Councils review ties with law firm that boasted of 'win' in SEN case
Councils ditch or suspend work with education law firm after messages sent via its Twitter account appeared to boast about court ‘win’ over parents of children with special educational needs.
Planning permission for wind turbine quashed over £1m community donation
Council unlawfully took account of payments promised by planning applicant when it granted permission for wind turbine, High Court rules
Disabled claimant given green light to challenge cuts to care package
Judge gives disabled man permission to bring legal challenge against council after it decided to reduce his care package. Case is thought to be first of its kind since Care Act came into force
Council warns chief constable of legal action over scrapping of city division
City council sents letter before action to Chief Constable threatening judicial review challenge if he presses ahead with plans to scrap city division
MUST READ FOR GOVERNANCE LAWYERS: Politically restricted posts and the EU referendum
Ian de Prez
looks at the issues around whether a politically restricted local government officer can participate in the EU referendum campaign.
Private hire operator loses licence for running taxi business outside district
District council revokes licence of private hire operator, as well as hackney carriage licences for five of his vehicles, after he was found to be running his taxi business outside of district
Supreme Court to hear appeal by council on compensation after pier closure
Judges will next week hear council’s appeal over an order that it should pay more than £2m in compensation plus legal costs to the operators of a business on a seaside pier it temporarily shut down.
High Court quashes appointment of social worker to supervise sex offender
Council succeeds in having court order quashed that would have made inexperienced and unwilling social worker the supervisor of child sex offender
Prosecution by watchdog sees adult care provider fined £190k
Adult social care provider fined £190,000 after being prosecuted by Care Quality Commission for failing in its duty to provide safe care and treatment
ON THE MARKETPLACE
City college launches tender for employment law advice
Browne Jacobson boosts healthcare offering with Charlton hire
Walker Morris hires Webster as director in infrastructure team
MORE NEWS STORIES....
Campaigners launch legal action against council over spending on harbour
Local activists are taking legal action against borough council over condition of tourist attractions in historic port of Whitby
Supreme Court to hear case on disability discrimination and public services
Supreme Court hears dispute on reasonable adjustments which bus company is required to make to accommodate disabled wheelchair users
Local authority faces judicial review challenge over siting of new school
Metropolitan borough council faces judicial review over its choice of site for new school
Court to consider if dog breeding licence legal action should proceed
Administrative Court will later this month decide whether to allow judicial review challenge to proceed to full hearing over council’s decision to grant dog breeding licence
MUST READ FOR PROCUREMENT/PROJECTS LAWYERS: Competitive dialogue for local authorities: basic principles
Having been involved in six Competitive Dialogues including the Kent County Council Back Office Procurement, Adeola Sonola
draws on her experience and examines the issues involved in a CD process, giving practical tips on how to ensure a successful outcome.
LGO refers admission arrangements at primary to watchdog over legality
Ombudsman to refer primary school’s admission arrangements to Office of the Schools Adjudicator for it to consider their legality, amid concern over religious questionnaire
Welsh councils hail ditching of plans to reduce number from 22 to 8 or 9
Councils in Wales react positively to announcement by new Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government that plans to cut number of councils from 22 to 8 or 9 are to be revised
Local society wins permission to challenge sale by council of seafront land
High Court judge gives permission to Whitstable Society to bring judicial review challenge over decision by city council to sell land near town’s seafront
Meat suppliers win permission for challenge over appeals against watchdog
Industry body given permission to bring judicial review proceedings over Food Standards Agency’s powers to prevent challenges to decisions by its veterinary surgeons
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Brexit and state aid
Will ‘Brexit’ free the UK from State aid rules? Jonathan Branton reports.
Models of building control provision
Helen Randall discusses legal issues related to alternative models of building control provision.
Bringing a bit of order to planning conditions
Richard Harwood OBE QC examines the messy state of planning conditions, and calls for the introduction of simplicity to the area.
False imprisonment, causation and damages claims
A recent Supreme Court ruling provides a reminder of the importance of causation in damages claims for false imprisonment. Eirwen Pierrot explains its relevance to mental health law and the Court of Protection.
Trespassers and proportionality
A High Court judge recently considered whether one local authority's bid to evict a trespasser was proportionate in circumstances where another council had accepted a duty to the man as a homeless person. Emily Orme analyses the outcome.
Obtaining meaningful procurement remedies
When an incumbent provider last year challenged a council's award of a contract for domestic violence services, a High Court judge maintained the automatic suspension. Fran Mussellwhite looks at what happened next.
