NHS England cites external legal advice in declining to commission HIV treatment
Specialised Services Commissioning Committee of NHS England concludes it does not have legal power to commission new HIV treatment, PrEP. LGA describes decision as "hugely disappointing" and says funding should remain NHS responsibility unless it is fully funded for local authorities to pass on
County council rejects “misconceived” legal challenge over children’s centre closures
Local authority condemns as "legally and factually misconceived" threatened judicial review by local campaigners over its closure of children’s centres
Council to refund care payments to 63 people after Ombudsman report
Borough agrees to refund more than 60 older people if they are found to have been overcharged for care, following investigation by Local Government Ombudsman
Olwen Dutton joins Anthony Collins Solicitors as Head of Local Government
Anthony Collins Solicitors hires Olwen Dutton from Bevan Brittan as partner and head of local government (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
DfE to axe serious case reviews in favour of local and national reviews
Ministers to scrap serious case review system used when children have suffered severe harm
MUST READ FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION LAWYERS: County Court "costs only" appeals
reports on three cases in which applications for permission to appeal against a costs order were heard together by the Court of Appeal to establish the correct destination of such appeals.
SRA delays decision on controversial plan for Solicitors Qualifying Exam
Solicitors Regulation Authority puts back final decision on whether to introduce controversial plans for centralised Solicitors Qualifying Exam, after consultation provokes strong opposition
LGA publishes guide for councils on Psychoactive Substances Act
Local Government Association issues guide to Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into force last month and introduces blanket ban on the production and distribution of such substances
Chief execs fear councils heading into serious financial trouble within a year
Some 86% of council chief executives fear that some local authorities will get into serious financial trouble over next three years, while 56% expect that to happen within one year, PwC research suggests
Court lifts suspension on award of £128.4m care contract to Virgin
Two clinical commissioning groups successfully apply to High Court to have lifted automatic suspension of award of £128.4m contract to Virgin Care. Legal proceedings had been brought by NHS trust
Council vows to defend legal challenge to school transport policy
Welsh authority to defend any legal challenge by parents to its policy over school transport, which has already led to resignation of cabinet member
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Theo Huckle QC steps down as Counsel General for Wales
Public Law Project names Pickup as new Legal Director
Council appoints two firms to handle insurance claims
Borough eyes appointing three practices to advise on s.106 obligations and unilateral undertakings
Bircham Dyson Bell promotes two from Government & Infrastructure to partner
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Judge gives green light to judicial review challenge over short breaks cuts
High Court judge gives families of two severely disabled children permission to bring judicial review proceedings over council’s £215,000 funding reduction to short breaks services
NHS trust ordered to pay £275k-plus over trolley safety failings
Following HSE investigation and prosecution, trust ordered to pay more than £275,000 in fines and costs for safety failings in its management of use and maintenance of certain type of trolley
Welsh council leaders warn against local government reorganisation
Reorganisation of local government structures “no longer a sustainable option given the ongoing austerity”, Welsh Local Government Association says
Report urges beefing up of Social Value Act to boost use by councils
Barriers to greater adoption of Public Services (Social Value) Act by councils will only be overcome by legislative change to strengthen legislation, Social Enterprise UK claims
MPs to hold inquiry into recommendations of Local Plan Experts Group
Communities and Local Government Committee to hold inquiry into recommendations made by Local Plans Expert Group
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Only a partial victory?
The Government may have hailed its successful appeal over its affordable housing and small sites policy as a major victory but it is not the end of the battle for local planning authorities, writes John Pugh-Smith, who also considers some of the overlapping implications with the 'Starter Homes' initiative.
Direct payments under the Care Act
Christopher Knight reports on the outcome of a High Court challenge brought by recipients over the suspension of accreditation of a direct payments service used by more than 3,000 people.
Dynamic Purchasing Systems – the planning phase
A significant number of Dynamic Purchasing Systems are either up and running or in the planning phase in the UK and this is raising practical issues, writes Susie Smith in the first in a series of articles.
