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District urges neighbouring councils to clarify legal process for planned merger
Sedgemoor urges its neighbours, Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils, to clarify legal process and relevant legistation to be used for their proposed merger
Council applies for judicial review of one of its own planning decisions
Local authority applies for judicial review of one of its planning decisions, after councillor voted in favour of application brought by her brother-in-law
Kent County Council targets June launch for Invicta Law ABS
Invicta Law, alternative business structure being set up by Kent County Council, expected to launch formally in June after office move and IT system implementation
Association of Lawyers for Children hits out at Cafcass/ADCS agreement
ALC says it is “deeply concerned” by recent agreement entered into by Cafcass and Association of Directors of Children’s Services, fearing guardians may neglect legal duties
CALLING SOCIAL CARE LAWYERS:
There are limited places remaining at the Local Government Lawyer Social Care Roundtable, in association with LexisNexis, which takes place next Tuesday, 14th March at Camden Town Hall in London from 1pm. Topics include the integration of health and social care, dealing with the DOLs regime, making a market in adult care services and identifying the legal risks facing local authorities. The session will also be joined by Tim Spencer-Lane of the Law Commission, whose report on the DOLS regime will be published the preceding day. If you would like to take part, please contact Derek Bedlow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 239 4917. There is no charge to attend.
Dispute over adequacy of reasons in planning case heads to Supreme Court
Supreme Court gives district council and developer permission to appeal Court of Appeal ruling that quashed permission for 521-dwelling development in area of outstanding natural beauty
7BR boosts public law with arrival of Richard Clayton QC and Lee Parkhill
Barristers’ chambers 7BR strengthens its public law capabilities with arrival of Richard Clayton QC and Lee Parkhill
Spring Budget 2017: key policy decisions
Local Government Lawyer
sets out various key policy decisions contained in Chancellor of Exchequer’s Spring Budget 2017 and affecting sector
Spring Budget 2017: reaction
Local Government Lawyer
rounds up sector's reaction to Philip Hammond's proposals
MUST-READ: 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.
Second council faces compensation payout over water overcharging
Royal Borough of Greenwich could be forced to pay high level of compensation to tenants overcharged for water services, it is claimed after application to suspend warrant for possession concerning rent arrears
Judge quashes planning permission for relocation of secondary school
High Court judge quashes North West council’s grant of planning permission for site to which secondary school was to be relocated, after committee failed to consider school staying at existing location
Council defeats challenge over holding referendum on neighbourhood plan
Borough defeats High Court challenge to its decision to hold referendum on neighbourhood plan
Care home owners seek to bar council officers from entering premises
Owners of care home try to bar Cornwall Council officers from entering its premises, claiming that action was necessary to “protect service users from disruptive local officials”
Museum workers win employment tribunal case against council
City council loses employment tribunal case brought by its museum staff over unlawful deductions from wages
Mills & Reeve boosts London office with Maxwell Winward merger
East Midlands housing group appoints law firm to £400k contract
MORE NEWS STORIES
Highways England slammed for writing to residents without informing council
Council expresses “outrage” at Highways England for writing to residents without informing local authority
Transport for London defeats Uber challenge over language test for drivers
Uber fails in High Court challenge to requirement from TfL that company’s drivers take English language tests
Judge refuses bid for review of permission for block of flats in historic area
Crowdfunded attempt to take Plymouth City Council to judicial review over planning application for seven-storey block in Plymouth Hoe thrown out on papers as “wholly unarguable”
Mills & Reeve boosts London office with Maxwell Winward merger
National firm Mills & Reeve strengthens its London office after securing merger with Maxwell Winward, firm best known for its real estate, surety, projects and construction practices (On Public Law Today)
See all of our most recent news stories
MORE NEWS STORIES
Ex-mayor secures adjournment to Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing
Former elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, secures adjournment to disciplinary proceedings brought against him by Solicitors Regulation Authority
Court of Appeal judge appointed as first Investigatory Powers Commissioner
Lord Justice Fulford appointed by Prime Minister as first Investigatory Powers Commissioner
Care provider ordered to pay £80k+ after CQC prosecution
Liverpool care provider that failed in its duty to provide safe care and treatment ordered to pay £82,429.72 in fines and costs
Bid to require councils to identify space to house child refugees fails
Opposition MPs and Conservative rebels lose bid to force government to require councils to identify any spare accommodation suitable for unaccompanied child refugees
This week's analysis
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yet another subject access judgment…
Anya Proops QC analyses the latest ruling on subject access requests, this time from the Court of Appeal.
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.
SUPPLIER OF THE WEEK: Ivy Legal is an innovative planning enforcement law firm that specialises in supporting local authorities. Taking a revolutionary approach to planning enforcement, we tailor our support and services to meet our clients’ requirements – from providing additional resource to in-house planning teams, to providing a fully outsourced planning enforcement package.
North London power project gets consent - by Angus Walker
On 24 February the Government granted development consent for the North London Heat and Power project, the 58th Development Consent Order (DCO) to be issued.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
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.
Adult Social Services: Dismissing or withdrawing?
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
consider the first reported judgment to consider the new Rule 87A on obtaining the court's permission to withdraw proceedings.
Adult Social Services: When to commit
The Court of Appeal recently expressed deep concern at the jailing of a woman who refused to comply with a welfare order in relation to a man she moved to Portugal. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers
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
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
Children: Parental consent not required for section 20 accommodation
Is it a breach of a local authority’s duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, and article 8 of the ECHR, to keep children in foster care without their parent’s consent? Jonathan Auburn
looks at the Court of Appeal's answer to this question.
