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  LATEST HEADLINES

September 10, 2021

Government issues consultation on reforms to data regime and information watchdog

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation on a revamped data regime including proposals for reform of the Information Commissioner’s Office.
September 10, 2021

County council and Home Office threatened with judicial review over placement of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in unregulated accommodation

Kent County Council has announced it will begin to admit unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) into its reception centres again amid the lodging of a judicial review application against the local authority and the Home Office over the issue of placing them in unregulated accommodation.
September 09, 2021

Government to extend fixed costs to most claims below £100,000

The government will extend the Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) regime to cover most fast track claims up to a value of £25,000 and expand the fast track to include most ‘intermediate’ money claims valued between £25,000 and £100,000, the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has announced.
Sep 09, 2021

Homes England 'revolutionises' procurement process with launch of new land disposal approach

Homes England has launched what it has called a "first of its kind" Delivery Partner Dynamic Purchasing System, which allows housebuilders to apply to join the agency's list of preferred developers on an ongoing basis, rather than having to wait until the list renews once every four years.
Sep 09, 2021

Clear link between poor governance and compliance with consumer standards, social housing regulator reports

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has outlined areas of improvement for social housing landlords in its ninth annual consumer regulation review.
Sep 08, 2021

Council forced to go down judicial review route after planning permissions issued in error during software testing

A blunder during software testing has led Swale Borough Council to issue five planning decisions which it must now overturn by judicial review.
Sep 08, 2021

West Midlands councils eye legal challenge over distribution of Afghan refugees

West Midlands councils are reported to be considering taking the Government to judicial review over the distribution of Afghan refugees.
Sep 08, 2021

Council obtains injunction to prevent sale of Tudor overmantel from listed building

Stafford Borough Council has secured an injunction to stop a local auction house from selling a 16th century overmantel, thought to be worth a substantial sum.
Sep 08, 2021

Welsh council loses appeal over unfair dismissal claims brought by PE teachers affected by school reorganisation

Gwynedd Council has lost a Court of Appeal case over the redundancy of two physical education teachers after a school reorganisation.
Sep 08, 2021

Judicial review applications have continued to fall in first half of 2021: Ministry of Justice

The number of judicial review applications received in the first half of 2021 was – at 1,200 – down 16% on the same period in 2020, government data has revealed.
Sep 08, 2021

London borough to pay complainant £4k after failure to take homelessness application earlier

The London Borough of Barnet is to pay more than £4,000 to a man in case where it was too slow to take a homelessness application and provide emergency accommodation.
Sep 08, 2021

Housing Ombudsman launches project on widening access to complaints with call for volunteers for expert group

The Housing Ombudsman has launched a new project aimed at improving the accessibility of the complaints system, particularly for hard to reach groups.
Sep 08, 2021

Bevan Brittan strengthens higher education team with Soundy hire

Law firm Bevan Brittan has bolstered its higher education practice with the appointment of Rachel Soundy as a new corporate partner.
Sep 08, 2021

Irwin Mitchell bolsters Public Law and Human Rights Team with honorary QC hire

Claimant law firm Irwin Mitchell has strengthened its Public Law and Human Rights Team with the appointment of leading human rights and discrimination lawyer Angela Jackman QC (Hon).
Sep 07, 2021

Education Secretary and local authorities threatened with legal challenge over approach to vulnerable children and school attendance

The Good Law Project (GLP) has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, threatening legal action if he fails to issue guidance that protects vulnerable children and families as schools reopen.
Sep 07, 2021

District councils pursue s.113 agreement to continue sharing legal services and other officers following end of wider partnership

Two councils are considering entering into a section 113 agreement to share legal and other officers following the end of their shared management and joint working arrangement.
Sep 07, 2021

Freeths advises on project to convert landfill site into community owned solar-farm

National law firm Freeths has advised Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) on a collaboration with Plymouth City Council, to develop a new community-owned solar farm.
Sep 07, 2021

First Tier Tribunal wrongly struck out landlord penalty appeal after solicitor failed to pay hearing fee, Upper Tribunal rules

A private landlord will have her appeal of a £7,000 penalty for failure to license a house in multiple occupation (HMO) decided by a different judge after it was initially refused by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) because her solicitor failed to pay the hearing fee on time, the Upper Tribunal has…
Sep 06, 2021

Local authority ordered to pay mother fleeing ex-partner £10k in compensation following data breach

Hampshire County Council should pay £10,000 in compensation after a mother who was fleeing her ex-partner had her address exposed in a data breach, Portsmouth Magistrates' Court has ruled.
Sep 06, 2021

Cabinet Office updates procurement policy note on reserving below threshold procurements

The Cabinet Office has updated its procurement policy note and guidance on reserving below threshold procurements to provide additional clarification on the application of the policy for other contracting authorities, reservations by supplier location and transparency requirements.
Sep 06, 2021

