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Covid-19 Regulations – the enforcement role of local authorities

Horatio Waller looks at defining the enforcement role of local authorities and best practice on ‘designating’ officers for enforcement purposes. Read more
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  NEWS

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.
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

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 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 12, 2021

Criminal solicitors body warns members it is not safe to attend Magistrates’ courts

The London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) has advised its members that it is not safe to continue to attend Magistrates’ courts.
Jan 07, 2021

Environment Agency warns it does not have resources to carry out enforcement work effectively: report

The Environment Agency (EA) has too little money to carry out its enforcement work effectively, a letter obtained by The Times has said.
Jan 04, 2021

Environment Agency obtains £2.1m confiscation order against operator of illegal waste site

The Environment Agency last month secured one of its largest confiscation orders, against a defendant who operated an illegal waste site.
Dec 09, 2020

Council holds off legal challenge over Tier 3 status for now after receiving response from government lawyers to pre-action letter

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has ruled out a judicial review challenge “at this stage” over ministers’ decision to place it in Tier 3 on the lifting of the latest lockdown, after the Government Legal Department responded to its pre-action letter.
Dec 08, 2020

Environment Agency solicitor sues garden centres business and director for libel over press release

A solicitor at the Environment Agency is suing a garden centres business and one of its directors for libel and harassment over a press release issued in the aftermath of a prosecution he brought, it has emerged.
Dec 07, 2020

Birmingham restaurateur pauses Tier 3 judicial review application following talks between local representatives and Westminster

A restaurateur representing some 256 businesses in the Birmingham area has paused a judicial review bid over the Government's decision to close pubs in Tier 3 regions in light of new, "constructive" talks between regional representatives and Westminster.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

January 06, 2021

Lockdown III: The Impact on Businesses

Gary Grant analyses the new regulations behind the government's latest national lockdown.
December 22, 2020

New local authority Covid enforcement powers

Gary Grant analyses the new enforcement tools that allow local authorities in England to take action against premises that do not comply with COVID-secure rules.
December 20, 2020

The Tier 4 Regulations: impact on businesses

Gary Grant sets out the key points for businesses from the Government's regulations implementing the new Tier 4.
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December 07, 2020

All Reasonable Measures: tidying up the Coronavirus, Restrictions Regulations and the law of unintended consequences

Charles Holland looks at how a “tidying up” amendment in the new All Tiers Regulations has removed an important obligation on the operators of a significant class of premises in Tier 3.
December 04, 2020

The Standard of Proof in Inquests

Jonathan Landau examines the implications for local authorities of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Maughan case.
November 04, 2020

The Lockdown 2 Regulations

Gary Grant and Charles Holland summarise the key points from the regulations implementing the latest national lockdown.
September 24, 2020

Proportionality and the Regulator’s decision to prosecute in the time of Coronavirus

Has the public interest test for prosecution been changed in the regulatory context by COVID-19? James Puzey analyses the issues.
September 17, 2020

Decisions whether to prosecute

Ben Williams sets out the general principles when it comes to decisions to prosecute.

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 MORE NEWS

Dec 07, 2020

Government issues guidance on three new notices local authorities can issue against premises breaching COVID-secure rules

The Department for Health & Social Care has published guidance on the additional powers that came into force last week (2 December) and which allow local authorities in England to take action against premises that do not comply with COVID-secure rules.
Dec 01, 2020

Government issues regulations for new enforcement notices local authorities can issue in bid to reduce public health risk of Covid-19

The Government has published the regulations for three new notices local authorities in England will be able issue to reduce the public health risk posed by the coronavirus.
Nov 19, 2020

Department store hit with £17k penalty notices after staying open in breach of COVID-19 regulations

Middlesbrough Council has hit a department store in the town with fixed penalty notices totalling £17,000 after it failed to close as required under COVID-19 regulations.
Nov 06, 2020

Police arrest gym owner on suspicion of breaching COVID lockdown regulations, council issues venue with prohibition notice

Essex Police have arrested a gym owner in Harlow on suspicion of breaching coronavirus legislation.
Nov 02, 2020

