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  LATEST HEADLINES

February 05, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council for stopping payments for disabled woman’s care without organising alternative

A Cornish woman was left without the support she needed after her local council told her she could not pay her daughter to care for her, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.
February 05, 2021

Supreme Court to hand down key ruling next week on village greens and activities of landowner

The Supreme Court will next week (12 February) hand down an important ruling on town and village green registration.
February 05, 2021

Government gives green light to May 2021 local elections

The May 2021 local elections are to go ahead, the Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution in the Cabinet Office has confirmed.
Feb 05, 2021

Government issues policy note on procurements in an emergency, warns on commercial risks of direct awards without competition

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note (PPN) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency.
Feb 05, 2021

Government Legal Department forced to outsource legal services for Test and Trace due to Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had to outsource legal services for its Test and Trace (T&T) programme last year because the Government Legal Department's resources were "increasingly being redeployed towards EU Exit", it has emerged.
Feb 04, 2021

Cladding crisis victims “should not be left out of pocket”: Law Society

The Law Society has called on the Government to protect leaseholders from the costs of making their homes safe from potentially deadly cladding.
Feb 04, 2021

Major housing association fires starting gun on £13m legal services framework

One of the largest social landlords in the UK, Sovereign Housing Association, is to procure a legal services framework worth an estimated £13.6m.
Feb 04, 2021

Court of Appeal hands down ruling on policy for development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and presumption in favour of sustainable development

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows a council to reject a planning application because of an adverse impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Feb 04, 2021

Borough and county councils in row over restrictive covenant and proposed student housing scheme

The threat of a legal dispute between Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council has emerged over a proposed development for the site of the town’s former bus station.
Feb 04, 2021

Home-schooling parents crowd fund judicial review challenge against city council

A group of parents who permanently educate their children at home has raised £4,700 to try to take Portsmouth City Council to judicial review.
Feb 04, 2021

Council agrees to quashing of planning permission for 110,000-bird poultry farm: report

A local campaign group claims to have forced Powys County Council to reverse planning permission for a huge poultry farm after winning permission for a judicial review.
Feb 03, 2021

Leading children law QC joins 4PB

One of the leading children lawyers in the country, Piers Pressdee QC, has joined 4PB with immediate effect.
Feb 03, 2021

Housing sector arrears reach record levels as lockdown bites: report

Arrears in the housing sector have reached a record high, with more than £1bn now outstanding, according to the latest HouseMark COVID-19 impact data.
Feb 03, 2021

Government launches consultation on “bespoke” approach to subsidy control

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation on its proposed new approach to subsidy control in the UK.
Feb 03, 2021

Ward Hadaway bolsters social housing team in Manchester with director hire

Ward Hadaway has extended its social housing offering with the appointment of a director in its Manchester office.
Feb 03, 2021

BBC fined £28,000 for recording part of hearing of legal challenge to grant by county council of planning permission for fracking

The BBC has been fined £28,000 after it made a video and audio recording of a half day’s hearing in the Planning Court.
Feb 03, 2021

Tenant of social landlord given six days in prison over breach of civil injunction by breaking Covid rules on illegal gatherings

Bromley County Court has released a tenant of social landlord Peabody Trust who served six days in prison for breaching a civil injunction imposed after breaches of Covid regulations on gatherings.
Feb 02, 2021

Park authority obtains injunction after 12 oak trees felled in protected conservation area

The New Forest National Park Authority last month obtained a High Court injunction to prevent further damage to an area of protected woodland in the National Park.
Feb 02, 2021

Restaurant popular with TOWIE and Premier League footballers loses licence amid Coronavirus Regulations breaches

The owner of an East London restaurant, popular with celebrity TV stars and Premier League footballers, has been stripped of its licence by Redbridge Council for not complying with licensing conditions.
Feb 02, 2021

Council secures possession order evicting environmental protesters at development site

A High Court judge has granted the London Borough of Islington a possession order for a development site where protesters are occupying a copse scheduled for destruction.
Feb 01, 2021

Council and guardian fail in appeal over refusal by judge of application for placement orders

The Court of Appeal has rejected appeals by a local authority and a children's guardian against a Family Court judge’s decision to refuse an application for placement orders in respect of two children.
Feb 01, 2021

Secretary of State sets up Improvement and Assurance Panel at financially-troubled London borough

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has appointed an Improvement and Assurance Panel to address what he described as “serious failures” at Croydon Council.
Feb 01, 2021

Campaign group fails in legal challenge after council dismissed petition calling for referendum on governance model

A High Court judge has dismissed a judicial review challenge to the London Borough of Newham’s decision to declare invalid a petition seeking a referendum to change the governance model of the council.
Feb 01, 2021

