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Head of Legal, Royal Borough of Greenwich

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NEWS HEADLINES
Judge rejects £1m claim against council over care home referral suspension
Care home owners brought £1m misfeasance in public office claim after local authority suspended referrals and advised and supported residents to move to other homes
 
Government rules out introduction of fee-charging for FOI requests
Ministers rule out introduction of up-front fees for freedom of information requests after receiving report from Independent Commission. Report says public interest extension to time limit should be replaced, and expresses provisional view that legislation should be extended to those who are providing public services under contract

Judicial involvement in pre-proceedings for care cases to be piloted: Munby
Schemes for judicial and CAFCASS involvement in pre-proceedings phase of some types of care case will be piloted in selected courts shortly, President of the Family Division says. Project also being advanced to tackle problem of women who find themselves losing successive children in repeat care proceedings

Liberty urges council to clarify ‘foul and abusive language’ prohibition
Human rights group writes to city council claiming that Public Space Protection Order the authority has implemented risks having chilling effect on freedom of expression because it criminalises use of all “foul and abusive language”

Council to take legal action over plans by hospital to close fertility services
North East council to take legal action in High Court against hospital trust over its plans to close licensed fertility services in town

Legal advice panels worth £410m to be set up for central government
Crown Commercial Service to set up two legal services panels worth estimated £410m for use by central government and associated public bodies, as part of wider strategic plan for delivery of legal services across public sector. Further element of plan will see development of procurement vehicle, including electronic platform, to be used by wider public sector

Councils warn Prime Minister of legal action over Heathrow expansion
Four local authorities write to David Cameron warning that they will bring legal action unless third runway is ruled out
 
Districts call for abolition of county council and creation of four new unitaries
Five district councils in Oxfordshire call for abolition of county council and transfer of its functions to four new local unitary councils 
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MORE NEWS STORIES....

NHS trust in procurement challenge over contract award to Virgin Care
Foundation trust in Kent brings legal proceedings over award by two clinical commissioning groups of adult community care contract to Virgin Care worth reported £128.4m

Vicar fails in challenge to auditor decision on council tax summons costs
Divisional Court rejects appeal by anti-poverty campaigner over council auditor’s refusal to make declaration of unlawful item of account or issue public interest report

Minister in root and branch review of local authority-enforced regulation
Business Secretary Sajid Javid launches “root and branch” review of way local authorities regulate businesses, but announcement meets with hostile response from Chartered Trading Standards Institute

Government consults on improving data sharing by public sector bodies
Cabinet Office launches consultation into sharing and use of data in public sector organisations

Council to check if children lost out on school places after allocation change
Borough agrees to check whether any children missed out on place at their preferred school in September 2015, after Local Government Ombudsman upholds complaint about its schools allocation process

Councils warn of potential breach of legal duty on access to school places
Legal duty of councils to ensure every child has access to school place could be undeliverable unless councils are given back powers to open new maintained schools or are able to compel academies to expand, LGA warns

Spending watchdog launches study of capital expenditure by councils
National Audit Office to carry out study on capital expenditure by local authorities and ways in which it is financed

Tower Hamlets becomes latest London borough to consult on late night levy
Council consults on plans for introduction of late night levy

ON THE MARKETPLACE

NW ‘Growth Hub’ to appoint legal adviser for procurement support
Bond Dickinson appoints real estate partner to Leeds office


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European State Aid Law and Policy Third Edition Conor Quigley
New articles on Local Government Lawyer

Failure to offer alternative accommodation
The High Court has recently considered two cases concerning the lawfulness of a council's failure to transfer two autistic children and their mothers to safe accommodation. Christopher Baker reports on the outcome.
 
Community care and the PSED
Does the Public Sector Equality Duty apply to individual community care decisions? Jonathan Auburn analyses the key issues.
 
Real estate and smart property management
What does the 'one public estate' concept mean in practice? Clive Bleasdale and Nathan East set out some of the key considerations.
 
Caring for your carers
The Supreme Court has handed down an important decision in the case of the duties employers owe to employees working outside in areas over which they have no control. Steven Conway looks at the impact of the ruling.
 
Step changes proposed to summary reviews
Rory Clarke and Josef Cannon consider the implications of the recently proposed changes to the Summary Review procedure in the Licensing Act 2003.
 
Legal costs and service charges
When it comes to the recovery of legal costs as a service charge, what has changed since the Supreme Court ruling in Arnold v Britton? Howard Lederman reports.
 
Public health funerals and FOI
Ibrahim Hasan examines the issues surrounding public health funerals, heir hunters and freedom of information.
 
Bingo in pubs: the Greene King case
Andy Woods considers the recent decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal in favour of the Gambling Commission in its appeal in the Greene King case concerning bingo in pubs. 


