Cheshire East

Levelling up – A new opportunity for further devolution in England?

Rob Hann explores the Government's 'levelling up' policy and looks at whether it is an opportunity for further devolution in England. Read more
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  NEWS

Jan 27, 2022

Cumbria renews judicial review bid over local government reorganisation

Cumbria County Council has renewed its application for a judicial review of the government's plans to divide the county into two east-west unitary councils.
Jan 27, 2022

External auditor slams legal, governance and finance failings over multi-million pound arts centre refurbishment project run by London borough

The lack of formal consideration of external legal advice, the lack of completed legal land transfer documentation and the lack of properly executed written legal arrangements covering the provision of funding to its wholly owned housing development company was “a very serious matter” and demonstrated “fundamental failings” by Croydon Council, the local authority’s external auditor has found in a…
Jan 20, 2022

Welsh council outlines training plan after recognition that at extraordinary meeting it would have acted unconstitutionally if monitoring officer advice had not been followed

Wrexham Council has issued a statement on the conduct of future meetings, amid recognition it ran the risk of acting unconstitutionally had the advice of its monitoring officer not been followed at an extraordinary meeting in November 2021.
Jan 19, 2022

High Court refuses permission for Cumbria County Council challenge to local government restructuring

The High Court has denied permission to Cumbria County Council for a judicial review of the Government's decision to create two unitary authorities in the county.
Jan 19, 2022

Minister proposes “unprecedented” intervention into council despite absence of best value inspection or Government review

The Government is “minded to” send commissioners into Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council as part of an intervention package, the Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said whilst acknowledging the move would be "unprecedented".
Jan 19, 2022

City council to set up committee to consider action over chief executive after Cabinet Office leaving drinks admission

Sheffield City Council is to set up a cross-party committee to consider what action should be taken in relation to its chief executive, Kate Josephs, after she last week said she was "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.
Jan 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.
Jan 14, 2022

Watchdog accuses Welsh council of "serious breakdown of governance", ignoring Head of Legal and disregarding external legal advice

The process that led to a £95,000 departure payment being made to a former chief executive of Pembrokeshire County Council “represented a serious breakdown in governance” including a failure to comply with legal requirements, a failure to address the concerns of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, and the disregard of external legal advice, a report in the public interest issued by the…
Jan 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.
Jan 13, 2022

Welsh council says it is unable to disqualify councillor who pleaded guilty to soliciting sex worker: report

Newport City Council has said it has no powers to disqualify a councillor who admitted soliciting a sex worker.
Jan 11, 2022

Centre for Governance and Scrutiny appoints new chief executive

Andy Fry has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS).
Jan 07, 2022

Councillor breached Code of Conduct by acting anonymously through Twitter, independent investigator finds

A former Cabinet member for housing at Southwark Council breached the local authority’s Code of Conduct by acting anonymously through a Twitter account, an independent investigation by law firm Bevan Brittan has found.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

December 17, 2021

Decisions to defer further consideration

The High Court has confirmed that the requirement to 'grasp the intellectual nettle' of a previous, inconsistent planning decision does not extend to 'minded to' positions reached as part of an inchoate decision-making process. Josef Cannon and Wayne Beglan report.
December 10, 2021

Why the revised Prudential Code matters to monitoring officers

Monitoring officers need to make sure they are fully aware of the changes being introduced through the revised 2022 Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities, writes Paul Feild.
November 26, 2021

We need real decisions about artificial intelligence

The regulatory framework around the use of artificial intelligence by local authorities is inadequate but existing governance mechanisms can address concerns, writes Sue Chadwick.
November 18, 2021

Ethical standards

It has been 12 years since the last expenses scandal rocked Parliament and last week Boris Johnson was forced to defend its reputation once again, stressing that the UK is not "remotely a corrupt country".
November 15, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 15th November

Dennis Hall looks back over the last edition of the bulletin highlighting points of interest, pulling in government policy and national news to give you a quick round-up of topical developments.
November 12, 2021

Going, going…gone

Richard Eaton and Chay Clark examine the automatic 6 month strike out rule for dismissal of parish councillors under section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.
November 04, 2021

Autumn Budget Spending Review 2021 – What Public Bodies Need To Know

Rob Hann and James Hughes examine the Autumn Budget Spending Review 2021, looking at what Public Bodies need to know.
September 17, 2021

