Editor's blog: Open and shut case
It can be difficult to be critical of a proposal for greater transparency in council decision-making. After all, suggestions that the reforms might have unintended consequences could be seized upon as a sign that you are secretive and resistant to change.
However, it does seem as if the announcement of new regulations last week could have been better handled. Read more...
Jobs latest: Merton and Richmond's shared legal service is now looking to recruit two Assistant Property Lawyers to its Business Improvement Team. And the closing date to apply for the position of Corporate Legal Adviser at the Local Government Association is imminent: 31 August (noon). Don't delay or you will miss out!
Calling all Directors of Law and Heads of Legal: we are conducting our annual Management Survey in association with Kennedy Cater. It would be great if you could complete the survey here - it should take no more than 15 minutes.
We are also looking for procurement specialists employed in the public sector to complete a survey we are conducting in association with Bevan Brittan here.
Get 60% off the cost of courses before 5th September and don't forget that your first course is free! 12 months unlimited access is just £199 + VAT.
Click here to see the full catalogue.
Pickles hails regulations boosting openness in council decision-making New rights for 'citizen bloggers' plus enhanced rights for individual councillors and scrutiny members. But concerns emerge over speed of implementation and compliance with key reform
Borough takes legal action after permission given for 1,000-home developments Tewkesbury anger over decision taken while it was drawing up strategies with other local authorities
Council to pay £150k for damage to property caused by tree more than 30 metres away High Court judge said local authority should have taken action to prune poplars
Trading standards organisations fight back in row over RIPA use Warning of burden for courts and local authorities caused by requirement for Magistrates Court authorisation
Pickles urges council leaders to clamp down on unauthorised encampments Communities Secretary issues new guidance to leaders on powers available to local authorities and police
Councils "should waive affordable housing requirements" to aid build-to-let developments Montague Report also calls for review of stalled sites
Authorities hail success of injunction against car cruising Police and authorities in South Nottinghamshire took action after receiving hundreds of complaints
LGO tells council to pay £20k to mother of autistic children after care failings Complainant had been caused "distress and justifiable outrage", says Ombudsman
Watchdog urges councils to make efficiences on care assessments Audit Commission claims that annual packages for 20,000 individuals could be delivered through savings
Big Brother Watch demands greater transparency on use of RIPA powers
Private equity investment to go ahead as Parabis wins ABS licence
DCMS consults on revised guidance covering Live Music Act reforms
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
It's good to talk
The Cabinet Office has revamped its guidance on consultation. Nicola Williams and Owain Morgan assess the likely impact of the changes.
A coach and Aarhus through the planning system?
David Hart QC reviews two challenges before the Aarhus Compliance Committee on the operation of the planning system and third party rights.
The Administrative Court recently found that a police authority could not alter the fundamental public law nature of security clearance functions by considering them to be mere private law contractual matters. Nicholas Dobson reports.
Tripping up the claimant
A recent tripping dispute involving a council in the North West shows that cases do not necessarily need to be settled simply because there is no statutory defence, writes Nick Holgate.
Clear as day?
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case considered whether terms for a pay increase were sufficiently clear as to be enforceable. Allison Cook reviews the ruling.
Abuse in care cases and the withdrawal of legal aid
More people are taking action over abuse in care ahead of the withdrawal of legal aid in 2013, writes Tony Hall.
Setting the discount rate
A Ministry of Justice consultation paper could lead to a change in the Discount Rate for personal injury damages and have a significant impact on public authorities which pay out compensation. Christopher Malla examines how it should be set.
Featured Courses on Local Government Law.tv
All courses are CPD-qualifying. Your first course is FREE.
All courses now also available on DVD
Handling Persistent Complainants Persistent complainants can, if allowed, clog up an already over stretched system or service. This course will help to develop your understanding of this ever growing problem and look at ways to effectively handle persistent complainants.
Changing Terms and Conditions of Employment A contract of employment cannot generally be varied unilaterally by either party. So how can an employer effect necessary changes? This session introduces the relevant concepts, suggests alternative strategies and highlights potential pitfalls.
