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Judge rejects £1m+ misfeasance in public office claim

Borough council defeats claim for misfeasance in public office brought in High Court by owners of local joinery business over planning enforcement notice

European Court backs sex shops in licensing fee battle with council
Licensing authorities precluded from requiring applicants for grant or renewal of authorisation to pay fee that includes in part costs of managing and enforcing relevant scheme, Court of Justice of European Union rules in latest stage of Hemming case

Council calls in police amid concerns community buses service was rigged
County calls in police over concerns that survey on community buses was rigged to persuade it to keep spending on subsidies

High Court rules on s. 117 after-care services and personal injury damages
Judge considers whether it was open to council to refuse to make provision for person otherwise entitled to after-care services under s.117 of Mental Health Act 1983 on basis that claimant was in receipt of damages for personal injury including for cost of such care

Tribunal rejects FOI request over code of conduct complaints process
It is important that council’s code of conduct complaints process remains confidential, First-tier Tribunal says in rejecting appeal over refusal of freedom of information request

City names Service Director for Legal and Democratic Services
Shahzia Daya appointed as Service Director, Legal and Democratic Services at Bristol after period acting in interim capacity (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
MUST-READ: The rise of the place shapers
Chris Plumley examines the resurgence in public sector real estate.
Council rapped after social worker leaves court with sensitive data on car roof
London borough gives undertaking to Information Commissioner after one of its social workers left court documents on roof of her car and drove off

Full council backs late night levy despite rejection by committee
Liverpool’s decision to impose late night levy on clubs and bars welcomed by police but draws condemnation from drinks industry

Council to pay £10k damages over failure to act in child protection case
City council found to have breached 11 year old’s rights under Articles 6 and 8, with judge ordering authority to pay child £10,000 in damages to child

Scrapyard owner ends legal action after watchdog orders closure over noise
Scrapyard in Somerset to close after its owner ended judicial review challenge over Environment Agency order that it shut for extreme noise pollution. Agency said it was first time it had had to take such action against waste site because of extreme levels of noise pollution

Welsh councils "need robust corporate wide frameworks to boost charging"
Legal basis for setting and managing charges is complex and local authorities in Wales are not always strategic in their approach to charging, Wales Audit Office says
SENIOR ROLES: Islington Council is looking for a Director of Law and Governance. Closing: 25 November.

TOP INTERIM JOBS: Legal Services Manager (North West), Senior Litigation Lawyer (London), Commercial Contracts & Procurement Lawyer (West Midlands); Highways and Planning Locum (North West), Prosecutions Locum (Merseyside), Planning Locum (Cornwall), Planning Lawyer (Home Counties) and Prosecutions and Enforcement Lawyer (West Midlands).



FOI campaigners attack potential abolition of right to appeal to tribunal
Campaign for Freedom of Information expresses concern that Government may be considering abolition of right of appeal to FTT against decisions of Information Commissioner

Legal Aid Agency rapped over bid to claw back damages payable to ward of court
High Court judge severely criticises Legal Aid Agency's actions in case concerning ward of court to whom local authority had agreed to pay damages for unauthorised release of information

City loses Court of Appeal battle with landlord over council tax liability
Council reported to have lost its appeal over whether landlords are responsible for paying council tax on property when tenant moves out before tenancy agreement has expired

City council takes legal action to shut down ‘tent city’
Hull seeks to close down ‘tent city’, claiming that number of its occupants are protesters from outside area
Objective Connect

City names Daya as Service Director for Legal
Lord Justice Jackson tasked with review of fixed recoverable costs
Architect of 2010 reforms to civil litigation and procedures asked to lead review of fixed recoverable costs, with view to regime being extended

Charity wins FOI battle with DfE over cost of childcare research
Department for Education must reconsider its refusal to publish research it commissioned from Deloitte on cost of delivering childcare, Information Commissioner’s Office rules

Mayor of London to back legal action by councils over Heathrow expansion
Sadiq Khan directs Transport for London to “provide advice and assistance” to those councils preparing for joint legal challenge with Greenpeace against third runway at Heathrow

DCLG mulls video conferencing for joint commitees and combined authorities
Government to consult on plans to give local authorities operating joint committees, and combined authorities, but not councils as a whole, ability to hold formal meetings using video conferencing

See all of our most recent news stories

Environment and Planning Seminar - 3PB: Aimed at planners and property professionals in the public and private sectors, this seminar in Bristol will help demystify complex planning regimes in a range of areas. On 22 November (Tuesday) at 5.30 pm.

Enforcement Appeals - Ivy Legal: A course specifically covering enforcement appeals determined by way of written representations, informal hearing or public inquiry.

Education Law Seminar for Local Government - FTB. Chaired by Gregory Jones QC, this free seminar will provide an opportunity to be informed about and discuss the latest developments in education law. LAST CALL: The seminar is from 10 am to 12 pm on 23 November in London.

