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Sunday, 28 November 2010 12:41

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Dialogue iStock 000009191235XSmall thumbLGO sees rise in complaints
Complaints about councils have soared in the past 12 months with the sharpest rises recorded for complaints relating to adult social care, benefits and council tax, according to the Local Government Ombudsman.

RCJ thumbLast word?
A High Court judge has quashed Lincolnshire County Council’s planned changes to its library services provision.

Tribunal tells council to disclose criteria for grading positions of employees
31/07/14: Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been told that it must disclose the criteria it uses to grade employees’ positions.

Referendum on neighbourhood plan goes ahead despite legal action
31/07/14: A referendum on a neighbourhood plan was due to go ahead this week despite a legal challenge from a developer.

Group of councils loses Court of Appeal battle over EU structural funds
31/07/14: A group of northern councils has lost a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal over the Government’s allocation of EU structural funds.

Court hearing over Tower Hamlets election to go ahead after challenge fails
31/07/14: An election court will be convened in August to hear a petition over whether the London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ elected mayor should be unseated.

First site sold under public land disposal pilot scheme run by HCA
31/07/14: The first site has been sold under the Homes and Communities Agency’s public land disposal pilot scheme.

Private hire operator and director ordered to pay £25k+ over lack of licence
30/07/14: A private hire operator and its director have been ordered to pay more than £25,000 in fines and costs after a long-running legal battle.

One-nil to the inspector - Arsenal lose appeal over planning conditions
30/07/14: Arsenal Football Club has lost a High Court challenge over a planning inspector’s decision to refuse to increase the number of music concerts the football club can hold at the Emirates Stadium from three to six.

Government backs Article 4 direction by council on office-to-resi conversions
30/07/14: The Government has agreed to a council’s Article 4 direction on changes of use from office to residential, subject to modifications.

Tribunals direction on child and vulnerable adult witnesses to be revised
30/07/14: The Practice Direction for the First-tier and Upper Tribunal on Child, Vulnerable Adult and Sensitive Witnesses is to be revised, the Senior President of Tribunals has announced.

District council pays £3.6m to settle dispute with housing association
29/07/14: A district council has agreed to pay a housing association £3.6m to settle a dispute over properties transferred in 1996.

Council ordered to make disclosure in dispute over £120m procurement
29/07/14: A Deputy High Court judge has ordered a local authority to make early specific disclosure to a leisure services provider bringing a claim over a recent £120m concession procurement.

ICO says 'big data' must operate within existing data protection laws
29/07/14: The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned that ‘big data’ – the analysis of massive datatsets – “can – and must – operate within data protection law”.

Dyson rules out changes to guideline hourly rates until better data obtained
28/07/14: The Master of the Rolls has ruled out making changes to the guideline hourly rates (GHRs) “at the present time”, rejecting a Civil Justice Council report because of evidential shortcomings.

Law Commission includes DoLS and Wales projects in next programme
28/07/14: A law reform project to consider how deprivation of liberty should be authorised and supervised in settings other than hospitals and care homes has been included in the Law Commission’s 12th programme of law reform.

London borough approves abolition of its regional planning committees
28/07/14: The London Borough of Redbridge agreed earlier this month to abolish regional planning committees.

DfT consults on community rail plans for East Suffolk and Tyne Valley routes
28/07/14: The Government is consulting on plans to designate rail routes in East Suffolk and the North East as community rail services.

SRA to move away from 'employed solicitor' concept, ease ABS process
25/07/14: The Solicitors Regulation Authority appears to be moving away from the concept of the ‘employed solicitor’, the President of Lawyers in Local Government has said following a meeting between the regulator and local authority lawyers last month.

Minister vows to give children greater voice in family justice system
25/07/14: The Ministry of Justice has announced that it is to work with Family Court judges, Cafcass and young people in a bid to give children a greater voice in the family justice system.

Borough launches legal action against neighbour over failure to cooperate
25/07/14: Luton Borough Council has launched judicial review proceedings against a neighbouring authority over its decision to grant planning permission for a major urban extension.

Rude beers fall foul of Portman Group code of practice after council complaint
25/07/14: An independent brewer breached the Portman Group’s code of practice in relation to ten of its beers, an independent complaints panel has ruled following a complaint by Newcastle City Council’s public health team.

Leadership of borough council in North West pursue unitary status
24/07/14: Chorley Borough Council’s leadership wants to break away from Lancashire and become a unitary.

London borough faces judicial review over selective licensing scheme
24/07/14: A scheme for licensing private landlords is facing a threat of judicial review in the London Borough of Enfield.

Community council rapped for failure to help non-Welsh speakers
24/07/14: A community council in Wales has been criticised for failing to provide ways for English speakers to follow its proceedings and for unreasonably preventing a resident from attending its meetings.

Equality watchdog issues guidance on gender segregation at university events
24/07/14: The courts are likely to consider gender segregation at events and meetings organised by universities unlawful unless those events are acts of religious worship, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said.

