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JOB OF THE WEEK: Blaenau Gwent – Solicitor (£33,998-£37,578). An exciting opportunity has arisen for an ambitious individual to join the Legal and Compliance Division and advise on social services and education matters.
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ProjectsLondon Boroughs Legal Alliance commissions business case on developing shared services
Initial study by consultants identified savings opportunities

SRA board to scrap need for 16 hours training in radical overhaul of competence regime
Current CPD regime to be revoked with plan instead to use existing provisions in Handbook and new 'Solicitors' Competence Statement'

DCLG rebuffs plea from council for help with £33m+ contract cancellation costs
Leader wrote to ministers blaming inaction of Communities Secretary. See also: County council to find £3.4m in three days as waste contracts terminated Cost of hedging arrangements came in at higher end of expectations

Supreme Court rejects call to register recreation ground as village green

Judges say use of land in Barkas case was 'by right' rather than 'of right', and that House of Lords judgment in Beresford can no longer be relied upon

Supreme Court to hear case on homelessness, vulnerability and priority need
Permission granted on matters to be taken into account when deciding whether a homeless person is 'vulnerable' for purposes of 1996 Act

Chief exec cleared over job evaluation involving wife, departure of top lawyer
Senior staff made allegations direct to Wales Audit Office rather than use authority's whistle-blowing scheme

Council challenges planning appeal in dispute over five-year housing supply
Local authority rejected application for 96-home development but this was overturned by inspector on appeal

High Court judge cuts disqualification term imposed on councillor
Judge says disqualification was proportionate given misconduct, but original sanction of two-and-a-half years was "excessive"

Revised General Block Exemption Regulation to come into force on 1 July
Scope for more state aid measures and higher amounts to be given without them having to be notified to European Commission for prior authorisation

LOOKING FOR A NEW CHALLENGE? There are some superb roles on LGL but be aware that the closing dates for many roles are imminent: LOCUM OPPORTUNITIES: There are some fantastic posts available including: Commercial  ContractsLawyer, Adults Lawyer, Prosecution Lawyer, Employment Locum and Childcare Solicitor.  To see all roles on LGL, click here.

Police find no evidence of criminal offence in pensions deals for chief execs
Chief exec returns to work after standing aside during police investigation

Court of Appeal confirms principle on responsibility for s. 117 after-care funding
Placing authority remained liable in case where individual was conditionally discharged on two occasions

Campaigners warn council of legal action over proposed care centre closures
Local authority says judicial review proceedings would be "premature" and defended vigorously as final decision not yet taken

Third union to conduct strike ballot of local government members
GMB announcement follows earlier moves by Unison and Unite amid continued anger over 1% pay offer

Information Commissioner consults on revised CCTV code of practice
New technologies and practices have emerged since document's last revision in 2008, says watchdog

Legal aid cuts have had considerable adverse impact on courts, judges warn
Submission to select committee says reductions had led to higher costs elsewhere in courts system, and LASPO had led to significant increase in litigants in person

Councils double number of Blue Badge prosecutions in just three years

Councillor in Scotland banned from meetings for five months over behaviour

See all of our most recent news stories
KEY EVENTS AND COURSES: FEATURED SUPPLIER: TRL has a widely respected Incident Investigation and Reconstruction Group consisting of expert scientists, engineers and technicians.
New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonDangerous/defective buildings and the role of the local authority
A local authority recently lost its appeal over an order that it should pay substantial compensation following the closure of a pier on safety grounds. Samuel Townend looks at the options available to councils when dealing with dangerous structures.

A boost for neighbourhood planning
A High Court judge earlier this month handed down a decision that will be of interest to all those involved in neighbourhood planning and will encourage those involved in promoting such plans. Martin Carter explains why.

Disclosure update
Natasha Taylor examines the key elements of the Protocol and Good Practice Models for disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings.

Legal professional privilege and the EIRs
Robin Hopkins anaylses a recent Upper Tribunal ruling on the interplay between legal professional privilege and the Environmental Information Regulations.

Changes to Civil Procedure and the County Court system
A number of significant changes to civil procedure and the County Court system came into force on 22 April. Naomi Chesterman highlights the key changes.