How to surrender a lease
It is not always clear whether or when a lease has been surrendered by operation of law. Actions, rather than words, matter, so it is crucial for both landlords and tenants to realise the implications of their conduct, writes Elizabeth Thompson.
What now for trust ports?
Lara Moore examines the key findings and recommendations from the Department for Transport’s trust port study.
Wales Bill to remove some Welsh projects from Planning Act 2008 by Angus Walker
On Tuesday, the Wales Bill had its first reading (i.e. publication) in Parliament, a draft version having been considered in the previous session of Parliament.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Direct payments under the Care Act
reports on the outcome of a High Court challenge brought by recipients over the suspension of accreditation of a direct payments service used by more than 3,000 people.
Adult Social Services: State imputability
A ruling by the Deputy President of the Court of Protection imposes more obligations on local authorities, financial deputies and the courts, writes Nageena Khalique QC
Adult Social Services: Reasons challenges to charging and care home fees decisions
examines a High Court ruling on whether reasons challenges can be brought against local authority charging and care home fees decisions.
Children: The Supreme Court on Article 15
The Supreme Court recently examined the Article 15 discretionary power in proceedings relating to the welfare of two young girls. Katherine Couper
looks at the key findings.
Children: Cheshire West and children
considers how the courts are applying the Cheshire West
principles to Children Act cases.
Children: Transition to education, health and care plans
LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Anita Chopra
and Chris Barnett
, set out a checklist for moving children from statements to the new regime of education, health and care plans.
Children: Age assessment and litigation fairness
The Court of Appeal has handed down a wide-reaching judgment that directly concerns age assessment cases, but the principles enunciated apply to all litigation (private and public), writes Peter Oldham QC
Community Safety: PCCs - end of term report
What impact have Police and Crime Commissioners had since their introduction? Sarah Ellson
and David Northfield
Education: Term time holidays – what you need to know!
In the aftermath of the High Court's recent ruling, where are we when it comes to prosecutions for failing to ensure regular attendance at school? Richard Freeth
Education: School standards and religious rights
analyses a recent First-tier Tribunal education case concerning school standards and religious rights.
Education: Censorship or justified concern?
A High Court judge recently heard a group of academics' judicial review challenge to a university's decision to withdraw permission for a conference on international law and Israel. Dominic Ruck Keene
analyses the judgment. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Education: Academies and public law: Pt 2
In the second in a two-part series, Mark Johnson
looks at what academies should consider when carrying out consultation. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Education: Public law pitfalls for academies
In the first of a two-part series, Mark Johnson
looks at issues around inadequate consultation and other public law pitfalls for academies.
Employment: Stand by me?
A teacher who stood by her sex-offender husband has succeeded in an indirect religious discrimination claim. Richard Hewitt
Employment: Contractual staff handbooks
A recent Court of Appeal decision highlights the limitations of contractual staff handbooks for employers, writes Jessica Ryan
Employment: Wider still, and wider?
considers a recent case involving a London borough and the wide range of circumstances in which employees may bring claims of discrimination arising from disability.
Employment: Malicious emails and privacy
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently considered whether an employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in malicious emails sent to a work colleague. Mark Stevens
Governance: Making collaboration work
In the first entry of a new blog, Olwen Dutton
considers what makes public services collaboration work - and the role of local authority lawyers in delivering success.
Governance: Electoral law case update
With elections taking place, Tom Tabori
looks at the lessons to be learned from recent cases on electoral law.
Governance: Community engagement and social media
How can local government minimise the risks when using social media to boost community engagement? Dan Read
Governance: Combined authorities – accountability is key
With the drive to greater regional devolution, combined authorities, local authorities and other key stakeholders will need to address significant issues around accountability, writes Anja Beriro
Governance: Audits and auditors - England
In partnership with Stephen Sheen
, the LexisPSL Local Government
team highlights key features of external audit and internal audit in England.
Healthcare: Creating a sustainable healthcare system
Housing: Sub-letting: have you got the best evidence?
In the pursuit of a sustainable healthcare system local government must not be left behind, write Michael Boyd and Judith Barnes.
Healthcare: The CoP and reporting restrictions after death
The Court of Protection has recently considered whether reporting restrictions in a case should continue after the individual's death. Rosalind English reports.
considers some of the issues arising, and the court procedures available to, social landlords taking possession action because the tenant is believed to have sub-let or parted with possession of the demised premises.
Housing: Consult in haste, repent at leisure
As local housing authorities nationwide consider introducing or renewing additional and selective licensing schemes, Dean Underwood
considers the requirements of a key pre-condition to designation and provides local housing authorities with tips about lawful consultation.
Housing: Lower standards in some HMOs?