Government intervention in Doncaster to end early after good progress made
23/07/14: Government intervention at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council is to end almost a year early in recognition of progress made in tackling its problems.

Replacement policy note issued on use of pre-qualification questionnaires
23/07/14: The Crown Commercial Service has issued a replacement Procurement Policy Note on the use of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ), with local government strongly recommended to follow its advice.

DfE to name Education Commissioner at council after Trojan Horse report
23/07/14: Ministers have intervened at Birmingham City Council following a critical report on alleged Islamic extremist attempts to take over school governing bodies.

PM unveils new measures aimed at stopping female genital mutilation
23/07/14: Government ministers have launched a package of measures aimed at protecting girls from genital mutilation and early and forced marriages.

Housebuilder launches Planning Court challenge to neighbourhood plan
22/07/14: A housebuilder, Larkfleet Homes, has launched a judicial review challenge to the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan with the Planning Court.

Scottish council seeks external legal provider for £910,000 contract
22/07/14: Stirling Council
 is looking to appoint an external legal services provider to a £910,000 contract supporting its in-house lawyers.

Statutory guidance issued on reform of anti-social behaviour powers
22/07/14: The Home Office has issued statutory guidance for frontline professionals on the reform of anti-social behaviour powers.

Law Society delays new CON 29 and CON 29O enquiry forms
21/07/14: The Law Society has delayed the introduction of new CON 29 and CON 29O enquiry forms.

Audit Commission hits out at burden of proposed audit regulations for parishes
21/07/14: The Government’s proposed new auditing arrangements will “place a much greater burden on parish councils and their clerks than the Government intends”, the Audit Commission has warned.

Law Commission urges full reform project on data sharing and public bodies
21/07/14: The Law Commission has this month recommended that a full law reform project should be carried out “in order to create a principled and clear legal structure for data sharing, which will meet the needs of society”.

Chelmsford City Council becomes latest authority to back late night levy
21/07/14: The full council at Chelmsford has approved the introduction of a late night levy in November.

NW housing groups selects 15 law firms for legal services panels
21/07/14: Progress Housing Group has named 15 law firms to a legal services framework with an estimated value of £800,000 over four years.

County council loses High Court battle over library provision changes
18/07/14: A High Court judge has quashed a county council’s planned changes to its library services provision.

London school in multiple breaches of admissions code, says adjudicator
18/07/14: One of the country’s most famous faith schools has made dozens of breaches of the schools admissions code, an adjudicator has said.

Council slams revocation of Art 4 direction on office-to-flats conversions
18/07/14: The London Borough of Islington has reacted angrily to a decision by ministers to revoke an Article 4 direction that the council had made removing permitted development rights to convert properties from office to residential.

Building owner to pay £40k+ after failure to comply with enforcement notice
18/07/14: A building owner must pay more than £40,000 as part of a crackdown by Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea planning enforcement officers in some of London’s most exclusive areas.

Councils to secure powers to close roads for motor races: PM
18/07/14: Councils will gain powers to close roads to stage motor races, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

Council sees legal costs reach £500k in football stadium loan dispute
17/07/14: Coventry City Council has spent some £500,000 to fight a legal case over the convoluted saga of the city’s football club and now faces a further appeal.

Council decides against challenge to report from watchdog on libel indemnity
17/07/14: A council criticised by an audit watchdog for giving its chief executive an indemnity to pursue a counterclaim in a libel case has decided not to try to challenge the auditor's finding of unlawfulness.

Ministers shelve Land Registry sale but local land charges transfer survives
17/07/14: The Government has shelved plans to privatise the Land Registry as the organisation goes through a period of major transformation.

Health Secretary unveils new inspection regime for care homes and providers
17/07/14: A new inspection regime will be imposed on care homes and their providers from October, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

City council refunds motorists after bus lane cameras found to be invalid
17/07/14: Birmingham City Council has refunded more than £13,000 to motorists after a parking adjudicator found some of its bus lane enforcement cameras were invalid.

Philip Kolvin QC named head of Cornerstone Barristers
17/07/14: Philip Kolvin QC, a licensing expert and regular contributor to Local Government Lawyer, has been named as the new head of Cornerstone Barristers.

Nottingham City Council approves introduction of late night levy
16/07/14: Nottingham City Council has become the latest authority to approve plans for the introduction of a late night levy.

ICO demands better funding as data protection and FOI complaints rise
16/07/14: The Information Commissioner has called for stronger powers and better funding after receiving a record number of complaints about data protection and freedom of information in 2013/14.

Divisional Court rules introduction of legal aid residence test unlawful
16/07/14: The Government’s proposed introduction by secondary legislation of a ‘residence test’ for civil legal aid eligibility is ultra vires and unlawful, a three-judge Divisional Court has held.

Housing organisation names seven law firms to panels worth £1.25m to £60m
16/07/14: Procurement for Housing, a national organisation for the social housing sector, has appointed seven law firms to panels potentially worth between £1.25m and £60m.

