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. Read more
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  NEWS

Dec 02, 2020

Court of Appeal urges consideration of rule changes to procedure for judicial review claims after dismissing challenge to ‘lockdown’ regulations

The Court of Appeal has expressed concern at the trend towards the “rolling” approach to judicial review and also “excessive prolixity and complexity” of grounds of challenge, after rejecting a businessman’s appeal over the ‘lockdown’ regulations made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nov 26, 2020

Councillor threatens defamation action in aftermath of confidential briefing on COVID-19 local impact

Two councillors at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council are embroiled in a dispute that has led to the threat of a defamation action.
Nov 25, 2020

Welsh Government to consult on changes to how alleged misconduct by senior officers in local government is tackled

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on changes to how alleged misconduct of senior officers working in local authorities in Wales is dealt with.
Nov 19, 2020

Welsh Government hails passing in Senedd of Bill “to revolutionise local government and democracy”

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill – containing measures affecting elections, democracy, performance and governance – has been passed in the Senedd.
Nov 19, 2020

Financially-troubled Croydon to ask LGA to investigate senior management actions

Senior managers at the London Borough of Croydon face investigation and potential disciplinary action as the council tries to extricate itself from a financial crisis.
Nov 16, 2020

Who needs to know what?

The latest phase in the roll-out of the 5G mobile phone network has thrown up a legal issue of general interest to local government lawyers about the way consultations are conducted, writes David Wolfe QC.
Nov 11, 2020

Outgoing Commissioner for Public Appointments fires warning shot over growing political bias in appointments

Political bias in public appointments in increasing and has infuriated chairs of the bodies involved, Peter Riddell, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, has said.
Nov 11, 2020

London borough issues s.114 notice amid “severe ongoing financial challenges”

The London Borough of Croydon has taken the rare step of issuing a section 114 notice, which prevents all non-essential spending in the face of a £66m deficit.
Nov 11, 2020

Welsh Government consults on draft statutory guidance on new performance regime for principal councils

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on draft statutory guidance designed to facilitate the implementation of the new performance and governance regime for principal councils and to support them in discharging their duties.
Nov 09, 2020

High Court judge dismisses legal challenge over lack of Sikh tick-box in 2021 Census

A High Court judge has rejected a second legal challenge from the Sikh Federation UK over the lack of a Sikh tick-box as a distinct available response to the ethnic group question in the forthcoming 2021 Census.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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.

  MORE NEWS

Nov 03, 2020

Government orders non-statutory review into city council after closure of its energy company

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has ordered a rapid non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council that will examine “the serious governance and risk management issues” associated with the council’s private energy company Robin Hood Energy (RHE).
Oct 29, 2020

Public interest report accuses council of “collective corporate blindness” over finances and business ventures

The London Brough of Croydon suffered “collective corporate blindness” when it lost control of its finances and involved itself with business ventures it did not properly understand, an audit report has found.
Oct 28, 2020

Campaigners launch judicial review challenge over decision by council that petition on changing governance arrangements was invalid

A London borough is facing a judicial review challenge over its decision that a petition calling for a referendum on changes to its governance arrangements was invalid.
Oct 26, 2020

Law Society sets out priority areas for reform that would see less need for judicial review challenges

The Law Society has called for four reforms which it says would reduce the need for citizens to resort to judicial review, in its submission to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL).
Oct 26, 2020

Judicial review “necessary for effective and consistent decision-making”: Centre for Governance and Scrutiny

The overall objective of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) is based on a misapprehension, the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) has claimed in its response to a call for evidence.
Oct 26, 2020

London borough admits some services could be significantly disrupted “for some time” as it reels from cyberattack

Some services provided by Hackney Council may be significantly disrupted for some time as the London borough responds to a cyberattack that has impacted its ‘legacy’ and non-cloud based systems, Mayor Philip Glanville has warned.
Oct 14, 2020

District councils hit out at prospect of creation of new unitaries

District councils have said that moves to create county-scale unitary authorities would be “the greatest act of municipal vandalism in living memory”.
Oct 13, 2020

Report from Public Law Project warns of serious deficiencies in UK law making with huge rise in statutory instruments

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has led to a ‘tsunami’ of delegated legislation in the form of statutory instruments (SIs), according to a report by the Public Law Project.
Oct 08, 2020

LGO issues guidance for councils on effective complaint handling

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued new guidance on effective complaint handling for local authorities, saying it offers “practical, real-world advice”.
Oct 07, 2020