You can never be too diligent - the issue of know your client

Paul Feild considers the risk to local authorities posed by money laundering and the importance of carrying out due diligence properly in their transactions.
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  MORE NEWS

Jan 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.
Jan 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 Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) for councils to be given the ability - even if only on a…
Dec 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.
Dec 15, 2021

District councils in Warwickshire agree to make formal submission on merging to Secretary of State

Councillors at Warwick District Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council have backed a proposal to formally submit a request to the Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for a full political merger.
Dec 14, 2021

Thanet appoints Baker as Independent Monitoring Officer with original choice unable to take on role

Thanet Council has appointed Quentin Baker, Chief Legal Officer at Hertfordshire County Council, as Independent Monitoring Officer after the local authority’s original selection was unable to take on the role.
Dec 14, 2021

Justice Secretary issues consultation on replacing Human Rights Act with Bill of Rights

The Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Justice has unveiled plans to revise and replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a new Bill of Rights.
Dec 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.
Dec 13, 2021

External auditors tell council to take “effective grip” of longstanding service issues, following breakdown in relationships between senior officers and senior members

Sandwell Council has seen deteriorating senior officer and senior member relationships over a number of years and this has resulted in a breakdown in trust, respect and confidence between those holding governance roles, a value for money governance review carried out by the local authority’s external auditors Grant Thornton has found.
Dec 13, 2021

Election reform proposals “lack evidence base, consultation and transparency”, MPs warn

The Government should stop the passage of the Elections Bill until more through consultations have taken place, MPs on the cross-party Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee have said.
Dec 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.
Dec 09, 2021

County council apologises after unlawfully employing ex-councillor: report

Nottinghamshire County Council has apologised for allowing a former councillor to be unlawfully employed by it, according to reports.
Dec 09, 2021

Joint Committee on Human Rights call for key proposals in Judicial Review and Courts Bill to be ditched

MPs and peers have called on the Government to drop proposals in the Judicial Review and Courts Bill which they said had the potential to deny effective remedies against decisions by public bodies.
Dec 06, 2021

Judges dismiss judicial review challenge over interpretation by Prime Minister of ministerial code in Priti Patel "bullying" claims

A Divisional Court has rejected a judicial review challenge brought by the FDA union over the Prime Minister’s decision that Home Secretary Priti Patel did not break the Ministerial Code in her treatment of civil servants.
Dec 03, 2021

Gove sends commissioners into borough council

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has sent commissioners into Slough Borough Council “to address serious financial and management failures”.
Dec 02, 2021

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman proposes more powers to improve the service

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has called for greater powers to increase its jurisdiction across local government, strengthen its ability to handle adult social care and education complaints, and bolster public services through improved complaints handling.
Dec 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 variant.
Nov 29, 2021

Thanet appoints Hynes as independent monitoring officer to review employment tribunal claims

Thanet District Council has appointed Mark Hynes, Director of Governance and Law and Monitoring Officer at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, as an independent monitoring officer.
Nov 25, 2021

Jeremy Corbyn secures apology, damages from councillor over tweet

Former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accepted an apology and substantial damages from a councillor who published a fake picture of him appearing to endorse the Liverpool terrorist attack.
Nov 22, 2021

District to write to Secretary of State to call for ability to hold remote meetings

A district council is to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to call for councils to be given the ability to hold remote meetings.
Nov 22, 2021

Council leader charged with electoral malpractice

The leader of Warrington Council has been charged in connection with allegations of electoral malpractice.
Nov 18, 2021

MP lodges complaint with council after leader called him a "moron"

An MP has lodged a formal complaint with the monitoring officer at Ashfield District Council after the authority's leader called him a “moron”.
Nov 12, 2021

Leader and Deputy Leader step down at district council following disrupted meeting

The Leader of Maldon District Council, Cllr Wendy Stamp, and the Deputy Leader, Cllr Stephen Nunn, have resigned from their positions amid a flurry of media interest this week.
Nov 10, 2021

Monitoring officer advises council leader not to participate in vote on skate park development following complaint by lawyers behind judicial review challenge

The leader of Swansea Council has chosen not to debate or vote on a controversial skatepark development after receiving a complaint claiming he has a personal and prejudicial interest in the issue.
Nov 09, 2021