Cornerstone Barristers expels public law specialist in row over tweeting

Cornerstone Barristers has expelled Jon Holbrook in a row over a tweet on 17 January from his personal account in which he claimed that “the Equality Act undermines school discipline by empowering the stroppy teenager of colour", although the public law specialist says he had already resigned.
Jan 29, 2021

Major NW social landlord to procure £5m legal services framework

The largest affordable housing provider in the North West, Torus, has issued a contract notice for a legal services framework worth an estimated £5m.
Jan 29, 2021

Hugh James strengthens public sector employment offering with senior associate hire

Hugh James has bolstered its employment team with the hire of public services specialist Christine Bradbury as a Senior Associate.
Jan 29, 2021

Sharp increase in legal professionals seeking help for anxiety, reports charity

The number of legal professionals contacting the charity LawCare for emotional support rose sharply in 2020, with a rise of 9% on the previous year.
Jan 28, 2021

Two men given £10,000 fines over snowball fight in Leeds

Two men involved in organising a mass snowball fight in Leeds in breach of coronavirus restrictions have each been given £10,000 fines.
Jan 28, 2021

Residents launch legal challenge over South Oxfordshire Local Plan

A local group has issued a legal claim to try to overturn South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan, which was adopted under pressure from Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Jan 28, 2021

Traders threaten city council with legal challenge over pedestrianisation plan

Independent traders in a Bristol street have threatened legal action against the city council over a pedestrianisation plan.
Jan 28, 2021

Divisional Court rejects reasons given by magistrates for finding prosecution in planning enforcement case was within time limits

Reasons given by Reading Magistrates’ Court for deciding that the prosecution in a planning enforcement case had complied with the six months' time limit in s127 of Magistrates Courts Act 1980 cannot be upheld, the Divisional Court has ruled.
Jan 28, 2021

Council defeats Court of Appeal challenge over interpretation of paragraph 90 of National Planning Policy Framework on town centre vitality

Leeds City Council did not err when it gave planning permission for a large mixed-use retail-led development next to an Asda store, the Court of Appeal has found.
Jan 28, 2021

Town council facing judicial review over handling of staff grievances

Three members of Andover Town Council are expected to issue a judicial review challenge against it in a complex dispute over staffing and the conduct of meetings.
Jan 28, 2021

Upper Tribunal allows appeal over age assessment that failed to meet procedural safeguards

An Upper Tribunal judge has granted an asylum seeker a declaration that he was 15 at the age he entered into the country and when he was assessed by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, rather than over 18 and more likely 20 as the local authority concluded.
Jan 27, 2021

Senior judge authorises giving Covid-19 vaccine to 80-year-old woman in care home despite objections of son

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, the Vice-President of the Court of Protection has ruled.
Jan 27, 2021

Rogue landlord ordered to pay nearly £10k after continuing to rent out unlicensed converted bank vault

A landlord has been ordered to pay more than £9,400 after he continued to let a flat – a former bank vault – which inspectors had classed as illegal and dangerous.
Jan 27, 2021

Sharpe Pritchard appoints Rob Hann as Head of Local Government

Specialist public law firm Sharpe Pritchard has appointed Rob Hann as its Head of Local Government.
Jan 27, 2021

Welsh Government proposes emergency proxy votes for May 2021 Senedd election

A voter would be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote where, in the period ahead of the poll for the next Senedd election, a voter or their already nominated proxy becomes unable to participate in person on the day of the poll because of a reason relating to coronavirus, such as the need to…
Jan 27, 2021

Planning barrister Juan Lopez joins 39 Essex Chambers

The planning, commercial and public law practices at 39 Essex Chambers have been bolstered by the arrival of Juan Lopez, who joins with immediate effect.
Jan 27, 2021

Council calls Ombudsman recommendations in child protection case “inappropriate and misguided”, reserves legal position over report conclusions

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) and Kent County Council are at loggerheads over an investigation into the handling of a 'cross-border' child protection case.
Jan 26, 2021

Thirty-one Met Police officers face £200 fixed penalty after breaching Covid-19 regulations with haircut at station

A group of 31 Metropolitan Police officers are facing a £200 fixed penalty notice after breaching Covid-19 regulations while on duty, the police force has revealed.
Jan 26, 2021

Judge rules out notifying consular authorities of adoption proceedings in "unusual case"

A High Court judge has ruled out joining a relinquished child and seeking the assistance of the Romanian consular authorities to track the father down.
Jan 26, 2021

Supreme Court to consider whether claimants unsuccessful at permission stage of statutory and judicial review cases are liable for costs of multiple parties

The Supreme Court will this week hear a dispute over whether a claimant in statutory and judicial review cases who is unsuccessful at the permission stage should be liable for the costs of multiple other parties, including respondents and interested parties.
Jan 26, 2021

High Court finds for local authority in dispute over backdating of council tax discounts in cases of severe mental health impairment

A High Court judge has upheld a district council’s decision not to backdate a council tax discount due to severe mental health impairment (SMI) to the date where symptoms were first diagnosed.
Jan 25, 2021

