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. Read more
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  NEWS

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.
Jan 07, 2020

Council prosecution sees serial fly-tipper handed 30-month custodial sentence

A defendant found guilty of five separate fly-tipping offences has been given a 30-month custodial sentence, following a prosecution brought by Portsmouth City Council.
Jan 06, 2020

Tougher sentences needed to deter fly-tipping, says Local Government Association

Councils have called for the introduction of tougher sentences for fly-tipping, after the latest figures showed it costs them £58m a year to clear up.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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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 MORE NEWS

Jan 03, 2020

Ministry awards £4m to 100+ councils to help tackle criminal landlords and letting agents

More than 100 councils in England will share over £4m as part of a crackdown on criminal landlords and letting agents, the Housing Secretary has announced.
Jan 02, 2020

Council prosecution sees landlord fined £27k for multiple HMO breaches

A landlord in Luton has been ordered to pay £27,000 at a sentencing hearing after previously pleading guilty to illegally managing a house in multiple occupation.
Dec 19, 2019

Director of lettings and property management agency jailed for two years over £230k fraud

The director of a lettings and property management agency who defrauded more than £230,000 from the landlords and tenants that were his clients has received a two-year prison sentence, following an investigation by Southampton City Council’s Trading Standards Service.
Dec 12, 2019

Birmingham landlord fined £20k after breaching housing regulations

A Birmingham landlord has been fined nearly £20,000 after pleading guilty to failing to obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations.
Dec 02, 2019

Council secures £400k+ confiscation order against landlord over house in multiple occupation with 15 tenants

Joint action by Hillingdon Council’s planning enforcement and trading standards teams has seen a Hayes landlord ordered to pay more than £430,000 after she turned her property into an illegal House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Dec 02, 2019

Council secures £400k+ confiscation order against landlord over house in multiple occupation with 15 tenants (2)

Joint action by Hillingdon Council’s planning enforcement and trading standards teams has seen a Hayes landlord ordered to pay more than £430,000 after she turned her property into an illegal House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Dec 02, 2019

Welsh council defeats appeal by dog breeder over refusal to renew licence

A Welsh council has successfully defended its decision not to renew a dog breeder’s licence over breaches of conditions identified during unannounced inspections.
Nov 26, 2019

Camden Council obtains first rogue landlord banning order in London

Camden Council is reported to have obtained London’s first rogue landlord banning order against a man who repeatedly placed tenants’ lives at risk through letting unsafe housing.
Nov 13, 2019

New regulation requires drone pilots to register and pass test before end of November

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched a new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service, heralding new conditions requiring drone pilots to register as an operator and pass an “online education package”.
Nov 07, 2019

Council turns to “little-used” legislation to crack down on home improvement companies

Gateshead Council has secured an enforcement order under the Enterprise Act 2002 to limit the behaviour of two home improvement companies which have been the subject of more than a hundred complaints from the public.
Nov 06, 2019

Defendants sentenced for unlicensed dog sales after first prosecution by council under new regulations

Three individuals last month pleaded guilty to selling dogs without a licence following what is believed to be the first prosecution under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
Oct 15, 2019

Borough council fined £300k over fatal collision involving bus passenger

A council has been fined £300,000 after a passenger was killed when run over by a lorry at a bus station.
Oct 09, 2019

Trading standards body warns system not ready for no-deal Brexit

The UK's trading standards system is not yet ready for a 'no deal' Brexit, the Head of Policy at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has warned.
Oct 08, 2019

Energy brokers fail in judicial review challenge to production orders granted in favour of trading standards team

Three companies that act as brokers between energy companies and small businesses requiring an energy supply have failed in a judicial review challenge to a judge’s decision to grant production orders in favour of Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC).
Oct 03, 2019

Retail chain and distributor ordered to pay £580k over sale of unsafe baby and child car seats

A three-year investigation by Milton Keynes Council’s Trading Standards team into the sale of unsafe car seats has seen a leading baby and children’s retail chain and a distributor ordered to pay out more than £580,000 between them.
Sep 30, 2019

Caravan site business ordered to pay £100k+ following council-led prosecution over swimming pool incident

A caravan site business in Norfolk has been ordered to pay fines, costs and a victim surcharge totalling £103,120 after a swimmer was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool.
Sep 26, 2019

Review finds no evidence council breached laws after waste found in Malaysian tip

Recycling sacks issued by Milton Keynes Council found their way onto a Malaysian refuse tip through misuse rather than any deliberate act by the council or its contractors, an independent audit has found.
Sep 18, 2019

Council hit with £100k fine after exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Dacorum Borough Council has been fined £100,000 for exposing seven grounds maintenance workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), caused by excessive use of power tools.
Sep 13, 2019

Nearly half of letting agents inspected in London failing to comply with law, says trading standards body

More than 46% of 1,922 letting agents inspected in the 15 months up to June 2019 by local council trading standards officers were non-compliant with either the Consumer Rights Act and/or the legislation on redress scheme membership, London Trading Standards (LTS) has revealed.
Sep 02, 2019

