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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. Read more
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May 11, 2021

Planning, procurement and judicial review legislation to the fore in Queen's Speech

Bills covering planning, procurement, subsidy control, judicial review and electoral integrity are among the key pieces of legislation outlined in today’s Queen’s Speech.
May 10, 2021

City council to move to committee system in 2022 after governance referendum

Sheffield City Council is set to switch to a committee system after voters backed a change to the way the city council is run.
May 06, 2021

High Court orders urgent trial in claim by Liverpool mayor for indemnity against legal costs

The High Court in Manchester has ordered that an urgent trial take place of the claim by Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, that Liverpool City Council are acting unlawfully in refusing to provide him with the same indemnity against legal costs offered to other council members.
May 05, 2021

Active participants in meetings of local authorities in England under Local Government Act 1972 must attend in person: LLG and ADSO

Those actively participating in a meeting of a local authority in England under the Local Government Act 1972 – whether as objectors, applicants or appellant – must attend in person from 7 May, LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Offices) have told their members after the High Court’s additional judgment yesterday on the requirement for a meeting to…
May 04, 2021

Requirement for meetings under Local Government Act 1972 to be “open to the public” means members of public must be admitted in person: High Court rules

A requirement that a meeting under the Local Government Act 1972 is to be "open to the public" or "held in public" means that members of public must be admitted in person to the place where the meeting is being held, the High Court has ruled.
May 03, 2021

Minister calls on councils to respond to call for evidence on remote meetings after High Court setback

The Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government has urged principal councils in England to take part in the Government’s call for evidence on the use of remote meetings.
May 03, 2021

Law Society criticises government “over-reach” in judicial review reform

Proposed changes to the ways in which judicial review challenges can be brought “would make life easier for the government at the expense of accountability and access to justice”, the President of the Law Society of England and Wales has warned.
Apr 28, 2021

Meetings of local authorities in England must be face to face from 7 May, judges rule

Meetings held by local authorities in England under the Local Government Act 1972 must take place in person from 7 May when emergency regulations introduced in the early stages of the first lockdown expire, the Divisional Court has ruled.
Apr 26, 2021

Warning of huge cost burden for councils after High Court rules Royal Borough acted unlawfully in refusing right to inspect accounting records on basis of time it would take

A London borough acted unlawfully in refusing a request to inspect its accounting records on the grounds of the time it would take to satisfy the request, a High Court judge has ruled.
Apr 21, 2021

Council leader defends his conduct after public interest report into pay-off of former chief executive

City of York Council’s Leader has been criticised in a public interest report by auditor Mazars over how former chief executive Mary Weastell came to receive a £377,118 pay off.


April 22, 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 08, 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 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.


Apr 21, 2021

Welsh Government fails in "premature" court challenge over post-Brexit Internal Market Act

The Divisional Court has refused the Counsel General for Wales permission to apply for judicial review over the impact of provisions of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 on the legislation of the Welsh Senedd.
Apr 21, 2021

Research finds vast majority of councils in England likely to hold remote or hybrid meetings if permitted, as High Court hears bid for declarations that local authorities have the power already

More than four-fifths of councils (83%) have said they would be very likely or fairly likely to conduct meetings remotely once the coronavirus emergency is over and assuming they have the power to do so, research by the Local Government Association has found.
Apr 18, 2021

Government needs to improve the process by which ministers take legal advice: Institute for Government

Judicial review would cause less frustration in government if ministers and civil servants better understood what legal advice is for and how to use it, a report by the Institute for Government has said.
Apr 16, 2021

Jackie Weaver and IT professionals join calls for continuation of virtual council meetings in England

The Chief Officer of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, Jackie Weaver, and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, have together joined growing calls for the Government to make online council meetings lawful post after the expiry of emergency legislation.
Apr 08, 2021

Government to support legal action over ability of councils to hold remote meetings

The Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said the Government will support the High Court claim being brought by Lawyers in Local Government, the Association of Democratic Services Officers and Hertfordshire County Council over the ability of councils in England to hold remote meetings.
Apr 07, 2021

