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  LATEST HEADLINES

July 23, 2021

Supreme Court to rule next week on use of inherent jurisdiction in cases where there is insufficient registered secure accommodation for vulnerable children

The Supreme Court is to hand down next week its ruling in a landmark case on the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise placements in unregistered secure accommodation in situations where there are insufficient places in registered secure children’s homes.
July 23, 2021

Supreme Court to rule on liability of claimant for costs of other parties in statutory and JR cases where challenge refused at permission stage

The Supreme Court will next week (30 July) hand down its ruling in 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.
July 22, 2021

High Court quashes decision to transfer land to community council in skate park dispute

Plans to build a new skatepark in Swansea have been delayed after the High Court quashed Swansea Council's (CCSC's) decision to transfer land earmarked for the £360,000 development to Mumbles Community Council.
Jul 22, 2021

High Court gives green light for challenge to DWP consultation on development of new strategy for disabled people

The High Court has allowed four disabled individuals to bring a judicial review challenge of how the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, conducted the consultation on a proposed new national strategy for people with disabilities.
Jul 22, 2021

Waste recycling business wins stay in battle with council over appropriate forum to resolve EcoPark dispute

Suez Recycling and Recovery Surrey has won a stay of proceedings in a dispute with Surrey County Council over the provision of waste infrastructure.
Jul 22, 2021

High Court criticises Magistrates Court for failure to state a case in closure order dispute

Leeds District Magistrates Court erred by deeming an application frivolous and refusing to state a case for the opinion of the High Court, a judge has ruled.
Jul 22, 2021

Information on selection of academy trust to run schools should be disclosed, tribunal judge finds

Hertfordshire County Council was wrong to withhold information on how an academy trust was chosen to provide schools in Bishop's Stortford and the Information Commissioner had been wrong to agree with the council’s arguments.
Jul 22, 2021

Judge praises council for "brave but proper decision" to end care proceedings

A Family Court judge has praised the London Borough of Bromley for its “brave but proper decision” to end care proceedings in case where a child was suspected to have suffered deliberate injury but was later found not to.
Jul 22, 2021

High Court judge finds for London borough in row with city council over calculation of age of asylum-seeker

The London Borough of Croydon has won a High Court case brought against it by Birmingham City Council over how an asylum seeker’s age was calculated.
Jul 22, 2021

Select committee calls on Government to pause any further extensions of permitted development rights pending review

The Government should pause any further extensions of permitted development rights (PDRs) for change of use to residential and conduct a review of the role of such PDRs in the wider planning system, MPs have said.
Jul 22, 2021

Secretary of State sets out favoured proposals for local government reorganisation in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has chosen his preferred proposals for local government reorganisation in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset.
Jul 21, 2021

High Court quashes decision by deputy monitoring officer that parish councillor had breached code of conduct

A parish councillor has won a High Court challenge over a decision by a Deputy Monitoring Officer (DMO) to uphold a complaint that he had breached its Code of Conduct for Members (PC Code).
Jul 21, 2021

Powers for judges to modify quashing orders among key measures as Judicial Review and Courts Bill introduced

The Judicial Review and Courts Bill has been introduced to Parliament today (21 July), with the Government claiming it would “equip judges with the tools to give more tailored solutions in judicial review cases”.
Jul 21, 2021

Cornerstone Barristers bolsters housing and local government teams with arrival of Sarah Salmon

Sarah Salmon, a specialist in local government, housing and property law and chair of the Social Housing Law Association, has joined Cornerstone Barristers.
Jul 21, 2021

Council repaid £59,000 owed after eight-year dispute over "unsightly clutter" in garden and illegal extension

Buckinghamshire Council has been repaid £59,000 after its planning enforcement team secured the clear up of unsightly clutter and removal of an illegal extension in the garden of a property in High Wycombe.
Jul 21, 2021

Council and bus operator to pay out £109k in damages and costs to religious organisation over refusal to advertise rally

Blackpool Council and its wholly owned company Blackpool Transport Services have been ordered to pay £109,000 in damages and costs to a religious organisation run by evangelist Franklin Graham after refusing to advertise a rally on buses.
Jul 20, 2021

Council prosecution sees major chain fined £750,000 over death of cinema-goer

A prosecution brought by Birmingham City Council has seen Vue Entertainment fined £750,000 for breaching health and safety legislation at its Star City theatre in Nechells which led to a cinema-goer’s death.
Jul 20, 2021

Cafcass blames “unsustainable pressures” as it implements prioritisation protocol for private law cases in West Midlands - other areas likely to follow in weeks ahead

Cafcass has implemented a process to prioritise and manage high workloads in areas covering Birmingham, the Black Country, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire family courts due to what it called "unsustainable pressures" on the family justice system in the area.
Jul 20, 2021

Ministry issues revised National Planning Policy Framework, establishes Office for Place

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework and a new National Design Code.
Jul 20, 2021

Campaign group calls for public register of algorithms used by councils, files complaint with Information Commissioner

