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  LATEST HEADLINES

February 21, 2020

High Court grants permission for planning judicial review challenge over alleged Equality Act breach

A High Court judge has granted permission for a planning judicial review challenge in part over an alleged breach of the public sector equality duty, Landmark Chambers has reported.
February 21, 2020

LBLA names 26 chambers to £55m advocacy and related legal services framework agreement

The London Boroughs Legal Alliance (LBLA) has named 26 barristers’ chambers to a specialist advocacy and related legal services framework worth an estimated £55m over four years.
February 21, 2020

Council rethinks commercial property investment in light of CIPFA guidance and PWLB rate hike

West Berkshire Council is considering whether to invest the £37.5m remaining in its property budget in further properties after new guidance and increased borrowing costs put a question mark over continuing to use the money in this way.
Feb 21, 2020

County offers to take over local plan from district council

Oxfordshire County Council has said it is willing to take over preparation of the local plan of one of its districts after the government threatened rare use of powers that allow this.
Feb 21, 2020

Charity fights local authority effort to remove its charitable rate relief

Lincolnshire Agricultural Society has challenged West Lindsey District Council’s attempt to remove its charitable rate relief.
Feb 20, 2020

Council-owned company defends unfair dismissal claim from ADHD sufferer

A refuse collector has lost his claim for disability discrimination against Bristol Waste, a wholly-owned operation of Bristol City Council.
Feb 20, 2020

Resolve launches ASB week dedicated to highlighting impact of Anti-Social Behaviour on communities

The UK’s first official week dedicated to tackling antisocial behaviour (ASB) is being launched in March.
Feb 20, 2020

Lawyers and women’s rights charities call for family court judge's cases to be reviewed

Over 130 family lawyers and women’s rights groups have called for Judge Tolson's continuing cases to be reviewed, following Justice Russell’s condemnation of the family court judge’s treatment of an allegation of sexual assault in a child protection fact-finding trial last month.
Feb 20, 2020

Trading standards wins landmark prosecution of ticket touts

Yorkshire trading standards officers have helped to secure the first successful prosecution against a company fraudulently reselling event tickets on a large scale.
Feb 20, 2020

Ombudsman threatens council with legal action over lack of co-operation

Folkestone and Hythe Council was threatened with a court summons by the Local Government Ombudsman over its handling of a complaint about its treatment of a homeless family.
Feb 20, 2020

Lewisham merges legal, HR and governance director roles

The London Borough of Lewisham is set to scrap its director of law post and replace it with one additionally covering governance and human resources.
Feb 19, 2020

Council overturns allotment change-of-use ban at CoA

The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council must keep an allotment site in use, in a ruling that Lord Justice Lewison called “very strange”.
Feb 19, 2020

Council rejects airport expansion plan against officers' advice

North Somerset Council has gone against officers’ advice to reject a planning application to expand Bristol airport to handle 12m passengers a year.
Feb 19, 2020

Acas publishes new advice on handling coronavirus at work

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has issued advice to employers on to deal with sick pay, staff in quarantine and staff who do not want to come into work due to fears over catching the coronavirus.
Feb 19, 2020

LLG awards shortlist published

The Lawyers in Local Government group (LLG) has released the shortlist of nominees for this year’s LLG Awards.
Feb 18, 2020

ICO says Metropolitan Police have complied with Gangs Matrix enforcement notice, following removal of 374 people.

The ICO has recently said that it is satisfied that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has complied with its 2018 enforcement notice concerning the Gangs Matrix, following the deletion of 374 entries on the database.
Feb 18, 2020

Council to review decision on admission of summer-born child after criticism from LGO

Warwickshire County Council has said it will review its decisions in two cases in which it denied parents’ requests for deferred summer-born children to start school in reception class rather than year one after receiving criticism from the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGO).
Feb 17, 2020

Luton Council pursues judicial review of neighbouring council’s link road approval

Luton Council is to bring a judicial review of Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to approve an application for a new link road after it says local plan examination inspectors’ letters calling the plan into question were not properly considered.
Feb 17, 2020

Claimant who sued over pothole injury given suspended sentence after evidence of extreme sports participation

Walsall Council has successfully prosecuted a man who falsely claimed significant compensation following an injury when falling in a pothole.
Feb 17, 2020

Consortium of social housing providers to procure latest multi-million pound legal services framework

The Central Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) of social housing providers and local authorities is to procure a four-year, multi-million pound legal services framework agreement.
Feb 17, 2020

Law firm advises social housing group on first sustainability linked loan

Trowers & Hamlins has advised Bromford Housing Group on the first sustainability linked loan in the social housing sector.
Feb 17, 2020

Chartered Trading Standards Institute publishes guidebook for UK care homes industry