Leader of borough council steps down after report from external lawyers on planning issues

A report by a law firm has led to the resignation of a council leader over planning issues.
Apr 06, 2021

Minister blames election and Covid-19 pandemic for “overdue” Government response to key report in 2019 on local government ethical standards

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has acknowledged that the Government response to the Committee for Standards in Public Life’s January 2019 review, Local Government Ethical Standards, is “overdue” but has not given a date for its publication.
Mar 31, 2021

City Solicitor at Liverpool to retire at end of May after 25 years at council

The City Solicitor at Liverpool City Council, Jeannette McLoughlin, is to retire from her post at the end of May, after 25 years at the local authority.
Mar 31, 2021

Former elected mayor for Liverpool eyes legal challenge against council over legal costs following arrest

Liverpool City Council’s former elected mayor is expected to take the authority to judicial review over its refusal to pay his legal costs following his arrest in December on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Mar 30, 2021

Government faces legal challenge over ministerial use of self-deleting messages on Signal, WhatsApp  

Ministers who use messaging platforms that delete correspondence automatically have been threatened with legal action by a non-profit organisation over concerns about transparency and democratic accountability in government.
Mar 28, 2021

Law Society agrees to facilitate creation of new Law Council of Wales

The Law Society has agreed to provide the secretariat for the new Law Council of Wales and to facilitate its establishment.
Mar 26, 2021

Supreme Court gives green light to appeal over lawfulness of voter ID pilot schemes

The Supreme Court has given a former member of Braintree District Council permission to appeal in a case concerning the lawfulness of the voter identification pilot schemes in the 2019 local elections.
Mar 26, 2021

Dismay among councils as Government confirms there will be no extension to emergency legislation regarding virtual council meetings

Emergency legislation regarding virtual council meetings in England will not be extended, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed.
Mar 25, 2021

Best value report calls for Legal Services team at Liverpool to be built up as Secretary of State decides to send commissioners into city council

The inspectors whose Best Value inspection report led to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, deciding this week to send commissioners into Liverpool City Council, have called for the local authority’s proposed recovery plan to build the prominence of its Legal Services department.
Mar 24, 2021

High Court to resolve next month issue of ability of councils to hold meetings remotely after 6 May deadline

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) have – along with Hertfordshire County Council – been given permission to expedite their claim for a declaration in the High Court which will provide certainty for local authorities on whether they can continue to hold meetings remotely past the 6 May 2021 deadline.
Mar 22, 2021

London borough says planning decision cannot stand after problems with broadcast stream for committee meeting

The monitoring officer at Ealing Council has advised the chair of its planning committee that a decision taken at a meeting on 10 March 2021, which saw an "unexpected problem" with the broadcast stream, cannot stand.
Mar 19, 2021

Ministry of Justice to consult on judicial review reforms including power to suspend quashing orders, removal of ‘Cart judgments’, and procedural changes

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on giving the courts the power to suspend quashing orders, removing so-called ‘Cart judgments’, and introducing a series of changes to civil procedure rules, following recommendations by the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) led by Lord Faulks QC.
Mar 18, 2021

ADSO and LLG issue claim in High Court in bid to extend local authority remote meetings beyond 6th May

The claim brought by ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) and LLG (Lawyers in Local Government), along with Hertfordshire County Council, to allow for the continuation of local authority remote meetings beyond the 6th May 2021 has been issued in the High Court.
Mar 17, 2021

Government to make combined authority mayors, Mayor of London and Police and Crime Commissioner elections ‘first past the post’, look to mandate transfer of fire and rescue functions to PCCs

The Government is to change the voting system for all Combined Authority Mayors, the Mayor of London and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to ‘First Past the Post’, the Home Secretary has announced this week.
Mar 16, 2021

Counsel General for Wales says efforts to explain coronavirus restrictions shows need for more work to make law accessible in “normal” times