Campaign group Big Brother Watch has hit out at councils’ use of algorithms, claiming that most of those it had uncovered were “secretive, unevidenced, incredibly invasive and likely discriminatory”.
Jul 20, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council after poor practice led to disabled boy missing out on education and support

A boy missed out on suitable schooling and support because his disabilities did not meet West Sussex County Council's criteria for an assessment, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has reported.
Jul 19, 2021

Equalities watchdog to hold inquiry into methods of challenging decisions about adult social care

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched an inquiry that will consider the effectiveness of existing methods of challenging local authority decisions about individuals’ entitlements to adult social care or support in England and Wales, including – but not limited to – complaints…
Jul 19, 2021

Parent succeeds on all six grounds in judicial review challenge over grant of planning permission for site next to school for special educational needs

The parent of a child who attends a Special Educational Needs school has won a judicial review challenge over Thanet Council’s grant of planning permission for an adjacent site.
Jul 19, 2021

Senior council officer fails in harassment claim against local blogger

A series of “unpleasant, personally critical publications” by a blogger about a senior local government officer did not found a successful claim for harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jul 19, 2021

MPs demand reforms to ensure sustainability of local government finances

The time is right to consider a more radical review of local government finances, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has said.
Jul 16, 2021

Local Government Association issues supporting guidance for Model Code of Conduct

The Local Government Association has published supporting guidance which is aimed to help understanding and consistency of approach towards the Model Councillor Code of Conduct.
Jul 16, 2021

Head of Law at Dudley wins ‘Inspirational Leader Award’ at LLG Awards 2021

Mohammed Farooq, Monitoring Officer and Head of the Law and Governance Division at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, won the Inspirational Leader Award 2021 at the LLG Awards 2021 last night (15 July).
Jul 16, 2021

Government promises enhanced CPO regime and new permitted development rights in High Street improvement programme

The government has announced a range of measures aimed at improving high streets including new powers for councils to compulsorily purchase empty properties, changes to licensing laws and a new permitted development right to enable retail premises to be converted into residential housing.
Jul 16, 2021

HMCTS to retain some safety measures in England after 19 July, work with judiciary to increase capacity

Not all of the safety measures employed in HMCTS' buildings will go on 19 July when the England moves to step four of the Government’s roadmap and social distancing is no longer required, its acting chief executive has said.
Jul 16, 2021

Standards watchdog calls on Government to respond to recommendations in 2019 local government ethical standards report “as a matter of urgency”

The chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life has said the watchdog remains concerned that the Government has not formally responded to its local government ethical standards report, some two and a half years after it was published.
Jul 15, 2021

City council threatened with legal challenge over permission for 2,400 homes on former Green Belt land

A charity has threatened Coventry City Council with a judicial review challenge over its grant of planning permission for a 2,400-home development at Eastern Green.
Jul 14, 2021

No need to change on ‘Freedom Day’ how family courts and Court of Protection have been operating, says Family President

The President of the Family Division has ruled out issuing firm guidance on how the family courts and the Court of Protection should approach their work after 19 July – dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ – when coronavirus restrictions are lifted by the Government.
Jul 14, 2021

Law Society suggests some coronavirus restrictions should be retained for safe running of courts in England

Some coronavirus restrictions in England may need to be retained after 19 July to allow courts to run safely and efficiently, the Law Society has warned.
Jul 14, 2021

Landmark Chambers names joint heads of Public Law Group

Fiona Scolding QC and Samantha Broadfoot QC have been named as joint heads of Landmark Chambers’ Public Law Group, succeeding David Lock QC.
Jul 14, 2021

Public Accounts Committee demands urgent action to improve system of local government audit in England

Without urgent action from government, the audit system for local authorities in England may soon reach breaking point, an influential committee of MPs has warned.
Jul 13, 2021

Review to be held of Planning Inspectorate enforcement workload in drive to increase referrals to mediation

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is engaging on a ‘Pathfinder’ initiative with the Planning Inspectorate to review its current enforcement workload to identify which appeals could be referred to mediation.
Jul 13, 2021

Mayor of London to offer boroughs ‘Right to Buy-back’ funding to boost supply of council homes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is to offer boroughs funding to purchase homes previously sold through the Right to Buy.
Jul 13, 2021

London borough secures possession order against groups camping on Clapham Common

The London Borough of Lambeth has secured an order for possession against occupiers camping on Clapham Common.
Jul 13, 2021

Court of Appeal allows appeal by council as judgment in childcare proceedings did not contain required analysis of competing options

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a council over a judge’s order that effectively rejected the local authority’s care plan for adoption for an 18-month-old child (A).
Jul 13, 2021

Campaign group hits councils with legal challenge over placement of children in care outside their area

The Good Law Project has launched a judicial review challenge against five local authorities over the placement of children in care outside their local area and against the Education Secretary over the failure to force the councils to comply with their obligations.
Jul 13, 2021

High Court judge finds claim form for PPE contract award challenge was not validly served

The High Court has thrown out a judicial review challenge over the lawfulness of a decision by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care during the pandemic to award a £102.6m contract to a company for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), after finding the claim form was not…
Jul 13, 2021

