Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: An autumnal chill

George Osborne's third Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer had one particular kick to the solar plexus for local government - a further 2% cut in funding for 2014/15.

Describing the cut as “unsustainable”, the Local Government Association pointed out that local authorities already faced a possible £1bn cut to funding for 2013/14 on top of the 28% reduction set out in the spending review. Read more...

Read our Procurement Law: Special Report 2012 in association with Bevan Brittan.

Features on LGL this week: Using s. 34 of the Children Act; local government standards; possession actions against introductory tenants; property litigation update; excluding bidders from procurements; defending procurement challenges; reforms to employment settlement agreements; the Government response to Justice Committee FOI report; battles over wind farm separation distances.

New courses on Local Government Law.tv: Support for People from Abroad.  Other recent additions include: Leaving CareAge Disputes - Child or Adult?Inter-authority Disputes, and  s.17 or s.20: Is there a duty to accommodate?, The Care and Support Bill and The Licensing Act 2003.

Unlimited access corporate subscriptions to Local Government Law.tv are now available, starting at just £495 + VAT for 12 months, including free access for your client departments. Contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917 or by email.

News headlines

ProjectsBarnet Council faces second judicial review challenge over outsourcing programme Public Interest Lawyers sends pre-action letter attacking One Barnet programme. See also: Cabinet Office at Barnet approves £320m outsourcing contract the threat of JR looms

Bristol turns to NHS trust for successor as head of legal joins VWV Liam Nevin to replace departing Stephen McNamara

Chief executive tells council to scrap role and boost commercial skills instead County looking to generate more income and reduce reliance on central government funding

Chancery Lane calls for delay in implementing civil justice reforms Law Society President warns of potential chaos if changes go ahead in April 2013

Applicant for private hire licence convicted of trying to bribe council official Oldham man convicted of Bribery Act offence

ICO relief as Government steers clear of application fees for FOI requests But watchdog expresses concern at possible reduction in cost limit or increase in activities that count towards its calculation

Pickles confirms first regional strategy to be axed next month Order laid in Parliament says East of England strategy will be revoked on 3 January

Ministers vow to cut hospital placements for people learning disabilities Programme of action to include plans for greater accountability of boards and senior managers, work on ensuring compliance with deprivation of liberty safeguards

Only half of public authorities meeting equality info duty, says watchdog Equality and Human Rights Commission reports on levels of compliance with specific duty to publish equality information on workforces and service users

Councils and providers "must work together before formal procurement": NLGN and CBI report Half of commissioners agree that councils should move away from long-term contracts

Met Police takes number of arrests to 1,000+ in latest licensing crackdown The Metropolitan Police has made 297 arrests in the latest stage of its crackdown on licensing issues, Operation Condor.

MPs call for 'off-the-shelf' models and guidance to boost mutuals Committee also urge changes to procurement rules to create level playing field

Judge recuses from wind farm case over NT, English Heritage membership Dispute over location of proposed wind farm near Grade 1 listed site

Law firms with rated public sector practices agree £95m merger Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees to become Bond Dickinson

Pickles slams "regulatory creep" of EU legislation in planning field Communities Secretary publishes explanatory memorandum on EU proposals to amend directive on environmental impact assessments

Council crackdown on housing tenancy fraud reveals fraudsters in Dubai, NZ

DVLA suspends councils from accessing database after abuses uncovered

LGO accuses council of breaching the law as boy goes without education

LGO tells council to review way it deals with homelessness applications

See all of our most recent news stories


The Changing Face of the Public Sector.

Lord Hutton of Furness

Watch Lord Hutton of Furness address the ACSeS Development Forum 2012.

Click on the image to begin.

(Can't see the video? Click here for alternative version)

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonAre we missing a trick?
Julie Stather examines the advantages to child, parents and local authority of using the under-utilised section 34 of the Children Act.

Standards of conduct revisited
It has been a year of significant change in the field of local government standards. Frances Woodhead reviews the key developments and sets out practical points authorities should consider.

Possession actions against introductory tenants
Matthew Hyam reports on a social landlord's successful High Court challenge to an adverse decision about the wording of a notice seeking possession against an anti-social introductory tenant. 

Squatting, clamping and beds in sheds
Steven Eccles and Kate O'Brien look at the implications for local authorities of three recent developments: the new offence of squatting in residential property; the ban on the clamping and removal of vehicles parked on private land; and dealing with rogue landlords.

Unfairly excluding bidders
A recent Court of Appeal ruling in Northern Ireland has highlighted the difficult issues that contracting authorities face when it comes to excluding bidders from procurement processes. Ian Tucker analyses the judgment.

Defence mechanisms
Against a backdrop of rising litigation over procurement processes, Fran Mussellwhite looks at what contracting authorities can do to protect themselves.

Unsettling times
Maeve Vickery explains some of the major concerns with the Government's proposed new law covering employment settlement agreements.