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has launched a new complaints guidebook for the UK care homes industry designed to help operators understand consumer law and implement a complaints process.
Feb 14, 2020

Jenrick to remain at helm of Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government but McVey departs as Housing Minister

Robert Jenrick has stayed as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government following yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle, but Esther McVey has lost her position as Housing Minister.
Feb 13, 2020

Watchdog calls on ministers to check local authority borrowing framework is fit for purpose amid commercial property investment concerns

Local authority investment in commercial property has called the soundness of the prudential borrowing framework into question and raised concerns about how far the Government can rely on it to support value-for-money decisions.
Feb 13, 2020

Judge dismisses case brought over ownership of village hall, makes restraint order

A judge has dismissed a case brought over the ownership of a village hall as totally without merit and issued an order restraining one litigant from bringing further actions.
Feb 13, 2020

Ombudsman warns councils over care home top-up fees

Councils have been warned by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman over the administration of ‘top-up fees’ under the Care Act for people contributing towards relatives’ care.
Feb 13, 2020

Institute of Licensing rejects criticism of its guidance on determining suitability of applicants for taxi/PHV licences

The Institute of Licensing has defended its guidance on determining the suitability of applicants for taxi and private hire licences amid claims from the industry that it is unfair.
Feb 13, 2020

Judge rules against Jehovah's Witnesses over care proceedings and religious duty of confidentiality

The rights of children outweigh those of confidentiality when disclosures of information about allegations of abuse are made to ministers of religion, the High Court has ruled.
Feb 13, 2020

School agrees £8.5k settlement to pupil excluded over size of afro hair

A case funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has seen a pupil win a settlement from a school which excluded her over the size of her hair.
Feb 12, 2020

Equalities watchdog in legal action against Health Secretary over accommodation for people with learning disabilities and autism

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over what it claims is a repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.
Feb 12, 2020

Councillor found guilty on two counts of fraud by misrepresentation over housing tenancy

A councillor in London who applied for council housing in 2008 and signed a tenancy for a council home in 2012, despite being the owner of three properties, has been found guilty on two counts of fraud by misrepresentation.
Feb 12, 2020

Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal implements CaseLines platform as part of digital transformation

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has become the latest organisation to implement CaseLines’ digital evidence management and court room presentation platform.
Feb 12, 2020

Council prosecution sees unlicensed dog breeders hit with £600k+ confiscation order

A mother and daughter who bred dogs without a licence, rearing at least 193 litters, have been ordered to pay back more than £600,000 following a prosecution brought by Winchester City Council.
Feb 12, 2020

Housing Ombudsman issues guidance for landlords on responding to complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has published new guidance notes aimed at assisting landlords with policies and in responding to complaints.
Feb 12, 2020

Equalities watchdog launches inquiry into use of restraint in schools

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a formal inquiry into how schools are monitoring and recording their use of restraint, “following widespread concerns about its use and the lack of data available”.
Feb 12, 2020

Trowers & Hamlins advises London borough on first phase of 10,000 home regeneration scheme

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised the London Borough of Enfield on Meridian One, the first phase of the Meridian Water project.
Feb 11, 2020

District council defeats judicial review challenge over acceptance of report on neighbourhood plan

A development venture has lost a judicial review challenge over a district council’s decision to accept the report of an examiner into a neighbourhood plan.
Feb 11, 2020

Bevan Brittan boosts Midlands social housing and property teams with double hire

Law firm Bevan Brittan has bolstered its property and housing team in the Midlands with two experienced hires.
Feb 11, 2020

Education group to appoint providers to legal services contract

The Luminate Education Group, which has more than 22,000 students, is seeking to appoint a contractor or contractors to provide legal services.
Feb 11, 2020

Fresh legal challenge threatened over changes at hospital amid claims of “unlawful” consultation

A campaigner has threatened a fresh legal challenge after a consultation on proposed changes at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton did not include the option to maintain its accident and emergency department.
Feb 11, 2020

University of Hertfordshire to set up £1.7m legal services contract

The University of Hertfordshire is to procure legal services worth an estimated £1.7m.
Feb 10, 2020

Court of Appeal orders council to pay £12k costs contribution after great-aunt wins appeal over care and placement orders

The Court of Appeal has ordered a local authority to make a contribution of £12,000 towards the costs of a great-aunt who won an appeal from care and placement orders made by a judge at the conclusion of proceedings concerning a two-year-old boy, J.
Feb 10, 2020

Acas guidance warns against routine use of non-disclosure agreements

Non-disclosure agreements should not be used routinely or to prevent someone from reporting sexual harassment, discrimination or whistleblowing at work, Acas has said in new guidance.
Feb 10, 2020

