Editor's blog: Speak now
The Communities Secretary was once again on plain-speaking form last week when he announced plans to scrap the requirement to appoint an independent person to review dismissal and disciplinary cases for chief executives - and, it must be added, chief finances officers and monitoring officers. But could the move severely weaken corporate governance? Read more...
Last few hours to apply: Today (14 November) is the closing date for applications for this very interesting Senior Solicitor/Barrister role at Leicester City Council.
In LGL this week: vires and bad bargains; 'independent persons' and chief executive dismissals; care home fees; equal pay; Localism Act changes to homelessness laws; past performance of bidders and procurement; Zambrano rights and social welfare; care cases and time limits; court powers and consumer law breaches; FOIA and commercial confidence; SEN experts and exclusion; fraud threats; 'interim steps'; town and village greens....plus lots more. Average unique visitors in October 2012: 19,000+.
New course on Local Government Law.tv: The Draft Care and Support Bill by Browne Jacobson. This course is free-of-charge to London Boroughs Legal Alliance members - please contact Hannah Jennings (Hannah.Jennings@KennedyCater.com) for further details.
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. For further details, please click here or contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917, email email@example.com.
Communities Secretary axes 'independent person' role in chief executive dismissals Requirement for appointment to be scrapped, says Pickles
Council cannot escape leases on grounds of own breaches of fiduciary: Court of Appeal Significant ruling for public authorities as CoA overturns High Court judgment that unitary could rid itself of bad bargains by invoking lack of capacity of predecessor authorities. Cornwall mulls appeal to Supreme Court, says it would have saved £4.5m if High Court ruling had been upheld
County council breached equality duty in setting care home fees: HIgh Court Judge said Devon had failed to discharge public sector equality duty in calculating fee increase. See also: Watchdog hails court ruling on court home fees and equalities Equality and Human Rights Commission also plans review of local authority commissioning
Birmingham estimates equal pay liability at £757m after Supreme Court ruling Local authority warns liability could increase further if it receives more claims
DCLG issues guidance on Localism Act changes to homelessness legislation Details on how duty to secure accommodation can be ended with offer of suitable accommodation in private rented sector
Government sets out policy on taking past performance of bidders into account on future procurement Admission that in the past there has not always been a consistent approach
Court of Appeal in landmark ruling on Zambrano rights and social welfare Judges confirm direct applicability of Zambrano rights in a social welfare context
Law Society demands clear guidelines on 26-week limit for care proceedings Chancery Lane also rejects restricting judge's role in scrutinising care plans
Courts to have beefed-up powers to deal with breaches of consumer law DBIS consultation suggests wider range of powers
Case on disclosure of identity of accuser to parties in contact proceedings heads to Supreme Court Social services had advised mother to take steps to protect her daughter. High Court rejected disclosure on grounds of accuser's fragile health, but ruling overturned by Court of Appeal
Council fights off JR over moving livestock centre from town centre Challenge to ministers' repeal of Acts also unsuccessful. But authority runs up £100,000 costs
Audit Commission warns councils of emerging fraud threats Areas identified include business rates, Right to Buy housing discounts and schools
Claimants ask CoA for permission to challenge 'critical-only' care policy West Berkshire is one of only three councils in country to operate on this basis
PM unveils plan to force further 400 primary schools to convert to academies
Ministers extend Red Tape Challenge to 500+ health and social care regulations
Stallholder ordered to pay £100k+ after prosecution by Kent CC legal team
ASBO landlord now fined for breach of fire regulations
Businesses praise Government policy on procurement but slam pace of reform
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Gambling with FOIA
The First Tier Tribunal recently gave a judgment which provides some guidance on how far 'confidential information' received during a competitive bidding process can be withheld under the Freedom of Information Act. Helen Prandy analyses the ruling.
More than you bargained for?
Christopher Knight explains the significance of a key Court of Appeal ruling on the ability of local authorities to avoid bad bargains - in this case expensive leases - by relying on their own unlawful acts.
Derek Jones examines the new role of SEN expert in permanent exclusion independent review panels.
Back to school on data protection
Shelley Thomas and Michelle Morgan review the Information Commissioner’s recent report on the data protection guidance given to schools during 2012.
Fee for all
The High Court has delivered yet another blow to a local authority’s attempt to set fees for care home providers. Michael Wood looks at the ruling.
Stepping up to the plate
Paddy Whur looks at recent ‘Interim Steps’ hearings that he has conducted, leading to licences being suspended, but also highlights how on occasions these can be avoided if operators are willing to work in partnership with the police.
Seeing the wood from the trees
A High Court ruling has issued an important ruling on the enforcement of s. 106 planning obligations. Mary Tate analyses the judgment.
