Number of shared legal services set to double as demand for advice climbs amid cuts
More than half of local authority legal teams are set to be part of some form of shared service arrangement as heads of legal struggle to cope with growing demand for legal services, exclusive research by Local Government Lawyer
Lawyers in Local Government and LGA obtain advice from QC on trading
Lawyers in Local Government and the Local Government Association jointly obtain advice from QC on issue of local authorities’ ability to undertake reserved legal activities for other public bodies, amid concern over SRA stance
Minister refuses to reimburse council £1m cost of paying suspended officers
Government will not reimburse Welsh council £1m salary costs incurred while three senior officers including its head of legal were suspended on full pay, Courts Minister says
Borough to publish pre-application advice from planning officers routinely
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will – from March this year – routinely publish any advice that planning officers, or its Architectural Appraisal Panel, have given to applicant about development proposal before application was made
Social housing consortium puts £70m in legal work up for grabs
Members of Central Housing Investment Consortium own and/or manage approximately 500,000 properties. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Two men given suspended sentences for breaching car-cruising injunction
Two men have been given suspended 28-day sentences for breaching injunction on car cruising in Black Country
Regulations on clawing back exit payments “over-complicated and unclear”
Government’s draft clawback regulations for public sector exit payments are “over-complicated and unclear”, employment lawyers warn
Manchester housing association to set up panel of solicitors
Herefordshire Housing to appoint single firm to £300-450k deal
Bevan Brittan hires property specialist Rowe for Bristol office
University of Law names Trowers' Randall as visiting professor
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Council reviews allocation scheme after challenge to local connection requirement
Local authority agrees to review its housing allocation scheme after being faced with discrimination claim brought by Irish Traveller, it is reported
Ombudsman issues report on social housing allocations after rise in complaints
Local Government Ombudsman publishes special report on councils’ role in allocating social housing, after complaints and enquiries rose 13% in 2014/15
Law Commissions urge reform of “complex and fragmented” electoral law
Electoral law in UK is spread across 17 major statutes and 30 sets of regulations and is “increasingly complex and fragmented, and difficult to use”, law reform advisory bodies say. Interim report calls in particular for process on challenging elections to be modernised
Councils call for legal process for prosecuting landlords to be speeded up
Councils have demanded that the court process for dealing with rogue landlords is speeded up so that more cases can be taken to court
PCCs to net ability to create single employer for police and fire personnel
Government to bring forward legislation that will allow Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to make case for taking responsibility for functions of fire and rescue services
ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY
ALMO ordered to pay £63k+ in fines and costs after tower block fire
Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) in London ordered to pay more than £63,000 in fines and costs after fire in tower block in which two women died
See all of our most recent news stories
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
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.
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.
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.
How simple are Simplified Planning Zones?
Sheridan Treger examines why some local authorities promote Simplified Planning Zones and what this means for buyers and lenders of property.
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)
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.
The cumulative impact policy in Leeds
Is Leeds’ new Cumulative Impact Policy the way forward? Paddy Whur reports.
EEA nationals and social assistance
The Supreme Court has issued a ruling on claims brought by two EEA nationals to claim social assistance in the UK. Riccardo Calzavara analyses the judgment.
The latest blogs...
Consent given for Tyneside road upgrade - by Angus Walker
On Thursday the Government gave consent for the A19 Coast Road Junction Improvement Development Consent Order.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
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.
Adult Social Services: So that was 2015
Alex Ruck Keene
provides a mini-review of developments in relation to mental capacity.
Adult Social Services: Best interests analyses and capacity assessments
Mr Justice Mostyn has reminded fellow judges that, when dealing with a patient whose treatment decisions will be handled under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the wishes and feelings of that patient should be confined to the best interests analysis. Richard Jolly
, Tony Yeaman
and Beth Buchanan r
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.
Children: Immigration age assessments and Merton
The Court of Appeal has recently considered issues raised by immigration age assessments and the Merton
guidance. Matt Donmall
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.
Education: Loans and students not settled in UK
reports on the latest instalment in a long-running tale about students who are not eligible for student loans because of their immigration status. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Education: Unauthorised absence from school
What happens if a parent refuses to pay a penalty notice for their children's unauthorised absence from school? The LexisPSL Local Government
team sets out the key points.
