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NEWS HEADLINES

ICO survey shows many councils unprepared for GDPR
Survey completed by 173 local councils at the end of last year finds that a quarter of councils have yet to appoint a data protection officer while just over a third of councils have yet to set up a system of data protection impact assessments


Council rescinds planning permission following procedural mistake
Birmingham revokes planning permission for supermarket admitting it made an error after being threatened with judicial review

Local authority alert sees family barrister fined over data security
Senior family law and Court of Protection barrister fined £1,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for failing to keep clients’ sensitive personal information secure


High Court reserves judgment in DOLS funding test case
The High Court has reserved judgment in case brought by four councils over government funding for work connected with deprivation of liberty safeguards post Cheshire West


Ombudsman complaints on school transport rise 63 per cent
Councils in England reminded of their duties on school transport after the Local Government Ombudsman records a 63 per cent increase in complaints in 2015/16


Judge partially quashes core strategy after appeal by neighbouring authority
Judge resolves dispute between two district councils and the South Downs National Park Authority by quashing parts of a joint core strategy


POCA hearing awards £525,000 against London doctor
London doctor who ran an illegal money-lending business from two hospitals in Harrow ordered to pay back thousands of pounds in proceeds of crime

Quarter of home care providers at risk of insolvency: BBC
Almost one-in-four providers of home care “at risk” of insolvency due to falling local authority rates, leading many to hand contracts back to their commissioning authorities, BBC investigaton finds


Communities Secretary returns full powers to Tower Hamlets
London Borough set to recover the last of the powers it lost when commissioners were imposed in 2015 following scandal over the conduct of the 2014 mayoral election.

Judge partially quashes core strategy after appeal by neighbouring authority
Judge resolves dispute between two district councils and the South Downs National Park Authority by quashing parts of joint core strategy

Centre for Legal Leadership to boost career development of in-house lawyers
New service aimed at supporting general counsel and in-house lawyers in all aspects of career development launches, spearheaded by ex-general counsel to the Legal Services Board Bruce Macmillan

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MORE NEWS STORIES

Southwark follows Wandsworth in setting up Article 4 Direction for pubs
Southwark Council becomes second London council to withdraw Permitted Development Rights from the redevelopment of pubs


Councils struggle to meet duties under Children Act: MPs
Some local authorities are no longer fulfilling their statutory duties to children and nearly nine out of ten local authorities are finding it “increasingly challenging” new report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children says


Co-op to challenge grant of planning permission for rival store
Midcounties Co-operative given go ahead to challenge Forest of Dean Council’s grant of permission for an Aldi store in Coleford  

Met Police set to face investigation over dropping Tower Hamlets election fraud case
The Metropolitan Police looks set to be investigated itself over its truncated inquiries into election fraud in Tower Hamlets


Certificate of lawfulness crowdfunding campaign hits target
Crowdfunding campaign to challenge a certificate of lawfulness for a 38-year-old planning permission reaches key milestone


Carolyn Hilder named Senior Judge of the Court of Protection

See all of our most recent news stories
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EVENTS

MORE NEWS STORIES

Police recorded 260 cases of alleged electoral fraud last year: watchdog
Police forces record total of 260 cases of alleged electoral fraud in 2016, the Electoral Commission reveals

Café fined for false food hygiene claim
Café in Islington fined after falsely claiming it had a top food hygiene rating of ‘5’ when its actual rating was ‘1’

Council fined for leaving sensitive files in cabinet sent to second hand shop
ICO fines Norfolk County Council £60,000 after files containing sensitive information about children were left in a cabinet sent to a second hand shop


Council fails in action against former football club chairman
Northampton Borough Council fails to gain summary judgment against a former chairman of Northampton Town Football Club in dispute over loans totalling £10m made by the council to the club

DPS
This week's analysis

Judicial review and procurement challenges
Is there a place for judicial review in procurement challenges? Colin Ricciardiello reports on an important case for contracting authorities.

Borrowing money and investing in property
Is it lawful and, if lawful, is it prudent for the local authority to borrow money to invest in land? Alec Samuels analyses the issues.

Prosecution of fly tipping
Jeremy Asher and Stephen Sadler examine the rise in fly-tipping incidents and the tools available to local authorities to tackle the issue.

TUPE – service provision changes and the ‘principal purpose’
Jason Braier looks at a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on how and when to identify the principal purpose in relation to service provision changes.
 
The High Court on ‘stopgap’ affordable housing guidance
The High Court has allowed a challenge to the adoption of interim affordable housing guidance by a district council. Gregory Jones QC and Caroline Daly explain why.
 
The Court of Protection and disputes over funding of services
Kiran Bhogal reports on the landmark Supreme Court decision on the role of the Court of Protection in disputes over provision of services.


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Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: Claiming within time
A High Court judge recently refused to extend the limitation period for a £100,000-£150,000 damages claim against a local authority over an alleged deprivation of liberty. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers explain why.

Adult Social Services: Public protection and s.21A (again)
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report on the outcome of a recent s. 21A Mental Capacity Act challenge.