Subject to close scrutiny
The Government has published its response to a Justice Committee report on the workings of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Ibrahim Hasan looks at the key points.

Degrees of separation
Battle has been joined in Milton Keynes over wind farm separation distances. James Burton explains the background to the case.

The latest blogs...
It's a hard road - who benefits from the Autumn Statement by Angus Walker
Yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne MP delivered his third autumn statement along with a flurry of other government announcements. 

Snap judgement: Will the government's review of the judicial review process...

Decrease the number of judicial reviews
Increase the number of judicial reviews
Make no difference

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: The gap with Strasbourg on deprivations of liberty widens The (relative) flurry of decisions from Strasbourg on deprivation of liberty in the context of care homes continues apace and suggests an increasing divergence from the approach taken by courts in England and Wales. The team at 39 Essex Street review the latest judgment.

Children's Services: Setting up social impact bonds Essex County Council has been at the forefront of the development of social impact bonds. Richard Curl explains what was involved. 

Community Safety: Outright or suspended? The Court of Appeal has considered the correct approach to be taken in discretionary residential possession cases involving previous incidents of anti-social behaviour. Andy Lane analyses the implications of the judgment.

Employment: Dismissal and Article 11 rights A recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights on the dismissal of a BNP councillor from his job as a driver is a significant one for local authorities, says Allison Cook.

Governance: FOI and datasets Ibrahim Hasan runs the rule over the Government's draft code of practice on datasets.

Housing: Zambrano carers - so near and yet so far Donald Broatch reviews the latest developments in relation to Zambrano carers, including two sets of regulations and a ruling from the Court of Appeal.

Licensing: Testing times Paddy Whur looks at who can be liable for committing an offence under s. 146 of the Licensing Act in relation to underage sales, as well as the defences available under this section.

Litigation: Remedial action and freak accidents The Court of Appeal has dismissed a claim from a 15-year-old girl who was injured at school before planned remedial work to a set of doors had been undertaken. Nick Holgate examines the ruling

Planning: History in the making Richard Harwood analyses the important heritage reforms contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012 that is currently progressing through Parliament.

Procurement: All in the past? Nathan Holden sets out some of the key challenges arising from the recent Cabinet Office procurement policy note on taking into account of bidders' past performance.

Projects:  Incremental approach Tax increment finance is now law. So what can it do for your project? Nick Maltby reports. 

Property: Can't get no relief? The High Court has handed down another important decision in relation to empty properties rate relief. Niall Murphy analyses the case, which involved a council in the North West.

Regulatory: Watchful eye Councils need to spell out how their use of surveillance powers is saving taxpayers' money and protecting vulnerable residents, writes Cllr Mehboob Khan

Local Government Law.tv

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Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (96) New courses due in the next few weeks include content on outsourcing, fostering and adoption, the Community Infrastructure Levy, mediation, shared services, child protection, redundancy, village greens and the NPPF. Other forthcoming content includes a webinar on resources and community care as well as updates on procurement and judicial review and a series of practical litigation courses including webinars on disclosure and preparing for trial.

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Jobs of the week
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Childcare Locum Solicitor
The post holder should be a qualified solicitor or barrister, preferably with current local authority childcare litigation experience.

Planning Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen in the Newcastle area for a Locum Planning Lawyer with local government experience.

Planning and Property Locum
A local authority in the East of England wishes to recruit a Planning and Property Lawyer.

Planning Solicitor
An experienced local authority Planning Solicitor is required for three days a week to cover a period of long term sick leave.

Housing Litigation Lawyer
A local authority in the East of England is looking to hire a Housing Lawyer.

Litigation Locum
A Government litigator with Proceeds of Crime Act experience is urgently sought for a long-term locum role.

Childcare Locum
A successful local authority legal team in the South West is looking for a Childcare Locum.

Contracts Lawyer
A local authority in London is looking for a Contracts Lawyer to join its legal services team.

Other featured jobs

Commercial Contracts Locum
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Contracts and Procurement Lawyer in the North West. 

Adult/Community Care Lawyer
A local authority within a 50-minute commute of London is looking for an Adult and Community Care Lawyer.

Employment Lawyer
An exciting opportunity for an experienced Employment Solicitor to join a growing firm.

Interim Employment Lawyer
A large, well-known organisation is looking for an Employment Lawyer to work on an exciting project. 

Criminal Regulatory Lawyer
A Public Lawyer with either a criminal or regulatory background is required for a part-time, ongoing locum assignment.

Commercial Property
A fantastic opportunity for a Commercial Property Solicitor to join a North West-based company.

Education Lawyer
A highly regarded local authority in Hertfordshire is seeking an Education Lawyer.

Childcare Legal Assistant
An opportunity has arisen for a Legal Assistant to join a local authority in the West Yorkshire area.

Childcare Legal Assistant
A local authority in East Anglia is looking for a Childcare Legal Assistant.

Property Litigation Paralegal
You will be supporting one of the firm's partners with their busy property litigation caseload.

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