Our “wet winter” and tree root subsidence claims in 2014
The wet weather last winter is unlikely to provide much comfort for local authorities when it comes to tree root subsidence claims, warns Andrew Plunkett.

Co-operating for mutual benefit
Ben Sheppard looks at how the Government is making it easier to set up and run co-operative and community benefit societies, as part of its drive to encourage the contribution of mutuals to the UK economy.

Walking a tightrope – contact and sexual relations
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street review a recent ruling that considered issues of capacity and sexual relations in a case involving a 24-year-old man with mild learning disabilities and atypical autism.

New courses on Local Government Law TV

All courses are CPD-qualifying. Your first course is FREE.

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Human Rights Roundup for Local Authorities £25.00 This course identifies, with reference to leading case law, key developments in human rights law in the last 12 months including decisions on data retention by local authorities, religious discrimination at work and detention under the MHA 1983.
Alternatives to Litigation for Public Law Disputes £25.00 This course considers alternative dispute resolution in two contexts: via the statutory route, such as complaints procedures and complaints to the Ombudsman and, secondly, by the use of processes such as mediation and arbitration.

Departmental subscriptions from £249 + VAT for 12 months unlimited access (LLG members). Click here for details.

The latest blogs...
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Inspecting the inspectors by Angus Walker
This  entry analyses the inspectors that have been appointed to examine nationally significant infrastructure project applications.

Manual of procedures for EU energy projects published

Snap judgement: Will the SRA's decision to remove the 16 hour minimum training requirement...?

...reduce the amount of training I do as budgets are cut and time for training is reduced
...make little difference - I do the training I need to practice regardless of the minimum requirement
...enable me to do more relevant professional development activities as the need to take CPD accredited training is removed

Click here to vote now

Been away? Features on Local Government Lawyer recently include:

Adult Social Services: Welfare proceedings and the press
The President of the Court of Protection, Sir James Munby has ruled that the press has no direct role in welfare proceedings. Rosalind English reports.

Adult Social Services: Innovation in delivering adult social care services
Andrew Pettinger looks at the potential for innovative ways of delivering adult social care services including via Public/Private collaborations.

Children: Analysing the impact of Re B-S
Tehniat Lindsay looks at the implications of Re B-S, the Court of Appeal's landmark ruling on adoption.

Employment: The escalation of whistleblowing into campaigns
Alastair Currie reports on a decision which provides some welcome clarity on dealing with employees whose (potentially valid) whistleblowing concern escalates into a 'campaign' which would be (as the employment tribunal put it) "sufficient to try and to exhaust the patience of any organisation".

Governance: Hazards of running elections
In the run up to European and local elections, Sappho Dias and Lee Parkhill consider some of the problem areas arising for local authority solicitors and returning officers.

Housing: Homelessness, affordability and reasons
Morayo Fagborun Bennett and Andy Lane highlight the key lessons to be learned from a Court of Appeal homelessness case.

Licensing: Primary gambling activity: the FTT view
In an important decision that will impact on all betting premises licence applications the First-Tier Tribunal has given a long-awaited ruling on the meaning of 'primary gambling activity'. Gerald Gouriet QC and George Mackenzie analyse the judgment.

Litigation: Calling their bluff?
A London borough recently secured the first prosecution for money laundering in relation to a gambling den. Dominic Lewis explains what the case involved.

Management: Death by spreadsheet - Local government brain drain
Nicholas Dobson examines the risks to local authorities pursuing costs savings by dispensing with senior legal talent.

Planning: Plan-making and assessment of housing need
A “radical” National Planning Policy Framework change rendered a local authority's housing figures unsound, a High Court judge has ruled. Zack Simons reports.

Planning: The winning shot?
A district council has successfully appealed a High Court ruling that quashed the grant of planning permission for a controversial golf course and hotel development. James Findlay QC explains the important points of principle arising out of the Court of Appeal's ruling.

Procurement: Three key issues pre-procurement
Emily Heard and Susie Smith examine various important issues that contracting authorities should consider in advance of the formal procurement process commencing, including preliminary market consultations.