Nottingham City Council is planning to go to the Court of Appeal after it lost an Upper Tribunal case on its decision to ban two small bedrooms being used as sleeping accommodation. David Hobbs
Housing: Housing associations and exchange of tenancies
looks at an application for judicial review of a housing trust's decision not to provide consent to an exchange of tenancies.
Information Law: Transparency updates and the revised s45 Code
examines recent transparency-related developments that will have a potential impact on the engagement of exemptions under FOIA and the EIR, and the public interest balance.
Information Law: Information requests, purdah and the pre-election period
considers the approach public bodies should take to dealing with freedom of information requests during the pre-election period.
Licensing: Using cumulative impact policies
Councils should be wary of the unintended consequences of cumulative impact policies, writes Paddy Whur
Licensing: A cautionary tale
A recent case underlines the importance of complying with Court directions in case management hearings for licensing appeals, writes James Rankin
Licensing: Licensing and illegal workers
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on an important High Court ruling after a restaurant owner appealed the revocation of his premises licence over the employment of an illegal worker.
Litigation: County Court "costs only" appeals
reports on three cases in which applications for permission to appeal against a costs order were heard together by the Court of Appeal to establish the correct destination of such appeals.
Litigation: Council tax reduction and the Denton Principles
The High Court has recently applied the Denton
Principles in a council tax reduction appeal. Richard Hanstock
Litigation: Standard of review in Aarhus cases
David Hart QC
examines the latest Aarhus Convention point to come before the domestic courts, in a case involving a city council.
Litigation: Key costs cases in Q1 2016
, Victoria James
and Dr Catriona Wolfenden
round up the major costs cases in the first three months of 2016.
Litigation: Non-domestic rate collection: never too late?
In the first of his three-part series on debt recovery, Marc Samuels
revisits the circumstances in which local authorities can issue late demands for non-domestic business rates.
Planning: Only a partial victory?
The Government may have hailed its successful appeal over its affordable housing and small sites policy as a major victory but it is not the end of the battle for local planning authorities, writes John Pugh-Smith
, who also considers some of the overlapping implications with the 'Starter Homes' initiative.
Planning: The Public Sector Equality Duty and planning
examines the importance of the Public Sector Equality Duty in planning decision making.
Planning: Affordable housing and small sites: the Court of Appeal ruling
The Communities Secretary has won his appeal over a High Court ruling that a key government policy on affordable housing and small-scale sites was unlawful. Harriet Townsend
, Martin Edwards
, Ashley Bowes
and Andrew Lane
Planning: Costs in planning appeals and inquiries
How do you make a successful application for costs in a planning appeal? Jessica Swannell
explains what is needed.
Planning: Housing land supply
analyses a ruling by a High Court judge on housing land supply, deliverable sites and housing market areas.
Procurement: Regulation 53 and publication of procurement documents
“Do we really need to publish all our procurement documents before we go to market” is a question frequently asked by clients. Davina Cross
examines the issue.
Procurement: Setting up a Dynamic Purchasing System
In her second article on Dynamic Purchasing Systems, Susie Smith
looks at the process for dealing with Requests to Participate (RTPs) from economic operators after a DPS is established.
Procurement: Dynamic Purchasing Systems – the planning phase
A significant number of Dynamic Purchasing Systems are either up and running or in the planning phase in the UK and this is raising practical issues, writes Susie Smith
in the first in a series of articles.
Procurement: Framework agreements and direct awards
and Tim Care
consider how contracts can be called off under multi-supplier framework agreements, by making a direct award without re-opening competition.
Procurement: The public sector equality duty and procurement
analyses the interplay between the public sector equality duty and the public procurement regime.
Procurement: The Public Contract Regulations 2015 and the Care Act 2014
looks at the issues raised by the interplay between the Public Contract Regulations and the Care Act when it comes to service provision.
Projects: Playing by the rules
In a key state aid case involving a loan made by a city council, the Court of Appeal recently considered the Market Economy Investor Principle. Angelica Hymers
analyses its ruling.
Projects: Changing Development Consent Orders
Following the decision of the Energy Secretary to make a non-material amendment to the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm development consent order, Hereward Phillpott QC
and Isabella Tafur
consider the procedure for making changes to DCOs after they have been made and some of the issues to be aware of.
Projects: Refinancing PFI and PPP deals
sets out some of the key considerations for local authorities that are looking to refinance their PFI or PPP deals.