Defendants behind energy tariff refund fraud sentenced to combined 13 years after Trading Standards prosecution

A case brought by the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team (East Midlands), which is hosted by Nottinghamshire County Council, has seen five individuals sentenced over energy tariff refund fraud.
Aug 29, 2019

City council hails success of scheme to clamp down on ‘beds in sheds’

Oxford City Council says it has shut down 21 ‘beds in sheds’ and served 31 enforcement notices since January 2018 when it received government funding to tackle the issue.
Aug 29, 2019

Failure to pay confiscation order leaves recycling fraudster facing further eight years in prison

A defendant convicted of defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry has been sentenced to prison for a further eight years after he failed to meet a £1.3m confiscation order.
Aug 19, 2019

Environmental regulator in Scotland to procure £500k in legal services

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is to procure legal advice and advocacy services in respect of corporate and operational matters relating to its functions.
Aug 14, 2019

Landlord licensing scheme “could breach EU law” over accreditation requirement, claims landlords group

The Residential Landlords Association has claimed that Coventry Council’s landlord licensing and accreditation scheme is potentially unlawful and could breach European law.
Jul 04, 2019

City council secures £350k in compensation for victims defrauded by local plumbing companies

The victims of two plumbing companies who defrauded their clients have been fully compensated for their financial losses, after Southampton City Council prosecuted the individuals involved.

  MORE FEATURES

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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.
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March 25, 2019

Know the facts: Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act

Neil Brand sets out the key considerations for local authorities and landlords arising out of the Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act.
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February 22, 2019

The definition of "commercial practice"

A recent Divisional Court ruling on unfair commercial practices will be of interest to trading standards teams across the country, writes Tony Watkin.
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January 18, 2019

A cautionary tale concerning the use of POCA in planning

Michael Dempsey discusses the growing trend in the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 by local planning authorities to obtain confiscation orders against those committing planning offences and examines a recent case that serves as a reminder that POCA should not override or unduly influence other planning decisions.
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November 09, 2018

New RIPA Codes of Practice

Ibrahim Hasan looks at the key changes in the new RIPA Codes of Practice for Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS).
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October 12, 2018

A valuable alternative to prosecution: the Environment Agency and civil undertakings

Civil sanctions in environmental law: what are they and why do they matter? Tim Green and Gus Baker explain.
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October 05, 2018

Privilege revisited

Helen Simm looks at what a recent Court of Appeal on privilege means for public bodies, who may find themselves facing a criminal or regulatory investigation as a result of an incident, accident or whistleblower allegations.
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September 07, 2018

Charging for Housing Act licences: the consequences of Gaskin

Dean Underwood considers the Divisional Court's recent decision on fees for licensing houses in multiple occupation and its far-reaching implications for local housing authorities nationwide.
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August 31, 2018

The merry-go-round of social housing regulation

Sarah Greenhalgh sets out the key points arising from the Social Housing Green Paper and accompanying consultation, and her initial view on the likely targets for regulatory reform.
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August 17, 2018

Game of Drones the Law - Season Two

There have been a number of recent developments in the law and regulation of drones. Paul Feild sets out the key points for local government lawyers.
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August 03, 2018

HMO licensing and upfront fees

The Divisional Court has recently considered what a local authority can include in upfront fees for licensing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Jonathan Manning analyses the outcome.
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July 27, 2018

Seized property, copied data and judicial review

Adam Kendall analyses a recent judicial review challenge brought by a company over data seized and copied by a council's trading standards department.
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July 06, 2018

Local authorities prosecuting manslaughter

Sarah Wilson sets out the key considerations in the recent prosecution for manslaughter of a defendant who sold 'fat-burning capsules'.
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June 15, 2018

Serving surveillance evidence

When should surveillance evidence be served? Catherine Burt looks at the lessons from a recent appeal involving a city council.
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June 01, 2018

Dealing with incursions

Wendi Batteson of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council sets out some of the lessons learned from a recent planning enforcement case.
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June 01, 2018

Laying informations and time limits

Edmund Walters discusses a recent case in which he successfully appeared in the Divisional Court on a point concerning the laying of informations and doing so before the six-month time limit expires.
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June 01, 2018

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and local authorities: an update

Raj Shah outlines important guidance and explains local authorities’ duties to ensure they comply with modern slavery legislation.
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May 04, 2018

Banning orders – how do they work?

Christi Scarborough looks at new powers available from 6 April 2018, and the circumstances under which private landlords or letting and management agents might end up subject to an order.
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April 13, 2018

Capping the number of hackney carriages

A Yorkshire council has fought off a Crown Court challenge to the limit it placed on the number of hackney carriage licences. Gary Grant explains how.
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April 13, 2018

Manchester on Alcohol & Entertainment Law

Professor Roy Light reviews the 4th edition of Manchester on Alcohol and Entertainment Law. Woods Whur Publishing, Leeds. £115 soft cover.