Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: A principled approach

When writing a news story a few weeks ago about the Cabinet Office’s new guidance for Whitehall departments and their agencies on running consultations, I did get the feeling that – however well intentioned – the move was potentially creating a minefield.

No-one would disagree that it is a good idea for consultations to be “targeted and proportionate”. The problem is that people’s view of what that looks like can differ widely. Read more...

Jobs latest: A fantastic and rare opportunity has arisen at the Local Government Association to be a Corporate Legal Adviser (salary: £71,564 to £81,763). 

Are you a procurement specialist employed in the public sector? In asssociation with Bevan Brittan, Local Government Lawyer is conducting research into procurement law issues and is interested to hear your views. Please complete our survey here.


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News headlines

ProjectsDCLG consults on formal right to re-open s106 negotations Government aims to reignite housing development projects mothballed before April 2010.

Green light for launch of second Family Drug and Alcohol Court New court to in Gloucestershire with the backing of the county council, NHS Gloucestershire and Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.

EU reforms to procurement could make matters worse: LGA Planned EU reforms to the current procurement regime risk making matters “even more convoluted and costly”, the Local Government Association has claimed.

National bodies criticise DCMS over time allocated for consultation Attack comes just weeks after new Government guidance was issued calling on departments and their agencies to adopt a “more targeted and proportionate” approach to the consultations they carry out.

Landlord wins appeal over confiscation after selective licensing breach
Court of Appeal rules that rental income from an unlicensed property does not constitute a person’s benefit from the proceeds of crime.

Harrow and Barnet legal teams to tie knot on 3 September Aim is to save £4.4m over a five-year period. Barnet staff will transfer to Harrow under TUPE.

First joint prosecution for illegal money lending and gambling

SRA to consult in Autumn on enforcing ban on referral fees in PI cases

Health & Safety Executive consults on simplifying RIDDOR regime

Hampshire housing association launches tender for legal services

LGSS Law shared service notches up £600k+ savings in 12 months

Council failed to consider "best value" in property demolition plan: LGO

See all of our most recent news stories

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonHigh Noon for Doncaster Budget
Nicholas Dobson analyses the outcome of the recent Administrative Court encounter between Peter Davies, Elected Mayor of Doncaster MBC, and the Council itself in which the claimant was seeking judicial support for a decision of the Council over a contrary one of the Mayor.

Selective approach
The Court of Appeal has ruled that there should be "severe" sentences for Selective Licensing offences, but no confiscation under proceeds of crime legislation. Matthew Paul analyses the case.

In sickness and in health
The Court of Appeal has clarified aspects of the law on sickness and holiday rights but some uncertainties remain, says Huw Rolant Jones.

The Mental Health Act 1983 - setting aside the nearest relative
Derek Jones examines the role of Approved Mental Health Professionals and setting aside a patient's nearest relative.

EL Trigger: fall out?
The Supreme Court ruling in the employer's liability 'trigger' litigation was a welcome one for local government but a number of issues remain outstanding, writes Henry Bermingham.

A changing landscape?
After all the media coverage, Richard Wald analyses the real impact of the Sea & Land Power wind farm case.

Part B services: the end of the road?
In its new draft directive on EU procurement, the European Commission envisages removing the distinction between Part A and Part B services. Ed Reynolds and David Hansom explain.

Give me a break
Julie Roberts looks at recent court cases that examined the obligations imposed by break clauses.

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Hill DickinsonManaging a Local Authority Estate Keeping up-to-speed with property law developments is more important than ever for local authority solicitors and property professionals.This webinar outlines the key emerging topics for local authorities as owners, landlords and tenants.

HardwickeThe Localism Act 2011 and Housing This package consists of four courses covering the major changes brought about by the Localism Act 2011 - Flexible Tenures, Homelessness duties, Part 6 Allocations and Tenancy Strategies and Regulation.

St PhilipsChildren's Rights and Decision-making Many childcare cases fall outside the purview of the Children Act 1989, leaving little guidance on best interests and participation. Increasingly filling this void is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

39 Essex StreetArticle 5 and the Court of Protection This webinar analyses recent case law to find a clearer definition of a deprivation of liberty in Court of Protection cases and assesses the implications of the court finding that a a local or health authority's care plan does constitute a deprivation of liberty.

4-5 Gray's Inn SquareTop Ten Public Law Cases of the Past 12 Months Richard Clayton QC reviews 10 of the most important public law decisions of the past 12 months, including important judgments on community care provision, consultation, legitimate expectation, reasons and the public sector equality duty.

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Bircham Dyson BellPay Accountability Leading employment barrister Robin Allen QC examines the implications of the current focus on corporate governance on local authority employment practices, in particular in relation to pay accountability.

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BlogsThe latest blogs...

Referendum on infrastructure project runs into difficulties by Angus Walker
Southampton City Council was hoping to save costs by combining it with the existing election of a police and crime commissioner that it is holding jointly with Hampshire, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight on 15 November.  However it has had legal advice to the effect that the elections cannot be combined and would have to be held separately, increasing the cost of the referendum from £5,000 to £45,000.