Ombudsman records sharp rise in complaints about local authorities
15/07/14: Complaints about councils have soared in the past 12 months with the sharpest rises recorded for complaints relating to adult social care, benefits and council tax, according to figures released today by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Age assessment disputes can be settled out of court
11/07/14: Parties to an age assessment dispute are free to settle their differences out of court and are not required to lay any additional material or evidence before the court for judicial scrutiny, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Government unveils new procurement models for public construction projects
10/07/14: The government's chief construction adviser Peter Hansford has issued guidance on the use of three new procurement models for construction contracts.

Council in dispute with Egyptian Government and Arts Council over artifact sale
10/07/14:Northampton Borough Council is embroiled in rows with the Egyptian Government and the Arts Council over its proposed sale of an ancient funerary statue.

Environment Agency action against waste dump rejected by High Court
10/07/14: A judge has rejected legal action by the Environment Agency against a waste firm whose site has persistently caught fire.

Review team suspends work as police widen Rochdale abuse investigation
09/07/14: The QC leading an independent review team looking into historic child abuse allegations in Rochdale has agreed to suspend its work.

Department for Health consults on changes to Mental Health Act code of practice
09/07/14: The Department of Health has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the Mental Health Act code of practice, saying that in its current form the code has been “inconsistently applied, misunderstood or ignored”.

Council wins at Court of Appeal over rugby and housing development
08/07/14: A planning dispute between a unitary and a parish council has ended with the Court of Appeal ruling in favour of a rugby club securing a new home.

Council chiefs demand radical reforms to housing finance
08/07/14: Councils have called on the Government to give them the powers to help solve the housing shortage.

CAMRA and think tank urge use of powers to protect pubs from closure
08/07/14: Councils should make creative use of their powers to protect pubs from closure, a report from the Local Government Information Unit and the Campaign for Real Ale has said.

City council complies with enforcement notice issued by ICO
08/07/14: The Information Commissioner’s Office has welcomed the actions taken by Wolverhampton City Council to meet the demands of an enforcement notice to give all staff data protection training.

Changes to JR "could see unlawful administrative action go unremedied"
07/07/14: Proposed changes to judicial review contained in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill risk unlawful administrative action going unremedied, the House of Lords Constitution Committee has warned.

District council loses High Court bid to stop DCLG claw back of EU funds
07/07/14: A district council has lost a judicial review challenge over the Communities Secretary’s decision to claw back almost £160,000 in payments made from the European Regional Development Fund.

Defendant to pay £225k under POCA after selling vehicles on Green Belt
07/07/14: A man who ignored a planning enforcement notice and continued to sell vehicles on Green Belt land has been ordered to pay back nearly £225,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

DBIS publishes guidance on core elements of revised State Aid rules
04/07/14: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published guidance on the core elements of new State Aid rules.

Court of Appeal sets out 3-stage test for applications for relief from sanctions
04/07/14: The Court of Appeal’s ruling today [4 July] in three linked appeals relating to its its earlier judgment in Mitchell will make civil litigation less adversarial and more co-operative, the Law Society has predicted.

Mystery shopper service sees 270 complaints over public procurement
03/07/14: The Cabinet Office’s ‘mystery shopper’ service received 270 complaints about public procurement practices in the 18 months to February 2014.

Revised mandatory licensing conditions issued dealing with drinks promotions
03/07/14: Draft amendments to the mandatory licence conditions dealing with ‘irresponsible’ drinks promotions have been issued by the Government.

Tower Hamlets warns Pickles of judicial review over investigation
02/07/14: The London Borough of Tower Hamlets plans to take Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to judicial review.

Local authority appoints lawyer amid claims of bullying by councillors
02/07/14: Portsmouth City Council has appointed a solicitor to investigate allegations of bullying by councillors.

LGA warns on funding 'black hole' as demand soars for adult care
02/07/14: A funding ‘black hole’ – driven largely by demand for adult social care – faces English councils, the Local Government Association has warned.

Council and police raid 25 properties in 2 weeks in rogue landlord crackdown
02/07/14: Four previously unknown criminal landlords, two cannabis factories and an illegal restaurant conversion were among discoveries made by Lewisham council officers in raids on rogue landlords.

Publican famed for selling £125 burger evicted from council house
02/07/14: A publican who found fame by selling a £125 burger is to be evicted from a home owned by the London Borough of Croydon.

LGO in second report on council that rejected recommendations
01/07/14: The Local Government Ombudsman has issued a second report into a district council after the authority refused to accept the recommendations of an earlier report into a planning complaint.

Electoral Commission issues guidelines in wake of election count delay
01/07/14: The Electoral Commission has issued a series of recommendations to the Returning Officer of Tower Hamlets following a review of the delays that occurred at a key count in May's local and European elections.

Third union sees local government members vote for strike action
01/07/14:Unite has become the third union to see those of its members working for councils and schools vote in favour of strike action next month.


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