Not so unlucky section 13
The new Growth and Infrastructure Bill signals the end of last minute town and village green applications, write Andrew Beck and Emma Bingham.
Late to the party
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently issued a ruling covering lists of issues and late evidence. Allison Cook looks at the lessons to be learned.
The latest blogs...
Former civil servant reveals NPS wrangling by Angus Walker
A former civil servant at the DCLG has revealed a lack of co-operation between government departments as one of the main reasons for the initial delay in the prodution of national policy statements.
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: Home is where the heart is
A High Court judge went against the views of an independent expert and all the professionals in deciding that an elderly woman had capacity to make decisions on her residence and care. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street
Children's Services: 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.
Community Safety: Deep impact Jeremy Phillips
looks at some of the problems, particularly for licensees, surrounding cumulative impact zones.
Employment: Establishment figure
A judgment involving a school teaches us the meaning of 'establishment' in relation to collective redundancies. Phil Allen
analyses the ruling.
Governance: Requests for personal data on employees Eleanor Grey QC
reviews the Information Commissioner's new guidance on requests for personal data about public authority employees.
Housing: A perfect match?
Kent County Council recently launched what is though to be the first county-wide Local Authority Mortgage Scheme. Hilary Palmer
explains how it was put together.
Licensing: Late nights and early mornings
The regulations covering the late night levy and early morning restriction orders have finally been published. Andy Grimsey
reviews what they say.
Litigation: Pushed to the limits
The Supreme Court recently ruled that a group of former employees could bring equal pay claims in the High Court, where the time limits are considerably longer than those in the employment tribunals. Matthew Wort
and Chris Plumley
consider the impact of the judgment.
Planning: Straight to the core
The High Court recently dismissed a sustainability appraisal challenge made to Core Strategy housing policies. Gregory Jones QC
and Juan Lopez
Procurement: Suspended animation
When will damages be an adequate remedy in automatic suspension cases? David Hansom
looks at how a recent High Court decision was reached.
Projects: Priority booking
The Priority Schools Building Programme has finally been given the green light. Annie Moy
looks at what it entails.
Property: Heading for certain breakdown?
Break clauses in leases can trap the unwary landlord or tenant. Marie-Louise Gobbi
reviews the recent case law.
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
We are pleased to announce the introduction of an annual corporate subscription that will provide access to a full year of CPD accredited legal training for your lawyers and your client departments.
What is included?
Who can take the training?
unlimited access to the full library of webinar content for 12 months
the option to purchase DVD copies of the webinar training
discounted rates offered to attend LGG training courses
What is the cost?
lawyers and other professionals within your team, each of whom will be provided with personal login to enable them to earn and keep a record of their individual CPD credit.
members of your client departments, such as the child protection team, trading standards officers, planners, procurement professionals or social workers. On purchasing a corporate subscription, a client account login will be provided for use by your client departments to view online content at no extra charge.
the cost relates to the numbers of individual registered users per authority, excluding those who use the client account. These users will be registered for the full year of the subscription with the option to replace a registered user if somebody leaves the authority during the year of subscription. Option 1 below
a DVD option will supply a DVD for every webinar booked – Option 2 below
in addition to option 1 a DVD can be purchased for an individual webinar at an additional £15 + VAT if required. This can be ordered when booking the webinar
for a shared legal service serving more than one authority area, references to the number of registered users are to the combined aggregate number of users from the relevant authorities
registered users of a corporate subscription will benefit from discounted offers to attend LGG training events during the 12 months.
How to register for a corporate subscription
Online + DVD
Local authority with up to 10 registered users
Local authority with 10 – 30 registered users
Local authority with more than 30 registered users
Law firms with up to 20 registered users
Law firms with 20+ registered users
Individual subscriptions can be purchased online at www.localgovernmentlaw.tv
To set up a corporate account please contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917 or firstname.lastname@example.org
giving details of your authority, the number of users you would like to register and if you would like to take the DVD option for all booked webinars.
We will then contact you within 24 hours to confirm this subscription has been set up. The corporate subscription members will then be able to register on the site and instantly access the webinar training.
, if you would like to pay-as-you-go
for webinar training by setting up a corporate pay-as-you-go account for your authority a monthly invoice will be produced and a 10% discount will be applied to all purchases by members of your authority.
There is also the option to take a free trial of a webinar
(which includes CPD credit). Register as a user on www.localgovernmentlaw.tv
and add your preferred course to the cart. During the checkout process, enter FREE TRIAL in the box where indicated (don't forget to click 'Submit'), and the cost of your course will be reduced to zero. Complete the process and your course will be instantly available to view and you can watch it as many times as required for 30 days, from any computer or most mobile devices.
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.