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  NEWS

July 28, 2021

Ombudsman warns of “widening cracks” in local government complaint handling

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) upheld a greater proportion of investigations in 2020/21 than ever before, its annual review of complaints has revealed.
July 28, 2021

MoJ to reopen Crown Court rooms by September, allow judges to open courts for longer

Around 60 Crown Court rooms will reopen by September and the leases of 32 ‘Nightingale Court’ rooms will be extended to April 2022, the Ministry of Justice has said.
July 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…
July 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”.
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  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

July 16, 2021

The housing possessions backlog and Nightingale Courts: a simple solution?

Natalie Foster explores the potential role of ‘Nightingale Courts’ and extended operating hours in unclogging the housing possessions backlog – and ensuring that the wheels of justice keep turning.
July 02, 2021

Can mediation solve the housing possessions backlog?

The freeze on possession hearings is finally starting to thaw – but how will the courts cope with the huge backlog of cases? Will mediation, online hearings, or a dedicated housing tribunal make a difference? In the first of a series of articles from 42BR Housing, looking at the potential solutions, Catherine Urquhart analyses the mediation pilot scheme.
June 18, 2021

Best interests and Covid-19 vaccination in the Court of Protection

The Court of Protection recently ruled that an 86-year-old woman with dementia should not be either forcibly given a Covid vaccine or deceived into accepting a jab. Rebecca Handcock and Hilton Harrop-Griffiths analyse the ruling.
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  WEBINARS AND PODCASTS

March 25, 2021

Covid Enforcement Restrictions

As the UK prepares for the relaxation of lockdown, barristers Zachary Bredemear, Richard Cherry and Conor Kennedy offer a reminder of the restrictions on bringing proceedings and enforcement that are still in force.
March 15, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 15th March

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG discuss devolution, Judicial Review, GDPR, The CfGS's Governance Risk & Resilience Framework, gender equality, flexible working, Rule of Law and Test and Trace.

 

March 09, 2021

Hugh James' NPS Framework Fortnight: Lot 3 - Civil Litigation - Housing Management

Rebecca Rees gives ten tips for handling disrepair claims and Bethan Gladwyn provides an overview of the current rules and practice for possession claims.
January 20, 2021

Delivering leisure facilities in a post-covid world

The pandemic has introduced new hurdles in the provision of local authority led leisure services. Peter Ware, Catherine Rustomji and Alex Kynoch look at the different options available to councils, including establishing a charity.
November 19, 2020

Licensing v.2.0 – a system reboot post-Covid

Philip Kolvin QC considers possible reforms to the licensing system that he says, if made in the wake of the pandemic, might determine the future of our towns and cities over the next 25 years.
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  MORE NEWS

July 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.
July 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.
July 15, 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.
July 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.
July 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.
July 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.
July 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…
July 05, 2021

Law Society warns against remote hearings in public law children cases where parties have limited access to technology

Public law children cases where a party has limited access to technology or where parties require an intermediary or a translator are instances where remote hearings may not be the best format, the Law Society has warned.
June 25, 2021

Cycling charity heads to Court of Appeal after High Court refuses permission for legal challenge over removal of temporary bike lane

A cycling charity is heading to the Court of Appeal after its judicial review application of West Sussex County Council's decision to remove a temporary bike lane in Shoreham was refused by the High Court last month.
June 24, 2021

Public law case starts fall but care proceedings disposals slow to longest average time since 2012: MoJ

There was a 7% decrease in public law case starts in January to March 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020, the Ministry of Justice has reported.
June 24, 2021

Housing Ombudsman sees surge in enquiries and complaints

The Housing Ombudsman saw a 73% increase in the number of enquiries and complaints received in January to March 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020.
June 21, 2021

Councils issue £1m in penalties against businesses for breach of Covid restrictions

Local authorities have issued 1,201 penalties to businesses for violating Covid business restrictions, to a value of £1,076,820, research has revealed.
June 18, 2021

