Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: Eyes on the prize

The launch in the past week of three different procurement exercises for legal services frameworks emphasises that the market for providing advice to the public sector is still a substantial one, even if there remains huge downward pressure on fees. Read more...

State of the nation: please complete our Careers Survey. You will be entered into our draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher. All answers are treated anonymously.

Don't delay: Today (15 March) is the last chance to apply for the Head of Legal Services at Tameside MBC post. There are a number of senior locum roles available on our site at the moment, including: Managing Lawyer and Deputy Monitoring OfficerSenior Commercial Law and Litigation Lawyer, Senior Housing Locum, Senior Social Services Lawyer and Senior Planning Lawyer. Check our our searchable jobs board here. If you have vacancies to fill, job advertising on the site costs from just £150 + VAT. Click here for more details.

Book now: Conducting a Care Case (multiple dates); Development & Highways (multiple dates) and The Equality Act and Possession Proceedings (26 April).

LGL latest: 22,342 unique visitors last month (up 30% on February 2012).

News headlines

ProjectsCouncil "within its rights" to withhold key sites from neighbourhood forum High Court rejects judicial review challenge over decision to exclude two areas with development potential. Claimants argued that they were left with "artificially reduced rump area"

Claimants seek to take council tax reduction challenge to Supreme Court Application made for permission to appeal in Haringey case emerges as a second challenge to another authority's scheme fails in High Court 

Different treatment of family and unrelated foster carers "unlawful": High Court London borough's policy on payments not in accordance with statutory guidance

Court of Appeal rejects unfair dismissal claim by Baby P social workers Case centred on alleged double jeopardy over initial use of simplified disciplinary procedure, which only led to written warning

Councillor resigns after remarks to undercover reporters on planning system District council had referred matter to police; councillor denies having broken the law

Borough ordered to pay £35k to agency worker for disability discrimination Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened over issue of whether equality law protected agency workers

Four found guilty in one of largest fraud cases ever brought by a council Legal and trading standards teams at London borough lead way on £35.8m land banking fraud prosecution

District wins judicial review over wind turbines near Grade 1 listed building Inspector had failed properly to apply relevant planning policies on effect of development on setting of heritage assets

Judicial review of closure of Independent Living Fund begins in High Court Scheme closure in 2015 would leave claimants dependent on local authority services

New apprenticeship in legal services launched with government backing Vocational pathway in three areas initially that could lead to qualification ultimately as chartered legal executive

Ministers back new strike out powers in employment tribunals

DfE issues advice to schools on industrial action and breaches of contract

Top housing association launches £10m legal services tender

NHSLA puts £300-400m in legal work out to tender in panel shake-up 

Colleges, academies and universities plan legal services panels worth up to £140m

Goodbye 'self-represented litigants", welcome back 'litigants in person': MR

See all of our most recent news stories

New course on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Duties of consultation and disclosure owed in planning £35.00
You Save: 50.00%
This course looks at the duties owed by local authorities and other public bodies to disclose confidential information that informs decisions with an environmental impact and their duties to consult on such decisions.

All courses are CPD-qualifying. Your first course is FREE.

Departmental subscriptions from £495 + VAT for 12 months unlimited access.
Click here for details.

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonMajor works consultation: closing the section 20 bear-trap
Ranjit Bhose QC and Hugh Flanagan discuss how a recent decision of the Supreme Court has overhauled the way Leasehold Valuation Tribunals will approach the question of whether to dispense with the consultation requirements for major works service charges.

The case of the taxi prosecution and the missing records
A Magistrates' Court ruling on a council's apparent procedural failures has delivered a bombshell for taxi licensing authorities, writes Philip Kolvin QC.

Income from lease extensions
Charles Ward examines the prospect of tenants asking social landlords for an extension to their right-to-buy lease.

Trading places
Changing times, shrinking budgets and increased political focus are forcing all in local government to look well beyond their traditional turf. Nicholas Dobson looks at the background to trading by local authority legal departments.

Too good to be true?
Abnormally low tenders create serious risks - as was demonstrated by the collapse of Connaught plc in September 2010 - but the law about them is ambiguous. David Gollancz sets out the headline issues and arguments.

