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  LATEST HEADLINES

July 16, 2020

Implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards delayed until April 2022

Implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), the scheme designed to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), has been put back until April 2022, the Government has confirmed.
July 16, 2020

Judge criticises council for failure to implement recommendations of First-tier Tribunal

The London Borough of Barnet gave “disingenuous” and “erroneous” reasons for departing from the recommendations of the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) in a case concerning an autistic boy’s care, a judge has ruled.
July 16, 2020

Council secures reinstatement of part of penalty for failure to licence HMO

Thurrock Council has gained a partial victory in an Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) concerning the penalty for failing to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Jul 16, 2020

Council to remove all cumulative impact policies in August but may reinstate one for city centre

Bristol City Council is to scrap its cumulative impact policies on alcohol licensing after police said many of them were unnecessary.
Jul 15, 2020

Ombudsman highlights council failings in relation to homelessness reduction legislation

Failures to meet new housing duties on councils have worsened the plight of some homeless people, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Jul 15, 2020

Council says it is unable to remove convicted councillor ahead of sentencing

Wakefield Council has explained to local residents that it is powerless to remove a councillor convicted of sex offences involving children.
Jul 15, 2020

Disabled claimants gear up for legal action over guidance for councils on managing pavements during COVID-19

Two people with disabilities are trying to raise funds for a legal challenge to Government guidance to local authorities on managing pavements for more walking and cycling during the pandemic.
Jul 15, 2020

Waste giant loses appeal over fines for waste shipment regulations

Biffa has failed to overturn more than £600,000 of fines and costs imposed over an attempt to export contaminated waste to China.
Jul 15, 2020

LGA warns on risk of having to return £730m in unspent EU funds

More than £730m of European Union funds that could help local economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic has been left unspent by Whitehall, the Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed.
Jul 15, 2020

Trowers & Hamlins advises on social housing SONIA facility first

Trowers & Hamlins has advised Coastline Housing on its first SONIA based loan facility from Lloyds, which the law firm said was believed to be the first day one SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) facility in the social housing sector.
Jul 14, 2020

Court finds it unlawful for landlords to operate 'no DSS' policy

A judge has ruled that it is illegal for landlords to operate ‘no DSS’ policies that refuse letting to people claiming benefits.
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Jul 14, 2020

Council stymied after legal advice suggests no basis to challenge consent order for solar power station

Legal advice obtained by Swale Borough Council on the prospect of a judicial review to overturn a consent order for a 350 MW solar power station and battery storage on Graveney Marshes has suggested that there is no basis upon which the decision can be legally challenged.
Jul 14, 2020

Claimant with Down Syndrome secures permission for judicial review of charging policy of county council

A 24-year-old woman with Down Syndrome has been granted permission for a judicial review challenge of Norfolk County Council’s policy of charging people for essential care and support.
Jul 14, 2020

Man loses appeal over conviction for unlawfully subletting council home

A man from Wolverhampton has lost an appeal against his conviction for unlawfully subletting a council home.
Jul 14, 2020

Welsh Government fires gun on procurement of new £60m solicitors services framework

The Welsh Government’s National Procurement Service has started the procurement of a new framework agreement for the provision of solicitors services to the Welsh public sector.
Jul 13, 2020

Department for Education tells court nothing can be done where lack of secure placement for vulnerable and damaged 13 year old

There was nothing that could be done and a local authority would have to keep searching in circumstances where there was no suitable placement for a young and vulnerable person, the Department for Education has told the High Court.
Jul 13, 2020

Local governance arrangements “not robust enough”, MPs claim in critical report into commercial property spending sprees

Local governance arrangements are not robust enough with some authorities’ commercial property investments not being properly transparent or subject to adequate scrutiny and challenge, an influential committee of MPs has warned.
Jul 13, 2020

Regulator notifies large social landlords of plans to increase regulatory activity

The Regulator of Social Housing has this month told large social landlords that it intends to gradually scale up its regulatory activity as the pandemic situation eases.
Jul 13, 2020

London borough faces judicial review threat over outsourcing of SEND services

A group of parents and carers have threatened Sutton Council with a judicial review challenge over the 2016 outsourcing of its statutory services for special educational needs and disabilities.
Jul 13, 2020

Appeal decision on NPPF Para 74 quashed: report

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has consented to judgment over the decision to dismiss a developer’s appeal for a residential development of up to 90 dwellings, it has been reported.
Jul 10, 2020

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council names Susan Zeiss as Monitoring Officer