The Public Sector Equality Duty and planning
Alex Round examines the importance of the Public Sector Equality Duty in planning decision making.
Contractual staff handbooks
A recent Court of Appeal decision highlights the limitations of contractual staff handbooks for employers, writes Jessica Ryan.
ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY
School standards and religious rights
Tom Cross analyses a recent First-tier Tribunal education case concerning school standards and religious rights.
National Infrastructure Commission consults on ambitions by Angus Walker
Coming in just under the wire before ‘referendum purdah’, the National Infrastructure Commission has launched a consultation on the process and methodology for its National Infrastructure Assessment. The National Infrastructure Commission calls itself ‘the Commission’, but others are calling it ‘the NIC’, making it sound like a prison.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: State imputability
A ruling this week by the Deputy President of the Court of Protection imposes more obligations on local authorities, financial deputies and the courts, writes Nageena Khalique QC
Adult Social Services: Reasons challenges to charging and care home fees decisions
examines a High Court ruling on whether reasons challenges can be brought against local authority charging and care home fees decisions.
Adult Social Services: Sex and the simple test
Alex Ruck Keene
analyses the latest ruling on an individual’s capacity to have sexual relations and to marry.
Children: Transition to education, health and care plans
LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Anita Chopra
and Chris Barnett
, set out a checklist for moving children from statements to the new regime of education, health and care plans.
Children: Age assessment and litigation fairness
The Court of Appeal has handed down a wide-reaching judgment that directly concerns age assessment cases, but the principles enunciated apply to all litigation (private and public), writes Peter Oldham QC
Children: Section 17 and Child Arrangements Orders
sets out some practice points arising out of a recent case involving section 17 and Child Arrangements Orders.
Community Safety: PCCs - end of term report
With elections just round the corner, what impact have Police and Crime Commissioners had since their introduction? Sarah Ellson
and David Northfield
Education: Censorship or justified concern?
A High Court judge recently heard a group of academics' judicial review challenge to a university's decision to withdraw permission for a conference on international law and Israel. Dominic Ruck Keene
analyses the judgment. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Education: Academies and public law: Pt 2
In the second in a two-part series, Mark Johnson
looks at what academies should consider when carrying out consultation. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Education: Public law pitfalls for academies
In the first of a two-part series, Mark Johnson
looks at issues around inadequate consultation and other public law pitfalls for academies.
Employment: Wider still, and wider?
considers a recent case involving a London borough and the wide range of circumstances in which employees may bring claims of discrimination arising from disability.
Employment: Malicious emails and privacy
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently considered whether an employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in malicious emails sent to a work colleague. Mark Stevens
Employment: The Trade Union Act – key measures
Parliament has passed a new law on strikes, trade unions and pickets. Phil Allen
sets out the key points.
Employment: Whistleblowing takes centre stage
Whistleblowing is in the spotlight again. Victoria McMeel
and Jodie Sinclair
look at where we are on new standards recently introduced and the latest case law on a 'public' interest disclosure.
Governance: Electoral law case update
With elections taking place, Tom Tabori
looks at the lessons to be learned from recent cases on electoral law.
Governance: Community engagement and social media
How can local government minimise the risks when using social media to boost community engagement? Dan Read
Governance: Combined authorities – accountability is key
With the drive to greater regional devolution, combined authorities, local authorities and other key stakeholders will need to address significant issues around accountability, writes Anja Beriro
Governance: Audits and auditors - England
In partnership with Stephen Sheen
, the LexisPSL Local Government
team highlights key features of external audit and internal audit in England.
Healthcare: Creating a sustainable healthcare system
Healthcare: Anorexia and the CoP: the difficult line
In the pursuit of a sustainable healthcare system local government must not be left behind, write Michael Boyd and Judith Barnes.
Healthcare: The CoP and reporting restrictions after death
The Court of Protection has recently considered whether reporting restrictions in a case should continue after the individual's death. Rosalind English reports.