Divisional Court finds Mental Health Act assessments require physical attendance and cannot be undertaken remotely

The phrases "personally seen" in s. 11(5) of the Mental Health Act 1983 and "personally examined" in s. 12(1) require the physical attendance of the person in question on the patient, the Divisional Court has clarified.
Jan 25, 2021

Winckworth Sherwood lead funders on charging of 1,699 residential units by social landlord

Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has advised Prudential Trustee Company as noteholder trustee on the charging of 1,699 homes owned and managed by South West housing association LiveWest Homes.
Jan 25, 2021

Government consults on new 'Right to Regenerate' where councils and public bodies required to sell unused land

The Government has this month launced a consultation on a new ‘Right to Regenerate’ which would enable the public to require councils and the public sector in England to sell unused land and assets.
Jan 25, 2021

Lawyers and democratic services officers to obtain legal advice on continuing with virtual meetings after 6 May without need for primary legislation

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and ADSO (the Association of Democratic Services Officers) have instructed counsel to advise on whether remote meetings can continue to be held, without the need for primary legislation, when the regulations introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic come to an end.
Jan 22, 2021

Organiser of wedding attended by 400 people to be considered for £10,000 COVID breach fine

The organiser of a wedding in north London is facing a £10,000 fine after police found hundreds of people packed together in breach of Covid regulations.
Jan 22, 2021

London borough fined £330,000 after death of five-year-old girl in playground

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has been fined £330,000 after a five-year-old girl died when playground equipment collapsed on top of her at Mile End Park.
Jan 22, 2021

Family Division judge hits out at "breathtaking incompetence" of council, failures on disclosure to court

A judge has accused a borough council of “breathtaking incompetence”, and severely criticised a social worker, in a case where a boy was left in a “thoroughly corrosive” foster placement for nine months longer than he should have been.
Jan 21, 2021

Welsh Government to seek Senedd consent for emergency bill to manage election during pandemic

The Welsh Government has said it will seek the Senedd’s consent next week (27 January) for an emergency bill to be introduced aimed at ensuring the next Senedd election happens safely.
Jan 21, 2021

Police force wins appeal over sharing of information about teenager with local crime reduction partnership

A teenager has failed in a judicial review of how information on her was shared between Sussex Police and the Brighton & Hove Business Crime Reduction Partnership.
Jan 21, 2021

North West council to apply to vacate High Court hearing in police HQ dispute to allow for further negotiations

Salford City Council will seek to delay a High Court case for six months to try to allow for settlement of a lengthy dispute with a developer.
Jan 21, 2021

Judge rules against woman who re-entered property after locks were changed

A woman who managed, after the locks were changed, to re-enter temporary accommodation being provided by a property firm for a council was a trespasser and had no right to stay, Chelmsford County Court has ruled.
Jan 21, 2021

Law firm awarded £640k contract to provide planning advice on bypass

Law firm Burges Salmon has been appointed to a £642,950 contract to advise North Somerset Council on a major transport scheme.
Jan 20, 2021

Boating company wins permission for judicial review over decision not to offer interim concession contract

A High Court judge has granted a company permission to bring judicial review proceedings in relation to a decision by The Royal Parks Limited (TRP) not to grant it an extension to a concession contract for the operation of boating facilities in Hyde Park, on the Serpentine and in Greenwich Park.
Jan 20, 2021

Taxi drivers win High Court challenge over Streetspace plan

London’s taxi trade has hailed High Court rulings in which it won on four out of five grounds under which it challenged Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace plan.
Jan 20, 2021

Council not entitled to refuse to assess needs of Vietnamese woman on basis of preliminary age assessment by different authority, judge finds

A London borough was not entitled to refuse to assess the needs of young Vietnamese woman on the basis of a preliminary assessment of age carried out by another council, a Deputy High Court judge has ruled.
Jan 20, 2021

Former councillor at London borough jailed for electoral offences

A former councillor at the London Borough of Redbridge has been jailed for electoral offences and banned from holding elected office for five years.
Jan 19, 2021

Official Solicitor wins appeal over ability of mother and step-father of autistic man to leave homes to provide care during first lockdown

The Official Solicitor has won an appeal on behalf of a 30-year-old with autism and communication difficulties over whether his mother and step-father had a reasonable excuse during the first national lockdown to leave their homes to provide him with care.
Jan 19, 2021

Law firm teams up with CommercialGov to deliver governance for commercial activity masterclass for LGA

Sharpe Pritchard is working with CommercialGov to provide a commercial governance masterclass for the Local Government Association.
Jan 19, 2021

Court and tribunal buildings are safe, insists acting chief executive of HMCTS

Buildings operated by HM Courts and Tribunals Service are safe for those that need to use them, the organisation's acting chief executive has insisted.