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has announced it is to appoint Susan Zeiss as Monitoring Officer in the autumn of this year.
Jul 10, 2020

Former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Carnwath joins Landmark Chambers

Landmark Chambers has announced that Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill is to join Chambers as an Associate Member, as from 1 September 2020.
Jul 10, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council for mother of 6 left in bed and breakfast accommodation

A recently housed Haringey mother that had been living in a bed and breakfast since February 2020 was failed by her local council because it did not do enough to prevent her from becoming homeless, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.
Jul 10, 2020

NW social landlord to procure £13m+ legal services framework

A social landlord that owns or manages around 13,000 properties across the North West, operating in more than 30 local authority areas, is to procure a legal services framework.
Jul 10, 2020

University invites tenders for £1.7m legal framework

Brunel University London is to procure a legal services framework worth an estimated £1.7m.
Jul 10, 2020

District council to appoint five legal providers to £4m panel for special projects

Harlow District Council is to set up a legal services framework worth an estimated £4m to provide support for special projects.
Jul 09, 2020

Sunderland Christian foster service 'must allow gay carers' says High Court

A Christian Foster service has been told it must allow gay parents to sign up as carers, the High Court has ruled.
Jul 09, 2020

Council faces judicial review over SEND cuts

A group of parents of children with special educational needs or disabilities has been granted permission to take the London Borough of Waltham Forest to judicial review over spending cuts.
Jul 09, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds "unparalelled" Housing (Wales) Act 2014 eviction rules

Welsh law means that a landlord who is unlicensed cannot lawfully serve an eviction notice on tenants, the Court of Appeal has found.
Jul 09, 2020

Judge sets limits on the right of McKenzie friend to speak in court

A McKenzie friend can only address a court in exceptional circumstances the Honourable Mrs Justice Steyn has ruled in a case in which a claimant sat under a bench after arguing with the judge.
Jul 09, 2020

Council was wrong to apply for the withdrawal of care proceedings: CoA

A Family Court judge should have refused an unnamed county council’s application to withdraw care proceedings for a child with an unexplained injury, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Jul 09, 2020

Courts have no jurisdiction over "unwise" decisions where subject has capacity

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 does not permit the courts to intervene to prevent someone from making decisions that are unwise or damaging to them if they have the necessary capacity, the High Court has ruled.
Jul 09, 2020

Strategic alliance between Lincolnshire councils under threat of judicial review

A newly created strategic alliance between two councils is under threat after opposing councillors from one authority say they plan a judicial review of the decision.
Jul 09, 2020

Manchester Arena Survivors lose bid for role in public inquiry

A group of survivors of the terror attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017 have a lost a legal bid to be given “core participants” status at the public inquiry into the bombing.
Jul 08, 2020

Green light given for judicial review challenge of £350 million hospital redevelopment plan

A judicial review into the allocation of funding for hospital services in Hertfordshire is to take place after campaigners for a new hospital successfully applied for a judicial review of the plan to redevelop the area's existing hospitals.
Jul 08, 2020

Housing Ombudsman publishes new Complaint Handling Code

The Housing Ombudsman has published its new Complaint Handling Code in preparation for its assumption of greater powers at the end of the year.
Jul 08, 2020

Police to probe hospital accused of removing patients from waiting lists

Allegations that Kettering General Hospital removed patients from waiting lists are being revisited by police who say they are launching an investigation of possible False or Misleading Information Offences (FOMI) offences by the hospital.
Jul 07, 2020

Charity calls for urgent effort to register children of EU citizen parents as deadline looms for citizenship scheme

The Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) has suggested that hundreds of children in the care system could be left unlawfully resident in the UK following Brexit if they fail to register with the EU settlement scheme before June next year.
Jul 07, 2020

Charity appeals for urgent change in law to prevent mass evictions

Housing charity Shelter has called for emergency changes to the Housing Act to prevent large numbers of private renters from being evicted when the ban on evictions ends on 23rd August.
Jul 06, 2020

Evidence to be passed to prosecutors in investigation of missing £10m loan made by council

Evidence against 30 people investigated over the disappearance of a £10.25m loan made by Northampton Borough Council to a football club will start to be passed to prosecutors in the next two weeks, police have said.
Jul 06, 2020

Shopping centre site handed back to council unfinished following liquidation of redevelopment partnership

Nottingham City Council has been handed back control of the half-finished Broadmarsh shopping centre site after the collapse of retail landlord Intu into administration prompted the council’s joint venture with the company to be liquidated.
Jul 06, 2020