LLG calls for ability of local authorities to hold virtual meetings to be made permanent

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) has called for the ability of local authorities in England to hold meetings virtually to be put on a permanent footing, “to be used flexibility by each individual local authority when it so determines”.
June 17, 2021

Mayor of London and TfL win appeal over High Court ruling that quashed closure of A10 in Bishopsgate under ‘Streetspace’ scheme

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by Transport for London and the Mayor of London against a High Court ruling that quashed the ‘Streetspace’ traffic reduction policies.
June 14, 2021

Councils want to retain benefits of virtual meetings but call on Government to avoid “overly prescriptive” approach to formats: Local Government Association

Councils in England have noted a range of benefits of virtual meetings, “which they hope to retain going forward through the option to continue virtual and hybrid meetings as and when it is deemed locally appropriate”, the Local Government Association has…
June 14, 2021

Family President launches rapid consultation on remote, hybrid and in-person hearings in family justice system and Court of Protection

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has launched a two-week rapid consultation on remote, hybrid and in-person hearings in the family justice system and the Court of Protection.
June 09, 2021

Award of focus group services contract without competition by government during pandemic was unlawful for apparent bias, High Court judge finds

The Government’s decision to award a £560,000 contract for the provision of focus group and communications support services during the pandemic to Public First without public notice or competition gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful, a High Court…
June 03, 2021

Report calls for reservation of remote hearings in tribunals to limited types of hearing until research assesses their impact

The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF) has called for guidance recommending the reservation of remote hearings in tribunals to certain types of hearing, and the introduction of a minimum threshold for technical performance “below which the fairness and…
June 01, 2021

City council blocks entrance to barbershop with sandbags after business "repeatedly ignored orders to close" over Covid breaches

The entrance to a barbershop in York has been barricaded with sandbags by City of York Council after the owners who were breaching Covid safety measures failed to comply with council directions to close.
June 01, 2021

Councils and housing associations call for safety net as ban on bailiff-enforced evictions ends

The Local Government Association (LGA) has set out a six-point plan to protect vulnerable households who could lose their homes following the ending of the ban on bailiff evictions on May 31.
May 27, 2021

High Court judge criticises failure by council to deliver EHC plan

Nottinghamshire County Council failed to adequately deliver a disabled child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) the High Court has ruled.
May 26, 2021

City council censured by Ombudsman for failing to show it implemented recommendations

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has heavily criticised Bristol City Council for failing to provide evidence it had completed recommendations in two separate complaints.
May 24, 2021

LLG, ADSO and Bevan Brittan issue guidance for local authorities on remote meetings following High Court judgment

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government), the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and David Kitson of Bevan Brittan have issued a 12-page guidance document for local authorities on remote meetings in light of recent High Court judgments.
May 20, 2021

Senior judge declines to order Covid vaccination of 86-year-old woman

The Court of Protection has ruled that an 86-year-old woman with dementia should not be either forcibly given a Covid vaccine or deceived into accepting a jab.
May 18, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council for way it allocated Covid grants to businesses

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised the way a North Yorkshire district council administered a discretionary grant scheme which was designed to help businesses impacted by Covid-19.

  MORE FEATURES

April 29, 2021

Council meetings beyond 7 May 2021

What does the Divisional Court's ruling mean for local government? David Kitson, Victoria Barman and Mark Robinson look at what happens next.
April 23, 2021

Elections in the time of Covid-19

Rupert Beloff sets out some important considerations for Returning Officers and other election administrators as they look ahead to May's elections.
April 23, 2021

How to tackle urbexing

Lyn Crawford looks at what property owners, developers and contractors can do about "urbexing".
April 14, 2021

Remote meetings and the importance of ‘local choice’

The imminent High Court hearing over the ability of councils in England to continue to hold remote meetings after 6 May is about ensuring local choice, the leaders of the two organisations behind the legal proceedings tell Local Government Lawyer.
April 09, 2021

