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  NEWS

January 14, 2022

City council chief executive expresses regret over Cabinet Office leaving drinks

The chief executive of Sheffield City Council has said she is "truly sorry" for going to a leaving party in December 2020 to mark the end of her role as Director General of the Cabinet Office's COVID-19 Task Force.
January 13, 2022

Ombudsman expresses concern at "flawed decisions" by London borough on Covid business grants

A decision by Camden Council's to refuse Covid business grants to two businesses over incorrect ratepayer records at the local authority was wrong, an investigation from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
January 13, 2022

Powers to assess handling of code of conduct complaints could help end “toxic long-running” standards disputes, Ombudsman says

Complainants as well as sanctioned councillors should be given the right to ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) to review a council’s handling of alleged breaches of its code of conduct, the Ombudsman, Michael King, has said.
January 10, 2022

Court of Protection authorises vaccination of autistic boy despite parental objections

The benefits of vaccination against Covid-19 for a child with autism, severe learning disability and asthma "significantly outweigh" the possible risks, the Court of Protection has found, despite objections from the boy's parents.
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  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

December 10, 2021

FOI under attack

Last week, a government minister called the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) a “truly malign piece of legislation”. Ibrahim Hasan looks at what the comments tell us.
November 26, 2021

The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill: moratorium on enforcement

In the second of three articles on the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill and the new Code of Practice, Edward Blakeney and Mattie Green look at the moratorium on certain remedies and insolvency arrangements.
November 19, 2021

Work sheds and CIL

One strong trend as a result of Covid has been the increase in the number of structures built in gardens to facilitate working from home. Many of the householders will not have considered the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) consequences of carrying through such a project, writes Christopher Cant.
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  WEBINARS AND PODCASTS

March 25, 2021

Covid Enforcement Restrictions

As the UK prepares for the relaxation of lockdown, barristers Zachary Bredemear, Richard Cherry and Conor Kennedy offer a reminder of the restrictions on bringing proceedings and enforcement that are still in force.
March 15, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 15th March

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG discuss devolution, Judicial Review, GDPR, The CfGS's Governance Risk & Resilience Framework, gender equality, flexible working, Rule of Law and Test and Trace.

 

March 09, 2021

Hugh James' NPS Framework Fortnight: Lot 3 - Civil Litigation - Housing Management

Rebecca Rees gives ten tips for handling disrepair claims and Bethan Gladwyn provides an overview of the current rules and practice for possession claims.
January 20, 2021

Delivering leisure facilities in a post-covid world

The pandemic has introduced new hurdles in the provision of local authority led leisure services. Peter Ware, Catherine Rustomji and Alex Kynoch look at the different options available to councils, including establishing a charity.
November 19, 2020

Licensing v.2.0 – a system reboot post-Covid

Philip Kolvin QC considers possible reforms to the licensing system that he says, if made in the wake of the pandemic, might determine the future of our towns and cities over the next 25 years.
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  MORE NEWS

January 05, 2022

Groups representing lawyers and democratic services officers launch petition calling for councils to be given choice of holding remote meetings

The Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) have launched a petition calling for councils to be given the choice to meet remotely.
January 05, 2022

Government minister reiterates need for primary legislation if councils to be allowed to hold meetings remotely on permanent basis

The Government has reiterated the current position that any permanent change allowing local authorities to meet remotely requires primary legislation, after calls last month from organisations including the Local Government Association (LGA), Lawyers in Local…
December 29, 2021

Average length of time for care proceedings has continued to rise, Ministry of Justice data reveals

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 45 weeks in July to September 2021, up four weeks from the same quarter in 2020 and one week compared to April to June 2021, according to the latest Ministry of Justice data.
December 29, 2021

Fear of catching Covid-19 not a philosophical belief for purposes of Equality Act, employment judge rules

A claimant’s belief in a fear of catching Covid-19 and a need to protect herself and others, did not amount to a philosophical belief for the purposes of section 10(2) Equality Act 2010, an Employment Tribunal judge has ruled.
December 29, 2021

Ex-councillor and wife convicted over application for Covid-19 bounce back loan

A former councillor and his wife have been convicted of fraud by false representation after they applied for a Covid-19 bounce back loan.
December 21, 2021

EM Lawshare increases estimate for value of next legal services framework by 40% to £70m

EM Lawshare, the largest public sector legal services consortium in the UK, has revised its estimate for the value of its next framework up from £50m to £70m.
December 20, 2021

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal by mother over adoption orders despite procedural irregularity

The Supreme Court has refused a mother permission to appeal after her application to revoke an adoption order was rejected despite an acknowledged procedural irregularity at an earlier hearing.
December 16, 2021

CPS withdraws case against pastor fined for hosting service in car park during national lockdown