High Court to hold hearings on encampment injunctions this month

The High Court is this month due to hold hearings in relation to two high-profile injunctions against unauthorised encampments.
Jul 03, 2020

Top planning and infrastructure QC joins Keating Chambers

Leading planning and infrastructure specialist Charles Banner QC has joined Keating Chambers with effect from 1 July.
Jul 03, 2020

Key areas of local government legal practice likely to rebound post Covid-19: report

A new report by LexisNexis looking at the effect of COVID-19 on demand for legal services across the profession has found that many disciplines that form part of local government practice are set to grow strongly or stabilise once the pandemic is over.
Jul 03, 2020

Financial & Commercial Litigation Team at Brent wins ‘Legal Team of the Year’

The Financial & Commercial Litigation Team at Brent Council was named ‘Legal Team of the Year’ at the LLG Virtual Awards 2020, which were held last night.
Jul 02, 2020

Doctors lose legal challenge against council, police and CCGs over Local Safeguarding Arrangements Plan

Doctors have failed in a High Court challenge to Northamptonshire County Council, the county’s chief constable and two NHS clinical commissioning groups over whether they should be paid to assist safeguarding partners.
Jul 02, 2020

Council wins judicial review challenge over decision by Regional Schools Commissioner to back academy conversion

Somerset County Council has overturned at judicial review a decision by the South West Regional Schools Commissioner that a local middle school should become an academy.
Jul 02, 2020

County council launches claim for costs to repair defects on guided busway

Cambridgeshire County Council is again locked in litigation with construction contractor BAM Nuttall over its guided busway, seven years after their last dispute was settled.
Jul 02, 2020

Court of Protection judge approves young adult who lacks capacity being stem cell donor for mother

A young adult who lacks mental capacity can be used as a stem cell donor for a parent if this is also in the donor’s interest, the Court of Protection has ruled.
Jul 02, 2020

Council persuades High Court judge to quash judgment in default in data breach claim after papers posted to empty office during lockdown

The High Court has quashed a judgment in default awarded against the London Borough of Tower Hamlets because pandemic restrictions had made it impossible to the council to receive the claim concerned.
Jul 02, 2020

Council to review decision-making process and reimburse mother after boy left without suitable education for second time

Norfolk County Council has agreed to review its decision-making process and internal communications in relation to its special educational needs services, and provide its People and Communities select committee with regular updates on its performance, following a critical report from the Local…
Jul 01, 2020

“All hands to the pump” for courts with no constraints on sittings days and no hesitation in using fee-paid and deputy judges: senior judges

The Lord Chancellor has agreed that there should be no constraints in the number of sitting days available during the COVID-19 recovery period for the courts or any hesitation in using fee-paid and deputy judges to fill any gaps which cannot be filled by the salaried judiciary, the Lord Chief…
Jul 01, 2020

Reports from social landlords of anti-social behaviour surge during COVID-19

Reports of anti-social behaviour have increased by 43% since March, the latest COVID-19 impact monitoring report by Housemark has revealed.
Jul 01, 2020

Tributes paid after sudden death of head of litigation at Government Legal Department

Tributes have been paid to Stephen Amos, Director of Litigation at the Government Legal Department, who has died this week.
Jul 01, 2020

New regulations to allow trials of rental e-scooters

Rental electric scooters will be allowed on roads, cycle lanes and tracks in the UK on a trial basis from this Saturday (4 July), the Government has said.
Jul 01, 2020

High Court to hear challenge next week over legal recognition of humanist marriages

The High Court will next week (7-8 July) hear a challenge over the legal recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Jun 30, 2020

Chris Packham given permission to appeal in HS2 legal challenge

The Court of Appeal has agreed to hear broadcaster Chris Packham’s appeal regarding an application for permission for judicial review of the Prime Minister’s decision to proceed with the HS2 railway project.
Jun 30, 2020

Court of Appeal hears challenge to introduction of congestion charge for minicab drivers

The Court of Appeal will this week hear an appeal by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) over Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to introduce a congestion charge on minicab drivers.
Jun 30, 2020

Department for Health and Social Care sets out position on ordinary residence determinations pending legal challenge

The Department for Health and Social Care has issued a position statement on the determination of ordinary residence disputes pending the outcome of the judicial review challenge brought by Worcestershire County Council.
Jun 30, 2020

Prime Minister promises ‘biggest shake-up of planning system since WW2’

Boris Johnson has announced a major review of planning law as a key component of the government’s economic recovery plan following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jun 29, 2020