West Midlands Police obtains closure order for shisha lounge just weeks after venue was hit with £10k fine for COVID-19 rules breaches

West Midlands Police has secured a closure order for a shisha lounge after its second major Covid-19 breach in weeks.
Oct 30, 2020

Council serves Community Protection Notice on major retailer for failing to enforce mask wearing in store

A London borough has issued a Community Protection Notice to all B&M stores in its borough for failing to enforce the wearing of face coverings despite having received a Community Protection Warning Notice last month.
Oct 12, 2020

Council says it was told by government official not to take action against shops that were failing to enforce mask-wearing

The Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council complained to the Business Secretary in a letter last week after the council said it was told by an official at the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to stop taking action against local shops that were failing to enforce mask-wearing.
Oct 08, 2020

Government issues guidance on COVID-19 secure marshals, stresses the role has no enforcement powers

The Government has issued guidance on how the £30m allocated to district and unitary authorities for COVID-19 related compliance and enforcement activities should be spent.
Sep 14, 2020

Care home business in South Wales fined £432k for fire safety failings

A residential care home business in Cardiff has been fined more than £430,000 for serious fire safety failings, following a prosecution brought by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Jul 21, 2020

Council ordered to pay out £150k after tree branch fell and killed driver’s baby

A council has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay almost £50,000 in costs after a branch from a tree fell and struck the vehicle of a pregnant mother while she was driving with her two children.
Apr 08, 2020

Health and safety watchdog outlines when RIDDOR report is needed for COVID-19 cases

The Health and Safety Executive has set out when a report must be made under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) in relation to COVID-19.
Apr 07, 2020

Divisional Court rejects Tesco judicial review challenge over criminal offences and food offered for sale after ‘use by’ date

Supermarket giant Tesco has lost a judicial review challenge over whether it was a criminal offence for a shop to offer food for sale, or otherwise place it on the market, after its labelled "use by" date.
Mar 24, 2020

Council officers responsible for enforcing regulations requiring businesses to close during lockdown

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will be able to issue prohibition notices to enforce regulations requiring non-essential businesses and premises to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mar 03, 2020

High Court grants council injunction over waste site at former brickworks

Calderdale Council has secured a High Court injunction against the operatives of a waste site at a former brickworks.
Mar 02, 2020

Council prosecution sees shopkeeper fined £25k for fake iPhones and banned tobacco

An east London business owner has been ordered to pay £25,000 after 160 counterfeit iPhones and banned tobacco were found in his shop.
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 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 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 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.
Jan 31, 2020

Environment Bill to give local authorities clear framework for tackling air pollution: Defra

The Government this week re-introduced its Environment Bill to Parliament, claiming that measures contained in the legislation would “ensure that local authorities have a clear framework for tackling air pollution and simple to use powers to address pollution in their areas”.
Jan 30, 2020

Ombudsman criticises district over handling of industrial noise complaint

Daventry District Council failed to tackle an industrial noise complaint properly because it did not take account of all the evidence presented.
Jan 27, 2020

Government to set up new regulator for oversight of high-risk buildings

The Government has unveiled plans for a new regulator to oversee the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings.
Jan 16, 2020

Restaurant chain fined £40k over ‘misleading’ lobster dish

The 'Ask Italian' restaurant chain – part of the Azzuri Restaurants group – has been fined £40,000 by Swansea Magistrates after pleading guilty to an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990.
Jan 16, 2020

Government sets up taskforce to tackle serious and organised waste crime

The Government has launched a Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) bringing together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency from across the UK to target waste criminals.
Jan 15, 2020

Council prosecution sees nightclub and operators sentenced following customer death

A company that operated a former nightclub where a customer died in a fall, has been ordered to pay £24,000 in fines and costs.

