Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: Challenging times

The Government's decision last week to scrap the competition to run the West Coast rail franchise came out of the blue. The Department for Transport blamed the discovery of "significant technical flaws" and said it would not contest the judicial review brought by Virgin Trains. But what will be the outcome of another judicial review hearing where the successsful bidder was another member of the Virgin group? Read more...

Now hiring: The London Borough of Southwark is recruiting a Senior Childcare Lawyer on a part-time basis. Check out our jobs board for the latest opportunities!

Write for us: lawyers from a wide range of local authorities as well as law firms and chambers have provided articles in recent weeks. Contact the Editor if you are interested in contributing.

NEED CPD? Why not try Local Government Law.tv? Our sale has been extended: courses start from just £14 + VAT and don't forget that your first course is free! 12 months unlimited access is just £199 + VAT. Click here to see the full catalogue.

New courses on the site: The Licensing Act 2003 This looks at the powers available to licensing authorities, the process by which these powers should be exercised and the avenues for licensees to challenges decisions made by licensing committees. Updated courses on Local Government Law.tv include: Trafficked Children: The Safeguarding Role of Local Authorities, Competitive Dialogue, Shared Services after LAML, Local Authority Joint Ventures, State Aid and Staff Mutuals.

News headlines

ProjectsCouncil and NHS trust face legal action over outsourcing of children's services Public sector equality challenge over decision to hand contract to Virgin Care

Equalities watchdog intervenes in care home funding judicial review Equality and Human Rights Commission to outline responsibilities of public authorities

Council-owned airport business fails in negligence claim against Eversheds High Court judge says Newcastle International Airport suffered loss because of failings on part of non-executive directors

Supplier of gaming machines first to be jailed under the Gambling Act Supplier of 'Skillette' machines also ordered to pay £120k costs

Supreme Court hears landmark case on Welsh Assembly powers Attorney General questioned whether assembly had gone beyond its legislative competence with Bill streamlining procedures for local byelaws

FT hands pioneer award to Wild and Kent CC for Law:Public venture Kent's director of governance and law had also been shortlisted for legal innovator of the year award

Prosecution by council sees record fine under environmental permitting regime Rendering company ordered to pay £120,000 fine over odours  

Off-roaders fail in High Court bid to open up rural routes Failure to comply with strict mapping rules in Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Pickles promises councils new powers to prevent illegal encampment Communities Secretary announces plans for 'stop notices' and unlimited fines for planning breaches

DfT suspends three officials after West Coast franchise competition axed Plans to award contract to FirstGroup scrapped after discovery of "significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted"

Welsh Government names counsel for revamped legal panels Clive Lewis QC of 11KBW retains position as First Counsel. Seven other silks make QCs panel

BSB delays new contractual terms for barristers by three months Introduction delayed by three months to give time for adjustment

LGO attacks council for charging family top-up fees for residential care

County council hails rejection of JR challenge to link road funding decision

MPs express concern over 'off-payroll' deals in local government and NHS

Criminal law barristers warn of potential judicial review over QASA scheme

East of England educational bodies to set up £2.5m legal services framework

HSE starts operating Fee for Intervention cost recovery scheme

See all of our most recent news stories

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonDevelopment agreements and the EU procurement rules - once again
A new line of attack was attempted in a recent High Court case on the issue of development agreements and the EU procurement rules. Nathan Holden and Stephen Pearson examine the judgment.

Tackling finance leases
Mis-sold finance leases for IT equipment and the like can leave schools with huge debts. Alex Kynoch sets out what they and local authorities can do about the problem.

It's our asset and we'll bid if we want to
The Government's regulations on the Community Right to Bid - particularly in relation to compensation - will have a massive impact on the vast majority of local authorities, warns Olwen Dutton.

The failure to stop disability harassment
The European Court of Human Rights has recently ruled that a state's failure to stop disability harassment amounted to inhuman treatment. Maria Roche analyses a very significant ruling.

Mind the (surveillance) gap
Will local authorities continue to be able to do 'non-RIPA surveillance'? Ibrahim Hasan considers its lawfulness.