Judge rejects application for interim relief after council offered unfurnished flat to claimant particularly vulnerable to COVID-19

A High Court judge has rejected an application for interim relief against a district council amid claims that an unfurnished one-bedroom flat was unsuitable accommodation for a claimant who was particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Jun 29, 2020

London borough revises homeless prevention scheme after legal challenge

Lambeth Council is to revise one of its homeless prevention schemes, formerly known as Temp2settled, following a legal challenge amid claims it had resulted in families being removed from its social housing register.
Jun 29, 2020

High Court gives green light to judicial review challenge over removal of children’s social care safeguards during COVID-19

Children’s rights charity Article 39 has been granted permission for a judicial review of the Department for Education’s removal and dilution of children’s legal protections during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jun 29, 2020

Winckworth Sherwood advises social housing provider on £75m private placement

Winckworth Sherwood has advised Trident Group on its £75m private placement, in a deal that the law firm said “confirms the re-opening of the private markets to social housing providers”.
Jun 29, 2020

Large Midlands social landlord names 12 firms to £7.5m panel

One of the largest housing associations in the Midlands has appointed 12 law firms to a legal services framework worth an estimated £7.5m.
Jun 26, 2020

Council to pay £1,000, build new bat hibernation boxes and improve processes after Ombudsman criticises planning approval

Warwick District Council has agreed to pay £1,000 and provide new hibernation boxes for bats after it failed to properly consider the impact a development might have on local wildlife when it approved a planning application.
Jun 26, 2020

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman resumes taking new complaints online

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has announced that, after pausing all casework during the COVID-19 crisis, it will be resuming all existing casework and taking on new complaints through its website from next week (29 June).
Jun 26, 2020

Report highlights governance failings at borough council

South Ribble Borough Council has suffered major failings in its governance with auditors having given ‘no assurance’ over two spending areas and criticised legal service procurement.
Jun 25, 2020

County council in legal action against Health Secretary over ‘ordinary residence’ determination

Worcestershire County Council has started legal action against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in a dispute over which council should provide after-care services under the Mental Health Act 1983 to someone who has been detained on two occasions.
Jun 25, 2020

Property owners found guilty over illegal sub-division of building after ten year battle with council

Two joint property owners have been found guilty of illegally sub-dividing a building into seven substandard flats in a prosecution brought by the London Borough of Camden.
Jun 24, 2020

Councils told not to prioritise preparations for Liberty Protection Safeguards

The Government has told local authorities and other agencies not to give priority to the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) due to pressures from dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jun 24, 2020

Spending watchdog issues guide on financial reporting and management during COVID-19

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned against any weakening of controls over spending public money as a result of pressures from dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, and has called for attention to possible new opportunities for fraud and error.
Jun 24, 2020

Five teams in running for 'Legal Team of the Year' at LLG Virtual Awards 2020

Five council teams have been shortlisted for the ‘Legal Team of the Year’ at the LLG Virtual Awards 2020, which will be held next week.
Jun 24, 2020

London borough names Binjal as Director of Law, Governance and HR

Lewisham Council has appointed Suki Binjal as Director of Law, Governance and HR.
Jun 24, 2020

Social housing consortium names 22 firms to legal services framework agreement

The Central Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) of social housing providers and local authorities has appointed 22 law firms to its latest four-year, multi-million pound legal services framework agreement.
Jun 23, 2020

Chancery Lane demands action to clear employment tribunals backlog

The Law Society has called for action to be taken to clear a backlog of cases in employment tribunals ahead of an anticipated "avalanche" of post-COVID claims.
Jun 23, 2020

NALC renews calls for power to suspend councillors for up to six months

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has called on the Government to take “urgent action” to introduce a power for local authorities to suspend councillors for up to six months.
Jun 23, 2020

Court of Appeal to hear appeal over police use of automated facial recognition

The Court of Appeal will this week hear an appeal challenging police use of live Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) technology in public spaces.
Jun 23, 2020

Trowers promotes ten lawyers to partner

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has promoted ten lawyers across a range of practice areas to its partnership with effect from 1 July 2020.
Jun 23, 2020

Sharpe Pritchard recruits employment law partner

Public law specialist Sharpe Pritchard has bolstered its employment law offering with the appointment of a new partner.
Jun 23, 2020

Barristers chambers appoints public sector commercial lawyer as its new chairman

Parklane Plowden Chambers has appointed David Kilduff, previously the head of the Commercial Group at Walker Morris, as its new chairman.
Jun 23, 2020