FEATURED SUPPLIER:  4-5 Gray's Inn Square
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Analysis on Local Government Lawyer

Devolution and local growth: borrowing powers
There have been suggestions that next week's Autumn Statement may deliver greater flexibility for combined authorities when it comes to borrowing. Judith Barnes looks at the benefits this would bring.
Heritage assets and the determination of planning applications
The Court of Appeal recently considered the weight that a decision maker should attach to the possible effect of a development on listed heritage assets in the overall determination process of a planning application. Gareth Pinwell reports.
Are your contracts working for you?
Alex Lawrence provides some top tips on how local authorities can deliver better value through their contracts.

50% affordable housing in London – really revolutionary?
Sheridan Treger and Tim Hellier examine what the new Mayor’s aspiration for a target of 50% affordable housing in London means in practice for individual planning applications.

Faith schools and segregation
Segregation in faith schools does not offend the Equality Act, a High Court judge has ruled. Rosalind English analyses the judgment.

Alternative remedies and the DPA
Public authority data controllers facing Data Protection Act claims in a judicial review will welcome a recent Court of Appeal ruling, writes Christopher Knight.

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.


Wales wants a National Infrastructure Commission: by Angus Walker
A consultation has been launched, closing on 9 January 2017, on a proposal to create a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales

Coal to shut as offshore wind encouraged

Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: CCTV and care packages
The use of CCTV in packages of care in the community represents a serious risk issue for commissioners, providers and care co-ordinators. Hannah Taylor explains the key issues.

Adult Social Services: Private deprivations of liberty
This LexisPSL Local Government article produced in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane considers the concept of 'private' deprivations of liberty for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, involving people who lack the material decision-making capacity.

Children: Radicalisation and state intervention
Tara Vindis examines a recent High Court ruling on parents’ extreme religiously motivated views and whether the state should intervene

Children: Gender variance and care orders
A mother’s determination that a child was “gender variant” did him significant harm, the Family Court has ruled. Rosalind English reports.

Children: When is enough, enough?
Hannah Slarks analyses a recent High Court ruling on runaways and the duty to accommodate under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

Community Safety: Busy Bodies charter or effective tool?
Bans on hats, lying down in public, car cruisers and skateboarders...what next for Public Space Protection Orders? Kuljit Bhogal reports.

Dispute Resolution: Obvious risks and occupiers' duties
The Court of Appeal recently allowed an appeal by a local authority over an order that it should pay compensation to a claimant injured in a public park. David Williams examines the case.

Dispute Resolution: Experts out of bounds
A recent public law children's case is a reminder of the need to be careful about over-dogmatic experts. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.

Dispute Resolution: Changes to the rules on civil appeals
Ben Zurawel reviews recent amendments to the rules governing civil appeals.

Dispute Resolution: Judicial review: key developments
The LexisPSL Public Law team provides a summary of key developments in judicial review and sets out some important dates for practitioners’ diaries.

Education: SEN statements and choice of school
What should happen when parents cannot agree on the choice of school in a statement of Special Educational Needs? Joanne Clement looks at recent guidance from the Upper Tribunal.

Education: The scrapping of the Education Bill
The Education Secretary's decision to drop proposed legislation that would have seen the academisation of all schools in England mirrors the new Government's approach to devolution, writes Frances Woodhead.

Employment: Joint employment relationships
With councils increasingly using joint employment contracts, Matthew Gregson considers the lessons to be learned from VAT case law.

Employment: Policing social media
New guidelines have been issued by the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecutors deciding whether or not a criminal offence has been committed by the sending of a communication via social media. Laurie Child reports.

Governance: Council functions and the PSED
A court has for the first time explained how the split between a local authority’s executive functions and full council functions affects the discharge of the public sector equality duty and other procedural obligations.Christopher Knight analyses the judgment.

Governance: Setting up community libraries
A High Court judge recently concluded that a council's decision to set up five community libraries was lawful. James Goudie QC analyses the ruling.

Health: The power to commission PrEP
A Court of Appeal ruling that NHS England had power to commission the anti-retroviral drug PrEP will be welcomed by councils. Monica Blades-Chase explains the judgment.

Housing: Long residence "of little consequence"
The Court of Appeal has handed down a ruling that will be welcomed by public sector landlords dealing with possession claims against 'failed successors', and cases involving public law defences based on failure to comply with policy, argue Ranjit Bhose QC and Emma Dring.

Housing: Warrants for possession and suspended possession orders
The Court of Appeal has issued an important ruling on warrants of possession and suspended possession orders. Carys Williams analyses the judgment and sets out the key points for local authorities and social housing landlords.

Information Law: Dransfield revisited
Does the presence of public interest act as a barrier to a refusal of a request for information based on vexatiousness? Robin Hopkins reports on a ruling that should be welcomed by public bodies.

Information Law: Understanding FOI compliance monitoring
The Information Commissioner’s Office recently announced that Trafford Council will be monitored over the timeliness of its responses to freedom of information requests. Jeremy Isaacson, in discussion with LexisPSL Public Law, considers the background to this announcement and the various issues surrounding monitoring.

