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  LATEST HEADLINES

June 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.
June 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.
June 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.
Jun 16, 2020

Leaseholder pays social landlord £48k for unlawfully renting out his flat

A man who breached the terms of his lease by using his flat in Tower Hamlets as a holiday let has agreed to pay back social landlord EastendHomes nearly £50,000.
Jun 16, 2020

Local Government Association consults on Model Member Code of Conduct

The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched a consultation on a draft Model Member Code of Conduct that could be a template for councils to adopt in whole and/or with local amendments.
Jun 16, 2020

Council wins Upper Tribunal appeal over whether property was house in multiple occupation

The Upper Tribunal has allowed a borough council’s appeal over whether a property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Jun 15, 2020

Public Law Working Group makes recommendations for change in approach to special guardianship orders, issues best practice guidance

The Public Law Working Group led by Mr Justice Keehan has issued a series of recommendations for change in relation to special guardianship orders and also best practice guidance on their use.
Jun 15, 2020

Blackpool Borough Council awarded £1.1m in tram depot construction claim

A High Court judge has awarded Blackpool Borough Council £1.1m in damages in a claim for alleged breaches of contract in relation to the design and construction of a new tram depot.
Jun 15, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds broad discretion of family courts in FGM cases

The Home Secretary has lost an appeal over a ruling that in the exercise of the family court's jurisdiction to make a female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order, the family court is not bound to take a previous assessment or determination of risk of FGM made by the Immigration and Asylum…
Jun 15, 2020

Government amends MCA/DOLS guidance during COVID-19 to include section on right to appeal if those subject to emergency health powers and lacking capacity

The Department for Health and Social Care has added a new section to The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance on the right to appeal if someone is subject to emergency health powers and lacks…
Jun 15, 2020

Council agrees to pay out £60k after Ombudsman report into failure to support autistic woman

A council has agreed to pay a woman with autism, severe anxiety disorder and associated mental health disorders £60,000 after it failed to provide her with support for more than five years.
Jun 15, 2020

Councils call for suspension of No Recourse to Public Funds condition

The Local Government Association has called for the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) “so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the coronavirus crisis”.
Jun 15, 2020

Government facing legal challenge over urgent award of £108m PPE contract

The Good Law Project will today launch judicial review proceedings over the Government’s award of an £108m contract to a pest control company for the supply of PPE.
Jun 12, 2020

Community councillor in Wales fails to secure injunction to stop Ombudsman investigating complaints against him

A High Court judge has rejected an application by a community councillor for an injunction against the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) to stop its investigation of complaints made against him.
Jun 12, 2020

CIPFA proposes temporary amendments to s.114 guidelines in wake of COVID-19

At the earliest possible stage a chief financial officer (CFO) should make informal confidential contact with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to advise of financial concerns and a possible forthcoming s.114 requirement, CIPFA has proposed in amended guidance.
Jun 11, 2020

Government issues procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19 that applies to all contracting authorities.
Jun 11, 2020

Neighbourhood forum wins Planning Court challenge over Leeds site allocations plan and Green Belt land releases

A neighbourhood forum has successfully challenged Leeds City Council’s site allocation plan in the High Court in a dispute over calculating Green Belt release for housebuilding.
Jun 11, 2020

Council wins appeals over reduction of penalties for unlicensed flat rentals

The London Borough of Waltham Forest has won two appeals over reductions made by the First-Tier Tribunal to penalty notices for unlicensed flat rentals.
Jun 11, 2020

Family Court judge considers power summarily to dismiss findings sought by local authority

The Family Court will determine allegations made by an unnamed local authority as to how a child came to sustain a head injury, Mr Justice MacDonald has ruled.
Jun 11, 2020

Upper Tribunal orders re-hearing in dispute over penalties imposed after fire safety inspections at flats

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has overturned two penalties imposed by the London Borough of Croydon over fire safety inspections of private flats.
Jun 11, 2020

Survivors of Manchester Arena bombing in legal action to secure core participant status at public inquiry

Survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing are taking legal action to try to secure core participant status at the public inquiry into the atrocity.
Jun 11, 2020

Court of Appeal dismisses legal challenge over voter ID

A former member of Braintree District Council has lost a Court of Appeal case over the Government’s decision that it and other councils had to pilot voter identification in the 2019 local elections.
Jun 10, 2020

Law firm advises social housing provider on £23m modular housing partnership

TLT has advised social housing provider Stonewater on a multi-million pound deal with modular housing firm ilke Homes to deliver 120 new affordable homes in Herefordshire.
Jun 10, 2020

Mother loses appeal over fairness of hearing where her shielding QC cannot be physically present

A mother has lost her appeal over a judge’s decision to continue a fact-finding hearing later this month in care proceedings in circumstances where her leading counsel cannot be physically present because she is required to shield from the COVID-19 infection.
Jun 10, 2020

Borough council to accelerate applications for temporary changes to use of public areas and private land

Cheltenham Borough Council is understood to have become one of the first local authorities in the country to accelerate applications for temporary changes to the use of public areas and private land.
Jun 09, 2020

Government issues advice to local authorities on how to fight procurement fraud

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a Review into risks of fraud and corruption in local government procurement, which provides advice on how councils can strengthen their processes and implement prevention measures.
Jun 09, 2020

Childcare lawyer to swap council for independent bar

A childcare lawyer at Reading Borough Council is to join specialist family law set Four Brick Court in August.