Education: SEN funding comparison costs
and Ken Slade
analyse a recent Upper Tribunal decision intended to bring clarity to SEN funding comparison costs cases.
Employment: On message?
The European Court of Human Rights has found that an employer was entitled to access an employee’s private Yahoo! messages (and to sack him). Robin Hopkins
analyses what the ruling means in practice.
Employment: TUPE and tasks of short-term duration
The EAT has provided guidance on whether post-transfer events can be taken into account when deciding whether to apply the exemption from the TUPE Regulations for tasks of "short-term duration". Anne Palmer
Employment: Back to work
The Government has modified its approach to the recovery of public sector exit payments. Allison Cook
Governance: The revised consultation principles
The Cabinet Office has issued a revised set of consultation principles. Stuart Thomson
looks at the key changes.
Governance: Powering ahead?
Devolution revolution or a poisoned chalice with catchy names? Simon Goacher
analyses the Government's reform of local government.
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: Capacity at the limits
A Court of Protection judge recently had to rule on whether a woman had capacity to decide whether or not to accept life-saving renal dialysis. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers
examine the judgment. (On Public Law Today)
Healthcare: When medical treatment becomes a crime
A recent case highlighted the rare circumstances in which a doctor can be convicted of gross negligence manslaughter. Majid Hassan
, Joanna Bower
and Ed Mellor
consider the criteria needed to establish this offence. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Healthcare: Conditional discharge and DoL
An Upper Tribunal judge has handed down a key ruling on conditional discharges and deprivations of liberty that has wider implications. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report.
Housing: Homelessness: the elderly and vulnerable adults
LexisPSL Local Government
and Elizabeth England
set out the duties owed by local authorities to those presenting as homeless, and the particular issues that affect elderly and vulnerable adults.
Housing: A chink in the armour
A High Court judge has ruled that the Government's benefits cap unlawfully discriminated against disabled people by failing to exempt their carers. Alexander Campbell
reports on the judgment.
Information Law: The New EU Data Protection Regulation
The introduction of a new EU Data Protection Regulation has moved a significant step closer. Ibrahim Hasan
highlights the key points.
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: Exempt lotteries and deregulation
The long-awaited relaxation of rules on exempt lotteries has finally been announced, writes Anna Mathias
Licensing: Shadow licences – a cause for concern or not?
considers the law on so-called “shadow licences” under the Licensing Act 2003.
Licensing: The impact of cumulative impact
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on two recent licensing cases concerning the application of cumulative impact policies.
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
and Michael Fallow
report on a sorry tale from the Technology and Construction Court about when being an expert goes horribly wrong.
Litigation: Part 36 offers
The High Court has issued what is thought to be the first ruling on whether a Part 36 offer was a genuine attempt to settle. Andrew Cousins
reviews the outcome of an age assessment case involving a local authority.
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: Drafting enforcement notices
The High Court recently quashed an inspector’s decision to uphold an enforcement notice relating to the disposal of waste. Jack Parker
explains the importance of the ruling.
Planning: The trials and tribulations of planning challenges
and Sara Wex
look at planning statutory reviews and how they differ from judicial reviews
Planning: What is a tree?
A recent Court of Appeal case concerned a tree replacement notice issued by a local planning authority. Martin Goodall
examines the outcome.
Planning: Tales from the tavern
The owner of a tavern lost a challenge against a planning inspector's approval for a block of flats neighbouring her premises which it was claimed might put her out of business. John Gaunt
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.
Procurement: Conflicts of interest and procurements
A Court of Justice of the European Union ruling provides local authorities with some useful hints and tips for dealing with any conflicts that arise in their own procurement exercises. Carroll Dodd
Procurement: Automatic suspension hearings
Has the bar been raised slightly higher for challengers to maintain an automatic suspension? Chris Jackson
and Richard Binns
Projects: Sweating your assets
How can local authorities get more from their assets without selling off the family silver? Owen Willcox
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
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.
Regulatory: High stakes
Significantly higher fines could be imposed for health and safety offences under new guidelines from the Sentencing Council. Helen Devery
looks at the likely impact on local authorities and their employees.
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.
|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.
|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.