Consultation launched on making permanent outdoor measures introduced to support high streets and hospitality businesses

The Government has launched a consultation on making permanent two time-limited permitted development rights introduced during the pandemic to boost high streets and hospitality businesses.
Sep 06, 2021

LGSS Law becomes Pathfinder Legal Services with target of being “a national leader for local government law”

LGSS Law, the local authority-owned alternative business structure, has rebranded as Pathfinder Legal Services, with a view to “becoming a national leader for local government law”.
Sep 06, 2021

Anthony Collins bolsters Manchester office with housing partner hire

Anthony Collins Solicitors has appointed housing specialist Thomas Starkey as a partner as part of its effort to boost its presence in the North West.
Sep 03, 2021

London borough defeats judicial review challenge over introduction of low traffic neighbourhoods

Hackney Council has successfully defended a judicial review claim over the decision of its Cabinet in September 2020 to adopt an emergency transport plan (ETP).
Sep 03, 2021

Devonshires names head of housing management and property litigation

Law firm Devonshires has promoted Donna McCarthy to lead its Housing Management and Property Litigation team.
Sep 03, 2021

Council claims Ombudsman request for it to process DoLS applications within set time constraints “not possible”

Kent County Council has said it believes it is not possible to comply with a recommendation made by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to process all Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) assessments in a timely manner.
Sep 03, 2021

Parish council in legal challenge to grant of outline consent for 210-home development

Mid Suffolk District Council's decision to give outline consent to a plan which would see 210 new dwellings built in a village is to be challenged in the High Court by Thurston Parish Council in October.
Sep 03, 2021

Council to require all buildings to be removed from biomass plant

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to take enforcement action over planning concerns relating to the Biomass Gasification Plant in Barry.
Sep 02, 2021

Complaints to the Housing Ombudsman have risen 21%, quarterly report shows

A report from the Housing Ombudsman covering April to June 2021 shows a 21% increase in the volume of enquiries and complaints received compared to the previous quarter.
Sep 02, 2021

Ofsted challenges claim of unnecessary child protection investigations

Ofsted has rejected claims that councils carry out unnecessary child protection investigations, in response to an Independent Review of Children's Social Care report.
Sep 01, 2021

Housing Law Practitioners Association surveys members ahead of judicial review challenge over Brent allocations scheme

The Housing Law Practitioners Association has asked members for information about the experiences of clients who have approached the London Borough of Brent for housing assistance.
Sep 01, 2021

North West council defends £202m loan to major local employer

Warrington Brough Council has been caught in controversy after making an unusually large loan to a company controlled by a billionaire.
Sep 01, 2021

High Court upholds campsite enforcement notice

The High Court has dismissed an appeal against an enforcement notice imposed by Cornwall Council in a dispute over when a campsite began operations.
Sep 01, 2021

High Court dismisses challenge to grant by Natural Resources Wales of consent for use of canoes on River Wye

National Resources Wales (NRW) acted correctly when it gave permission for canoes to be used on a protected stretch of the River Wye, the High Court has found.
Sep 01, 2021

Solicitor suspended over ‘blue badge’ misuse

Misuse of a ‘blue badge’ for disabled parking has seen a solicitor suspended from practice after prosecution by the London Borough of Ealing.
Sep 01, 2021

Ministry of Justice to press ahead with increasing court fees by inflation – backdated to 2016

The Government believes there is a strong justification to proceed with increasing certain court fees and the ‘Help with Fees’ (HwF) income thresholds by inflation, backdated to 2016, the Ministry of Justice has said.
Sep 01, 2021

Three judges appointed to Court of Appeal

Three judges have been appointed Justices of Appeal to fill vacancies which have arisen in the Court of Appeal.
Sep 01, 2021

Council “disappointed” at sentence after counterfeit tobacco found twice at business premises

A council has expressed disappointment at the sentence handed down to a business owner after counterfeit tobacco was found on his premises twice in five months.
Sep 01, 2021

Residents eye legal challenge to Environment Agency consent for HS2 tunnelling works

A group of local residents are planning to bring a judicial review challenge against the Environment Agency (EA) over its grant of consent to tunnelling works for HS2.
Sep 01, 2021

District planning authorities in England issue fewest number of enforcement notices since records began

District planning authorities in England issued fewer than 3,000 enforcement notices in the year to March 2021, government data has revealed.
Sep 01, 2021

Browne Jacobson partner appointed social care sector ambassador for charity

Amanda Wright-Kluger, a partner and solicitor-advocate at Browne Jacobson’s Nottingham office, has been appointed a social care ambassador for Championing Social Care.
Aug 31, 2021