  MORE FEATURES

June 26, 2020

COVID-19 & RIDDOR for care providers

Edward Sainsbury and Peter James consider when and when not to report in relation to COVID-19 and RIDDOR.
May 22, 2020

The end of R v Ghosh and the new test for criminal dishonesty

A recent judgment of the Court of Appeal is likely to be welcome news for local authority prosecutors and their investigation teams, writes Matt Marsh.
May 22, 2020

Don’t put it in writing! Problems in store for local authority environmental crime

Ben Mills analyses an important ruling on the powers of local authorities to investigate environmental crime.
May 15, 2020

Selling food after its "use by" date

The High Court has ruled that offering food for sale after its labelled “use by” date is prima facie a criminal offence. Hazel Jackson examines the background to the ruling and looks at its implications.
May 11, 2020

Unlicensed HMOs and liability

A London borough recently successfully defended two claims for judicial review of decisions it made against directors of property companies operating, and owners of property, in its area. Simon Kiely, Aleksandra Wolek and Christos Paphiti explain how the ruling will help local authority housing departments and prosecutors.
April 27, 2020

Civil financial penalties – how much is too much?

Howard Lederman considers the principles which apply to the amount of penalties local housing authorities can impose for relevant housing offences, following recent guidance by the Upper Tribunal.
April 09, 2020

Covid-19 scams and how to tackle them

Supplying counterfeit personal protection equipment (PPE), unproven health supplements purported to prevent infection and failure to supply paid for PPE are amongst a number of scams occurring during the COVID-19 crisis, say Cameron Crowe and Sabrina Goodchild, who look at the powers local authorities can use in response.
March 24, 2020

Enforcing the lockdown

The government is once again using s.45C of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to impose distancing measures, writes Charles Holland, as new measures are introduced in Wales.
March 23, 2020

Closing restaurants, cafes and pubs during COVID-19

Charles Holland analyses the regulations issued by the government for the closure of restaurants, cafes, pubs and other leisure venues during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 13, 2020

A broken shield isn’t that useful…

Changes to the Primary Authority scheme are needed if it is to retain its credibility, write Helen Atkinson, Ian Andrews and Joyce-Oyella-Ogaba.
February 07, 2020

Will local authorities become airspace planners?

Local authorities need to have a clear understanding of the legislation on drones and an enforceable policy in place or they are putting themselves at risk, write Richard Ryan and Chris Gee.
January 29, 2020

Securing approval for selective licensing

David Smith considers the lessons to be learned from the Government's most recent decisions in relation to selective licensing schemes.
January 17, 2020

Prosecutions of local authorities by the Care Quality Commission

In December 2019, the Care Quality Commission brought its first prosecution against a local authority. Lorna Kenyon said the case demonstrates the importance of considering whether to admit or contest a prosecution at an early stage.
November 14, 2019

Spent convictions, underlying conduct and the 'fit and proper person' test

James Findlay QC and Riccardo Calzavara report on an Upper Tribunal ruling on spent convictions and the ‘fit and proper person’ test for holding a property licence under the Housing Act 2004.
October 29, 2019

Private landlords, electrical safety standard and implied terms

The path has been set for a new implied term that electrical safety standards are met. Elizabeth England sets out how the provisions will apply to private landlords and most private registered providers of accommodation.
September 25, 2019

The Tenant Fees Act: Does it have any teeth?

Katrina Mather assesses the likely impact of the Tenant Fees Act and the role of local authorities in its enforcement.
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August 09, 2019

How does a local authority establish a market?

The LexisPSL team outline the powers available to local authorities looking to establish a new market.
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June 07, 2019

Tenant Fees Act 2019 - government guidance

The government recently published guidance on the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (TFA 2019). Robin Stewart and David Smith of Anthony Gold Solicitors look at some of the key questions relating to the guidance, including enforcement, penalties and some controversial aspects such as guidance pertaining to payment of damages.
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May 17, 2019

The changing landscape of local authority Trading Standards prosecutions?

Richard Heller considers the potential impact of Qualter and others v Crown Court at Preston [2019] EWHC 906 (Admin) could have on the way regional Trading Standards services investigate and prosecute criminal offences (registration required).
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May 10, 2019

Avoiding adverse costs orders

How can local authorities avoid adverse costs orders in the First-tier Tribunal? Robin Stewart sets out the lessons from a case where a council failed to revoke an emergency prohibition order over a property.