Law Society urges review to protect six fundamental principles of judicial review

The Law Society has set out six fundamental principles of judicial review that it says the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) “must protect”, arguing that judicial review is “a pillar of democracy and a vital check on power”.
Oct 07, 2020

London borough brings in PWC to review arrangements with its companies, ahead of bid to obtain financial support from Government

Croydon Council has selected PWC to carry out an independent strategic review of its arrangements with its companies and other entities, as part of the local authority’s preparations for a submission to Government aimed at securing financial support.
Sep 30, 2020

Council calls in law firm after complaint about planning committee meeting

Law firm Dentons has been chosen by the London Borough of Southwark to investigate a complaint made against a councillor who chaired a controversial planning committee meeting last summer.
Sep 23, 2020

Council blames COVID-19 restrictions as it rejects petition calling for referendum on having elected mayor

The London Borough of Croydon has cited COVID-19 restrictions to reject a petition calling for a referendum on creating an elected mayoralty.
Sep 22, 2020

Watchdog launches ‘landscape review’ of public standards

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has launched a landscape review of the institutions, processes and structures in place to support high standards of conduct.
Sep 16, 2020

Claimant firms call for more representative panel for review of administrative law

A group of leading claimant law firms has written to the Lord Chancellor to voice concern that the panel members of Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) “are not fully representative of those concerned about the future of judicial review”.
Sep 09, 2020

Review calls for new body to lead local audit framework

An independent review has called for the establishment of a new organisation, the Office of Local Audit and Regulation (OLAR), to act as the system leader for the local audit framework.
Sep 09, 2020

Judicial review panel led by Lord Faulks QC issues call for evidence

The Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) has issued a call for evidence “on how well or effectively judicial review balances the legitimate interest in citizens being able to challenge the lawfulness of executive action with the role of the executive in carrying on the business of government, both locally and centrally”.
Sep 08, 2020

City council shuts loss-making energy company, agrees action plan to address governance failings

The UK's first energy company to be set up and run by a council is to be shut down and its customer base sold to a rival energy supplier, following an audit which found serious governance failings.
Sep 03, 2020

Cabinet votes against trading company proposal despite concerns of monitoring officer over conduct of meeting

Broadland District Council’s Cabinet has voted down a proposal to form a local authority trading company for waste services despite concerns from its monitoring officer about the conduct of the meeting.
Aug 28, 2020

Replacing all district and county councils with unitary authorities “could save £3bn”: report

Merging district and county councils into single unitary councils could save £2.94bn over five years, reduce complexity and maximise economic growth, a study published by the County Councils Network has claimed.
Aug 26, 2020

Ministry publishes guidance for councils on local government income loss scheme

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued guidance for local authorities on how to access the local government income compensation scheme for lost sales, fees and charges as a result of COVID-19.
Aug 19, 2020

LLG calls for introduction of effective sanctions in consultation response on LGA draft Model Code of Conduct

Existing sanctions and those proposed under the Local Government Association’s draft Model Code of Conduct fall below the expectations of complainants, LLG has said.
Aug 18, 2020

LLG reminds members on operation of ‘6 Month Rule’ as lockdown milestone looms

Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) has issued a reminder to its members on the disqualification of councillors under the ‘6 Month Rule’.
Aug 13, 2020

Lack of adequate governance arrangements and “institutional blindness” led to council energy company losing over £34 million, report finds

A public interest report by Grant Thornton has found that Nottingham City Council made a number of failings in the creation and management of its energy company including inadequate governance arrangements and a failure to understand the risks associated with entering the energy business.
Aug 04, 2020

Anti-corruption group report warns on risks to local government planning process

Anti-corruption organisation Transparency International has said research into what could undermine openness in the planning process – and what local authorities were doing to stop this – had revealed some examples of good practice, but that "generally the results make for a worrying read”.

