC reports on two recent licensing cases concerning the application of cumulative impact policies.
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.
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.
The importance of Dispute Adjudication Boards
Stephen Homer looks at the courts' approach to cases where there are contractually agreed methods of dispute resolution, such as appointing a dispute adjudication board.
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.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015
Simon Goacher and Peter Wake consider what the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will mean for the public sector.
TOP INTERIM ROLES: Senior Childcare Solicitor (Cheshire), Democratic Services Officer/Governance Lawyer (West Midlands), Planning Lawyer (East Midlands) and Adult Litigation Lawyer (East Midlands).
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The latest blogs...
Devil is in the detail of Spending Review by Angus Walker
Yesterday, the chancellor George Osborne MP set out his autumn statement of how government money will be spent in the next few years….The watchword is ‘security’ (forget productivity), and much of it is couched in the vein of various meanings of that word.
A bad week for NSIPs
Since September, four applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) have reached their three-month deadlines for decisions to be made on them and the results haven’t been pretty.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
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: 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: Grammar school expansion
Rachel Kamm considers the legal issues surrounding the Education Secretary's decision to back a new annex proposed by a grammar school.
Education: But you promised!
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.
Education: Tackling failing or 'coasting' schools
sets out the key elements of the Government's proposed new approaching for addressing underperformance in schools.
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: Harassment and injunctions
Wesley O'Brien and Jonathan Moore review a recent example of the court's approach to what amounts to harassment in the context of communications with, and criticism of, local authority members and staff.
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: Reclassifying housing associations as public sector bodies
How will housing associations be affected by the recent decision by the Office of National Statistics to reclassify them as public sector bodies? Julie Cowan-Clark
and Jonathan Turner
offer some views on this development and other changes.
Housing: Affordability of previous accommodation
The Court of Appeal has analysed what local authorities can take into account when considering the affordability of previous accommodation for the purposes of deciding whether a person is intentionally homeless for failing to pay the rent. Jonathan Manning and Emily Orme report.
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: Charging ahead under the EIR
Christopher Knight examines this week's key Court of Justice of the European Union ruling on local authorities' ability to charge for providing environmental information.
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: 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: 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: A question of place
Chris Plumley and Alex Tindall look at the nature of council engagement with developers.
Property: Tackling the love activists
Andrew Williams looks at how local authorities can respond when their land or buildings are invaded by groups such as the 'Love Activists'.
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.