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Sunday, 28 November 2010 12:41

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Partnership iStock 000006695073XSmall thumbPartner wanted
Kent County Council is to seek a commercial partner to establish a joint venture and alternative business structure delivering legal services to the authority and the wider market.

Money iStock 000008683901XSmall thumbDoing the sums
A district council has fended off a judicial review challenge to its decision to pay a complainant only 20% of a £250,000 sum recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Infrastructure and planning trio return to Bircham Dyson Bell
24/04/14: Three specialist major infrastructure and planning lawyers are to rejoin Bircham Dyson Bell less than a year after leaving for a rival law firm.

Councils to be able to delegate "nearly all" childrens social care functions
23/04/14: The Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposed regulations that would enable local authorities to delegate “nearly all” children’s social care functions to third party providers.

Lewis stresses importance of overview and scrutiny in combined authorities
23/04/14: A government minister has written to the leaders of constituent and non-constituent councils in three recently-created combined authorities to highlight the importance of following good practice on overview and scrutiny.

Supreme Court to hold expedited hearing on benefit cap next week
23/04/14: The Supreme Court will next week hold an expedited hearing of a challenge to the Government’s introduction of the controversial ‘benefit cap’.

Single Family Court and 26-week time limit come into being
22/04/14: The single Family Court for England and Wales and the 26-week time limit for the completion of care proceedings have come into force today (22 April) as part of what have been described as the largest family justice reforms for a generation.

Justice Secretary hits out at "inappropriate" use of judicial review
22/04/14: Society is “too legalistic” and the legal system is being “exploited inappropriately by pressure groups with a political point to make”, the Justice Secretary has claimed.

Pickles threatens five councils over alleged breaches of publicity code
22/04/14: The Communities Secretary has threatened five London councils with legal directions over alleged breaches of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.

Council secures first prosecution for money laundering over gambling den
22/04/14: A London borough has become the first council in the UK successfully to prosecute an individual for money laundering in relation with the running of an illegal poker den.

North East council chooses four law firms for claims-handling advice
22/04/14: A city council in the North East has named four law firms to provide legal services and advice on handling claims.

Met Police find "no credible evidence of criminality" in Tower Hamlets files
17/04/14: The Metropolitan Police has found “no credible evidence of criminality” within files it received about the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to provide reasonable grounds to suspect that fraud or any other offence has been committed at this stage.

Benefits of McKenzie Friends outweigh risks: Legal Services Consumer Panel
17/04/14: The access to justice benefits of having fee-charging Mckenzie Friends outweigh the risks, a report by the Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) has said.

Council hails success of police officers it funds to tackle anti-social behaviour
17/04/14: A team of 44 Metropolitan Police officers funded by a London council to tackle anti-social behaviour have closed 18 crack houses and 43 brothels in the last 12 months.

Council and Leader defeat £670k slander claim over childrens homes
16/04/14: A High Court judge has dismissed a £670,000 claim for slander brought against a borough council and its leader by two companies that operate residential children’s care homes in its area.

ICO raps two councils after data breaches involving social services records
16/04/14: Two local authorities have given undertakings to the Information Commissioner’s Office after breaches of the Data Protection Act in relation to social services records.

Watchdog issues briefing on Supreme Court deprivation of liberty ruling
16/04/14: The Care Quality Commission has published a briefing on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for providers in the light of a landmark ruling last month by the Supreme Court.

NHS Foundation Trust in North East names four law firms to panel
16/04/14: An NHS Foundation Trust in the North East has named four law firms to provide legal services.

Judgment reserved in case over disqualification of councillor and free speech
15/04/14: The High Court has reserved judgment in a case where a councillor in Wales has sought to challenge – on the basis of his right to free expression as an elected politician – his disqualification for two-and-a-half years.

Family President makes adoption order in "final chapter" of C-section case
15/04/14: The President of the Family Division has this month made an adoption order for the baby girl at the centre of a high-profile case where the Court of Protection authorised a delivery by Caesarean section.

LGPS Advisory Board publishes QC opinion on tobacco investment
15/04/14: An administering authority for Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds may choose to take into account the public health implications of tobacco investment but only if the result of such consideration is the replacement of these investments with assets producing a similar return, the LGPS Advisory Board has suggested.

Council, HCA and pension fund seal "first of its kind" housing investment fund
15/04/14: A contract for a housing investment fund – said to be the first of its kind – has been signed by Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the Homes & Communities Agency.

