Council apologises after auditor finds failings in £10m loan to football club
Borough issues unreserved apology after report by its independent auditor identifies significant failings in its approach towards making £10m loan to its local League One football club. Leader admits management of project "fell seriously short of standards people have right to expect"
Council stymied over listing of school building days after court win
Council finds itself unable to redevelop school after one Welsh minister listed building only days after another agreed to High Court order quashing earlier listing
Local authorities in High Court dispute over weight limit imposed on bridge
County loses legal battle with neighbouring traffic authority over weight limit imposed on bridge near major development site
Ombudsman takes council to task over care fees and personal injury damages
LGO asks council to reconsider its response to report that followed complaint about disabled man’s care, in dispute about ability to take PI damages into account
Code of practice issued on English fluency duty for public sector workers
Government publishes code of practice intended to help public authorities to meet their new legal obligations to ensure public-facing staff speak appropriate level of English (or Welsh in Wales)
Prosecution sees fitness firm fined £330k over swimming pool incident
David Lloyd Leisure ordered to pay more than £350,000 after prosecution brought by Hounslow Council and conducted by shared legal service HB Public Law
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).
MUST READ: The meaning of 'ordinary residence'
LexisPSL Local Government
, in partnership with Jonathan Auburn
of 11KBW, discuss the meaning of and tests for ‘ordinary residence’
Law Commission delays final report on deprivations of liberty
Law reform advisory body puts back publication of its final report - including draft Bill - on mental capacity and deprivations of liberty until March 2017
Mayor of London issues planning guidance in bid to boost affordable housing
Sadiq Khan sets new planning rules intended to speed up construction of affordable homes in capital
Research on 26-week target for care cases suggests positive impact
Introduction of 26-week timeline for vast majority of care proceedings has had positive impact for children, research suggests
Devonshires to open in Leeds after hiring housing property finance specialist
Law firm to open Leeds office in February next year after hiring legal director at Addleshaw Goddard (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
MORE NEWS STORIES....
Tower Hamlets wins council team of the year at Family Law Awards 2016
Legal Services Social Care Team at London borough named Local Authority Family Team of the Year at Family Law Awards 2016, while Kent Legal Services lawyer wins associate category
Utility consults as it looks to “replace and reshape” deal with single provider
Thames Water to undertake period of market consultation as it considers how to “replace and reshape” managed legal services agreement it has with Berwin Leighton Paisner
City council backs move to committee system of governance
Councillors approve proposed switch from major decisions being made by Leader and Cabinet to committee-based system
Miller leaves Bevan Brittan as firm decides not to re-tender for SRA panel
Regulatory specialist Iain Miller to leave Bevan Brittan and firm chooses not to re-tender for provision of legal services to SRA. Miller advised HB Public Law on obtaining ABS licence in August 2014
Law firm advises council on £4m purchase of town centre site
Housing association names nine firms to £3.5m panel
Addleshaws secures Scottish presence through HBJ merger
Social housing regulatory function to be hived off from HCA
Government backs social housing regulatory function of Homes & Communities Agency becoming separate public body
Health experts ordered to pay £575,000 over fraudulent billing of NHS
Four health experts who fraudulently billed NHS for 14,000 hours they did not work ordered to pay more than £575,000 (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
NHS trust fined £366k after death of patient on dementia ward
Trust to pay £366,000 after death of patient on specialist dementia ward (ON PUBLIC LAW TODAY)
Welsh Government orders review after payout in procurement arbitration
Welsh Government orders review after paying £1.2m+ compensation to failed bidder for furniture contract over flaws found in procurement
See all of our most recent news stories
Analysis on Local Government Lawyer
Still defying the conventions? Planning and human rights in 2016
The Courts have just considered the first challenge to a neighbourhood planning on human rights grounds. The plan survived but the case served as a timely reminder of a body of law that has enduring relevance to planning, writes Sue Chadwick.
The scope of the presumption in favour of sustainable development
Does paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework define the full scope of the presumption in favour of sustainable development? Gwion Lewis reports on an important High Court ruling.
The bedroom tax in the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has handed down its much-anticipated ruling over the so-called 'bedroom tax' or 'spare room subsidy'. John Fitzsimons analyses the outcome.
Accommodation offers and suitability
The Court of Appeal has recently concluded that a county court judge had failed to apply the guidance in Pieretti v Enfield LBC. Iain Colville and Stephanie Smith explain why.
Shisha smoking – a hot topic
Anna Mathias looks at Westminster City Council's approach to controlling shisha smoking and reports on an appeal where the authority has sought to use planning legislation.
DoLS and public protection
Alex Ruck Keene examines a judgment highlighting the tensions inherent in depriving someone of their liberty in reliance upon Schedule A1 where the primary reason is not to safeguard them against harm but the public against harm.
Trends in procurement
Procurement law continues to develop apace. David Hansom and Robert Prater highlight two significant cases over the past 12 months.
Autumn Statement promises more for infrastructure - with limits: by Angus Walker
On Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, gave his first – and last – autumn statement of government spending plans. The next such statement will be in spring 2018, with the budget moved to autumn 2017.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: 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.
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
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
Dispute Resolution: 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
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
Education: 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.
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: Disabled employees and pay
Is protecting a disabled employee’s pay a mandatory adjustment? Anna Dabek
examines a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.
Employment: Joint employment relationships
With councils increasingly using joint employment contracts, Matthew Gregson
considers the lessons to be learned from VAT case law.
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: 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
Housing: When is a house not a house?
reports on a recent prosecution of a landlord under a London Borough's selective licensing regime.
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: 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
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
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
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: Using planning conditions
examines a recent Government consultation on improving the use of planning conditions and looks at the Law Society’s response.
Planning: 50% affordable housing in London – really revolutionary?
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
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.
Procurement: 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.
Procurement: Are your contracts working for you?
provides some top tips on how local authorities can deliver better value through their contracts.
Procurement: Procurement challenges and damages as an adequate remedy
reports on the courts’ approaches to the lifting of automatic suspensions, following a challenge to the procurement of the UK perinatal mortality project.
Projects: Time for a review?
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
Property: Managing property development by local authorities
sets out nine practical steps local authorities can take to successfully manage their property development.
Regulatory: Accidents and control of premises
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
analyses the application of statutory incompatibility to deemed highway dedication following recent developments on such legal principle in a number of village green cases.
|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