Editor's blog: Up for grabs
There has been plenty of action this week on the tenders front, most notably with the news that the London Boroughs Legal Alliance is to establish a new solicitors framework agreement from this October. Read more...
DON'T MISS OUT: The closing date is fast approaching for a number of roles on LGL. The following councils are hiring: Camden: Contracts and Procurement and Prosecutions and Anti-Social Behaviour (deadline: 19 May); Newham: Director of Legal and Governance (20 May: 12 noon); Havering: Head of Legal and Democratic Services (20 May: 12 noon); and West Sussex County Council: Public law child care lawyer (24 May). Welwyn Hatfield is also looking for a Senior Litigation Officer. To see all the roles on LGL, click here. Please tell them you saw the job on Local Government Lawyer.
Download our must-read Careers and Training Supplement.
Top events coming up: Community Care conference (11KBW; 22 May); Charities and empty rates - the PSCT case (FTB; 12 June); Governance - a survival guide for senior managers (Public Law Partnership; 13 June); After Mid-Staffordshire: Whistleblowing and the Law (Pavilion: 27 June); and Education Law Update (39 Essex Street; 13 June).
LGSS Law set to expand after deal struck with borough council Legal arm of shared service between county councils nears 100 FTEs
Supreme Court to hear village green case over status of recreation ground Appeal over ruling that inhabitants' use of field for recreational purposes had been 'by right'
LBLA starts process of selecting new solicitors framework agreement London Boroughs Legal Alliance, whose 13 members spend £1.5m a year, fires gun on new framework
NHS Shared Business Services kick-starts £130m legal services tender Two main lots to be offered, both nationally and regionally
Information Commissioner issues new guidance on vexatious FOI requests Also issues information on dealing with repeated requests and 'manifestly unreasonably requests' under EIRs
Council secures major cut in damages payable over unlawful eviction Court of Appeal win sees amount payable reduced from £90,000 to £16,000
Deadline of 26 weeks for care proceedings "could see wrong decisions taken" Warning from College of Social Work and Family Rights Group, who urge amendment making it easier for professionals to call for extension to time limit
MoJ consults on national standards for expert witnesses in family courts Experts whose evidence is not up to scratch "will be driven out"
Major reforms to permitted development regime to come into force on 30 May Reforms will allow change of use from offices B1(a) to homes (C3), but areas in 17 local authorities will be exempt from new rights
Councils leaders call for action on 'legal highs' after failed prosecution Local authority brought case under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations
Wild up for The Lawyer award, while Kent battles five other local authorities Council legal departments take on HMRC and TfL for In-House Public Sector Team of the Year
Town and parish councils win right to submit Sustainable Communities Act proposals
High Court battle begins over housing benefit regulations and "benefit tax"
Social housing group puts £2m-£4m in legal work up for grabs
Top local government QC joins Exchange Chambers as door tenant
Riverview Law and DMH Stallard seal strategic alliance
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Flexible tenancies: top tips for drafting agreements
Having assisted a number of local authorities and housing associations, Jon Holbrook offers tips for landlords drafting flexible tenancy agreements.
Costs following settlement of judicial review proceedings
Jonathan Auburn and Benjamin Tankel review recent cases on the recovery of costs following settled judicial review proceedings.
A noxious nuisance: lessons for council lawyers
A recent case on nuisance contains some important lessons for council litigation lawyers, argues Nicholas Dobson.
To decide or not to decide, that is the question
Dave Phillips and Naomi Madderson consider the impact of a case in which a local authority which removed two children subject to an interim care order was judicially reviewed.
Backing contact arrangements with penal notices and injunctions
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street look at a case where an order relating to contact arrangements was backed by a penal notice and injunctions.
Homeless persons, vulnerability and personal circumstances
The Court of Appeal has provided important guidance on the matters to be taken into account when deciding whether a homeless person is "vulnerable" for the purposes of the Homelessness Act 1996. Paul Brown QC explains the ruling.
Planning time limits and the EIA directive
Are planning enforcement time limits compatible with the Environmental Impact Assessment directive? Clare Parry reports on a recent High Court ruling.
Heritage reform and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
New legislation looks set to speed up the process of applying for listed building consent, writes David Merson.
Procuring health care services for the NHS
New regulations set out the principles and procedures for NHS England and clinical commissioning groups when it comes to specialist procuring activities and commissioning. Richard Auton looks at what they say.
The latest blogs...
Judicial review reform pulls in both directions by Angus Walker
In the last few weeks two different and potentially conflicting reforms to planning and other judicial reviews have been announced, one of them designed to reduce the number of challenges, but the other is likely to have the effect of increasing them.
Snap judgement: How is the post Localism Act standards regime working in practice?
An improvement on the previous regime
Needs more sanctions
Too early to tell
Bring back Standards for England!
Click here to vote now
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: The Mental Capacity Act - assessing capacity to decide on contact
The Court of Appeal has considered the approach to take when assessing a wife's capacity to decide to live with her husband on his release from prison. Lee Parkhill
looks at the judgment.
Children's Services: When is guidance 'statutory' and does it matter? Allan Norman
analyses the status of 'guidance' and the wider implications of an important 2012 High Court ruling, particularly for the childcare field.
Employment: Long-term sick leave, short-term absence policies and dismissals
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that it was not reasonable to require an NHS trust to make an adjustment to its absence management policy and exempt a disabled claimant. Gareth Edwards
considers the implications.
Governance: In a blaze of publicity
The Department for Communities and Local Government is seeking power to direct local authorities' compliance with the Publicity Code. The move raises significant issues, write Olwen Dutton
and Peter Keith-Lucas
Healthcare: Best interests, medical treatment and quality of life
The Court of Appeal has handed down a key ruling on best interest decisions, medical treatment, quality of life and the patient's wishes. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street
consider the judges' reasoning.
Housing: Anti-social behaviour - the future Andy Lane
reviews the latest developments as the Government seeks to reform the approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.
Licensing: The deregulation of regulated entertainment Andy Woods
looks at the latest deregulation of regulated entertainment proposed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport following on from the Live Music Act 2012.
Litigation: Full steam ahead?
The Government's consultation on proposed reforms to judicial review drew a furious response from certain quarters, but ministers are unrepentant. Virginia Cooper
, Emily Heard
and Andrew Robertson
set out the key measures.
Planning: The s. 106 that wasn't a s. 106 David Brock
analyses a recent High Court judgment that found a purported s. 106 agreement was invalid, and calls on the DCLG to address the problems the case raised.
Procurement: The public sector equality duty and procurement
What is the interplay between the public sector equality duty and procurement? Richard Auton
examines the relationship and recent guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Projects: Highway to CIL
Government proposals to reform further the Community Infrastructure Levy have a focus on highway works. Matt Gilks
analyses the measures.
Property: Public land and property development
Selling public land, or making it available for development, is high up on the Government's growth agenda. But property development is a risky business. How can public sector organisations seek to manage this risk? Phil Lawrence
looks at the key issues and the use of s. 239 TCPA 1990.
Regulatory: Major changes on the way to health and safety?
Legislation that could see significant reform to health and safety recently received Royal Assent. Amy-Jo Campbell
and Roy Woollard
consider the likely impact on litigation in the field.
Transport: The road to clarity
The Court of Appeal has delivered important guidance on the status of the Code of Practice, Well Maintained Highways
. Mark Fowles
and Lorna Herring
analyse the judgment and its implications for local authorities.
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