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The latest blogs...
UK heading for an energy crunch by Angus Walker
Find out the results of Bircham Dyson Bell's investigation into whether there will be an ‘energy crunch‘. The research was based on data about old power stations closing and new ones opening, and has gauged businesses and consumers as to whether they have considered this.

It's the NSIPPies!
This entry reports on the 2016 ‘awards’ for nationally significant infrastructure projects. 
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: The Court of Protection and CICA awards
What part must the Court of Protection play in the finalisation of an award to an incapacitated person that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has decided should be held on trust? David Rees reports.

Adult Social Services: Care Act conundrum: recovering care home fees
Has the Care Act granted an amnesty on care home fees? Jonathan Auburn reports

Adult Social Services: Nursing care in care homes: who pays?
The Court of Appeal was recently divided over the meaning of ‘nursing care by a registered nurse’ under s.49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001. Richard Gordon QC, Emily MacKenzie and Tom Pascoe report.

Adult Social Services: Capping homecare funding
Has the Care Act changed the legality of policies which cap homecare funding? Jonathan Auburn considers the issues faced by local authorities.

Adult Social Services: Constrained choice can be true choice
The Upper Tribunal has recently considered whether the threat of recall to hospital from the community meant that the patient’s consent was not free and therefore invalid. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the outcome.

Children: Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 – local authority duties
LexisPSL Local Government and Claire Cousin outline a local authority’s duty to provide accommodation to children under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, identifying the challenges a local authority may face including parental consent and capacity.
 
Children: Problems with a fact-finding hearing
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers look at the lessons from a Court of Appeal ruling that a judge’s fact-finding exercise was fatally flawed.

Education: The OIA and judicial review
Felicity Mitchell, Deputy Adjudicator, sets out ten principles from ten years of legal challenges involving the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Education: Academy sponsorship details and FOI
A recent case in the First-tier Tribunal has served as a pertinent reminder that certain information relating to the funding of academies may be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Richard Auton reports. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Education: Wearing the veil in schools
The debate on the wearing of the veil in school continues, with the head of Ofsted the latest to weigh in. Clive Sheldon QC looks at the legal background.

Employment: Re-organisation in the public sector
Andrew Tomlinson explores some of the employment law pitfalls that arise when public sector bodies attempt to re-organise.

Employment: Complaints and an 'act extending over a period'
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has suggested that different complaints may be considered together in deciding whether there has been an 'act extending over a period'. Allison Cook analyses the ruling.

Employment: Injury to feelings payments and tax
Linda Glover analyses an important Upper Tribunal decision on settlements and the tax treatment of injury to feelings payments.

Employment: Can you speak English please?
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision revisited the question as to whether an employer can instruct employees not to speak in a foreign language at work. Sejal Raja and Michael Pine examine the judgment. 

Governance: Is your Constitution due a health check?
With Annual Council only a few months away, now is the time to be checking your authority’s constitution, write Judith Barnes and Frances Woodhead.

Governance: Devolution Act gets Royal Assent
Legislation aimed at delivering the Government's devolution agenda has received Royal Assent. Judith Barnes sets out the key measures.

Governance: The revised consultation principles
The Cabinet Office has issued a revised set of consultation principles. Stuart Thomson looks at the key changes.

Governance: 15 years of the Human Rights Act
Has the Human Rights Act 1998 been successful? With the legislation turning 15, Stephen Grosz QC talks to LexisNexis about the past, present and future.

Healthcare: A human rights cautionary tale?
A recent High Court judgment involving claims against an NHS trust and an ambulance service dealt with the legal test for liability, causation and victim status. Francesca O'Neill reports on the outcome. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Healthcare: Corporate manslaughter and public bodies
The first prosecution of an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter collapsed last week. Tracey Longfield and Colin Moore explain what the case tells us. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Housing: Principle versus pragmatism
Is it lawful for a Houses in Multiple Occupation licence to restrict the use of a bedroom to a particular occupier, such as students? Alex Campbell analyses a recent Upper Tribunal ruling.

Housing: Money, money, money - councils make the world go around
What do councils need to consider when on-lending? Jon Coane and Gurbinder Sangha look at the key issues. 

Housing: Occupational rights, terminating tenancies
The Court of Appeal has provided clarification on whether a spouse who remains in the matrimonial home has continued rights of occupation if their partner has left the home and terminated the tenancy. Bukola Aremu analyses an important ruling for local authorities and housing associations. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Housing: Housing associations and the Right to Rent
John Murray considers the impact on housing associations of the introduction of the "Right to Rent" checks, which became compulsory on 1 February 2016. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Housing: Bedroom tax challenge success
The Court of Appeal recently ruled that the so-called 'bedroom tax' was unlawful in its impact on victims of domestic violence and disabled children. Michael Deacon examines the judgment.

