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...
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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.
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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.
Council 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
Development 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.
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Trafficked 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.
Noise 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.
Confidentiality 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.
Successfully 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.
Employment 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.
Private 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.
The 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.
Unlimited 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
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
Property: October 2013 and chancel repair liability
October 2013 will be a key month for the issue of chancel repair liability. Rachel Stott
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.