Vulnerable persons - participation and evidence in family proceedings

The following Family practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the participation of vulnerable people and evidence in family proceedings.
April 07, 2021

Dealing with Hoarding during the Coronavirus crisis

There has been some focus on the effects of anti-social behaviour upon neighbours but what about cases such as hoarding where the main person affected is the hoarder themselves and the property? Anna Bennett looks at the options.
April 07, 2021

Too much, too soon

A High Court judge recently allowed an appeal against a decision of a Circuit Judge to dismiss a claim that an asylum seeker who had been accommodated by a local authority under the “Everyone In” scheme did not have an arguable case that he had been granted a secure tenancy. Justin Bates explains why.
March 26, 2021

Procurement obligations and Covid

What do the Westminster and Good Law Project cases tell us about the courts’ attitude to procurement post-Covid? Léonie Cowen explains.
March 26, 2021

Vaccination – looking at all the relevant circumstances

Alex Ruck Keene analyses a Court of Protection ruling on whether a 31-year-old man with a learning disability should be vaccinated against Covid-19.
March 15, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 15th March

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath from LLG discuss devolution, Judicial Review, GDPR, The CfGS's Governance Risk & Resilience Framework, gender equality, flexible working, Rule of Law and Test and Trace.
March 09, 2021

Hugh James' NPS Framework Fortnight: Lot 3 - Civil Litigation - Housing Management

Rebecca Rees gives ten tips for handling disrepair claims and Bethan Gladwyn provides an overview of the current rules and practice for possession claims.
March 08, 2021

Planning and the way out of lockdown for leisure, hospitality and attractions

Richard Harwood OBE QC looks at the Local Government Secretary's recent comments on Covid planning and pavement licensing measures for the hospitality and leisure industry, and propooses some other changes that would help.
March 08, 2021

Covid testing in schools and data protection

Neil Murphy examines the data protection issues that arise with the return to school and the prospect of on-site tests for Covid.
March 05, 2021

Late publication of contracts

David Mitchell examines a recent ruling that the late publication of coronavirus contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care was unlawful.
March 02, 2021

The pitfalls of relying on s21 during the pandemic

Master Dagnall recently gave judgment in a case which considered several issues regarding the pandemic and possession proceedings which are worthy of note as the stay on evictions has again been extended, writes Jane Talbot.
March 01, 2021

The LLG Grapevine 1st March

This week Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath discuss Covid Procurement Transparency, Local Authority Pension Investment, Emergency Legislation during Covid, Working Time and being 'On Call', News from Wales, Schools, Fly-tipping and Dismissal for Not Wearing a Face Mask.
February 26, 2021

Health and Care White Paper: opportunities for local authorities

Kirtpal Kaur Aujla considers what the Government's Health White Paper means for local authorities.
February 19, 2021

Extended halt on evictions (again, again): exemption applications; warrants and extensions

Amy Kelly considers the latest extension of the prohibition on enforcement of some possession orders in England and Wales.
February 19, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine and employees

Can employers require employees to be vaccinated? Joanne Bell and Louise Bloomfield consider some o the legal issues.
February 12, 2021

Covid-19 and Specific Changes in Law

Amy Callahan-Page sets out the key points from a recent High Court ruling on risk allocation between a council and a leisure centre operator.
February 12, 2021

Closing gyms during lockdown

Sarah Clover recently supported a city council in closing down a gym which opened persistently in contravention of Coronavirus Regulations and the lockdown restrictions. She explains what this involved.
February 12, 2021

The Covid-19 vaccine and capacity

A senior judge recently ruled that it was lawful and in the best interests of an 80-year-old care home resident with dementia and schizophrenia to be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite the objections of her son. Jennifer Swan analyses the judgment.
February 05, 2021

Community Treatment Orders: does seeing patients remotely suffice?

