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Report calls for urgent review of headcount in legal services in Wales
Local authorities in Wales falling in upper range of headcount for legal services should conduct urgent review of activity and productivity, a Welsh-government commissioned report says. However, authors admit no analysis of quality or effectiveness of functions has been undertaken
Court of Appeal comments on deprivation of liberty and being party to proceedings
Court of Appeal holds it did not have jurisdiction to determine appeals against President of the Court of Protection’s Re X
rulings, but judges make significant comments on requirement for P to be party to proceedings
School takes legal advice over covert filming for TV programme on bullying (story on Public Law Today)
School in South Wales taking legal advice from its local authority after pupils were secretly filmed as part of TV programme about bullying
Developer loses Court of Appeal challenge over neighbourhood plan
Court of Appeal rejects developer’s challenge over inclusion of site allocation policies in neighbourhood development plan
Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in first local plan challenge
Permission refused in challenge to council’s adopted core strategy, with judges concluding that the courts below “were clearly right”
Social workers concern at lack of time to prepare for court, risk of being named
Vast majority of social workers believe that heavy workloads mean they have insufficient time to prepare for court cases involving vulnerable children and families, according to UNISON
Ex-councillor in suspended sentence for forgery, pretending to be barrister
Former councillor who pleaded guilty to forging her qualifications and claiming to be qualified barrister, sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years
On the Public Law Today/Local Government Marketplace (external site):
Publicly-owned utility appoints five law firms to multi-million pound panels
Yorkshire CCGs look to appoint single legal firm on retainer
Basingstoke and Deane to seek legal adviser for planning on Manydown project
Anthony Collins boosts funding team with Coane appointment
LAST CALL FOR CORNWALL: The closing date for these excellent roles at Cornwall Council is 21 June, so apply now: Senior Lawyer/Manager - Education, Health and Social Care; Practice Manager/Operations Team Leader; Planning & Environmental Lawyer; and Trainee Solicitor.
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Law Commission review of Deprivation of Liberty Safetguards to be speeded up
Review of legislation underpinning Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to be accelerated, Minister for Community and Social announces
Supreme Court to hear case on appropriate assessment, EIA and mitigation
Key planning law case to be heard next week on appropriate assessments, EIA assessments and mitigation measures
Petition calling for directly-elected mayor in Guildford rejected as invalid
Petition calling for introduction of directly-elected mayor in Guildford has been rejected as invalid, with number of signatures disregarded
Don’t just pay lip service to Armed Forces Covenant, Ombudsman tells councils
Councils that have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant must ensure that it informs all their decision-making, Local Government Ombudsman says, after county agrees to review school transport policy
Ofsted warns on poor information sharing about children missing from care
Chief Inspector of Ofsted expresses concern at lack of meaningful data and poor information sharing on children missing from care, who are at most risk of child sexual exploitation
Government Legal Service to allow legal executives to apply for lawyer roles
GLS makes its lawyers roles available to Chartered Legal Executives for first time
Watchdog hits out at public services complaints and redress system
System for dealing with complaints in relation to public services and providing redress is confusing for consumers and several areas have no formal route to independent redress, National Audit Office says
Only one third of people unhappy with public service complain, research finds
Only a third of people who feel unhappy about public services actually make a complaint, research by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman finds
Chief Coroner reports dramatic reduction in delays in coroner cases
There has been a substantial reduction in delays in coroner cases in the past year, Chief Coroner reports
See all of our most recent news stories
INTERIM ROLES: Senior Commercial Contracts Lawyer (East of England) and Data Protection and Freedom of Information Locum (West Midlands - long-term opportunity). To see all roles on LGL, click here.
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
The Court of Appeal on Re X
Alex Ruck Keene and Sophy Miles consider the impact of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Re X and its comments on the President of the Court of Protection’s bid to streamline procedures for deprivation of liberty cases.
Top 5 tricky issues with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Jenny Beresford-Jones analyses five “tricky points” arising out of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Whistleblowing - protected disclosures
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered whether an employer had acted fairly in dismissing a council employee who made a disclosure to the Information Commissioner's Office without approval. Helen Hughes analyses the case.
LIFT and PFI schemes and payment schemes
Landlords and tenants of premises that have been built using the Local Improvement Finance Trust schemes need to be aware of a recent case involving a local authority that also has interest for landlords and tenants of PFI premises, writes Karen Andrews.
Better contract management
Philip Roberts outlines the top five contract management efficiency measures that can deliver savings in existing contracts and be used to future-proof new contracts.
Student accommodation, the NPPF and housing supply
The High Court has ruled on the approach to be taken under the NPPF and PPG as to whether student accommodation should be included in a local planning authority’s housing land supply. Charles Banner reports.
The Upper Tribunal on invalid decisions
The Upper Tribunal recently concluded that decisions taken by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in relation to Employment Support Allowance were so flawed as to be invalid. Morayo Fagborun Bennett explains why.
CALLING ALL HEADS OF LEGAL: We are conducting a survey on the future of local authority legal departments. If you have not received a link to the questionnaire, please contact Derek Bedlow on 020 7239 4917 or by email.
On our sister publication Public Law Today (external site):
Supreme Court to hear student loan eligibility case next week
Monitor and NHS Trust Development Authority to move to single leadership
The Education and Adoption Bill
The Education and Adoption Bill contains a number of significant, and at times controversial, measures in relation to schools. Rachel Kamm
highlights some of the key provisions.
Pre-action protocol for possession claims
examines the key points for social landlords on the pre-action protocol for possessions claims, which came into from 6 April 2015 (although the document was not published until some two weeks later).
The latest blogs...
