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Suffolk wins Team of the Year at Local Government Legal Awards 2016

Suffolk Legal Services named Team of the Year at Local Government Legal Awards 2016, while Graham Cole of Luton wins Legal Professional of the Year. Discover all the winners and runners-up

County council faces £20m bill after dispute with highways contractor
Cumbria facing £20m bill after losing lengthy legal case against roads maintenance contractor Amey

Council leader orders independent audit in row over £300k grant to law firm
Leader of Bolton orders independent audit amid row over local authority’s decision to make grant worth reported £300,000 to claimant law firm in town
 
Taxi drivers obtain injunction in bid to stop council reducing fares
Taxi drivers in Guildford secure High Court injunction as they seek to prevent council imposing what they said would be 16% cut in fares

Autumn Statement 2016: key policy decisions
Local Government Lawyer sets out key policy decisions contained in Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement

Autumn Statement 2016: the reaction
Extra investment in housing and transport plus new borrowing powers for combined authorities are widely welcomed, but absence of measures in relation to social care sharply criticised
CALLING ALL ADULT CARE LAWYERS: Local Government Lawyer is conducting research in association with LexisNexis: click here for more information (and be entered in a draw for £100 in John Lewis vouchers).
Councillor found guilty of sexual assault at council event
Councillor at borough council found guilty of sexual assault at council event held after parade in May this year

Council threatens legal action over Sustainability and Transformation Plan
Hammersmith & Fulham Council threatens legal action over proposals contained in North West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan put forward by NHS bodies

Fabric nightclub to keep licence after agreeing conditions and settling appeal
Famous nightclub will be able to stay in business after settling its appeal against Islington Council’s revocation of its premises licence. Further conditions agreed and 155-page operating manual introduced

Lieven, Rose, Steyn and Swift among 18 new Deputy High Court judges
Natalie Lieven QC of Landmark Chambers, Dinah Rose QC of Blackstone Chambers and Karen Steyn QC and Jonathan Swift QC of 11KBW are among 18 lawyers to have been appointed as Deputy High Court Judges
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Council fined £250k after workers suffered following vibration exposure
District council fined £250,000 after number of its workers were found to be suffering from ill-health relating to vibration exposure

National Audit Office to appoint legal advisers to £750k contract
Spending watchdog to appoint up to five legal services providers to contract worth an estimated £750,000 over four years (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)

Social worker and police officer win challenge over criticisms made by judge
Social worker and police officer successfully cross what McFarlane LJ called “legal landmines” to secure deletion of criticisms made of them by judge

Supreme Court refuses to hear cannabis and suspended possession case
Supreme Court refuses housing association permission to appeal Court of Appeal ruling on grant of suspended possession orders and convictions for growing cannabis, it emerges
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Cambridgeshire appoints LGSS Law to SEN legal advice contract
National Audit Office to appoint legal advisers to £750k contract
College invites legal services providers to apply for £180k contract

Government ditches plans to introduce ‘pay to stay’ regime in social housing
Ministers axe plans to introduce so-called ‘pay to stay’ regime under which higher income social tenants would have had to pay rents close to market rates to stay in their homes

NHS trust withdraws legal action over award of contract to rival bidder
Foundation Trust has withdrawn its challenge to East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to award community health services contract to rival bidder. (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY) See also: Health bodies head to court in row over award of community health contract

Skills Funding Agency warning university of legal action in planning row: MP
University of Lincoln faces legal action by government in planning dispute, according to Conservative MP (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
 
Council told to pay £90,000 after boy nearly drowns during swimming lesson
Local authority in Wales ordered to pay more than £90,000 in fines and damages after four-year-old boy nearly drowned during swimming lesson

See all of our most recent news stories
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Analysis on Local Government Lawyer

Segregation of sexes in school
What are the obligations of schools under the Equality Act 2010? Mark Blois talks to LexisNexis about how a recent high-profile court case has made no change to the core obligations schools are under.
 
Using planning conditions
Matt Gilks examines a recent Government consultation on improving the use of planning conditions and looks at the Law Society’s response.
 
When is a house not a house?
Dean Underwood reports on a recent prosecution of a landlord under a London Borough's selective licensing regime.
 
Participation of P
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers and Nicola Mackintosh QC examine a recent case on the participation of P in proceedings before the CoP.
 
Fat finger syndrome - demolished!
How should contracting authorities respond when tenders are submitted accidentally, say with the wrong information. Helen Prandy considers a recent Scottish case.

Disabled employees and pay
Is protecting a disabled employee’s pay a mandatory adjustment? Anna Dabek examines a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.

Warrants for possession: guidance from the Senior Master
The Senior Master has issued a practice note on the approach that housing practitioners should be taking when applying to enforce warrants of possession, in light of Cardiff CC v Lee. Elizabeth England reports.

Stay ahead of data protection trends
It has been a busy year for anyone looking to stay on top of data protection and privacy law. What are the key risks and developments that public authorities should be keeping in mind going forward? Andrew Gallie explains.

Commencing proceedings and limitation
A recent decision serves as a timely reminder of the strict approach of the Court to the rules surrounding service of proceedings and limitation, writes Sharon Dysart.



BLOGS

NIC urges housing and better transport in Oxbridge corridor: by Angus Walker
The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its interim report into developing the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor.
 

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.

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.

Education: 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.

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: 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.

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.

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: 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.

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: 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.

Planning: 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.

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.

Procurement: Are your contracts working for you?
Alex Lawrence provides some top tips on how local authorities can deliver better value through their contracts.

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

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: The rise of the place shapers
Chris Plumley examines the resurgence in public sector real estate.

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.

Regulatory: 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.

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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