High Court rejects challenge over decision that development at Stansted Airport was not a nationally significant infrastructure project

A Planning Court judge has dismissed a judicial review challenge over the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to decline to accept that development proposed in a planning application for Stansted Airport was a nationally significant infrastructure project.
Feb 10, 2020

Standards watchdog calls for guidance on governance and coherent regulatory framework for those in public sector using AI

The government needs to identify and embed authoritative ethical principles and issue accessible guidance on AI governance to those using it in the public sector, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has said.
Feb 10, 2020

Midlands university names five firms to £600k legal services agreement

The University of Derby has named five law firms to a legal services contract worth an estimated £600,000 over four years.
Feb 10, 2020

Scottish environmental regulator appoints three firms to legal services panel

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has appointed three law firms to provide legal advice and advocacy services in respect of corporate and operational matters relating to its functions.
Feb 10, 2020

Crown Commercial Service to set up £50m, pan government rail legal services panel

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has unveiled plans to put in place a pan government collaborative agreement for the provision of rail legal services worth an estimated £50m over six years.
Feb 10, 2020

General Pharmaceutical Council selects firm for £3m legal services contract for fitness to practise work

The General Pharmaceutical Council has awarded law firm Ward Hadaway a £3m contract to provide legal services to its fitness to practise team.
Feb 07, 2020

Councils express concern at prospect of witnesses at Grenfell Inquiry securing immunity from use of evidence in later prosecutions

The Local Government Association has said it is “extremely concerned” that some witnesses to the Grenfell Inquiry could be granted immunity from having any evidence they give used in subsequent prosecutions against them.
Feb 07, 2020

Council to offer child protection specific training contract

Legal Services Lincolnshire has introduced a bespoke trainee solicitor contract intended to grow its own child protection lawyer, as part of a new recruitment and retention strategy.
Feb 07, 2020

Environmental campaigners get go-ahead for legal challenge to permission for deep coal mine

A campaign group has been granted permission for a judicial review of Cumbria County Council’s decision to allow the first deep coal mine in 30 years in the UK to be built.
Feb 06, 2020

Ombudsman raps council for carrying out fewer annual reviews of EHC Plans than law requires

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Luton Borough Council after an investigation found that the local authority had carried out “significantly fewer” annual reviews of children’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans than the law requires.
Feb 06, 2020

Council to pay £8k+ after Ombudsman investigation into how autistic girl missed out on 18 months of education

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has recommended a local authority pay more than £8,000 after a girl with autism missed out on around 18 months of special education support because of council delays.
Feb 06, 2020

More than two-thirds of council websites do not adhere to GDPR on consent, investigation finds

A BBC investigation into 400 council websites across the UK has found that more than two-thirds did not appear to ask for the correct form of consent under GDPR.
Feb 06, 2020

Police to take no action amid council concerns over irregularities in handling of major planning application

Northumbria Police have decided to take no action over allegations concerning Northumberland County Council’s planning department and a proposed garden village.
Feb 06, 2020

Community group launches two judicial review challenges against district council

South Cambridgeshire District Council faces judicial reviews over two planning disputes brought by the same community group.
Feb 06, 2020

Former Leader of Welsh council suspended after helping personal assistant at interview

Former Flintshire County Council leader Aaron Shotton has been suspended from office by a tribunal.
Feb 06, 2020

Supreme Court to hear dispute over land gifted to school and whether £1m+ sale funds should go to estate of donor

The Supreme Court has given a county council permission to appeal in a dispute over whether the ownership of land, which was gifted to a school under the School Sites Act 1841, reverted to the donor’s estate when the school ceased to operate from the gifted land.
Feb 06, 2020

Borough declines to comment amid report it will not take legal action over £12m project overspend

Corby Borough Council has refused to confirm or deny local reports that it has dropped legal action over construction of the town’s Cube building.
Feb 05, 2020

Root and branch reform of electoral system “needed more urgently than ever”, say electoral administrators

The fragility of the electoral system is more apparent than ever, the expectations of citizens are not being met and the resilience of the electoral community to deliver is being tested, the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) has warned in a report on the December 2019 general election.
Feb 05, 2020

Law firm advises borough council on largest solar and battery-storage project in UK

National law firm Geldards has advised Warrington Borough Council on the acquisition of a solar farm in York that is said to be the UK’s largest and most technically advanced solar and battery storage project.
Feb 05, 2020

One in seven councils predict rise in judicial challenges over service provision: report

One in ten councils (12%) say they are in danger of being unable to fulfil statutory duties this year and one in seven (14%) say they anticipate an increase in judicial challenges to the level of service provision, the LGiU MJ State of Local Government Finance Survey 2020 has found.