Court of Appeal agrees to hear appeal by Health Secretary in dispute over interpretation of ‘ordinary residence’ and s.117 Mental Health Act

The Court of Appeal has granted the Department of Health and Social Care permission to appeal a key ruling on the issue of ‘ordinary residence’ for the purposes of s.117(3) of the Mental Health Act.
Aug 31, 2021

Civil liberties groups demand ban of use of facial recognition technology by police

Liberty, Privacy International and 29 other organisations have called for Parliament to ban the use of live facial recognition technology (LFRT) by the police and private companies.
Aug 30, 2021

Cabinet Office Minister sets up review of Committee on Standards in Public Life

The Minister of the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, has asked officials to review the membership and the remit of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, including in relation to its diversity.
Aug 30, 2021

DEFRA hands law firm £360k contract for Environment Agency civil litigation cases

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has awarded Bevan Brittan a £360,000 contract to advise the Environment Agency on civil litigation.
Aug 27, 2021

Council sends planning application back to committee after parish legal threat

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is to send a full planning application for a storage and distribution warehouse near the M3 back to its Development Control Committee, after a parish council challenge wrote to challenge the legality of the decision.
Aug 26, 2021

Government confirms plans to consult on future of data protection regime, role of Information Commissioner’s Office

The Government has confirmed that it will consult in the coming weeks on the future of the UK’s data protection regime, saying it wants to “make it even more ambitious and innovation-friendly while still being underpinned by secure and trustworthy privacy standards”.
Aug 26, 2021

Upper Tribunal examines operation in SEN case of "Recommendations Regulations"

A First Tier Tribunal (FTT) decision in a special educational needs case must stand even though an error in law was made, the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has ruled.
Aug 26, 2021

Judge expresses concern at lack of suitable accommodation for vulnerable teenager in "depressingly familiar scenario"

A judge has criticised a situation in which a vulnerable teenage girl who “falls between two stools” cannot get the accommodation she needs.
Aug 26, 2021

Ombudsman finds council at fault after mother left in the dark about death of daughter at respite care home

Swindon Borough Council caused injustice to a woman whose daughter died while in its care, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Aug 26, 2021

LGA calls for billing authorities to have ability to be parties to business rates appeals again

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that billing authorities in England should have the ability restored to be party to business rates appeals.
Aug 26, 2021

City council threatened with legal action over permission for 55-storey tower accommodating students

Manchester City Council faces legal action over its decision to allow construction of a tower block of student accommodation in the city centre, it has been reported.
Aug 26, 2021

Regulator to investigate company involved in solar panel scheme with city council

Energy regulator Ofgem has launched a probe into a company involved in a solar panel scheme with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Aug 26, 2021

Ombudsman raps council over handling of request for council tax relief during pandemic

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has heavily criticised Cotswold District Council for the way it handled a man’s request for help paying his council tax during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aug 25, 2021

School and council agree five-figure settlement over case where pupil was sexually assaulted by classmate: report

A school and local authority have conceded that there was a breach of duty, but have not admitted liability, in a case of alleged failure to prevent a sexual assault from taking place in school, it has been reported.
Aug 25, 2021

Ombudsman finds social landlord guilty of maladministration in handling of request for information as part of sale of property

The Housing Ombudsman has recorded a finding of maladministration against a major social landlord for its handling of a shared owner’s request for information to enable her to complete the sale of her property including information on the building’s cladding.
Aug 25, 2021

Councils warn of major rise in child-related serious incident notifications

The number of serious incident notifications in England rose 19% in 2020/21 to 536, the Local Government Association has warned.
Aug 24, 2021

Law firm VWV promotes seven to partner

Law firm VWV has promoted seven lawyers to partner bringing the total at the firm to 91.
Aug 24, 2021

Standards watchdog writes to minister amid concern over lack of diversity in its membership

The chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life has written to the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, after members of the watchdog “expressed concerns about our lack of visible diversity now as a group”.
Aug 23, 2021

High Court gives go-ahead for judicial review challenge over ‘Levelling Up Fund”

The High Court has granted the Good Law Project permission for its legal challenge against three Whitehall departments over the multi-billion pound “Levelling Up Fund”.
Aug 23, 2021

Parks body wins dispute over ownership of boathouse next to Serpentine Lake

The Royal Parks Limited (TRP) has won a dispute concerning the ownership of a boathouse and jetties located on the north west side of the Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park.
Aug 23, 2021

Welsh Government agrees provision for Welsh contracting authorities can be made within UK Government Bill

The Welsh Government has agreed that provision for Welsh contracting authorities can be made through the UK Government’s procurement Bill.
Aug 23, 2021

High Court gives green light to legal challenge over decision by county to restructure of education system

Two families have been granted permission by the High Court to challenge a decision to restructure the education system in South Somerset.