The stuff of dreams
A plan to regenerate the famous Dreamland site in Margate shows the usefulness of a key power in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, writes Martin Edwards

The battle against insufficient occupation
A recent High Court case looks set to change the way local authorities assess what amounts to sufficient commercial property occupation in order for businesses to secure rates exemptions. Andrew Rogers explains.

A taxing question on VAT
Recent cases at home and abroad have cast doubt on HMRC's established position on Transfers of Going Concern, writes Bill Chandler.

Local Government Law.tv

Featured Courses on Local Government Law.tv

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

All courses now also available on DVD


Field CourtTrafficked Children: The Safeguarding Role of Local Authorities The aim of this webinar is to draw attention to the problem of child trafficking and the role local authorities have in combating it.

EnCentreNoise Update This webinar concerns the subject of noise as a statutory nuisance. Referencing some of the more notable noise nuisance cases the presentation runs through the statutory duties and provides an overview of the key stages and enforcement mechanisms in place.

Keating ChambersConfidentiality v Transparency in Public Procurement The aim of this webinar is to give a practical grounding in the public procurement process and how to effectively balance the competing interests between a competitive procurement process with transparency duties.

TPPSuccessfully Resolving Workplace Conflicts Workplace disputes can be time consuming and costly.This course provides guidance on disciplinary and grievance procedures including an explanation of relevant case law and legislation.

BirkettsEmployment Restructuring and Reorganisation This course will give an overview of the key employment issues that arise when carrying out a restructuring and reorganisation exercise, outlining the steps that should be followed and the issues to be considered.

St PhilipsPrivate Sewers, Drains and Rubbish The aim of this webinar is to remind delegates of the procedures relating to unused material, from the investigation stage of a case to the Court proceedings stage.

Poppleston AllenThe Licensing Act 2003 This course looks at the powers available to licensing authorities, the process by which these powers should be exercised and the avenues for licensees to challenges decisions made by licensing committees.

LGLtvUnlimited access for 12 months Unlimited access to all online content on Local Government Law.tv for just £199 + VAT with the option to add a full day LGG course for £150 +VAT, covering all of your annual CPD needs for less than £350 (+VAT).

Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (96)

The latest blogs...

How the Government will reform the infrastructure planning regime by Angus Walker
This entry is an explanation of how the Government is intending to implement the infrastructure planning reforms announced on 6 September.

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: Davis, Winterbourne View and the difficulty of safeguarding
In the light of the reaction to Winterbourne View and the Davis case, we should not forget the difficult task faced daily by those responsible for safeguarding vulnerable adults, argues Michael Furminger.

Children's Services: Capacity to consent and adoption The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street examine a High Court ruling on a mother's capacity to consent to an agreement under s. 20 of the Children Act 1989 that would see her child placed for adoption.

Community Safety: Police security clearance and public law powers The Administrative Court recently found that a police authority could not alter the fundamental public law nature of security clearance functions by considering them to be mere private law contractual matters. Nicholas Dobson reports. 

Employment: No compromise? Robin Hopkins looks at the outcome of cases where local authorities and NHS trusts received freedom of information requests for compromise agreements, officers' identities and the like. 

Governance: Data privacy breaches and outsourcing With the Information Commissioner recently handing out huge fines to two public bodies for privacy breaches, Alison Deighton examines how the risks involved in outsourcing the processing of data can be mitigated.

Housing: Stock control A recent Court of Appeal ruling on human rights and defences to possession will give registered providers better control of their stock, says Sian Gibbon.

Licensing: Duty calls Paddy Whur examines MPs' criticism of customs officials for failing to crack down on criminal gangs who dodge alcohol tax. He also highlights cases where one licensing authority has had success in prosecuting licensees for breaking the law in this regard.

Litigation: Recovering social care debt Caroline Sanders analyses some of the legal complexities that can affect a social care debt recovery case, such as the overlap with care provided under mental health legislation, NHS funded continuing healthcare, deprivation of assets and estate administration. 

Planning: In development The Supreme Court has issued an important ruling on the interpretation of development plan policies, writes John Bosworth.