Adult Social Services: Statutory charge and Article 8 damages
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a recent case that, although not a CoP one, is interesting and relevant for what is said about the legal aid statutory charge in a claim for damages for breach of Article 8 ECHR.

Children: Secure accommodation orders - children or young people placed in Scotland
English local authorities looking to place children in secure accommodation in Scotland have faced significant legal hurdles. Lucia Clark and Anna Forsyth explain how they have been overcome.

Children: Conduct powers over costs
A Family Court judge has recently handed down a key ruling for both local councils in respect of adverse costs orders in family and human rights litigation. Jessica Swanell reports.

Children: Should courts order vaccination against parents’ wishes?
The alleged risks attending on vaccination were outweighed by the benefits of immunisation by a clear margin, the Family Court has ruled following an application by a local authority. Rosalind English reports.

Community Safety: Before its time?
Can a local authority use the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 in relation to incidents that occured before the Act commenced? Jonathan Manning reports.

Dispute Resolution: Repairing potholes: the Court of Appeal view
The Court of Appeal recently issued an important ruling on the approach highways authorities should take towards repairing potholes. Steven Conway considers the implications.

Dispute Resolution: Challenging costs limits in Aarhus Convention claims
The CPR rules on ‘Aarhus Convention Claims’ have just changed. William Upton explains how the neat simplicity of the provisions have been replaced by rules that will allow for satellite litigation about costs. Access to environmental justice has just become more uncertain.

Dispute Resolution: Public bodies who discriminate – County Court or High Court process?
Sally Cowen considers an interesting case concerning the apparent conflict between competing provisions of the Equality Act 2010 in the context of duties to disabled people within the context of Traffic Regulations Orders.

Dispute Resolution: Roadside trees
A parish council was recently ruled to have been negligent in its approach to inspecting a tree which fell onto a bus. James Goudie QC explains why.
 
Dispute Resolution: Defending a claim for judicial review
This LexisPSL Public Law checklist, produced in partnership with Stephen Hocking of DAC Beachcroft highlights the key steps and considerations for defending a judicial review claim including preliminary assessment, acknowledgement of service and skeleton arguments.

Education: Higher education claims
The Administrative Court has given general guidance on judicial review and Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) complaints. Jonathan Auburn reports.

Education: Risk assessment of schools and FOI
A council has successfully appealed an Information Commissioner's decision that it should disclose information on its risk assessment of schools. Claire Booth explains why.

Education: Academy conversions from within PFIs
David Wall examines the key issues raised in relation to academy conversions for schools within existing Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs).

Employment: New laws on industrial action
New laws in relation to industrial action came into force at the start of the month. Louise Singh sets out the most significant changes.

Employment: Religious festivals and extended holiday requests
Harmajinder Hayre looks at a case in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal examined whether the refusal of an extended holiday request to attend a religious festival could amount to indirect religious discrimination.

Employment: Religious dress bans
Religious dress bans can be lawful – at least under European law. Phil Allen reports on recent rulings from the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Employment: The duty to make reasonable adjustments
Phil Allen considers what you can learn from the Supreme Court case of the wheelchair versus the buggy.

Employment: Pay grades and contractual rights
Claire Booth reports on a Court of Appeal ruling on whether a council employee had a contractual right to be paid whatever salary was attached to a particular grade in all circumstances.

Governance: Local government reform in Wales
Gareth Owens, chair of the Wales branch of Lawyers in Local Government, reports on the latest moves towards reform in the sector and the role LLG is playing.

Governance: Local government standards and litigation costs
Claire Booth analyses a High Court ruling on costs after a standards case involving a town council and one of its members.

Governance: Public complaints—introducing the draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill
In this interview with LexisPSL Public Law, Ros Foster and Patrick O’Connell outline the draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill recently laid in Parliament, which aims to introduce a Public Service Ombudsman (PSO) with improved access, structure and powers.

Governance: The Casey Review into Opportunity and Integration
Paul Feild examines the implications for local government lawyers arising out of Dame Louise Casey's review into opportunity and integration.

Health: Cheshire West kicked out of acute hospitals?
The Court of Appeal has delivered a landmark judgment on deprivation of liberty in the context of acute medical treatment that will be very welcome for providers of physical healthcare - for now at least. Ben Troke explains.

Health: Tackling bed blocking
With a hospital recently forced to obtain a court order to evict a patient, Kiran Bhogal, Emma Stockwell and Joanna Trewin consider the legal issues around bed blocking.

Housing: Housing allocation and the treatment of private sector tenants
Mathew McDermott analyses a High Court case that considered Article 14 ECHR and treating private sector tenants differently from secure tenants for the purposes of a local authority’s Part VI housing allocation scheme.

Housing: Homelessness decisions and the PSED
A recent Court of Appeal ruling on homelessness decisions and the public sector equality duty is a victory for substance over form, argue Kelvin Rutledge QC and Ryan Kohli.

Housing: Double-edged sword: Can you have two possession orders at once?
In a recent case an interesting point arose around whether or not it was possible for a landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) to have two possession orders in respect of the same property at the same time. Richard Williams analyses the issue.