The Crown Prosecution Service has withdrawn a case against a Christian pastor who was fined £16,000 for holding a church service for the homeless during the third national lockdown.
December 16, 2021

Remote hearings research highlights wellbeing concerns for judiciary, legal representatives and HMCTS staff

More than half of judicial respondents (58%) and legal representatives (54%) felt that remote hearings impacted on their health and wellbeing, an HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) survey has found.
December 15, 2021

Former Court of Appeal judge to chair Covid-19 inquiry

The Prime Minister has appointed a former Court of Appeal judge as Chair of the forthcoming public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic.
December 14, 2021

Invicta Law sees profit rise by £470k in 2020/21 financial year

Invicta Law, the alternative business structure controlled by Kent County Council, saw profit for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 rise by 330% to £674,000 (2019/20: £204,000).
December 14, 2021

Welsh council bolts cinema entrance shut after failure to follow closure order

A cinema at the centre of a dispute surrounding Covid-19 vaccination passports has had its shutters bolted shut by Swansea Council after refusing to heed a closure order.
December 14, 2021

EM Lawshare framework sees legal services spend soar as a result of pandemic

Spend under the EM Lawshare framework contract for legal services is expected to be 50% higher than originally estimated when the contract notice was issued in 2017, it has emerged.
December 14, 2021

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman annual report reveals impact of pandemic on complaints handling

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman undertook 3,330 detailed investigations between April 2020 and March 2021 - roughly covering the first year of the pandemic - and upheld 2,243 (67%) of them, according to its annual report.
December 09, 2021

Councils call for legislation allowing them to host remote meetings in light of Omicron variant

The Local Government Association has added its voice to calls for urgent legislation to facilitate councils being able to host remote and hybrid meetings in light of the Omicron variant.
December 07, 2021

High Court rejects challenge to experimental traffic orders introduced by London borough

Hackney Council has successfully defended a legal challenge in the High Court to the validity of two experimental traffic orders (ETOs) it made.
December 03, 2021

Car wash that stayed open during height of pandemic fined for breaking COVID-19 restrictions

A council prosecution has seen a business owner in South Norfolk found guilty of an offence under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020.
December 01, 2021

Emergence of new Covid variant means councils should be given ability to hold remote meetings again – even if only temporarily, local government lawyers and democratic services officers say

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) have called on the Government to restore the ability of councils to meet remotely, even if only for a temporary period, in light of the emergence of the Omicron Covid…
December 01, 2021

High Court judge gives reasons for refusing permission for legal challenge to care home workers vaccination requirement

A High Court judge has given her reasons for dismissing two challenges to the Government’s policy that anyone working in a care home must be vaccinated against Covid-19 unless medically exempt.
November 30, 2021

Council facing judicial review for push to get children in vulnerable families back to school

A Covid-vulnerable family has sent a pre-action protocol letter to a council that it says unlawfully told a headteacher to stop allowing their children to stay home during rises in case numbers.
November 25, 2021

Welsh council pursues closure order after cinema refuses to implement Covid pass rule

An independent cinema in Swansea is facing a closure order after it refused to demand customers show proof of vaccination on entry.
November 24, 2021

Disabled couple put at risk after carers did not wear masks and provided less care than contracted, Ombudsman finds

Care workers put a couple at risk of harm after they failed to wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and provided home care on a basis inconsistent with the care plan laid out for them, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
November 24, 2021

Children’s services leaders call for mandatory register of home educated children as numbers rise

The Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) has called on the Government to establish a mandatory register of all electively home educated children with a fully funded duty on the local authority to visit the child, at a minimum annually, to…
November 23, 2021

Latest report from Housing Ombudsman shows surge in complaints

The Housing Ombudsman quarterly report shows an 83% increase in the volume of enquiries and complaints received compared to the same quarter in 2020.
November 18, 2021

Court gives green light to judicial review challenge over refusal of Cultural Recovery Funding

The Get Real Marketing Company has been granted permission to apply for judicial review over the Arts Council’s refusal to provide it with Cultural Recovery Funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  MORE FEATURES

November 09, 2021

Looked after children and Covid-19 vaccination

Josie Canham-Williams summarises the first case to address the administration of the Covid-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds and the winter flu vaccination for children in school years 7 to 11.
October 29, 2021

Pandemic related protected disclosures claims

The first Employment Tribunal decision in a pandemic-related protected disclosures claim has just been issued. Debra Gers looks at the lessons for employers from the ruling.
October 15, 2021

Recovering commercial rent during the pandemic

Clare Hartley and Chloe Postlethwaite analyse the latest favourable ruling for landlords in relation to commercial rent recovery during Covid-19, a judgment that confirms landlords can currently still rely on the court route notwithstanding the UK Government’s plans for arbitration next year.
October 08, 2021

Low traffic neighbourhoods

Philippa Jackson analyses the latest rulings in relation to low traffic neighbourhoods and what they mean for future legal challenges.
October 08, 2021

What now for public sector office buildings?