Projects: When PFI contractors fail to perform
What rights and remedies do you have when PFI contractors fail to perform? David Hunter
Projects: Devolution and regeneration investment
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 is the latest measure to implement an enhanced devolution agenda. It must also be viewed as an important tool to stimulate investment in regeneration, writes Alan Aisbett
Property: Of palm trees and a Chancellor’s foot
The Upper Tribunal has considered – in a service charges case involving a London borough – the concept of issue estoppel. Alastair Redpath-Stevens
analyses the judgment.
Property: Overage clauses and drafting issues
reviews the main elements of agreeing overage agreements that local authorities need to take into account when agreeing overage terms.
Regulatory: Game of drones – the law
examines the issues that local authorities may face as a result of the use of drones.
Transport: TfL and roads in the capital
A High Court judge has ruled on a dispute over the extent of Transport for London’s interests in London’s roads. Charles Banner
reports on the outcome.
|CIL and Planning Obligations
||This presentation considers the past, present and future of the Community Infrastructure Levy in the light of forthcoming reforms to the regime.
|Bringing Forward Development
||Will forthcoming changes to the NPPF, permitted development rights and the Housing and Development bill shift power towards or away from Local Planning Authorities?
|Old and New Means of Development
||This course looks at the various measures being introduced by the Housing and Planning Bill to make development happen beyond the conventional planning permission system.
|The LLG Competency Framework
||To assist local authority solicitors to comply with the new CPD regime, the Lawyers in Local Government group has produced a new competency framework. Helen McGrath, Development Officer for LLG, outlines the main features of the framework and explains how
|Neighbourhood Planning: A Legal Perspective
||John Pugh-Smith and Daniel Stedman Jones look at how lawyers can square the circle of greater localism in the planning system and the need for more housing and infrastructure development.
|Housing and Local Plans
||Peter Village QC and Rose Grogan analyse the key features of the Housing and Planning Bill and outline some of the problems and pitfalls created by Local Plans as identified by recent case law.
|Human Rights, the Equality Act and Social Housing
||This course looks at the arguments faced by public authorities and social landlords when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 or the Human Rights Act 1998 and outlines some of the defences and tactics available to defend them.
|Social Housing Eligibility Update 2015
||This course looks at which groups of people subject to immigration control are and are not eligible for social housing in the light of changes to welfare and immigration rules and recent case law.
|Possession Claims Update 2015
||This presentation provides an update on new housing legislation, regulation and case law before going on to look at the issues faced by social landlords as the first flexible tenancies granted under the Localism Act 2011 begin to expire.
|Local Government Law Update 2015
||Recorded in April 2015, leading barrister Richard Clayton QC outlines and analyses the key local government cases of the preceding 12 months across a range of disciplines. Includes a comprehensive downloadable paper.
|The Commercial Council
||Michael Mousdale and Bradley Martin provide a practical and legal guide for council officers and lawyers looking to establish local authority trading companies.
|Information Law Update 2015
||Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery at Information Commissioner’s Office, outlines and discusses the implications of some of the key developments surrounding Freedom of Information, the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.
|FOI and Data Protection Update 2016
||This presentation reviews the main changes in the past 12 months in the fields of Freedom of Information and Data Protection, with an extended look at Monetary Penalty Notices and an overview of the latest developments in relation to property search charg
|Social Housing Fraud
||This presentation identifies the main types of social housing fraud committed, the remedies available to tackle it and provides guidance on which are most suitable for particular types of fraud.
|Governance and Monitoring
||This presentation focuses on four topical areas of local authority governance: employee surveillance (including on social media), decision-making (pecuniary interests, bias, and committee make-up), whistleblowing and the counter-terrorism Prevent duty.
|Managing Cuts Lawfully
||This presentation looks at how legal challenges to decisions resulting from budget cuts can be avoided, mitigated and defended, focusing on the two grounds of challenge which appear most frequently unlawful consultation and breach of the PSED.
|Homelessness Update: Vulnerability and Intentionality
||This presentation highlights and analyses the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court in determining “vulnerability” under the Housing Act 1996 and whether somebody has made themselves intentionally homeless.
|The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act : One Year On
||A little over a year on from its implementation, this presentation looks at the effect of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This short presentation focuses on the use of the new civil injunction powers and Criminal Behaviour Orders (
|Housing: Key Developments in 2015
||Ranjit Bhose QC, Dean Underwood and Tara O’Leary present an update on key developments in housing law, focusing on recent changes to the right-to-buy regime, judicial alterations to allocations policies and welfare reforms.
|Implementing the Care Act: Legal issues for local authoritie
||This presentation looks at potential consequences of a number of key aspects of Care Act 2014 and outlines how local authorities can avoid or mitigate the potential issues it creates.