Licensing: Licensing and Planning
The operation of premises for licensable activities requires both planning and licensing authorisations. There will be overlaps as issues such as noise nuisance may be considered by both planning and licensing committees when deciding whether to grant authorisations and any conditions to be attached. Prof Roy Light explains.

Licensing: Licensing committees
This LexisPSL Local Government article was produced in partnership with Walaiti Rathore of Fraser Browne and sets out the law and practice in relation to the duties and responsibilities of a licensing authority under the Licensing Act 2003.

Management: Helping to define the client
With Lawyers in Local Government calling for clarification of who local authority solicitors can act for, Crispin Passmore sets out the Solicitors Regulation Authority's view.

Planning: Neighbourhood plans and second homes
A judge has rejected a developer's challenge over provisions in a neighbourhood plan that sought to limit the number of second homes. Mark Lowe QC and Jack Parker report on the ruling.

Planning: Top three trends in planning law
How do the key trends in planning law affect local authorities? David Bird and Thomas Ewings consider recent developments.

Planning: Costs and planning enforcement
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal for costs in legal aid funded planning enforcement proceedings. Saira Kabir Sheikh QC explains why.

Planning: Boundaries of the 'soft touch' approach
A High Court judge has handed down a significant decision marking the boundaries to the 'soft touch' approach adopted to the scrutiny of neighbourhood plans. Mark Lowe QC, Rob Williams and David Lintott report.

Procurement: Procurement challenges and damages as an adequate remedy
Joseph Barrett reports on the courts’ approaches to the lifting of automatic suspensions, following a challenge to the procurement of the UK perinatal mortality project.

Procurement: Procurement and social/environmental criteria
One of the stated objectives of the 2014 EU procurement Directives was to "facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement" – that is, ensuring greater consideration for social and environmental criteria. Melanie Pears and Tim Care examine the key provisions and recent guidance.

Procurement: Move over PQQ, here is the SQ!
The Government has issued a selection questionnaire to replace the current pre-qualification questionnaire. Jenny Beresford-Jones sets out the key points for procurement practictioners

Procurement: Dispute settlement and new tender procedures
LexisPSL Public Law analyses a ruling that the Public Sector Directive required a new tendering procedure to be carried out where the parties had made changes to the scope of a public contract, even though they were made pursuant to a settlement aimed at resolving difficulties that had arisen during performance of a complex project.

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: CPO land referencing
Compulsory purchase order land referencing just got a whole load easier, writes Chris Skinner of nplaw.

Property: Managing property development by local authorities
Clive Read sets out nine practical steps local authorities can take to successfully manage their property development.

Property: Interpreting tenancy agreements
William Dean summarises a recent ruling on the interpretation of tenancy agreements, where one of the parties was a city council.

Regulatory: End of the pier?
Donna Makin and Nicholas Mallen analyse a Supreme Court decision which meant a local authority had to pay a significant amount of compensation over a decision to close a pier.

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.

Transport & Highways: Statutory incompatibility and deemed dedication of highways
Brendon Lee analyses the application of statutory incompatibility to deemed highway dedication following recent developments on such legal principle in a number of village green cases.
Name   Description
Governance changes introduced by the Localism Act 2011 This webinar looks at key elements of the Localism Act 2011 as they affect and reform the governance of local authorities, including the General Power of Competence, Standards, community empowerment, elected mayors and assets of community value.
Delegation of Functions What problems can local authorities encounter with their schemes of delegation? And what to do if things go wrong? Matt Hutchings looks at the case law.
Governance for Local Authorities This webinar provides an overview of the governance structures of local authorities, their legal underpinnings and the way that they function in practice.
Brexit, Social Care and Housing This presentation looks at how the status of EEA nationals in the UK will be affected by the relationship the UK finally chooses with the bloc and how this will affect their entitlements to support and housing and the obligations owed by local authorities
How will Brexit affect domestic planning and environmental law? This webinar assesses how planning and environmental law and related areas may be affected by the UK’s exit from the European Union.
How will Brexit affect public procurement and state aid? This presentation looks at the possible effects on Procurement and State Aid law of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, before, after and during the process of withdrawal.
Local Government Law Update 2016 Recorded in April 2016, 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.
CIL and Planning Obligations This presentation considers the past, present and future of the Community Infrastructure Levy in the light of forthcoming reforms to the regime.
Bringing Forward Development Will forthcoming changes to the NPPF, permitted development rights and the Housing and Development bill shift power towards or away from Local Planning Authorities?
Old and New Means of Development This course looks at the various measures being introduced by the Housing and Planning Bill to make development happen beyond the conventional planning permission system.
The LLG Competency Framework To assist local authority solicitors to comply with the new CPD regime, the Lawyers in Local Government group has produced a new competency framework. Helen McGrath, Development Officer for LLG, outlines the main features of the framework and explains how
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 charg

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