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JOBS OF THE WEEK:
Domestic violence victim wins legal action over residence requirement in housing allocations policy
London borough’s revised housing allocations policy was unlawful, High Court judge rules following challenge by victim of domestic violence to application of five-year residency requirement
Judge orders council to retake decision in first Care Act 2014 case: report
Deputy High Court judge reported to have ordered London borough to retake a decision following challenge from asylum seeker, in what is thought to be first case dealing with application of Care Act 2014
Council hits out at MoJ court closure plans amid costs concerns
Bridgend calls on Ministry of Justice to re-think proposals to close its local court, amid concerns over potential for increased costs for authority’s legal team and adverse impact on public protection litigation
District council launches challenges against two planning appeal decisions
Daventry commences legal proceedings in two cases where it originally refused planning permission, only later to see appeals allowed against its decisions
Council ends consultation on new licensing policy after discovery of error
Hackney is proposing to re-adopt its current licensing policy, which was due to expire in January 2016, after error was discovered in consultation document for updated draft policy
Policy note issued on contracts and complying with transparency principles
Crown Commercial Service issues policy note on how public bodies should comply with Government demands that they disclose contract and related information that may previously have been withheld
Councils in plea for help after tribunal ruling on GP surgeries and rates
Councils in Worcestershire call for urgent review amid claims that tribunal ruling on business rates payable for purpose built GP surgeries has cost local authorities millions of pounds
Legal Services Board backs SRA plan to leave practising fees unchanged
LSB agrees to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s proposal to leave practising fees unchanged for coming practising year - individual fee to stay at £320, with firm fees determined by turnover
Nplaw secures approval to offer 12-month pupillage
Public sector legal practice nplaw receives Bar Standards Board approval to provide 12-month pupillage, which will be offered in collaboration with Doughty Street Chambers and Norwich’s Octagon Legal
Traders lose challenge over confirmation of compulsory purchase order
Market traders fail in High Court challenge to Communities Secretary’s decision to confirm compulsory purchase order made to facilitate regeneration of Shepherds Bush market
Law firm wins £1.3m contract for commercial and property legal advice
BLM bolsters abuse claims practice with Jefferson hire
Government work helps Bircham Dyson Bell to 10% rise in income
Hempsons secures Investors in People Champion status
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Council defeats High Court challenge to school closure plans
Council in Wales successfully defends its decision to close two primary schools in its area and move pupils to larger establishments
Underperforming councils to lose role in determining shale gas applications
Local planning authorities considered 'under-performing' could be stripped of their role in determining oil and gas planning applications, ministers say
Council to reconsider cases of 'flipped' tickets after adjudicator defeats
Canterbury City Council offers to reconsider cases where it rejected a motorist’s appeal against parking penalty charge notice received as a result of pay and display ticket flipping over
MPs set up inquiry into housing associations and extension of Right to Buy
Communities and Local Government Committee launches inquiry into viability and sustainability of housing associations and looking in particular at proposed extension of the Right to Buy
Ex-employee sues homecare provider over non-payment for travel time
Former employee of major homecare services provider launches legal action over company’s practice of not paying carers for time they spend travelling to and from care appointments
Homeless young must not be housed in B&Bs, even in emergencies: LGO
Local Government Ombudsman warns councils that bed and breakfast accommodation should not be used to house young homeless people, even in an emergency
Leading children's rights charities agree to merge
Two leading children’s rights charities – Just for Kids Law and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) – are to merge
See all of our most recent news stories
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Costs for judicial review
LexisPSL Government and Morayo Fagborun Bennett set out key provisions in relation to costs for judicial review, covering protective costs orders (PCOs), interveners and costs capping.
Public sector landlords, framework agreements and QLTAs
The Upper Tribunal has clarified whether councils and other public sector landlords can use framework agreements to appoint building contractors. Assad Maqbool considers the significance of the ruling.
What the Tortoise taught us....