Supreme Court to hear case on EU migrants and inability to work
14/04/14: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an EU national’s appeal over a ruling that he was not eligible for housing assistance from a local authority as his inability to work was not temporary.

MPs take Government bodies to task over poor complaints handling
14/04/14: Government as a whole cannot be said to be complying with best practice in complaints handling or adapting to the needs and expectations of today’s citizen, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has said.

QC to lead review of law on industrial disputes and "extreme tactics"
14/04/14: The Government has this month launched an independent review - to be led by Bruce Carr QC of Devereux Chambers - into the law on industrial disputes.

Small pubs face "huge" new bills under locally set licensing fees: BBPA
14/04/14: Small local pubs could face huge new bills if the Government’s proposals on locally set licensing fees are implemented in their current form, the British Beer & Pub Association has claimed.

Kent CC fires gun on search for joint venture partner for legal services
11/04/14: Kent County Council has published details of the market engagement exercise it will undertake in its bid to find a commercial partner for its legal services team.

Welsh councils broke data protection laws "twice as often in 2013": BBC
11/04/14: The 22 councils in Wales broke data protection laws twice as often last year as they did in 2012, BBC Wales has said.

Council fined £20,000 after autistic boy loses fingertips in school gate
11/04/14: A local authority has been fined £20,000 after a boy with autism and learning difficulties lost the tips of three fingers when his hand was trapped in a school gate.

Regulators Code binding councils and fire authorities comes into force
11/04/14: Local authorities, fire and rescue authorities and other non-economic regulators are from this week under a statutory duty to have regard to the new Regulators’ Code.

LGA warns Home Office against micro-managing locally set licensing fees
10/04/14: The Government’s backing for the principle of locally-set licensing fees is welcome and long overdue but this has been undermined by consultation proposals that seek to micro-manage the approach, the LGA has warned.

County council scraps energy from waste contract at cost of £30m-plus
09/04/14: A county council is to terminate a £600m waste contract at a cost of more than £30m, blaming the “failure to secure satisfactory planning permission”.

Battle between trail riders and county council heads to Supreme Court
09/04/14: A dispute between a county council and a group of trail riders over the status of certain rural routes is to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Failure to pass on funding could see parishes bring legal action: NALC
09/04/14: Some parish councils are “being left with no other choice” but to consider legal action over the failure of 17 authorities to pass on funding intended to mitigate the impact of localised council tax support schemes on the local council tax base.

High Court challenge over 'pre-ticking' electoral registration forms ends
09/04/14: Legal proceedings over the practice of electoral registration officers (EROs) ‘pre-ticking’ the annual electoral registration canvass form have come to an end.

Law Society issues practice note on use of cloud computing services
09/04/14: The Law Society has issued a practice note on the use of cloud computing for all solicitors, practice managers and IT staff using or planning to use such services.

Kent Legal Services co-publishes guide to legal powers and duties
08/04/14: Kent Legal Services and esd-toolkit have published guidance on the legal powers and duties of local and fire authorities in England and Wales.

Termination of licence to operate soup kitchen was unlawful: High Court
08/04/14: A High Court judge has ruled that a local authority’s decision to terminate a charity’s licence to operate a ‘soup kitchen’ at one of the council’s car parks was unlawful.

District seeks legal advice from QC over downgrade of services at hospital
08/04/14: A district council is to seek legal advice from a Queen’s Counsel over a clinical commissioning group’s decision to downgrade children’s and maternity services at a local authority.

Trading Standards Institute call for National Audit Office action as cuts bite
08/04/14: The chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute has called on the National Audit Office to look at the system of consumer protection in its entirety – including local enforcement – when reviewing changes to the consumer landscape.

Boroughs create tool to assess alcohol-related health and crime data
08/04/14: Two London councils have developed a tool to assess alcohol-related health and crime data, allowing them to link public health priorities with licensing objectives for the first time.

LLG to hold inaugural Local Government Legal Awards in November
07/04/14: Lawyers in Local Government has unveiled plans for its inaugural Local Government Legal Awards, celebrating the sector’s work.

Council failed to consult properly over day centre closure: Court of Appeal
07/04/14: A county council failed to consult properly about the closure of a day centre, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Communities Secretary sends inspectors into London council
07/04/14: The Communities Secretary has sent inspectors into Tower Hamlets Council after allegations of governance failure, poor financial management and fraud.

County council named "Employer of the Year" by CILEx
07/04/14: Buckinghamshire CC has been named Employer of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. The legal department currently has six staff following CILEx’s vocational route.

