Legal bucks trend for cuts as number of council solicitors holds steady
Number of practising solicitors in local government remained broadly the same in 2015, according to Law Society annual statistical report
Lawyers in Local Government sets up Monitoring Officer Defence Scheme
LLG launches Monitoring Officer Defence Scheme in partnership with law firm Weightmans
Council defeats libel claim by restaurant company over press release
Judge rejects libel claim brought by restaurant company against council after local authority issued press release concerning restaurant owner’s conviction for failings in care of cows he kept. Owner had accepted offer of amends
Bucks gives green light to integration of legal team with HB Public Law
Cabinet at Buckinghamshire County Council backs plans for further integration of its legal services team with HB Public Law
Council faces judicial review challenge over cut to short breaks services
Local authority hit with judicial review challenge over plans for £225,000 funding reduction to short break services
Police rule out prosecution over sale of land by borough council
Northamptonshire Police conclude there is insufficient evidence to justify prosecution over sale of land by Corby Borough Council in 2010
Court of Appeal rules on 'inappropriate development' in Green Belt
Appeal judges issue key ruling on meaning of “inappropriate development” in Green Belt, in case involving 92,000 sqm glasshouse
Defendant sentenced over fraudulent £50k claim against North West council
Man receives 13-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, after he was found guilty of bringing fraudulent claim estimated to be worth more than £50,000 against local authority
Reading retains social care role with royal borough in £1.1m deal
Windsor and Maidenhead appoints joint legal team at Reading Borough Council to £1.1m contract for provision of legal services in relation to adults and children’s social care (on Public Law Today)
Haringey becomes latest council to join London Boroughs Legal Alliance
London Borough of Haringey becomes 17th council in capital to join the London Boroughs’ Legal Alliance
MORE NEWS STORIES....
Charlie Adan appointed chief executive at Kingston
Royal Borough hires lawyer turned chief executive of Babergh and Mid Suffolk
Judge refuses permission for challenge to sale by council of seafront land
High Court judge declines to give campaigners permission to proceed with judicial review against city council over its decision to sell land near seafront in Whitstable
Council launches investigation after receiving allegations of corruption
Scottish council launches investigation after serious allegations of corruption were made in anonymous letter to its leader
Council hit with enforcement notice over data protection training failures
Information Commissioner’s Office issues Scottish council with enforcement notice over its failure to train staff in relation to data protection
Blacklaws elected deputy vice president of Law Society
Christina Blacklaws, family lawyer and director of client services at Cripps LLP, elected deputy vice president of Law Society, meaning she is set to become president in 2018/19
Islington and Shoreditch joins Housing Associations Legal Alliance
Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association brings Housing Associations Legal Alliance to 11 members
Trading standards prosecution sees duo jailed for lettings agency theft
Letting agent and her boyfriend jailed for stealing more than £400,000 from agency in Sutton Coldfield, following prosecution led by Birmingham City Council’s Trading Standards team
See all of our most recent news stories
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Public law specialist Davies joins 39 Essex Chambers
Woods Whur to advise Newham on Olympic Stadium licence
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Combined authorities – accountability is key
With the drive to greater regional devolution, combined authorities, local authorities and other key stakeholders will need to address significant issues around accountability, writes Anja Beriro.
Audits and auditors - England
In partnership with Stephen Sheen, the LexisPSL Local Government team highlights key features of external audit and internal audit in England.
Age assessment and litigation fairness
The Court of Appeal has handed down a wide-reaching judgment that directly concerns age assessment cases, but the principles enunciated apply to all litigation (private and public), writes Peter Oldham QC.
PCCs - end of term report
With elections just round the corner, what impact have Police and Crime Commissioners had since their introduction? Sarah Ellson and David Northfield report.
Reasons challenges to charging and care home fees decisions
Jonathan Auburn examines a High Court ruling on whether reasons challenges can be brought against local authority charging and care home fees decisions.
New company and LLP transparency rules
New rules have come into force requiring companies and LLPs to identify people with significant control. Richard Hiscoke looks at the implications for local authorities.
Bad news for malingerers
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has made it easier for ‘malingerers’ to be dismissed. Sarah Maddock reports.
Breach of condition notices
The Court of Appeal has recently upheld a breach of condition notice issued by a council in relation to the hours of operation of a sui generis coach depot. Wayne Beglan explains why.
Procurement for donkeys
What would a 'leave' vote in the EU referendum in June mean for procurement law? Michael Mousdale explains.
Key costs cases in Q1 2016
Iain Stark, Victoria James and Dr Catriona Wolfenden round up the major costs cases in the first three months of 2016.
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: Human Rights, the Equality Act and Social Housing: This course, presented by Ryan Kohli of Cornerstone Barristers, 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.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Sex and the simple test
Alex Ruck Keene
analyses the latest ruling on an individual’s capacity to have sexual relations and to marry.
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.
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
Employment: Wasteney: the case of a Christian giving a Muslim a book
considers the difficulties for employees and employers in dealing with proselytising at work.
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.
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
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)
Housing: Housing associations and judicial review
A recent High Court ruling shows that you cannot judicially review all housing association decisions, writes Jon Holbrook
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
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: 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.
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.
Planning: 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
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: Setting up a trading company
examines some of the key legal issues that local authorities need to consider when setting up a trading company.
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: When PFI contractors fail to perform
What rights and remedies do you have when PFI contractors fail to perform? David Hunter
Projects: 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
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.