Information Law: Data breach notification and the new EU Data Protection Regulation
Ibrahim Hasan looks at what the new EU Data Protection Regulation says about data breaches and the need for data controllers to notify.

Information Law: In theory - local authority data retention
What are a local authority’s data retention obligations? John Atkinson talks to LexisNexis about at the practical steps councils should consider taking to ensure they do not fall foul of their legal obligations with regards to data retention schedules.


Licensing: Fuel on the fire
A restauranteur has recently lost an appeal over the revocation of the licence for a venue that was previously a petrol station. Philip Kolvin QC explains why.

Licensing: The cumulative impact policy in Leeds
Is Leeds’ new Cumulative Impact Policy the way forward? Paddy Whur reports.

Licensing: Exempt lotteries and deregulation
The long-awaited relaxation of rules on exempt lotteries has finally been announced, writes Anna Mathias.

Litigation: Early neutral evaluation
Changes to civil procedure rules mean greater use could be made of Early Neutral Evaluation, writes Marie-Claire O'Hara

Litigation: When experts go wrong
Marie-Claire O'Hara and Michael Fallow report on a sorry tale from the Technology and Construction Court about when being an expert goes horribly wrong.

Management: Selling your services
Iain Miller deals with the question of what is permissible under the SRA's Handbook and the Legal Services Act 2007 for those local authorities looking to sell their services more widely.

Management: Shared services: key issues
LexisPSL Local Government, Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers consider the statutory powers available to local authorities to provide shared services, the risks associated with exercise of those powers, and how delivery of shared services can be achieved.

Planning:
The pooling restriction and infrastructure shortfalls
Christopher Cant considers how councils can cope with a potential infrastructure shortfall due to the pooling restriction.

Planning: EIA trumping
John Pugh-Smith looks at the consequences when a planning decision was made while the Secretary of State’s EIA screening direction process was still pending.

Planning: CIL Review - can we fix it?
Roy Pinnock sets out ten potential reforms to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Planning: Retail planning conditions and the Trump case
A High Court judge has upheld a retail planning condition and examined the application of the Trump case in the Supreme Court. Douglas Edwards QC and Sarah Sackman look at the key issues.

Procurement: Bidders supported by other entities
Can a contracting authority require a bidder that wants to rely on another entity’s expertise in making its bid enter into a contract with that other entity? Nathan Holden considers the issues.

Procurement: The NHS Procurement Regulations: first case
The High Court has heard the first case considering NHS Procurement Regulations. Patrick Parkin and Richard Binns consider the outcome. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Procurement: Kept in suspense
Jenny Beresford-Jones looks at an early ruling in one of the first disputes where the Court has had to consider the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Procurement: The ESPD: what do you need to do?
The European Single Procurement Document came into force from 26 January 2016. Ruth Smith explains what it entails and the issues that remain unresolved.

Projects: Sweating your assets
How can local authorities get more from their assets without selling off the family silver? Owen Willcox explains.

Projects: State aid - beware compound interest!
A recent case from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) serves as a useful reminder of the risks of getting state aid wrong and the consequences of a recovery order, writes Robert Prater.

Projects: Comparing project management methodologies
LexisPSL Public Law and Andy Cooke of PA Consulting Group compare three project management methodologies – PRINCE2®, PMBOK® and Agile. 

Property: Public law defences and sales of land
Amanda Eilledge explores the availability of public law defences and promissory estoppel in the context of a contract for the sale of land.

Property: Breaking point
The Supreme Court has put an end to the confusion over break clauses, apportionment and implying contractual terms. Martin McKeague and Emma Porritt look at the key lessons from the ruling.
 
Regulatory: Environmental damage: What does this really mean?
For the first time, the High Court has considered in detail the scope of the concept of "environmental damage" under the Environmental Liability Directive and its associated regulations. Emma Duffy and Rebecca Roffe report on the outcome.

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.
Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Housing: Key Developments in 2015 £25.00 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 £25.00 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.
The Importance of Judicial Review £25.00 This presentation draws on legal and empirically based research on the use and effects of judicial review (JR) to consider why and how this process matters to local authorities and whether the process improves the quality of decision-making.
Achieving Better Ethics Across Public Service Provision £25.00 David Prince CBE, independent member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, outlines his organisation's proposals for ensuring that outsourced providers of public services are subject to the same ethical standards as public sector organisations.
Procurement and State Aid Reforms – The Commercial Impact £25.00 This course investigates how the new procurement rules and changes to the state aid regime will practically affect local authorities investors in public service delivery, trade in services or generally act as a catalyst in economic development.

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