Borough council to set up £3m barristers framework

Bedford Borough Council has issued a prior information notice on its plans to procure a barristers framework contract worth up to £3m.
Jul 13, 2021

Government to review Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime in bid to halve process time for some projects

The Government has launched an operational review of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime with the aim of some projects going through the process in up to half the time than at present.
Jul 12, 2021

Historic England appoints eight chambers to £650k planning advice legal panel

Historic England has chosen eight barristers’ chambers to provide planning related advice as part of a legal services contract worth an estimated £650k.
Jul 12, 2021

Compulsory ADR is lawful and should be encouraged, Civil Justice Council report finds

Mandatory alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is lawful and should be encouraged, a report published today (12 July 2021) by the Civil Justice Council has concluded.
Jul 09, 2021

High Court judge compelled to highlight “once again” shortage of accommodation for children with highly complex behavioural and emotional needs

A High Court judge has – despite expressing "considerable reservations” – extended an order authorising the deprivation of liberty of a child who is being cared for in an unregulated placement considered ill-equipped to meet his behavioural and emotional needs.
Jul 09, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council after agency failed to follow statutory guidance when assessing prospective adopter

City of Wolverhampton Council has agreed to ensure its adoption recruitment procedure adheres to statutory guidance after an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found a woman was wrongly screened out of the adoption process.
Jul 09, 2021

London Councils call for greater powers to stop air pollution as peers debate Environment Bill

The London Councils group has backed amendments to the Environment Bill which would give local authorities new powers to control air pollution where World Health Organisation (WHO) limits are exceeded.
Jul 08, 2021

Judge allows appeal by landlord over failure to apply for licence for house in multiple occupation, criticises handling of sub-tenants case by council

The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) was wrong to ignore a landlord’s claim that she had a reasonable excuse for failing to apply for a licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has ruled.
Jul 07, 2021

Family Court judge issues ruling to highlight successful use of “Resolutions Model”

A mother and daughter have been reunited under the rarely used ‘Resolutions Model’ by the Family Court.
Jul 07, 2021

Volume of laws makes it impossible for local authorities to enforce them, warn private landlords

Private landlords have complained that there will be 168 pieces of legislation governing their relations with tenants once the new Building Safety Bill passes through Parliament.
Jul 07, 2021

Judge cites special circumstances in allowing claimant to call expert witness in tender evaluation dispute

A claimant supplier can call on expert witnesses in a procurement dispute with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Mr Justice Fraser has ruled in a case management hearing.
Jul 07, 2021

Integrated care boards to replace clinical commissioning groups as Government unveils Health and Care Bill

England is to be divided into integrated care boards and partnerships responsible for bringing together local NHS and local government, such as social care, mental health and public health advice.
Jul 07, 2021

Self-builder loses High Court legal challenge over refusal of CIL exemption

The self-build exemption from the community infrastructure levy (CIL) does not apply where a development lacks planning permission, the High Court has found.
Jul 07, 2021

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal over granting of possession despite admitted failure to undertake public sector equality duty assessment

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that meant a housing association could take possession of a property despite the social landlord not undertaking an assessment under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) before issuing the claim for possession, it has…
Jul 07, 2021

Experienced social housing and property practitioner joins Five Paper

Simon Strelitz, a housing and property practitioner with 20 years’ experience in the work undertaken by the Property Division, has joined Five Paper.
Jul 07, 2021

DAC Beachcroft promotes 16 to partner and seven to legal director

Law firm DAC Beachcroft has announced the promotion of 16 partners and seven legal directors, effective from 1 May 2021.
Jul 07, 2021

Ocado bids to take dispute over revocation of certificate of lawful use by council to Court of Appeal

Online retailer Ocado has applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the High Court’s rejection of its judicial review challenge over Islington Council’s decision to revoke a certificate of lawfulness of an existing use or development (CLEUD) for a site on an industrial estate and near…
Jul 07, 2021

Housing Ombudsman issues guidance for board members and councillors on their role in complaints handling

The Housing Ombudsman has issued new guidance on the effective involvement of board members and councillors in the promotion of a positive complaints culture within their organisations.
Jul 07, 2021

ICO launches formal investigation into use of private email accounts at Department of Health and Social Care

The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched an investigation into the use of private correspondence channels at the Department of Health and Social Care.
Jul 06, 2021

High Court to hold case management conference for claims arising out of Grenfell fire

A case management conference will be held tomorrow for the High Court claims being brought by victims of the Grenfell fire.
Jul 06, 2021

Welsh Government legislative programme to contain consolidation Bill in bid to create single and fully bilingual law

The Welsh Government has confirmed that its next legislative programme will include the introduction of its first consolidation Bill, which is aimed at making the law in Wales more accessible.
Jul 06, 2021

Couple secure rectification, damages from council over data processing after "unfair" safeguarding inquiry

A couple have successfully claimed rectification and damages from a local authority for their personal data being processed unfairly after a safeguarding inquiry.