Public law specialist joins 39 Essex Chambers

Public law and human rights specialist Ian Brownhill has joined 39 Essex Chambers from No. 5 Chambers.
Jun 22, 2020

Just 4% of Directors of Adult Social Services confident they will have budget to meet statutory duties: research

Only 4% of Directors of Adult Social Services are fully confident that their budget will be sufficient to meet their statutory duties this year, down from 35% in 2019/20, the annual budget survey by ADASS has found.
Jun 22, 2020

Government to extend consents for sites with planning permission that would have expired during lockdown

Sites with planning permission that have an expiry date between the start of lockdown and the end of 2020 will see their consent extended to 1 April 2021, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has announced.
Jun 22, 2020

Ministry urges councils to shy away from enforcement action that would unnecessarily restrict outdoor stalls

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has called on local authorities not to undertake enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting outdoor stalls.
Jun 22, 2020

Court of Appeal allows appeal over refusal of application for intermediary assessment

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal from a case management decision in care proceedings refusing an application by a parent with a learning disability for an intermediary assessment and the appointment of an intermediary.
Jun 22, 2020

Ministry issues code of practice for commercial property relationships during COVID-19

The Government has published a code of practice “to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jun 19, 2020

LLG and ADSO warn on lawfulness of 'hybrid' meetings

So-called ‘hybrid’ meetings - where some councillors are present in a committee room and others participate remotely - are unlawful “under the current situation as it stands at the moment”, Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) have concluded.
Jun 19, 2020

Landlord fails in bid to vacate earlier guilty plea amid claims council was improperly motivated by prospect of confiscation windfall

A landlord has failed in a judicial review challenge after he was refused permission to vacate a guilty plea in relation to an enforcement notice, amid claims that a council was improperly motivated by an expected windfall from a confiscation order.
Jun 19, 2020

Browne Jacobson appoints new Head of Higher Education

Law firm Browne Jacobson has appointed partner Bettina Rigg to its national education practice where she will be the firm’s Head of Higher Education.
Jun 18, 2020

Judge declares council was entitled to exit 25-year waste processing contract, awards £10m+ in damages

Essex County Council was entitled as at 13 June 2019 to terminate a 25-year contract for the processing of household waste, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jun 18, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal ruling on rateable valuation of council-run museum

The Court of Appeal has refused to grant the Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal a ruling in favour of Exeter City Council over the rateable valuation of the city’s Grade II-listed Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM).
Jun 18, 2020

High Court judge issues ruling over notification of ending of interim duty under section 188 of Housing Act 1996

The London Borough of Islington must pay costs in a homelessness case even though the claimant’s win was “to some degree ‘technical’”, the Administrative Court has ruled.
Jun 18, 2020

Judge declines to consider judicial review bid over inclusion of 'informative' in CLEUD

A High Court judge has declined to hear a judicial review application concerning the inclusion of an ‘informative’ into a certificate of lawfulness of existing use or development ("a CLEUD").
Jun 18, 2020

Social landlord fails in Upper Tribunal appeal over conditions for dispensing with normal consultation of tenants

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) over consulting lessees about works whose cost could be recovered through the service charge.
Jun 18, 2020

Charity urges closure of “legal loophole” in housing of vulnerable children

A “legal loophole” has left hundreds of vulnerable children who face homelessness to fend for themselves in unregulated children’s homes, children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law has claimed.
Jun 17, 2020

Pandemic has led to human rights abuses of young people with autism or learning disabilities who have been detained: MPs

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in human rights abuses of young people who are autistic or have learning disabilities and have been detained, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has claimed.
Jun 17, 2020

County council withdraws post-16 transport policy after judicial review threat

A county council withdraws its new post-16 transport policy for the 2020-2021 academic year after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
Jun 17, 2020

Decision to disqualify bidders from rail franchise procurements was lawful: High Court

A Department for Transport decision to disqualify three bidders from procurement competitions for the South Eastern, East Midlands and West Coast Partnership passenger rail franchises was lawful, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jun 17, 2020

Judge refuses application by father to adjourn final hearing so it can be held in Preston and not Manchester

A Family Court judge has refused a father’s application for an adjournment of a part-heard final hearing so the proceedings could continue to be heard in Preston rather than moved to Manchester.
Jun 17, 2020

DAC Beachcroft strengthens public sector liability expertise with four-strong, partner-led team hire

Law firm DAC Beachcroft has hired a four-strong team of public sector liability specialists, including partner John Palmer, from DWF in London.
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