Cases where clinicians and others exercising roles under the Mental Health Act 1983 seek to use the Court of Protection to ratify their decisions raise complex issues, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers
Healthcare: Equality claims and health regulators
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the availability of judicial review did not oust the jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal to hear an alleged discrimination claim against a health regulator, writes Jeremy Hyam QC
Housing: Sub-letting: have you got the best evidence?
considers some of the issues arising, and the court procedures available to, social landlords taking possession action because the tenant is believed to have sub-let or parted with possession of the demised premises.
Housing: Consult in haste, repent at leisure
As local housing authorities nationwide consider introducing or renewing additional and selective licensing schemes, Dean Underwood
considers the requirements of a key pre-condition to designation and provides local housing authorities with tips about lawful consultation.
Housing: Lower standards in some HMOs?
Nottingham City Council is planning to go to the Court of Appeal after it lost an Upper Tribunal case on its decision to ban two small bedrooms being used as sleeping accommodation. David Hobbs
Housing: Housing associations and exchange of tenancies
looks at an application for judicial review of a housing trust's decision not to provide consent to an exchange of tenancies.
Housing: Registered providers and commercial assets
Registered providers of social housing could receive a much-needed injection of income if they make better use of their commercial assets, write Kary Withers
and Aaron Macauley
Information Law: Transparency updates and the revised s45 Code
examines recent transparency-related developments that will have a potential impact on the engagement of exemptions under FOIA and the EIR, and the public interest balance.
Information Law: Information requests, purdah and the pre-election period
considers the approach public bodies should take to dealing with freedom of information requests during the pre-election period.
Information Law: FoI - how to recognise a vexatious request
considers the approach public bodies should take towards dealing with vexatious freedom of information requests.
Licensing: Using cumulative impact policies
Councils should be wary of the unintended consequences of cumulative impact policies, writes Paddy Whur
Licensing: A cautionary tale
A recent case underlines the importance of complying with Court directions in case management hearings for licensing appeals, writes James Rankin
Licensing: Licensing and illegal workers
Philip Kolvin QC
reports on an important High Court ruling after a restaurant owner appealed the revocation of his premises licence over the employment of an illegal worker.
Litigation: Council tax reduction and the Denton Principles
The High Court has recently applied the Denton
Principles in a council tax reduction appeal. Richard Hanstock
Litigation: Standard of review in Aarhus cases
David Hart QC
examines the latest Aarhus Convention point to come before the domestic courts, in a case involving a city council.
Litigation: Key costs cases in Q1 2016
, Victoria James
and Dr Catriona Wolfenden
round up the major costs cases in the first three months of 2016.
Litigation: Non-domestic rate collection: never too late?
In the first of his three-part series on debt recovery, Marc Samuels
revisits the circumstances in which local authorities can issue late demands for non-domestic business rates.
Litigation: Moss and algae on the highway
Are councils under a duty to remove moss from the highway? Sarah Wilkinson
reports on a High Court ruling.
Litigation: McGeown, Young and slippery bridges
reports on the successful defence of a claim brought against a local authority after the claimant slipped on a wooden footbridge.
Planning: Affordable housing and small sites: the Court of Appeal ruling
The Communities Secretary has won his appeal over a High Court ruling that a key government policy on affordable housing and small-scale sites was unlawful. Harriet Townsend
, Martin Edwards
, Ashley Bowes
and Andrew Lane
Planning: Costs in planning appeals and inquiries
How do you make a successful application for costs in a planning appeal? Jessica Swannell
explains what is needed.
Planning: Housing land supply
analyses a ruling by a High Court judge on housing land supply, deliverable sites and housing market areas.
Procurement: Framework agreements and direct awards
and Tim Care
consider how contracts can be called off under multi-supplier framework agreements, by making a direct award without re-opening competition.