Privacy and data protection developments in 2013
From the EU's draft regulation to enforcement and penalties issued by the ICO, Robin Hopkins looks at the key developments in privacy and data protection to be expected in 2013.

Data mining
Eleanor Grey QC, Catherine Dobson and Jennifer Thelen look at the latest information law cases, which range from time limits to striking out, and from personal data to Prince Charles' correspondence.

Taking a measured approach
The Metropolitan Police recently failed in a bid to overturn a ruling that it had breached the common law, the Disability Discrimination Act and various articles of the ECHR in its handling of an autistic, epileptic young man. The team at 39 Essex Street examine the court's reasoning.

The amended scope of section 106 renegotiation procedures
The government has overhauled the framework for the renegotiation of s. 106 agreements. Chris Slater and James Garbett consider the changes. 

Tree roots and the section 58 defence
Lorna Herring and Thomas Crockett report on a tripping case where a local authority successfully made out the defence in section 58 of the Highways Act 1980.

The latest blogs...
Infrastructure project decision time as NID changes to MAP by Angus Walker
This entry reports on progress on nationally significant project applications, and changes to the management of the Planning Inspectorate. 

Snap judgement: Do you think that the Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis's comments that monitoring officers are providing poor advice to their authorities underlines the need for monitoring to be legally-qualified?

Yes - A proper understanding of the law is essential to do the job to the required standard

No - A focus on legal technicalities can prevent MOs from taking a wider view

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: A robust approach The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street  analyses a High Court judge's approach to the strains on the Official Solicitor in accepting invitations to act in health and welfare applications and the appointment of family members as a litigation friend.

Children's Services: The Court of Protection and practice points from the Family Division The team at 39 Essex Street examine some recent practice points from the Family Division that are relevant to the Court of Protection.

Community Safety: The case of the absent premises licence holder and the summary review Paddy Whur discusses recent summary review hearings that he has been involved in, where the premises licence holder has been the landlord. He looks at issues faced by both the police and the premises licence holder.

Employment: Whistleblowing - new challenges for employers Ceri Widdett examines the potential impact on employers of proposed reforms to whistle-blowing legislation.

Governance: Vexatious requests: the view from the Upper Tribunal The Upper Tribunal has provided definitive guidance on freedom of information/EIR requests that are vexatious or manifestly unreasonable. Robin Hopkins reviews its conclusions.

Housing: Homeless families - when is a family accommodated "together"? The Supreme Court has just made an important decision about what counts as suitable accommodation for a homeless family. Stephen McNamara looks at some of the issues.

Licensing: Reasons - to be cheerful? The importance of licensing sub-committees providing reasons for their decisions has been re-confirmed by the High Court, writes Michelle Hazlewood.

Litigation: Silence is not necessarily golden Gordon Exall considers the practical issues that arise from the principle that a court can draw adverse inferences from a party's failure to adduce evidence on an issue.

Planning: Agricultural buildings - the 'reasonably necessary' test under Part 6 There are potential pitfalls for local planning authorities when it comes to agricultural buildings and the 'reasonably necessary' test under Part 6, writes Martin Goodall.

Procurement: The use of Teckal company structures in public service: part 2 - mutualisation Amy Auton-Smith and Simon Thomas look at some of the legal issues arising in relation to using a Teckal company to kick-start a move towards public service mutualisation, with a focus upon private companies limited by shares as the preferred vehicle.

Property: Registering town and village greens: the biggest cases of 2012 There was a significant throughput of litigation in relation to town and village greens in 2012. Paul Wilmshurst analyses the key rulings and looks ahead to the next 12 months.

Regulatory: Planning control and advertisements Polly Reynolds and Mary Tate consider the important role that local planning authorities have in relation to the control of advertisements.