Children: S.20 and parental consent
A landmark Court of Appeal ruling permits local authorities to accommodate children under s. 20 of the Children Act without parental consent, writes Eirwen Pierrot
Children: Honour-based violence and forced marriage in public law proceedings
Practitioners should be alert to issues that may arise in cases where honour-based violence is considered a risk by the local authority, particularly when forced marriage is considered to be a real possiblity, write Francis Wilkinson
and Lauren Suding
Children: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children – the local authority conundrum
and Morris Hill
examine local authorities’ statutory obligations around the complex and highly-sensitive issue of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
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
Dispute Resolution: Public bodies who discriminate – County Court or High Court process?
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
Dispute Resolution: Settling public law claims
A recent High Court judgment on the settlement of public law claims and which party should pay costs is a victory for common sense, writes David Lintott
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
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
Education: Teacher misconduct
A High Court judge has overturned an indefinite teaching ban on a ‘superhead’ who channeled work to a company with which he was associated. James Goudie QC
looks at the reasons why.
Education: Grammar schools: back to the future?
reviews recent evelopments in relation to grammar schools, including the Government's latest proposals.
Education: Segregation of sexes in school
What are the obligations of schools under the Equality Act 2010? Mark Blois
talks to LexisNexis
about how a recent high-profile court case has made no change to the core obligations schools are under.
Employment: Religious festivals and extended holiday requests
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: The apprenticeship levy and councils
How will the apprenticeship levy impact local authorities? Rajveena Sangha
Employment: The duty to make reasonable adjustments
considers what you can learn from the Supreme Court case of the wheelchair versus the buggy.
Employment: Pay grades and contractual rights
Claire Booth r
eports 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.
Employment: Procedural failings and gross misconduct
examines a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling on the impact of procedural failings on the fairness of a dismissal for gross misconduct.
Employment: Disclosing information on TUPE-transferred staff
Can you be ordered to disclose information about staff who have TUPE transferred to another employer? Allison Cook
reports on a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.
Governance: Local government reform in Wales
, 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
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: An unprotected species?
considers the recent legislative changes around local authority governance arrangements.
Governance: Defeating substantive legitimate expectation claims
In the second in a two-part series on substantive legitimate expectations, David Sykes
analyses the courts' approach to judicial review challenges and examines how such claims can be defeated.
Governance: Promises, promises
In the first in a two-part series David Sykes
analyses recent developments in relation to substantive legitimate expectations.
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
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
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: Moving on out
The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling on whether landlords are responsible for paying council tax on a property when a tenant has moved out before the tenancy agreement has formally ended. Justin Bates
sets out the background to the case.
Housing: Out of the Blue
looks at the ramifications for social landlords' use of suspended possession orders after the Court of Appeal's decision in Cardiff County Council v Lee
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: Don’t be a data protection fundamentalist
An Advocate General has called for a common sense approach to interpreting data protection law. Robin Hopkins
examines the AG's opinion.
Information Law: The right to data portability under GDPR
considers the new right to data portability under the GDPR and examines its impact on the public sector.
Information Law: GDPR and the role of the Data Protection Officer
The data protection officer is set to play a key role when the EU General Data Protection Regulaton comes into effect. Ibrahim Hasan
Information Law: New directions for Article 10
The European Court of Human Rights has reversed the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Kennedy case on rights of access to information. Richard Clayton QC
Information Law: The value of FOI
LexisPSL Public Law
speaks to Adam Chapman
, partner and head of public law at Kingsley Napley, about the potential expansion of the UK’s freedom of information (FOI) regime.
Licensing: Streets ahead?
Trade objectors recently tested the definition of a “street” in a betting office application case. Andy Woods
examines the outcome.
Licensing: High Court says no dice
Philip Kolvin QC
sets out why the High Court rejected a legal challenge to Southampton City Council's grant of a large casino licence.
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
Licensing: Shisha smoking – a hot topic
looks at Westminster City Council's approach to controlling shisha smoking and reports on an appeal where the authority has sought to use planning legislation.
Planning: Reasons for delegated decisions to grant planning permission - the Shasha case
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: Local plans, neighbourhood plans and timing
Can neighbourhood plans come forward ahead of up to date local plans? Clare Parry
reports on a recent Court of Appeal ruling.
Planning: Serving s. 215 notices
The Court of Appeal has issued an important ruling on the service provisions in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Local Government Act 1972. Heather Sargent
sets out the key issues.
Planning: Air quality, habitats and alternative sites
The Court of Appeal has issued a ruling in an air quality and habitats challenge relating to Ashdown Forest. James Maurici QC
explains the outcome.
Planning: Restrictive covenants and planning permission
analyses the role of planning permissions in the removal of restrictive covenants.
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
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?
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
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.
Procurement: Termination clauses and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
This LexisPSL Local Government
article, produced in partnership with Mark Bassett
addresses the question of whether contracting authorities need to redraft their standard termination clauses for contracts subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
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?
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: 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 l
ooks 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 l
ooks at the difficulties created by the wording and reviews the key tribunal decisions.
Property: Fresh points on Assets of Community Value
examines the key learning points from the latest batch of rulings in relation to assets of community value.
Property: The cost of compulsorily acquiring land
How much does it cost a local authority to compulsorily acquire land? Chris Skinner
explains in his latest article on CPOs.
Property: Using compulsory purchase powers to bring forward development on allocated sites
In the third article in a series on CPOs, Chris Skinner
examines the use of compulsory purchase powers to bring forward development on allocated sites.
Property: Housing estate regeneration and CPOs
examines the vital role for compulsory purchase in the regeneration of housing estates.
Regulatory: Consistently packing a punch
looks at the impact of the toughter environmental sentencing guidelines that were introduced in 2014.
Regulatory: Accidents and control of premises
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.