LGA issues call for evidence on abuse and intimidation of councillors

The Local Government Association has launched a call for evidence on abuse and intimidation of councillors, as an ongoing part of its Civility in Public Life programme
Nov 09, 2021

Police called to council meeting argument over standards report

Police were called to a council meeting at Maldon District Council last week after a councillor refused to stop saying "point of order".
Nov 08, 2021

Chief executive of Centre for Governance and Scrutiny to take up new role at Liverpool

The Chief Executive of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, Jacqui McKinlay, is to join Liverpool City Council as its Chief Operating Officer, starting in January 2022.
Nov 05, 2021

Council political leaders issue joint statement condemning abuse and threats from public ahead of controversial planning decision

A district council's party political leaders last month took the unusual step of issuing a joint statement over the "increasing level of threats, aggression and intimidation" councillors and officers have faced, ahead of a committee meeting that was scheduled to discuss a controversial planning application.
Nov 01, 2021

Standards watchdog calls for stronger ethical rules, greater regulator independence in central government

The current system of ethics regulation in central government is too dependent on conventions, and standards regulators in government are not sufficiently independent, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has said.
Oct 28, 2021

City council to consider report on handling of allegations against social worker

Edinburgh City Council is due this week (28 October) to consider a report from lawyers into how it handed complaints about children’s social worker Sean Bell, who committed suicide last year after being charged with serious sexual offences.
Oct 27, 2021

Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021: reaction from the sector

Local Government Lawyer rounds up reaction from the sector to the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021.

  MORE FEATURES

August 19, 2021

Delivering 21st-century customer experience in the public sector

Rachel Buchanan examines how legal teams should support their authorities in delivering tailored services at a time of restrained resources.
July 02, 2021

State Aid and subsidy control post-Brexit: an update

What is the current position on State Aid and subsidy control in the UK, and what does the future hold for these areas of law following the consultations on the proposals in the two UK Green Papers? Tim Buley QC, Luke Wilcox and James Neill discuss.
June 25, 2021

General Power of Competence: what does this mean for Wales?

Neil Kates looks at the prospective introduction of the general power of competence for Welsh local authorities and community councils.
May 21, 2021

The Queen’s Speech and Judicial Review

Colin Ricciardiello looks at the likely effects of the government's proposed changes to the judicial review process.
May 14, 2021

Lessons on governance and finance from recent public interest reports

Dr Paul Feild looks at what can be learned from the recent Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Schedule 7 Public Interest Reports relating to Croydon LBC and City of York.
May 13, 2021

Councils unable to hold meetings remotely from 7th May

Radhika Devesher considers the fallout from the High Court's decision that online council meetings cannot continue past 7th May and outlines the practical steps that councils can take to ensure that the decision-making process is not adversely affected.
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 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

Deja Value all over again [i] – The Best Value Report on Liverpool City Council

Dr Paul Feild looks at some of the lessons to be learned - including in relation to the legal team - from the best value report into at Liverpool City Council.
March 29, 2021

The Independent Review of Administrative Law: Much ado about nothing or rewriting the rules of public law?

Richard Drabble QC, Jenny Wigley QC, David Elvin QC and Tim Buley QC consider what the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) report recommended and analyse the government's response.
March 29, 2021

From virtual to hybrid? The future of Council meetings

Richard Harwood QC OBE looks at the potential consequences of the government's decison not to extend the use of virtual meetings beyond 7th May.
March 19, 2021

Brexit - key legislation explained

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Dr. Kieran Laird of Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the key legislation governing Brexit.
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 04, 2021

Hugh James' NPS Framework Fortnight: Lot 4 - Corporate Governance and Ethical Standards

Justin Davies and Martin Jones focus on governance and ethical standards issues in local authorities, looking at the Seven Principles of Public Life, first set out by Lord Nolan in 1995 that outlined the ethical standards those working in the public sector are expected to adhere to.
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

New powers for local authorities in Wales

Clare Hardy sets out some of the opportunities presented by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021.
February 18, 2021

Brexit Timeline Tracker

This Practice Note sets out a timeline of key events and updates in the post-transition period, focussing in particular on the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and associated agreements.
February 05, 2021

Whistleblowing during COVID: Blowing the whistle on whistle blowing claims

Gillian Crew examines the applicable law of whistleblowing claims, and how to deal with such claims that may arise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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