Local Government Law.tv

We are pleased to announce the introduction of an annual corporate subscription that will provide access to a full year of CPD accredited legal training for your lawyers and your client departments

What is included

  • unlimited access to the full library of webinar content for 12 months
  • the option to purchase DVD copies of the webinar training
  • discounted rates offered to attend LGG training courses
 Who can take the training?
  • lawyers and other professionals within your team, each of whom will be provided with personal login to enable them to earn and keep a record of their individual CPD credit.
  • members of your client departments, such as the child protection team, trading standards officers, planners, procurement professionals or social workers. On purchasing a corporate subscription, a client account login will be provided for use by your client departments to view online content at no extra charge.
What is the cost?
  • the cost relates to the numbers of individual registered users per authority, excluding those who use the client account.  These users will be registered for the full year of the subscription with the option to replace a registered user if somebody leaves the authority during the year of subscription.  Option 1 below
  • a DVD option will supply a DVD for every webinar booked – Option 2 below
  • in addition to option 1 a DVD can be purchased for an individual webinar at an additional £15 + VAT if required.  This can be ordered when booking the webinar
  • for a shared legal service serving more than one authority area, references to the number of registered users are to the combined aggregate number of users from the relevant authorities
  • registered users of a corporate subscription will benefit from discounted offers to attend LGG training events during the 12 months.
  Option 1
Online only
Option 2
Online + DVD
Individual subscription £199 (+VAT) £349 (+VAT)
Local authority with up to 10 registered users £495 (+VAT) £945 (+VAT)
Local authority with 10 – 30 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Local authority with more than 30 registered users £1295 (+VAT) £2295 (+VAT)
Law firms with up to 20 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Law firms with 20+ registered users £1500 (+VAT) £2495 (+VAT)
 How to register for a corporate subscription
Individual subscriptions can be purchased online at www.localgovernmentlaw.tv.
To set up a corporate account please contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917 or derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlaw.tv giving details of your authority, the number of users you would like to register and if you would like to take the DVD option for all booked webinars.
We will then contact you within 24 hours to confirm this subscription has been set up.  The corporate subscription members will then be able to register on the site and instantly access the webinar training.
Alternatively, if you would like to pay-as-you-go for webinar training by setting up a corporate pay-as-you-go account for your authority a monthly invoice will be produced and a 10% discount will be applied to all purchases by members of your authority.
There is also the option to take a free trial of a webinar (which includes CPD credit).  Register as a user on www.localgovernmentlaw.tv  and add your preferred course to the cart. During the checkout process, enter FREE TRIAL in the box where indicated (don't forget to click 'Submit'), and the cost of your course will be reduced to zero. Complete the process and your course will be instantly available to view and you can watch it as many times as required for 30 days, from any computer or most mobile devices.

Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (102)

Head of Legal Services, Tameside MBC. To £70,000.

Jobs of the week

Managing Lawyer and Deputy Monitoring Officer
A rare opportunity has arisen for a Managing Lawyer and Deputy Monitoring Officer to join a local authority in the Northern Home Counties on a locum basis for a minimum of four months.

Senior Commercial Law and Litigation Lawyer
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Senior Commercial Law and Litigation Lawyer to join a local authority in the East of England.

Locum Prosecutions Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen in Staffordshire for a Locum Lawyer with previous experience dealing with prosecutions and litigation.

Locum Contracts Lawyer
Our client is seeking an experienced Contracts Lawyer to join a local authority in East London.

Social Care Lawyer
A highly regarded South London borough is seeking a social services lawyer for an ongoing duration.

Interim Commercial Property Solicitor
You will join this public sector body in the North West to assist with a particularly busy period.

Other featured jobs

Housing Solicitor
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Housing Solicitor to join a public sector body in the East Midlands. 

Senior Planning Lawyer
We are currently recruiting a Senior Planning Lawyer to join a local authority in central London. 

Contracts and Procurement Lawyer
A well regarded borough in North London is seeking a Commercial Contracts and Procurement Lawyer to join its team as soon as possible.

Locum Conveyancer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Legal Executive, Conveyancer or Paralegal to join a local authority in the Durham area. 

Senior Housing Locum
A public sector organisation in the South East is looking for a Senior Housing Locum.

Senior Commercial Paralegal
An exciting opportunity for a talented paralegal or contracts manager to join a highly regarded commercial organisation.

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