With the move to working from home, what will become of public sector office buildings? Amy Entwistle looks at the position in Scotland.
October 04, 2021

Possession – more change in England

From the beginning of this month, there has been yet more change on the possession front. Suzanne Gregson examines the latest position.
September 24, 2021

Vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds

Stephanie McGarry and Alistair Taylor consider the Government’s updated guidance on Covid-19 vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds.
September 17, 2021

Social care funding: rapid response note

Fenella Morris QC, Sian Davies and Arianna Kelly analyse the Government's proposals for social care funding reform and look at the key issues for local authorities.
September 17, 2021

The Court of Protection and “the most complex Covid patient in the world”

Alex Ruck Keene looks at the latest ruling by the Vice President of the Court of Protection on the withdrawal of treatment in a COVID context.
September 03, 2021

Staying away from work because of Covid: a trap for employers?

Hari Menon looks at the problems that arise for employers where an employee stays away from work, pointing to the risks to his health from potentially contracting Covid.
August 27, 2021

Long COVID: What is it and how should employers deal with it?

Andrew Rayment, Laura McLellan and Kendel Shepherd look at the issues created by Long Covid and set out some practical steps for employers.
August 27, 2021

Commercial leases and unpaid rent

Are we turning a corner? Priya Sejpal examines the Government Policy Statement on COVID-19 enforcement and rent recovery restrictions for commercial leases.
August 13, 2021

Local authority leisure provision in a time of Covid

Craig Elder looks at the lessons for local authorities in relation to leisure provision during the pandemic and considers the way forward.
August 05, 2021

Possession proceedings and evictions: recent changes

Helen Tucker analyses the latest developments in relation to possession proceedings and evictions.
July 16, 2021

The housing possessions backlog and Nightingale Courts: a simple solution?

Natalie Foster explores the potential role of ‘Nightingale Courts’ and extended operating hours in unclogging the housing possessions backlog – and ensuring that the wheels of justice keep turning.
July 02, 2021

Can mediation solve the housing possessions backlog?

The freeze on possession hearings is finally starting to thaw – but how will the courts cope with the huge backlog of cases? Will mediation, online hearings, or a dedicated housing tribunal make a difference? In the first of a series of articles from 42BR Housing, looking at the potential solutions, Catherine Urquhart analyses the mediation pilot scheme.
June 18, 2021

Best interests and Covid-19 vaccination in the Court of Protection

The Court of Protection recently ruled that an 86-year-old woman with dementia should not be either forcibly given a Covid vaccine or deceived into accepting a jab. Rebecca Handcock and Hilton Harrop-Griffiths analyse the ruling.
April 29, 2021

Council meetings beyond 7 May 2021

What does the Divisional Court's ruling mean for local government? David Kitson, Victoria Barman and Mark Robinson look at what happens next.
April 23, 2021

Elections in the time of Covid-19

Rupert Beloff sets out some important considerations for Returning Officers and other election administrators as they look ahead to May's elections.
April 23, 2021

How to tackle urbexing

Lyn Crawford looks at what property owners, developers and contractors can do about "urbexing".
April 14, 2021

Remote meetings and the importance of ‘local choice’

The imminent High Court hearing over the ability of councils in England to continue to hold remote meetings after 6 May is about ensuring local choice, the leaders of the two organisations behind the legal proceedings tell Local Government Lawyer.
April 09, 2021

Vulnerable persons - participation and evidence in family proceedings

The following Family practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the participation of vulnerable people and evidence in family proceedings.
April 07, 2021

Dealing with Hoarding during the Coronavirus crisis

There has been some focus on the effects of anti-social behaviour upon neighbours but what about cases such as hoarding where the main person affected is the hoarder themselves and the property? Anna Bennett looks at the options.
April 07, 2021

Too much, too soon

A High Court judge recently allowed an appeal against a decision of a Circuit Judge to dismiss a claim that an asylum seeker who had been accommodated by a local authority under the “Everyone In” scheme did not have an arguable case that he had been granted a secure tenancy. Justin Bates explains why.
March 26, 2021

Procurement obligations and Covid

What do the Westminster and Good Law Project cases tell us about the courts’ attitude to procurement post-Covid? Léonie Cowen explains.
March 26, 2021

Vaccination – looking at all the relevant circumstances

Alex Ruck Keene analyses a Court of Protection ruling on whether a 31-year-old man with a learning disability should be vaccinated against Covid-19.
March 15, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 15th March

