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NEWS HEADLINES

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 derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk 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
 

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MARKETPLACEKennedy Cater

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)

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EVENTS
Community Care & COP/DOL: Two Half Day Seminars - 11KBW. Manchester. 22 March.
Governance in Local Authorities: a Survival Guide - BDT Legal and Anthony Collins, Barking. 6 May.

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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
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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.


BLOGSAngus Walker

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 reports.

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 reports.

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 reports.
 
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
Ken Slade 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 reports.

Dispute Resolution: Public bodies who discriminate – County Court or High Court process?
Sally Cowen 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 explains why.

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 reports.

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 explains why.

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?
Satnam Virdi 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
Harmajinder Hayre 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 explains.

Employment: The duty to make reasonable adjustments
Phil Allen considers what you can learn from the Supreme Court case of the wheelchair versus the buggy.

Employment: Pay grades and contractual rights
Claire Booth reports 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
Brian Gegg 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
Gareth Owens, 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
Claire Booth 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?
Simon Goacher 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 explains.

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
Mathew McDermott 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
Scott Greenwood 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
Ibrahim Hasan 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 explains why.

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 explains why.

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
Anna Mathias 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
Meyric Lewis 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
Brendon Lee 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
Daniel Milnes 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?
Mike Pierides 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, explain.

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 of Dentons 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?
Alex Lawrence 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 looks 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 looks at the difficulties created by the wording and reviews the key tribunal decisions.

Property: Fresh points on Assets of Community Value
Christopher Cant 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
Chris Skinner examines the vital role for compulsory purchase in the regeneration of housing estates.

Regulatory: Consistently packing a punch
Vicki Teece looks at the impact of the toughter environmental sentencing guidelines that were introduced in 2014.

Regulatory: Accidents and control of premises
James Buchanan 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.
 
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Environment Agency Deputy Director
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Stockport Council
Stockport Council
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Contracts and Conveyancing Officer

South London Legal Partnership
South London Legal Partnership
Lawyer - Social Care and Education
Lawyer (Adults) - Social Care and Education
Planning Lawyer

West Sussex
West Sussex County Council
Senior Advocate

North Tyneside
North Tyneside Council
Lawyer - Safeguarding and Litigation
Lawyer - Commercial and Development

Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council
Property and Planning Solicitor
Commercial Solicitor
Litigation Paralegal

nplaw (Norfolk CC)
nplaw (Norfolk CC)
Senior Lawyer - Planning & Compulsory Purchase

Northampton Borough Council
Lewisham Council
Enforcement, Intelligence and Tenancy Rights Officer

Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth City Council
Senior Childcare Solicitor

Lewes and Eastbourne Legal Services
Lewes and Eastbourne Legal Services
Contracts Lawyer

North Somerset Council
North Somerset Council
Solicitors/Barristers x2 - Childcare

Test Valley
Test Valley Borough Council
Commercial Property Lawyer

Welwyn Hatfield
Welwyn Hatfield Council
Conveyancing Officer

Disability Law Service
Disability Law Service
Social Welfare and Community Care Supervising Solicitor

Bevan Brittan
Bevan Brittan
Solicitor or Associate - Commercial & Infrastructure

Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins
Senior Associate - Local Government and Commercial
Corporate & Governance Solicitor - Housing and NfP

Waverley
Waverley Borough Council
Deputy Borough Solicitor

Leicester City Council
Leicester City Council
Lawyer - Planning
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Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council
Oversight and Governance Manager

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