Snap judgement: Is your authority likely to increase its use of ADR in the foreseeable future?
  • Yes, as much as possible
  • Yes, but only in limited cases
  • No, we're not familiar with the process
  • No, public bodies should conduct their business in public
  • No, the other side usually want their day in court
Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: Making the right choice of expert  An unusual case where there was controversy over the appointment of an expert in Court of Protection proceedings has potentially wide significance, writes the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street.

Children's Services: A knotty problem A recent Charity Commission investigation highlights the dangers for local authorities who are the sole trustees of a charity, writes Andrew Uprichard.

Community Safety: At your station The sale of alcohol at petrol station forecourts has been a vexed issue for years. Jeffrey Leib looks at recent developments.

Employment: Stress testing In the first of two articles, Roy Woollard looks at developments in workplace stress claims.

Governance: A knotty problem A Charity Commission investigation highlights the dangers for local authorities who are the sole trustees of a charity, writes Andrew Uprichard

Healthcare: Breaching the Agenda for Change Jayne Flint explains how a ruling that a NHS trust breached the Agenda for Change by deferring pay progression in cases of unacceptable sickness absence could have wider implications for the public sector.

Housing: Altered images Can landlords be held liable for defects in a property created by tenant damage or alterations? Sian Evans analyses a recent High Court ruling.

Licensing: Is there a better way? Paddy Whur looks at the frustration felt by a local authority when it was faced with its inability to defend its own decision to refuse the grant of a betting premises licence under the Gambling Act 2005.

Litigation: Judicial review, settlement and costs The Court of Appeal has given clear guidance on the issue of costs in judicial review claims where a settlement is reached before trial, writes Catherine Rowlands.

Planning: Business matters Caroline Bywater analyses a planning case in the High Court that examined the protection of local businesses as a material consideration.

Procurement: Time to take notice Richard Auton and Jessica Cumming provide their top ten tips on Contract (OJEU) Notices.

Projects: The LIBOR affair and local authorities The revelations over LIBOR have dominated the front pages in recent weeks. But what are the potential consequences for local authorities? Emily Heard, Peter Keith-Lucas and Patrick Holmes explain.

Property: Rights to Light - Ancient & Modern Laura Tweedy looks at the current law in relation to rights to light and touches upon some of the problems faced by developers and landowners alike.

Regulatory: To RIPA or Not To RIPA? The days of local authorities being able to use surveillance powers to tackle dog fouling and littering offences will soon be over, writes Ibrahim Hasan.

Corporate Legal Adviser, Local Government Association

Jobs of the week

Child Law Solicitor, London
Caseload of private and public children matters including adoption, judicial review and guardianship.

Planning and Property Locum
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Planning and Property Locum to join a Local Authority based in East Anglia.

Housing Legal Assistant, West Midlands
This vacancy is for a Legal Assistant who has gained experience working in a Private Practice or Local Authority ideally within Housing law.

Adult Social Services and Childcare Lawyer
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Adult Social Care Lawyer to join a Public Sector organisation in Wales.

Head of Legal and Democratic Services
A public sector body requires a Head of Legal and Democratic Services for a 3- 6 month term.

Other featured jobs

Adult Social Services Solicitor
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Adult Social Services solicitor to join a local authority in the Midlands on a locum basis.

Lawyer - Childcare 3+
Fantastic opportunity for an experienced Childcare lawyer (3 PQE+) to join a leading not-for-profit organisation to give legal supervision and legal advice within the organisation.

Housing Lawyer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Housing Locum to join a Local Authority in the South West for an on-going contract.

Locum Contracts Solicitor, East London
Applicants must have experience dealing with Contracts and Procurement matters ideally you will have Public Sector experience however candidates from private practice will be considered.

Childcare Legal Assistant
This busy and well regarded legal team based in the Home Counties is seeking an experience Childcare Legal Assistant to join their team.

Local Government/Police Solicitor
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Local Government/Police Solicitor to join a leading law firm in the Midlands on a permanent basis.

Locum Residential Conveyancer
An excellent regional firm are looking for a Locum Residential Conveyancing Solicitor to join their team.

Local Government Solicitor
The successful candidate will be a qualified solicitor that has an all rounded legal background within general local government.

Property and Planning Solicitor
A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Property & Planning Lawyer to join a public sector organisation in Hertfordshire for a minimum of 12 months!

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Featured courses and events

Housing Allocations and Homelessness - Jordans
London - 30 November
Leeds - 27 November
Birmingham - 29 November
Manchester - 28 November

Supporting Young People: Local Authorities and Part III of the Children Act 1989 - Field Court - 27 September

Education Admissions - LGG - 19 September

Evidence in Child Abuse Cases Conference 2012 - Family Law - 20 September

Land ownership issues between academies and local authorities - 4-5 Gray's Inn Square - 26 September

Planning Law Conference 2012 - 4-5 Gray's Inn Square - 1 October

Children Law and Practice Conference 2012 - Family Law - 4 October

Annual Mental Health Law Conference - RadcliffesLeBrasseur - 4 October

Advocacy Skills for Family Lawyers - Family Law - 12 October

Court of Protection Practice and Procedure 2012 - Jordans - 15 October

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