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG discuss devolution, Judicial Review, GDPR, The CfGS's Governance Risk & Resilience Framework, gender equality, flexible working, Rule of Law and Test and Trace.
March 09, 2021

Hugh James' NPS Framework Fortnight: Lot 3 - Civil Litigation - Housing Management

Rebecca Rees gives ten tips for handling disrepair claims and Bethan Gladwyn provides an overview of the current rules and practice for possession claims.
March 08, 2021

Planning and the way out of lockdown for leisure, hospitality and attractions

Richard Harwood OBE QC looks at the Local Government Secretary's recent comments on Covid planning and pavement licensing measures for the hospitality and leisure industry, and propooses some other changes that would help.
March 08, 2021

Covid testing in schools and data protection

Neil Murphy examines the data protection issues that arise with the return to school and the prospect of on-site tests for Covid.
March 05, 2021

Late publication of contracts

David Mitchell examines a recent ruling that the late publication of coronavirus contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care was unlawful.
March 02, 2021

The pitfalls of relying on s21 during the pandemic

Master Dagnall recently gave judgment in a case which considered several issues regarding the pandemic and possession proceedings which are worthy of note as the stay on evictions has again been extended, writes Jane Talbot.
March 01, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 1st March

This week Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath discuss Covid Procurement Transparency, Local Authority Pension Investment, Emergency Legislation during Covid, Working Time and being 'On Call', News from Wales, Schools, Fly-tipping and Dismissal for Not Wearing a Face Mask.
February 26, 2021

Health and Care White Paper: opportunities for local authorities

Kirtpal Kaur Aujla considers what the Government's Health White Paper means for local authorities.
February 19, 2021

Extended halt on evictions (again, again): exemption applications; warrants and extensions

Amy Kelly considers the latest extension of the prohibition on enforcement of some possession orders in England and Wales.
February 19, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine and employees

Can employers require employees to be vaccinated? Joanne Bell and Louise Bloomfield consider some o the legal issues.
February 12, 2021

Covid-19 and Specific Changes in Law

Amy Callahan-Page sets out the key points from a recent High Court ruling on risk allocation between a council and a leisure centre operator.
February 12, 2021

Closing gyms during lockdown

Sarah Clover recently supported a city council in closing down a gym which opened persistently in contravention of Coronavirus Regulations and the lockdown restrictions. She explains what this involved.
February 12, 2021

The Covid-19 vaccine and capacity

A senior judge recently ruled that it was lawful and in the best interests of an 80-year-old care home resident with dementia and schizophrenia to be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite the objections of her son. Jennifer Swan analyses the judgment.
February 05, 2021

Community Treatment Orders: does seeing patients remotely suffice?

Jonathan Auburn and Lucy McCann assess whether decision-making as to community treatment orders requires physical attendance.
February 05, 2021

Challenging the Streetspace Plan

The High Court recently quashed the Mayor of London's Streetspace Plan and TfL’s Bishopsgate Traffic Management Order. David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten explain why the black cab drivers succeeded.
January 29, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Governance Tracker

This tracker from LexisNexis Local Government intended to be used to track the most recent key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) local authority governance, where relevant to local government lawyers.
January 29, 2021

Leisure centre losses during the pandemic

Louis Sebastian analyses a High Court dispute between a council and a leisure centre provider over where losses arising from closure of facilities during the current coronavirus pandemic fall.
January 20, 2021

The Office: District Judge rules on Covid-19 Summary Review

An experienced district judge has issued the first fully reasoned judgment on a Covid-19 summary review. Gary Grant analyses the ruling.
January 20, 2021

Delivering leisure facilities in a post-covid world

The pandemic has introduced new hurdles in the provision of local authority led leisure services. Peter Ware, Catherine Rustomji and Alex Kynoch look at the different options available to councils, including establishing a charity.
January 15, 2021

Changing safeguards for children in care: the Article 39 case

David Gregory looks at a powerful recent Court of Appeal judgment on the consultation undertaken by the Government on changes to the delivery of children's services during the pandemic.
January 14, 2021

The halt on evictions (again)

Amy Kelly analyses the latest prohibition on enforcement of some possession orders in England and Wales.
January 08, 2021

Covid-19 Regulations – the enforcement role of local authorities

Horatio Waller looks at defining the enforcement role of local authorities and best practice on ‘designating’ officers for enforcement purposes.
January 08, 2021

Remote meetings: planning for permanence

Ed Hammond looks at the benefits of remote meetings and the likelihood the arrangements facilitating them will be put on a permanent footing.
January 04, 2021

NAHT calls for school closures: the right to education during the second wave of Covid-19

Khatija Hafesji considers the Department for Education’s latest school closure and mass testing decisions and their implications for the right to education.
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