Bad Character Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions The admissibility of 'Bad Character' evidence can be vital to the success of a prosecution, but the rules and case law surrounding its definition and use in evidence are complex and contain many pitfalls for the unwary.
Age Assessments How will the courts determine whether an individual is legally a child or not? This course provides guidance on what evidence should and should not be taken into account when making a decision and outline the procedure by which challenges are brought.
Possession and Proportionality Since Pinnock in 2010, a number of cases have provided some additional clarity as to when an Article 8 defence to possession proceedings can be deployed. This course looks at whether we are any closer to a definitive answer.
The Localism Act 2011 and Housing: Homelessness With the ever-increasing push for better performance and productivity the need for teams to be effective and have the ability to work well together is vital.
The Löfstedt Review of Health and Safety Towards the end of 2011 the Government published the findings of an independent review into the burdens on business caused by the regulation of health and safety. This presentation provides an analysis of the review and its findings.
Unlimited access for 12 months Unlimited access to all online content on Local Government Law.tv for just £199 + VAT with the option to add a full day LGG course for £150 +VAT, covering all of your annual CPD needs for less than £350 (+VAT).
Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (94)
The latest blogs...
Housing may be added to infrastructure regime
by Angus Walker
The press has been speculating, or has possibly been briefed, on the contents of the forthcoming Economic Regeneration Bill. The main interest has focused on the green belt, but an article in the Daily Mail
suggests that housing may be added to the categories of infrastructure project covered by the Planning Act regime.
Snap judgement: Is your authority likely to increase its use of ADR in the foreseeable future?
Yes, as much as possible - 6%
Yes, but only in limited cases - 25%
No, we're not familiar with the process - 25%
No, public bodies should conduct their business in public - 12%
Click here to vote now
No, the other side usually want their day in court - 32%
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: What can local authorities do to tackle social care debt? Caroline Sanders
and Jacky Edwards
consider the issue of escalating debt in respect of unpaid care contributions and look at what local authorities can do about the problem.
Children's Services: Schools, sports and injuries
Local authorities should welcome a recent Court of Appeal ruling in a case where a pupil was injured during a golf lesson at school, says Ridwaan Omar
Community Safety: At your station
The sale of alcohol at petrol station forecourts has been a vexed issue for years. Jeffrey Leib
looks at the latest developments.
Employment: Single minded Jane Johnson l
ooks at a Employment Appeal Tribunal case on organised groupings of employees and TUPE.
Governance: Commercial prejudice and redaction
An Upper Tribunal ruling serves as a reminder that organisations seeking to rely on the commercial prejudice exemption under FOIA must be as precise as possible, writes Robin Hopkins
Healthcare: Balancing values
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street
report on a high-profile case over whether it was in the best interests for a 32-year-old woman with anorexia to be fed against her wishes.
Housing: Attempts to prevent eviction
Following a recent judgment, Andrew Lane
, Simon Allinson
, Dean Underwood
and Laura Tweedy
discuss the increasing use of public law and Article 8 arguments in attempts to prevent eviction in mandatory possession cases.
Licensing: Partnership is still the key Andy Woods
looks at a couple of recent cases and reminds both the trade and responsible authorities that the partnership approach remains the key ingredient for promoting the licensing objectives under the Licensing Act 2003.
Litigation: EL Trigger - the fallout
The Supreme Court ruling in the employer's liability 'trigger' litigation was a welcome one for local government but a number of issues remain outstanding, writes Henry Bermingham
Planning: Buildings or structures - the Woolley Chickens case
A High Court ruling over whether mobile poultry units were development under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 is a significant one, writes Martin Goodall
Procurement: No turning back? Julie Prior
looks at the lessons to be learned for contracting authorites from a recent High Court case on the timing for bringing a claim during a tender process.
Projects: Screen test
The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct test for screening decisions in relation to environmental impact assessments, writes Polly Reynolds
Property: So you think you are covered?
A recent High Court ruling on insurance cover is significant for local authorities whether they are the landlord or tenant of a property, writes Helen Westran
Regulatory: Selective approach
The Court of Appeal has ruled that there should be "severe" sentences for Selective Licensing offences, but no confiscation under proceeds of crime legislation. Matthew Paul
analyses the case.