A recent Administrative Court ruling provides useful guidance on the duty of local authorities when they are alerted to possible unlawful activity, writes Nicholas Dobson.
Lack of EIA not fatal to planning permission
The Supreme Court has handed down a major ruling in a case where there was a legal defect in the procedure leading to the grant of planning permission. Martin Goodall analyses the judgment.
PFI ‘good faith’ obligations under scrutiny
The Technology and Construction Court has recently issued a ruling on a 'good faith' obligation contained in a PFI contract where a local authority was one of the parties. Leah Horn examines the judgment.
School transport and indirect discrimination
Nicola Bennison, Trish D’Souza and Emma Cullen look at the lessons from a successful judicial review challenge against a council’s home to school transport policy.
Using the wrong tenancy agreement
The Court of Appeal has held that an agreement for an introductory tenancy, used in error, did not in fact grant an introductory tenancy, as the tenancy was precluded from being introductory by the Housing Act 1985. Jonathan Manning and Sarah McKeown report.
Solar rooftops at schools
What does the management of schools need to know about fitting solar panels? Maria Connolly explains.
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Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today
We are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of a new directory of local authority traded legal services, providing a cost- and time-efficient way for local authorities to profile their services to hundreds of potential public sector and other clients.
For details of how to advertise, please click here.
The latest blogs...
400-turbine offshore wind farm consented by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the decision on the Dogger A&B offshore wind farm.
Want to be a book reviewer? Local Government Lawyer
is soon to launch a new online bookstore and we are looking for practitioners to review the latest legal titles as they are published. Instant fame (and free legal books) guaranteed. Please contact Derek Bedlow at email@example.com
or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Deprivations of Liberty: "a complete impasse"?
reports on the latest twist in the Court of Protection and cases of deprivation of liberty in the community.
Adult Social Services: Mental capacity and deprivation of liberty: the Law Commission’s consultation paper
The Law Commission has published its eagerly-anticipated consultation paper on deprivations of liberty. Tim Spencer-Lane
, one of the team involved in the project, sets out the key proposals.
Children: Extensions of time and the merits of the appeal
The Court of Appeal has examined for the first time the issue – when considering an application to extend time for an appeal – of what regard a judge in a family case relating to children should have to the merits of the proposed appeal. Laura Vickers
Children: Child Protection and Data Protection
A High Court judge has ruled that a council's policy on retaining child protection records was lawful. Christopher Knight
analyses the judgment.
Community Safety: Gangbos and Article 6
examines a landmark decision on the compatibility of “Gangbos” with Article 6 of the Human Rights Act.
Education: A right to a student loan? (on Public Law Today)
The Supreme Court recently ruled on a challenge to statutory eligibility criteria brought by a woman denied a student loan because of her immigration status. David Hart QC
examines the judgment.
Employment: Proof of indirect discrimination
When it comes to indirect discrimination, what does an individual need to prove? Jenny Marley
reports on a recent Court of Appeal ruling.
Employment: TUPE and sub-contracting – who is the client?
considers a recent ruling involving a local authority where the Employment Appeal Tribunal tackled the thorny issue of who is the client for the purpose of TUPE in a sub-contracting situation.
Governance: Protecting the statutory officers
A Weightmans survey reveals considerable uncertainty around new protection for statutory officers. Graeme Creer
and Mark Leach
report on the findings.
Governance: Election petitions and service
The Divisional Court has dismissed an election petition on grounds of defective service. Greg Callus
Healthcare: Giving evidence in a criminal trial
Attending court as a witness to give evidence in a criminal trial can seem like a daunting prospect. Hannah Taylor
provides a practical steer for health and social care professionals so that they know what to expect and what they should be doing.
Housing: The absolute ground for possession - it works!
and Michael Owen
provide a case study on a housing association's successful use of the new Absolute Ground for Possession.