Procurement: Trading places The European Court of Justice recently found that the Netherlands was in breach of the procurement rules in respect of award criteria. Elizabeth Gibson examines the case. 

Projects: Property companies - a way forward for local authorities? A number of councils are looking to develop free-standing organisations to develop their property interests through what is sometimes known as a 'prop co'. Is this a good idea and how should they go about it? Nathan Holden and Stephen Pearson explain.

Property: October 2013 and chancel repair liability October 2013 will be a key month for the issue of chancel repair liability. Rachel Stott explains why.

Regulatory: A health and safety sentencing tool-kit Ben Mills sets out a tool-kit for defence and prosecution lawyers that will establish the foundation for quality advocacy at health and safety sentencing hearings.


Jobs of the week

Senior Childcare Lawyer
The London Borough of Southwark is looking for a Senior Childcare Lawyer to work on a permanent, part-time/job share basis.

Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer
An interim Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer is required by a public sector organisation based in the North West.

Litigation Locum
A litigator with Proceeds of Crime Act experience is urgently sought.

Contracts and Procurement Locum
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Commercial Contracts and Procurement Locum to join a local authority in the West Midlands for at least six months. 

Public Sector Solicitor
This well regarded defendant insurance practice has created a new role within its public sector police team in Liverpool. 

Litigation Lawyer
A highly regarded local authority in Kent is looking for an experienced public law litigator to join it on a locum basis. 

Childcare Solicitor
A reputable local authority in the Wrexham area requires a Childcare Solicitor. 

Employment Solicitor
A local authority in the Greater Manchester area is recruiting an Employment Solicitor for six months, with possibilities for extension.

Commercial Dispute Solicitor
A  firm in the Bristol area is looking for a Commercial Dispute Resolution Lawyer with previous experience of disputes involving the private and public sectors. 

Other featured jobs

Prosecutions Locum
A local authority in the West Midlands is looking for a Prosecutions Locum on a part-time basis for one to three months. 

Commercial Property Solicitor
A local authority in the South of England is looking for a Commercial Property Solicitor to join its friendly team.

Childcare Advocate
An interesting opportunity has arisen for a Childcare Advocate to join a South London borough.

Childcare and Adult Solicitor
An opportunity has arisen for a locum Childcare and Adult Solicitor in the Birmingham area.

Data Protection and FOI Lawyer
An experienced Data Protection and FOI Solicitor is required urgently.

Housing Lawyer
A housing association in the North West is recruiting a Housing Lawyer to handle a caseload of social housing matters. 

Legal Officer, Housing
A North West housing association is hiring a Legal Officer on a part-time basis.

Planning Lawyer
A local authority in the North East is recruiting a Locum Planning Lawyer with previous experience of local government.

Case Handler
A healthcare regulator is looking for a Fitness to Practise Case Handler.

Interim Legal Counsel
Based in the heart of the City, this busy in-house legal team is looking for an interim Legal Counsel to cover a period of maternity leave.  

EL/PL Claims Handler
A large employer in the Walsall area is looking for an EL/PL Claims Handler for a temporary role. Could go permanent for the right applicant.

Commercial Locum
The well-respected commercial department of a firm in the North East requires a Commercial Locum for a period of at least 2-3 months.

Search all jobs 

Featured courses and events

Climate Change Governance Conference - Kingston University - 2nd November
This includes the prospect of climate change litigation and judicial reviews against local government

Employment Law Update - Jordans
London - 11th October
Manchester - 15th October

Court of Protection Practice and Procedure 2012 - Jordans - 15 October

Housing Allocations and Homelessness - Jordans
London - 30 November
Leeds - 27 November
Birmingham - 29 November
Manchester - 28 November

An Introduction to Pensions on Divorce - Family Law

Contested Disclosure - Hardwicke - 23 October

Getting the best out of Mediation - Field Court Chambers - 16 October

Preparation for Trial - Field Court Chambers - 25th October

Advocacy Skills for Family Lawyers - Family Law - 12 October

Equality Act, Defective Premises Act & tenant cashback schemes - Hardwicke - 8 November 2012

Reducing the Burden of VAT for Charities - Jordans

Search all courses and events

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