The significant amount of time and resources needed to help explain the coronavirus restrictions has highlighted how more accessible law can be achieved even in the most difficult circumstances, the Counsel General for Wales has said.
Mar 16, 2021

National Audit Office warns on delays to completion of 2019/20 audits of local bodies

Fewer than half of local councils, local police and local fire bodies’ 2019-20 audits were completed by the revised deadline of 30 November 2020, despite this having been pushed back to take account of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Audit Office has reported.
Mar 10, 2021

Senedd Cymru passes regulations for introduction of socio-economic duty in Wales

The Senedd Cymru has passed regulations that will require public bodies across Wales to consider how the decisions they make will help reduce inequality as a result of social and economic disadvantage.
Mar 09, 2021

Government brings together guidance for councils on rules post-Brexit

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has put together guidance designed to help councils in England adapt to new rules after Brexit.
Mar 09, 2021

Centre for Governance and Scrutiny joins up with think-tank to launch governance toolkit

The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny and the think-tank Localis have launched a set of practical toolkits designed to help council officers and councillors navigate governance risk and resilience.
Mar 03, 2021

Budget 2021: reaction from the sector

Local Government Lawyer looks at the reaction of the sector to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget.


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.
January 29, 2021

Ceasing discretionary functions and powers

Matthew Alderton sets out some key issues for public bodies to consider when they are contemplating ceasing discretionary functions.
January 27, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 18th January

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG welcome Peter Stanyon, CEO of the Association of Electoral Administrators, to discuss the upcoming elections, the position at present, the volume of elections, postal voting and the practical challenges of holding covid-19 secure elections and counts.
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.
December 23, 2020

Max Power

Paul Feild looks at the key points arising out of the non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council and Robin Hood Energy.
December 23, 2020

What next for local government re-organisation?

Anja Beriro examines whether the momentum towards significant reorganisation of local government in England has stalled.
December 22, 2020

Consulting on new policies

The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct tests to apply to determine whether: (1) a public body has consulted fairly; and (2) is under a legitimate expectation to consult. Matthew Alderton analyses the ruling.
December 18, 2020

Running elections in 2021 - What's changing?

Elections are now likely to take place in May 2021. What are the challenges facing returning officers and their staff, running elections in a coronavirus (COVID-19) environment and what is being done to address them? Mark Heath explains.
December 01, 2020

The LLG Grapevine 1st December

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG, discuss Devolution, All Party Parliamentary Groups. the Environment Bill, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Draft Building Safety Bill, the Spending Review and more.
November 27, 2020

Local Government Brexit tracker

This tracker is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to Brexit relevant to local government lawyers. It is arranged alphabetically by topic and is designed to provide an easy reference point for relevant content for lawyers to support preparation for and implementation of the United Kingdom’s…
November 27, 2020

Robust decision-making

Matthew Alderton examines how public bodies reduce the scope for an irrationality challenge.
November 24, 2020

The LLG Grapevine 24th November

This week sees a special feature with guest contributor Ed Hammond from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny to discuss pandemic stresses and pressures on local authorities, governance challenges, the need for safeguards, reporting of decisions and the importance of review and reflection.
November 20, 2020

Lawyers, a call to arms, you need to defend local democracy

Cllr Clive Stevens outlines the need for more transparency in local government and highlights the role monitoring officers play.
November 06, 2020

For COVID’s sake, get me to the polls on time!

Timothy Straker QC and Katharine Elliot analyse current law regarding local authority change of governance referendums, including in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
October 30, 2020

The effect of the pandemic on local authority governance

The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny has been keeping a watching brief on the way that councils are managing the pressures on governance arising from the pandemic, writes Ed Hammond.
October 30, 2020

Interest rate swaps – why now?

In light of a recent deal involving a city council, Neil Waller and Scott Dorling look at the thorny issues around local authorities entering into interest rate swaps.
October 02, 2020

The Public Sector Equality Duty

The following LexisNexis Public Law guidance note, produced in partnership with Zoe Bedford of Ellis Whittam, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the scope of the Public Sector Equality Duty.