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JOBS OF THE WEEK:
Decision on landmark Kent Legal Services joint venture due in September as single bidder remains
Bidder – described as an "end-to-end legal practice with national coverage" – to make presentation to Cabinet Committee as 18-month selection process nears conclusion
Supreme Court refuses relief despite legal defect before planning permission
Refusal of relief despite finding legal defect in procedure prior to district’s grant of planning permission for development, in key case relating to appropriate assessments, EIA assessments and mitigation measures
Supreme Court upholds appeal over award of costs to council in cuts case
Unanimous decision to overturn Court of Appeal ruling that council was the "successful party" in relation to costs in legal battle over funding cuts to youth services
County council poised to appoint chief legal officer as head of paid service
Councillors at Oxfordshire back plans to appoint its Chief Legal Officer, Peter Clark, as authority’s Head of Paid Service ahead of departure of chief executive
Row rumbles on over quality of advocacy in public law children cases
Law Society defends quality of family advocacy provided by solicitor advocates in public law children cases, after chairs of Bar Council and the FLBA write to ministers with concerns
MoJ consults on new court and tribunal rules on funding of judicial reviews
Proposals intended to limit potential for third party funders "to avoid their appropriate liability for litigation costs"
Judge finds council made manifest errors in £10m tender evaluation
High Court finds manifest errors in tender evaluation process for £10m framework agreement for asbestos removal and reinstatement services
MPs launch inquiry into Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill
CLG committee to took at range of devolution issues such as lessons from City Deals and whether Manchester approach is model for other areas
Tender kickstarted on £24m legal advice panels for police forces
North West university looks to appoint three suppliers to legal services panel
Cornerstone wins tender for review of safeguarding manual for London authorities
Bevan Brittan boosts property and social housing practice with Shaw hire
Housing association names two law firms to £540k-plus legal advice panels
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MORE NEWS STORIES....
Cabinet Office sets up independent Commission on Freedom of Information
Government creates cross-party Commission on Freedom of Information to review key legislation, as responsibility for FOI policy transfers from Ministry of Justice to Cabinet Office
London council proposes taking over further education in borough
Southwark writes to Further Education Commissioner urging support for plan to remove its further education offer from Lewisham and Southwark College and bring it under local authority’s control
Legal action forces council to re-start consultation on school closures
County set to re-start statutory consultation process over proposals to close two high schools and build new £50m campus
Voters back creation of largest town council
Residents voted to abolish one town council and create another in separate referendums held last week
High Court to start hearing second judicial review over libraries plan
Court begins hearing second judicial review challenge into Lincolnshire County Council’s plan for its libraries
Welsh Government publishes minimum alcohol pricing law
Draft bill introduced by deputy health minister would create offence for alcohol to be sold or supplied at less than 50p per unit
See all of our most recent news stories
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New articles on Local Government Lawyer
Mental capacity and deprivation of liberty: the Law Commission’s consultation paper
The Law Commission has published its eagerly-anticipated consultation paper on deprivations of liberty. Tim Spencer-Lane, one of the team involved in the project, sets out the key proposals.
The summer 2015 budget and local government
For local government, the summer 2015 budget contained few immediate surprises but the full impact is likely to be revealed as the autumn spending review progresses, write James Hawkins.
Brand and the State Aid connection
Azhar Ghose explores some of the fascinating arguments on the alleged ‘brand’ of a public body benefitting its trading arm in a State aid complaint.
Possession proceedings and the best interests of children
Does section 11 of the Children Act 2004 require an authority to carry out an assessment of a child’s best interests before commencing a claim for possession of accommodation provided under Part 7 Housing Act 1996 where the authority’s duty to the tenant under Part 7 has come to an end? Toby Vanhegan, Christopher Baker and Sam Madge-Wyld report.
Privilege and paying for care
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a case where a local authority sought disclosure of documents from a solicitors’ firm in a case of suspected ‘sharp practice’ over payment for care.
Rural exception site housing
The High Court has quashed an inspector's grant of planning permission for rural exception site housing. Luke Wilcox explains why.
Gangbos and Article 6
Samantha Broadfoot examines a landmark decision on the compatibility of “Gangbos” with Article 6 of the Human Rights Act.
The Control of Horses Act 2015
Julie Roberts and Jake Murray look at changes that will help local authorities and landowners to deal with fly-grazed horses.
Do not pass go?
There have been a number of cases on the lifting of an automatic suspension of the award of a contract. Manish Soni analyses a recent ruling.
CALLING ALL HEADS OF LEGAL: We are conducting a survey on the future of local authority legal departments. If you have not received a link to the questionnaire, please contact Derek Bedlow on 020 7239 4917 or by email.
The latest blogs...
DCO change simplification comes into force by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the coming into force of the revised procedures to change development consent orders
Preesall redetermination makes it 100%
Want to be a book reviewer? Local Government Lawyer
is soon to launch a new online bookstore and we are looking for practitioners to review the latest legal titles as they are published. Instant fame (and free legal books) guaranteed. Please contact Derek Bedlow at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0207 239 4917 with details of your areas of interest.