Procurement: Transparency in outsourced contracts
Does the outsourcing of public functions mean they are less transparent? Anna Sweeney summarises the latest developments in the recent controversy.

Projects: Corporate governance and local authority investment vehicles
Edward Craft examines how corporate governance disciplines essential in the private sector need to be factored into the governance of local authority companies and other partnerships.

Property: What’s the use?
Peter Barlow reviews a significant recent case on the application of competition law to shop leases granted by a local authority.

Regulatory: Transactional decisions - a European perspective
In a significant ruling for trading standards law and practice, the Court of Justice of the European Union has clarified the meaning of a 'transactional decision' by a consumer. Jonathan Spicer examines the judgment.

Local Government Law.tv

We are pleased to announce the introduction of an annual corporate subscription that will provide access to a full year of CPD accredited legal training for your lawyers and your client departments

What is included

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Services Directory
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Specialisms in the areas of Court of Protection, Professional Negligence, Disciplinary Tribunals, Employment Law, Planning, Health & Safety and Immigration, experienced in acting on behalf of Local Authorities.
A&M Bacon Ltd
We are an independent leading firm of Costs Lawyers specialising in Defendant costs for both paying and receiving costs matters.
Cadogans is a group of engineers and scientists distinguished by its breadth of experience and ability to tackle problems that combine more than one discipline.
Easton Bevins
Easton Bevins is a leading independent Chartered Building Surveying Practice with a vastly experienced team of Expert Witnesses
Edulaw Chambers
Edulaw Chambers provides specialist advice, advocacy and training in education law. We regularly act for local authorities and schools/academies.
Francis Taylor Building
Francis Taylor Building is a long established leading public law set, with particular expertise in planning, land valuation, infrastructure, environmental, public law, licensing and regulatory law.
Gibbins Costs Lawyers
Gibbins has grown to become one of the North’s largest independent firms of Costs Lawyers and Consultants, serving Solicitors and Legal Practitioners nationwide.
In Real Time Translation
In Real Time Translation, a UK Company, provides document translation services, language interpretation services as well as sign language, Braille and other services.
Ivy Legal
Ivy Legal Ltd is an innovative planning enforcement law firm that specialises in supporting local authorities.
Joanna North Associates Ltd
Training & therapeutic consultancy for children, adults & families. Expert witness and Ofsted inspected adoption support agency
Jordan Publishing
Under our two brands, Jordans and Family Law, we publish practitioner books, looseleaf services, journals and law reports in both print and online format covering the entire range of legal practice and regulation.
Laird Assessors
We provide an expert witnesses service that is second to none. We have highly qualified, experienced & well trained motor engineers positioned strategically throughout the UK providing accident investigation and supporting services.
Legal Document Translation
Legal Document Translation provide you with a proven, trouble free translation process. We work for local authorities and solicitors UK wide.
Lextox Drug and Alcohol Testing
A specialist hair drug and alcohol testing laboratory established by experts to provide the most reliable results and most responsive customer service.
LGG delivers an extensive annual CPD training programme that is ultimately designed to provide the public sector legal practitioner with a one-stop shop.
Local Government Law TV
Local Government Law.tv combines the experience of the leading local government legal training provider with the immediacy of an online news service to provide a comprehensive selection of up-to-date webinars
MBL Seminars
With over 80+ years of collective CPD experience we have provided learning and development to over 30,000 lawyers and other professionals to date.
Professor Tony Monk
Professor Tony Monk is an eminent Architectural Expert Witness and is accredited to act in legal disputes covering design, technical and professional defects in the architectural and building industry.
TRL's widely respected Incident Investigation and Reconstruction Group consists of expert scientists, engineers and technicians, who specialise in the forensic investigation of incidents involving road traffic, the road environment and road user behaviour.
WeatherNet Ltd
With 15 years experience, WeatherNet can provide complete forensic legal weather reports or witness statements for a range of civil and criminal cases.
Wilkin Chapman Goolden
At Wilkin Chapman Goolden we offer a high level of expertise with the support of a full range of specialist lawyers offering expert advice on the complete range of legal services.
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