Campaigners rule out further appeal over redevelopment of football ground
03/04/14: Campaigners who sought to have the planning permission for the redevelopment of Bristol Rovers’ Memorial Ground quashed have ruled out taking the case to the Court of Appeal on costs grounds.

Ministers unveil £410m transformation fund plus challenge panel
03/04/14: Ministers have unveiled a £410m funding package for local authority transformation and also set up an independent panel to look at how public services are delivered.

LGO attacks council over education of teenager with severe disabilities
03/04/14: The Local Government Ombudsman has criticised a local authority after a teenager with severe disabilities was denied a place at a specialist college because council officers failed to follow the proper procedure.

DCLG sets out approach to power to direct compliance with Publicity Code
02/04/14: The Government has written to all local authority chief executives to set out how the Communities Secretary is minded to direct compliance with the Code of Practice on Local Authority Publicity.

Universities consortium puts £4.8m to £52m in legal work out to tender
02/04/14: The London Universities Purchasing Consortium has fired the starting gun on the procurement of a legal services framework worth anywhere between £4.8m and £52m.

Ombudsmen forge closer ties amid calls for single organisation
02/04/14: The Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, has joined the unitary body of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman as part of a move to establish closer ties between the two bodies.

Kent County Council to pursue joint venture and ABS for legal services
01/04/14: Kent County Council is to seek a commercial partner to establish a joint venture and alternative business structure delivering legal services to the authority and the wider market.

Law firm launches social housing litigation boutique with senior hires
01/04/14: An international business law firm has hired two senior lawyers to head up a specialist social housing litigation boutique.

London borough to use s. 106 agreements to tackle 'buy-to-leave' homes
01/04/14: A London borough is consulting on plans to use s. 106 agreements to tackle the issue of “buy-to-leave” homes.

Responsibility for Cafcass transfers from DfE to Ministry of Justice
01/04/14: Cafcass has a new sponsoring department from today, with responsibility passing from the Department for Education to the Ministry of Justice.

Dept of Health suggests actions to take following Supreme Court DoL ruling
31/03/14: The Department of Health has written to health and social care organisations setting out the actions they should consider taking following a landmark Supreme Court ruling earlier this month on deprivations of liberty.

Campaigners net hearing over planning permission for QPR training ground
31/03/14: Campaigners seeking to challenge Ealing Council’s decision to grant QPR planning permission for the redevelopment of a sports ground and to give the club a 200-year lease have been granted an oral hearing.

New procurement directives published in Official Journal
31/03/14: The new public procurement directives have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

LGA concern at national relaxation of licensing hours during World Cup
31/03/14: The Local Government Association has criticised the Government’s decision to approve an England-wide relaxation of licensing hours for England matches with late kick off times at this year’s 2014 World Cup.

DCLG consults on making it easier to set up town and parish councils
28/03/14: The Government has launched a further consultation on measures to reduce the restrictions that it says prevent or hinder communities from requesting that a local authority carry out a community governance review.

Clubs lose battle over refusal of sexual entertainment venue licence
28/03/14: The owners of two lap dancing clubs have lost a High Court challenge over a city council’s decision to refuse to renew their sexual entertainment venue (SEV) licences.

Council changes policy on support to destitute families after court order
28/03/14: A London council has changes its policy on the support it gives to destitute families under Part 3 of the Children Act following a court challenge.

Cases of alleged electoral malpractice fell in 2013, says watchdog
28/03/14: There were a total of 179 cases of alleged electoral malpractice in 2013, according to data released by the Electoral Commission this week.

Developer agrees £2m costs settlement after failed procurement claim
28/03/14: Leeds City Council has agreed in principle to accept a £2m settlement in legal costs from a businesswoman whose property development company lost a high-profile procurement challenge against the authority.

Court backs decision to pay only 20% of £250k recommended by LGO
27/03/14: A district council has fended off a judicial review challenge to its decision to pay a complainant only 20% of a £250,000 sum recommended by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Councils told to investigate claims over Jimmy Savile and children's homes
27/03/14: A number of local authorities have been ordered to investigate claims that Jimmy Savile abused children at 21 children’s homes and schools in England, the Education Secretary has announced.

Council fails in High Court appeal over house in multiple occupation ruling
27/03/14: The High Court has rejected a city council’s appeal over a ruling that a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in its area was not subject to the mandatory licensing scheme under the Housing Act 2004.


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