Procurement: The public sector equality duty and procurement
analyses the interplay between the public sector equality duty and the public procurement regime.
Procurement: The Public Contract Regulations 2015 and the Care Act 2014
looks at the issues raised by the interplay between the Public Contract Regulations and the Care Act when it comes to service provision.
Procurement: The Light Touch Regime: tips and tricks
In the second in a two-part series on the 'Light Touch Regime' in public procurement, Chris Brennan
sets out some tips and tricks for designing a compliant process.
Projects: Changing Development Consent Orders
Following the decision of the Energy Secretary to make a non-material amendment to the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm development consent order, Hereward Phillpott QC
and Isabella Tafur
consider the procedure for making changes to DCOs after they have been made and some of the issues to be aware of.
Projects: Refinancing PFI and PPP deals
sets out some of the key considerations for local authorities that are looking to refinance their PFI or PPP deals.
Projects: When PFI contractors fail to perform
What rights and remedies do you have when PFI contractors fail to perform? David Hunter
Projects: Devolution and regeneration investment
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 is the latest measure to implement an enhanced devolution agenda. It must also be viewed as an important tool to stimulate investment in regeneration, writes Alan Aisbett
Property: Of palm trees and a Chancellor’s foot
The Upper Tribunal has considered – in a service charges case involving a London borough – the concept of issue estoppel. Alastair Redpath-Stevens
analyses the judgment.
Property: Overage clauses and drafting issues
reviews the main elements of agreeing overage agreements that local authorities need to take into account when agreeing overage terms.
Regulatory: Game of drones – the law
examines the issues that local authorities may face as a result of the use of drones.
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.
|Neighbourhood Planning: A Legal Perspective
||John Pugh-Smith and Daniel Stedman Jones look at how lawyers can square the circle of greater localism in the planning system and the need for more housing and infrastructure development.
|Housing and Local Plans
||Peter Village QC and Rose Grogan analyse the key features of the Housing and Planning Bill and outline some of the problems and pitfalls created by Local Plans as identified by recent case law.
|Human Rights, the Equality Act and Social Housing
||This course looks at the arguments faced by public authorities and social landlords when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 or the Human Rights Act 1998 and outlines some of the defences and tactics available to defend them.
|Social Housing Eligibility Update 2015
||This course looks at which groups of people subject to immigration control are and are not eligible for social housing in the light of changes to welfare and immigration rules and recent case law.
|Possession Claims Update 2015
||This presentation provides an update on new housing legislation, regulation and case law before going on to look at the issues faced by social landlords as the first flexible tenancies granted under the Localism Act 2011 begin to expire.
|Local Government Law Update 2015
||Recorded in April 2015, leading barrister Richard Clayton QC outlines and analyses the key local government cases of the preceding 12 months across a range of disciplines. Includes a comprehensive downloadable paper.
|The Commercial Council
||Michael Mousdale and Bradley Martin provide a practical and legal guide for council officers and lawyers looking to establish local authority trading companies.
|Information Law Update 2015
||Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery at Information Commissioner’s Office, outlines and discusses the implications of some of the key developments surrounding Freedom of Information, the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.
|FOI and Data Protection Update 2016
||This presentation reviews the main changes in the past 12 months in the fields of Freedom of Information and Data Protection, with an extended look at Monetary Penalty Notices and an overview of the latest developments in relation to property search charges.
|Social Housing Fraud
||This presentation identifies the main types of social housing fraud committed, the remedies available to tackle it and provides guidance on which are most suitable for particular types of fraud.
|Governance and Monitoring
||This presentation focuses on four topical areas of local authority governance: employee surveillance (including on social media), decision-making (pecuniary interests, bias, and committee make-up), whistleblowing and the counter-terrorism Prevent duty.
|Managing Cuts Lawfully
||This presentation looks at how legal challenges to decisions resulting from budget cuts can be avoided, mitigated and defended, focusing on the two grounds of challenge which appear most frequently unlawful consultation and breach of the PSED.