First early appointment of inspectors on NSIP by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the first implementation of a measure in the Infrastructure Act 2015.
Want to be a book reviewer? Local Government Lawyer
is soon to launch a new online bookstore and we are looking for practitioners to review the latest legal titles as they are published. Instant fame (and free legal books) guaranteed. Please contact Derek Bedlow at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer:
Adult Social Services: The Court of Protection comes of age
The Court of Appeal has issued a hugely significant ruling for all those concerned with the MCA 2005 and decision-making in relation to those who lack capacity in domains related to their care arrangements. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
Adult Social Services: Guardianship and DOLS (again)
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine a difficult decision in relation to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and guardianship.
Children: Going for broke
Is there an alternative to adoption? Mark Roscoe
considers options for placement which leave the door open to ongoing child/parent relationships and possible reunification.
Children: Disclosing child protection information
A recent High Court case involving a teacher has stressed that when disclosing child protection information, you must make sure you ask the right questions first, writes Robin Hopkins
Community Safety: The new Civil Injunction Order
analyses the courts’ new powers to grant injunctions and the repeal of the ASBI.
Education (on Public Law Today): Part 4 of SEN statements
reviews recent Upper Tribunal decisions in relation to Part 4 of SEN statements.
Employment: TUPE and the Equality Act
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling suggests that an employee who has objected to a TUPE transfer will generally not have a remedy against the transferee under the Equality Act 2010. Simon Lambert
Employment: Whistleblowing protection – when is a disclosure in the public interest?
considers the implications of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on the meaning of “in the public interest” in the context of whistleblowing legislation.
Governance: Consultation – Moseley revisited
A High Court judge has concluded that public consultation does not necessarily need to set out alternative options. Brian Wong
and Andrew Walls
report on the latest ruling after the Supreme Court decision in Moseley
Governance: Vexed by vexatiousness?
The Court of Appeal has for the first time considered provisions on ‘vexatiousness’ and ‘manifest unreasonableness’ in relation to information requests. Christopher Knight
Housing (on Public Law Today): Human rights defences and possession
analyses the case law in relation to the use of human rights as a defence to an application by the local authority for a possession order.
Housing: The Supreme Court on vulnerability
discusses the Supreme Court's interpretation of vulnerability in relation to homelessness in the three linked appeals of Hotak
Licensing: Irresponsible drink promotions
Are we any closer to understanding what is and what isn't irresponsible when it comes to drinks promotions? Paddy Whur
Litigation: Imprisonment for council tax default
looks at the legal background to the enforcement of council tax debt and the issues raised where defaulters are sentenced to imprisonment.
Management: Getting the most out of your legal suppliers
With legal department budgets set for further cuts, Helen Edwards
outlines some of the ways that public sector bodies can ensure they get more bang for their bucks.
Planning: Viability of developments
When is a development to be treated as viable? John Pugh-Smith
reports on a planning inspector's conclusions.
Planning: The PCO regime and statutory applications under s. 288
examines a Court of Appeal ruling in a case where the Communities Secretary sought to appeal the granting of a protective costs order for a claimant in respect of her application for a quashing order under s. 288 TCPA 1990.
Procurement: The importance of record-keeping
A recent High Court decision has emphasised the importance to contracting authorities of creating a clear document trail when evaluating tenders in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, writes Emma Butcher
Procurement: The PQQ is Dead; Long Live the PQQ!
The Government has made strenuous efforts to limit the use of PQQs but the decision is short-sighted, writes Ian Thompson
Property: Dedication of a highway and interruption
examines a recent High Court ruling in a case where a landowner claimed that the dedication of a way as a public right of way had been interrupted by its closure over the Christmas period.
Property: Replacing the Code for Sustainable Homes
looks at the withdrawal of the Code for Sustainable Homes and its replacement regime.
Regulatory: Funding trading standards services
A recent judicial review application over cuts to a local authority’s trading standards team highlights the need to examine funding structures, writes Melissa Dring
of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
Regulatory: Sentencing very large organisations in environmental cases
The Court of Appeal has handed down its first ruling since the coming into force of the Environmental Sentencing Guideline on the sentencing of very large organisations. Chris Gillespie
considers the impact.
|The Importance of Judicial Review
||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
||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
||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.
|Procurement Masterclass - The Tyranny of the "Sausage Machine"
||Michael Bowsher QC provides a personal view of some of the problems that the process-focused approach to public procurement is creating, and suggests some ways that lawyers can help achieve some of the social benefits it was intended to provide.
|The New Governance Landscape
||This presentation looks at how local authority lawyers can accomodate rapidly changing local government structures and delivery models against a legislative backdrop designed for another era.
|Lessons for Scrutiny from Rotherham and Mid-Staffs
||This presentation looks at the role that scrutiny - or the lack of it - played in the problems that came to light in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust and Rotherham Council and looks at how the effective systems of scrutiny can be designed and encouraged to pr
|New Delivery Models: Managing Governance in a Diverse Landscape
||As the number of new, and proposed, models for the delivery of public services continue to multiply, this course looks at the governance issues they create and how local authority lawyers and senior managers can manage an increasingly diverse landscape.
|Top Local Government Cases 2014
||Leading public law barrister James Goudie QC outlines and analyses the most important judicial decisions of 2014 as they affect local authorities.
|The Care Act 2014
||As the implementation of the Care Act 2014 fast approaches, this presentation identifies and explains the key elements of the Act that local authority lawyers need to be aware of.
|Equality Act Defences
||This course looks at the defences and tactics available to public authorities when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 and provides an overview of how to prevent claims arising in the first place through an examination of the case law.