Information Law: Yet another subject access judgment…
Anya Proops QC analyses the latest ruling on subject access requests, this time from the Court of Appeal.

Information Law: The motives behind subject access requests
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a requester's motive does not justify a refusal to comply with a subject access request. Dan Fawcett analyses the ruling.

Information Law: The practicalities of the GDPR: breach notification, consent
Robin Hopkins makes some observations on two important aspects of life under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Information Law: The right to data portability under GDPR
Ibrahim Hasan considers the new right to data portability under the GDPR and examines its impact on the public sector.

Licensing: Streets ahead?
Trade objectors recently tested the definition of a “street” in a betting office application case. Andy Woods examines the outcome.

Licensing: When can premises be closed by the council or the Police?
Kuljit Bhogal surveys the powers available to close commercial premises that are the source of anti-social behaviour.

Licensing: The Alchemist of the North
A recent court case has provided a reminder that cumulative impact policies should generally act as a filter and not a bar, writes Philip Kolvin QC.

Planning: Daylight/sunlight error fatal to permission
Roy Pinnock looks at the lessons to be learned after the High Court quashed a planning permission over an error of fact in a daylighting report.

Planning: Reasons for delegated decisions to grant planning permission - the Shasha case
Meyric Lewis considers the consquences of a High Court ruling as to whether reasons need to be given for delegated decisions to grant planning permission.

Planning: Examining Local Plan reasons
The Planning Court has considered the approach taken by the Inspectors' guidelines to using short form reasoning when reporting on the soundness of development plans. William Upton analyses the outcome.

Planning: The NPPF heads to the Supreme Court
The case of Suffolk Coastal District Council v Hopkins Homes will take the National Planning Policy Framework before the Supreme Court for the very first time. Trevor Ivory and Jim McAvan look at what is at stake.
 
Planning: Town and Village Greens: Essex County Council's 'quay' to success
Andrew Beck and Erin Keating consider a recent case which examines an alternative option for landowners and developers faced with a town or village green registration.

Procurement: The essential activities test
A recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling relating to the Teckal exemption will be of interest to contracting authorities considering alternative delivery structures and shared services, write Melanie Pears and Tim Care.

Procurement: A third way?
A recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling suggests potential new avenues for public to public co-operation, write James Clayton and Mark Fitzgibbon.

Procurement: Settlement agreements and the procurement rules
Daniel Milnes examines a Court of Justice of the European Union case on whether a settlement agreement can amount to a regulated modification of a contract.

Procurement: Insourcing: what do you need to know?
Mike Pierides and Caron Gosling look at the issues for local authorities considering bringing services back in-house.

Procurement: Engaging consultants for public contract specification
What steps/issues should a contracting authority consider when engaging a consultant to help develop a public contract specification? LexisPSL Public Law, in partnership with Peter Ware of Browne Jacobson LLP, explain.

Procurement: Procurement breaches changing the tender outcome
In this LexisPSL Public Law analysis, Fiona Scolding, barrister at Outer Temple Chambers, considers a recent case in relation to damages to be awarded on a procurement claim if the breach would have made a difference to the outcome of the tender.

Projects: Estate regeneration and the right to buy
A High Court judge recently dismissed a legal challenge over a Cabinet’s authorisation of the redevelopment of a large housing estate. James Goudie QC explains the ruling, including an important issue in relation to the Right to Buy.

Projects: Time for a review?
Alex Lawrence provides some top tips on how local authorities can go about evaluating the effectiveness of their alternative delivery vehicles.

Projects: Regeneration X: Failed CPOs
The Communities Secretary earlier this month refused to confirm a compulsory purchase order for a key regeneration scheme in London, prompting Southwark Council to announce a judicial review challenge. Simon Ricketts analyses the minister's decision.

Property: Refurbishment works and business rates
In a decision that will be welcomed by developers and property owners, the Supreme Court has held that a commercial property undergoing extensive refurbishment works was effectively exempt from business rates. Petra Billing and Ian Brierley report.

Property: Validity of service charge demands
The Upper Tribunal determined the validity of an estimated service charge demand in light of the UT's earlier decision in Woelke. Katie Gray looks at the outcome.

Property: Assets of Community Value – is there any body there?
What exactly is an 'unincorporated body' for the purposes of the Assets of Community Value legislation? Simon Adamyk looks at the difficulties created by the wording and reviews the key tribunal decisions.

Property: Fresh points on Assets of Community Value
Christopher Cant examines the key learning points from the latest batch of rulings in relation to assets of community value.

Regulatory: Consistently packing a punch
Vicki Teece looks at the impact of the toughter environmental sentencing guidelines that were introduced in 2014.

Regulatory: Accidents and control of premises
James Buchanan and Lewis MacDonald analyse a recent case where the Health & Safety Executive brought proceedings against the freeholders of commercial properties where accidents had occurred.

Transport & Highways: Standards of highway maintenance
This LexisPSL Local Government article, produced in partnership with Nicholas Hancox of Nicholas Hancox Solicitors, examines how the quality of highway maintenance required of those responsible for it depends almost entirely on the expected ordinary traffic on the highway in question.
 




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