Housing: Possession proceedings and the best interests of children
Does section 11 of the Children Act 2004 require an authority to carry out an assessment of a child’s best interests before commencing a claim for possession of accommodation provided under Part 7 Housing Act 1996 where the authority’s duty to the tenant under Part 7 has come to an end? Toby Vanhegan
, Christopher Baker
and Sam Madge-Wyld
Information Law: Whistleblowing - protected disclosures
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered whether an employer had acted fairly in dismissing an employee who made a disclosure to the Information Commissioner's Office without approval. Helen Hughes
analyses the case.
Licensing: Safeguarding vulnerable people through taxi licensing
, LLG's National Lead Licensing & Litigation Officer, sets out some of the work being in done in the North East in relation to safeguarding and taxi licensing.
Litigation: Putting a stop to harassment
The High Court recently granted a local authority, councillors and officers an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Felicity McMahon
examines the ruling.
Litigation: Claims over poorly installed cavity wall insulation
considers the issues for local authorities and housing associations arising out of mis-sold or poorly installed cavity wall insulation.
Management: Reviewing legal services expenditure
looks at the steps public sector bodies can take to get the most out of their spend on legal services.
Management: An alternative view
reports how he has been persuaded that local authority-owned alternative business structures might work in certain circumstances, although he is yet to be fully won over.
Planning: Permission to speak freely?
reviews two recent court cases – including one involving an MP and a minister – where accusations of bias were made in relation to planning decisions.
Planning: Affordable housing and small scale sites
The Planning Court has issued a key judgment on affordable housing requirements for small scale housing sites and vacant building credit. The practical implications are of immediate effect to developers’ negotiations, writes Jenny Wigley
Procurement: Buying social
analyses what just what can be done and what can’t be done in respect of ‘buying social’ and buying ‘local’.
Procurement: Giving reasons to unsuccessful bidders
Issues over debriefing and the giving of reasons were to the fore in the most recent procurement challenge by European Dynamics. David Hansom
looks at the lessons to be learned.
Procurement: The Supreme Court on material change
The Supreme Court has provided guidance on material change in procurement contracts. Patrick Parkin
and John Houlden
analyse the ruling.
Property: Top 3 property litigation Q&As
The LexisPSL Local Government
service regularly publishes Q&As on property litigation. Here are three of the most popular.
Property: Assets of Community Value - how the regime works in practice
looks at Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act and analyses some of the problems and pitfalls.
Property: Listed building prosecutions: a practical guide
sets out the pitfalls that local planning authorities should avoid when bringing listed building prosecutions.
|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.
|Procurement Masterclass - The Tyranny of the "Sausage Machine"
||Michael Bowsher QC provides a personal view of some of the problems that the process-focused approach to public procurement is creating, and suggests some ways that lawyers can help achieve some of the social benefits it was intended to provide.
|The New Governance Landscape
||This presentation looks at how local authority lawyers can accomodate rapidly changing local government structures and delivery models against a legislative backdrop designed for another era.
|Lessons for Scrutiny from Rotherham and Mid-Staffs
||This presentation looks at the role that scrutiny - or the lack of it - played in the problems that came to light in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust and Rotherham Council and looks at how the effective systems of scrutiny can be designed and encouraged to pr
|New Delivery Models: Managing Governance in a Diverse Landscape
||As the number of new, and proposed, models for the delivery of public services continue to multiply, this course looks at the governance issues they create and how local authority lawyers and senior managers can manage an increasingly diverse landscape.
|Top Local Government Cases 2014
||Leading public law barrister James Goudie QC outlines and analyses the most important judicial decisions of 2014 as they affect local authorities.
|The Care Act 2014
||As the implementation of the Care Act 2014 fast approaches, this presentation identifies and explains the key elements of the Act that local authority lawyers need to be aware of.
|Equality Act Defences
||This course looks at the defences and tactics available to public authorities when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 and provides an overview of how to prevent claims arising in the first place through an examination of the case law.