  MORE FEATURES

August 20, 2020

The 2020 Guidance on Statutory intervention and Localism

Paul Feild examines recent government guidance on statutory intervention into local authorities, and considers what councils should do to avoid it coming to pass.
August 07, 2020

LexisNexis Gross Legal Product (GLP) Index: Quantifying legal demand growth and the impact of COVID-19

LexisNexis has built a data model to track growth in demand for legal services – the Gross Legal Product Index, or GLP. The report provides a framework for quantifying the impact of COVID-19 on your sector.
July 23, 2020

The public sector in the new normal

Jenny Dickson sets out five trends that are likely to develop in the public sector in light of the coronavirus - and looks at their possible consequences.
July 02, 2020

New guidance for statutory intervention & inspection

In light of recent issues regarding the financial struggles of local authorities, Mark Heath looks at the new guidance for managing intervention and inspection.
June 26, 2020

Local government contracts and the ultra vires doctrine

In the light of the recent school facility management case invoving the Isle of Wight Council, Rob Hann takes a look at the weapons now available to local government to avoid the ‘horrors’ of ultra vires.
June 26, 2020

The right to lobby councillors: Holborn Studios 2

A High Court judge recently considered the right of local councillors to receive correspondence from the public and to consider it when making decisions. Richard Harwood QC analyses the outcome.
June 15, 2020

The LLG Grapevine 15th June

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath of LLG discuss legal considerations pertaining to the removal of statutes, the draft Model Code of Conduct, the 4th Health Amendment Regulations, procurement - fraud and corruption, PFI assets and contracts, challenges for women lawyers, virtual court hearings and housing possessions.
June 09, 2020

The LLG Grapevine 8th June

Deborah Evans (CEO), Dennis Hall (Bulletin Editor) and Helen McGrath (Head of Public Affairs) from LLG discuss the Seven Principles of Public Life, new school regulations, judicial review, remote meeting case studies, child vaccination disputes, the Commons Briefing on the role of the governments law officers, local lockdown powers and Brexit - remember that?!
June 05, 2020

Elections and the Coronavirus Act 2020

Allison Cook, Public Sector Partner at VWV, talks to specialist in elections law, Mark Heath about the changes to elections introduced under the Coronavirus Act 2020.
May 29, 2020

Scottish City deals: governance, transparency and accountability

Rory Alexander calls for improvements to be made to the governance structures for Scottish city deals.
May 18, 2020

COVID-19 Weekly Brief: virtual meeting software

Tanya Corsie explores the various options for virtual meetings, covering online live streaming of meetings, the do's and don'ts of recording meetings, the need for moderators in large meetings, the role of good governance and policies, and what to do if your Councillors just don't have the technology.
May 12, 2020

The monitoring officer during COVID-19

Allison Cook and Mark Heath consider the role of the Monitoring Officer in the coronavirus pandemic.
May 05, 2020

Running remote parish council meetings

Many parish councils will be grappling with remote meeting technology for the first time in their response to lockdown and emergency decision making. Hosted by Deborah Evans, John Austin and Jane Moore consider how parish councils can best conduct virtual meetings and decision making during the COVID-19 crisis.
May 05, 2020

COVID-19 Weekly Brief: Behaviour and Etiquette for Remote Meetings

What is appropriate behaviour and etiquette in remote meetings and how can scrutiny and governance be maintained whilst working remotely? Deborah Evans, Ed Hammond, and Philip McCourt consider best practice for remote meetings.
May 01, 2020

Welsh remote meetings regulations - getting democracy moving in the lockdown?

The Welsh Local Authorities (Meetings) (Wales) Regulations 2020 differ from the England and Wales 2020 Regulations in a number of ways, including not requiring the public to be able to hear meetings. Annabel Graham Paul discusses their main features, interpretation, and thoughts for their application.
April 27, 2020

Remote meetings: natural justice and practical problems

Cornerstone Barristers discuss the new Regulations empowering local authorities to hold meetings remotely, looking at the natural justice implications of hosting virtual meetings and offer practical solutions to some of the problems local authorities are likely to encounter.
April 24, 2020

In the beginning…

Rob Hann, local government lawyer and author, finds time during the Covid 19 lockdown to share some of his early experiences as a trainee lawyer at Sheffield City Council at a time of major conflict between central/local government.
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April 23, 2020

Coronavirus – What’s the impact on the legal profession?

With Coronavirus dominating the news and the majority of Europe now entering different stages of lockdown due to the rise in uncertainties about the virus, LexisNexis has rounded up its latest articles discussing the pandemic.
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April 23, 2020

Why is advancing the rule of law so important?

Have you ever considered your human rights? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines our various rights under the law, the most basic being: “We are all equal before the law."But, is this really the case?
April 20, 2020

Public and admin law update

The Browne Jacobson team rounds up the latest case law, information law developments and offers tips on vires and statutory drafting in this webinar.