Catch-up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:
Adult Social Services: Liberty and the home
considers recent judgments on how protection against a deprivation of liberty can interfere with the right to live at home.
Children: Going for broke
Is there an alternative to adoption? Mark Roscoe
considers options for placement which leave the door open to ongoing child/parent relationships and possible reunification.
Community Safety: Data retention and human rights
A recent Supreme Court ruling has significant implications for public bodies' data retention policies and practices, writes Emma Godding
Education: The HE sector and the Prevent duty
analyses the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Higher Education sector’s duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Employment: The clampdown on severance payments
looks at how employers and employees should prepare for new government regulations on public sector severance payouts.
Employment: Employees smelling of alcohol
The Employment Tribunal has found that an NHS trust's dismissal of a healthcare assistant after he attended work smelling of alcohol and subsequently refused to attend a follow-up Occupational Health appointment was unfair. Helen Hughes
examines the case.
Governance: General counsel in the public sector
of Kent County Council considers the multi-faceted role of the general counsel in the public sector at a time of great change.
Healthcare: Giving evidence in a criminal trial
Attending court as a witness to give evidence in a criminal trial can seem like a daunting prospect. Hannah Taylor
provides a practical steer for health and social care professionals so that they know what to expect and what they should be doing.
Housing: Disaggregation and housing land supply
An inspector has upheld a disaggregated approach to housing land supply and neighbourhood plan policies in dismissing a planning appeal. Tom Cosgrove
Housing: Councils, RPs and the housing crisis
looks at proposals from the Local Government Association and the National Housing Federation on how to tackle the housing crisis.
Information Law: Whistleblowing - protected disclosures
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered whether an employer had acted fairly in dismissing an employee who made a disclosure to the Information Commissioner's Office without approval. Helen Hughes
analyses the case.
Licensing: Cumulative impact policies
analyses Norwich City Council’s decision to introduce a Cumulative Impact Policy.
Litigation: Recovery time
explains how to avoid a common mistake that can cost public bodies dearly in litigation.
Planning: Permission to speak freely?
reviews two recent court cases – including one involving an MP and a minister – where accusations of bias were made in relation to planning decisions.
Planning: Limiting a planning permission and the role of conditions
The Court of Appeal recently clarified the effect of the principle that, when planning permission is granted for a certain use, any limitation on how that use is to be exercised should be imposed via a condition. Philippa Plumtree-Varley
explains the ruling.
Procurement: The new CDM regulations
The new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April 2015. Martin Cannon
, Craig Bennett
and Rachel Drowley
set out the key changes.
Procurement: Student numbers and procurement
Will removal of the cap on student numbers affect universities’ status as ‘contracting authorities’? Jenny Beresford-Jones
Property: Assets of Community Value - how the regime works in practice
looks at Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act and analyses some of the problems and pitfalls.
Property: Listed building prosecutions: a practical guide
sets out the pitfalls that local planning authorities should avoid when bringing listed building prosecutions.
Property: LIFT schemes and payment mechanisms
Both landlords and tenants of premises that have been built using the Local Improvement Finance Trust ("LIFT") schemes need to be aware of a recent case which also has interest for landlords and tenants of PFI premises, writes Karen Andrews.
|The Importance of Judicial Review
||This presentation draws on legal and empirically based research on the use and effects of judicial review (JR) to consider why and how this process matters to local authorities and whether the process improves the quality of decision-making.
|Achieving Better Ethics Across Public Service Provision
||David Prince CBE, independent member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, outlines his organisation's proposals for ensuring that outsourced providers of public services are subject to the same ethical standards as public sector organisations.
|Procurement and State Aid Reforms – The Commercial Impact
||This course investigates how the new procurement rules and changes to the state aid regime will practically affect local authorities investors in public service delivery, trade in services or generally act as a catalyst in economic development.
|Procurement Masterclass - The Tyranny of the "Sausage Machine"
||Michael Bowsher QC provides a personal view of some of the problems that the process-focused approach to public procurement is creating, and suggests some ways that lawyers can help achieve some of the social benefits it was intended to provide.
|The New Governance Landscape
||This presentation looks at how local authority lawyers can accomodate rapidly changing local government structures and delivery models against a legislative backdrop designed for another era.
|Lessons for Scrutiny from Rotherham and Mid-Staffs
||This presentation looks at the role that scrutiny - or the lack of it - played in the problems that came to light in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust and Rotherham Council and looks at how the effective systems of scrutiny can be designed and encouraged to pr
|New Delivery Models: Managing Governance in a Diverse Landscape
||As the number of new, and proposed, models for the delivery of public services continue to multiply, this course looks at the governance issues they create and how local authority lawyers and senior managers can manage an increasingly diverse landscape.
|Top Local Government Cases 2014
||Leading public law barrister James Goudie QC outlines and analyses the most important judicial decisions of 2014 as they affect local authorities.
|The Care Act 2014
||As the implementation of the Care Act 2014 fast approaches, this presentation identifies and explains the key elements of the Act that local authority lawyers need to be aware of.
|Equality Act Defences
||This course looks at the defences and tactics available to public authorities when faced with claims based on the Equality Act 2010 and provides an overview of how to prevent claims arising in the first place through an examination of the case law.