Jonathan Auburn and Lucy McCann assess whether decision-making as to community treatment orders requires physical attendance.
February 05, 2021

Challenging the Streetspace Plan

The High Court recently quashed the Mayor of London's Streetspace Plan and TfL’s Bishopsgate Traffic Management Order. David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten explain why the black cab drivers succeeded.
January 29, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Governance Tracker

This tracker from LexisNexis Local Government intended to be used to track the most recent key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) local authority governance, where relevant to local government lawyers.
January 29, 2021

Leisure centre losses during the pandemic

Louis Sebastian analyses a High Court dispute between a council and a leisure centre provider over where losses arising from closure of facilities during the current coronavirus pandemic fall.
January 20, 2021

The Office: District Judge rules on Covid-19 Summary Review

An experienced district judge has issued the first fully reasoned judgment on a Covid-19 summary review. Gary Grant analyses the ruling.
January 20, 2021

Delivering leisure facilities in a post-covid world

The pandemic has introduced new hurdles in the provision of local authority led leisure services. Peter Ware, Catherine Rustomji and Alex Kynoch look at the different options available to councils, including establishing a charity.
January 15, 2021

Changing safeguards for children in care: the Article 39 case

David Gregory looks at a powerful recent Court of Appeal judgment on the consultation undertaken by the Government on changes to the delivery of children's services during the pandemic.
January 14, 2021

The halt on evictions (again)

Amy Kelly analyses the latest prohibition on enforcement of some possession orders in England and Wales.
January 08, 2021

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.
January 08, 2021

Remote meetings: planning for permanence

Ed Hammond looks at the benefits of remote meetings and the likelihood the arrangements facilitating them will be put on a permanent footing.
January 04, 2021

NAHT calls for school closures: the right to education during the second wave of Covid-19

Khatija Hafesji considers the Department for Education’s latest school closure and mass testing decisions and their implications for the right to education.
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.
December 18, 2020

Running elections in 2021 - What's changing?

Elections are now likely to take place in May 2021. What are the challenges facing returning officers and their staff, running elections in a coronavirus (COVID-19) environment and what is being done to address them? Mark Heath explains.
December 11, 2020

Coronavirus restrictions and interim steps appeals

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court has this week (10 December 2020) dismissed appeals against interim steps taken by Birmingham City Council on summary reviews of two premises licences that arose out of trading in breach of restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Charles Holland explains why.
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 03, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for commercial and residential property of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
November 27, 2020

Vaccinations for children

When it comes to vaccinations for children, what happens when there is disagreement either between parents or between parents and the local authority? Sophia Stapleton looks at the legal background.
November 20, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Managing the Workplace

The following LexisNexis Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the management of workplaces during the Coronavirus pandemic.
November 09, 2020

Care and support for disabled and elderly people during ‘Lockdown 2’ in England - key legal considerations

Steve Broach and Sian Davies consider the implications of the second lockdown for people in need of care and support and the families and professionals involved in their lives.
November 06, 2020

DHSC care home visiting guidance

The Department for Health and Social Care has published its eagerly awaited care home visiting guidance for England. Alex Ruck Keene sets out the key points.
November 06, 2020

For COVID’s sake, get me to the polls on time!

Timothy Straker QC and Katharine Elliot analyse current law regarding local authority change of governance referendums, including in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 04, 2020

The Lockdown 2 Regulations

Gary Grant and Charles Holland summarise the key points from the regulations implementing the latest national lockdown.
October 30, 2020

The effect of the pandemic on local authority governance

The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny has been keeping a watching brief on the way that councils are managing the pressures on governance arising from the pandemic, writes Ed Hammond.
October 26, 2020

Key considerations for stock transfer deals during the COVID-19 pandemic

With large numbers of homes expected to change hands over the coming 12–18 months, Susie Rogers and Wilson Tang consider what housing providers need to do to factor the current COVID-19 pandemic into their planning process.
October 23, 2020

Winter Plan: Impact on the deprivation of liberty safeguards

In the third in a series of articles by barristers at 39 Essex Chambers on the Winter Plan, Neil Allen considers whether the government's guidance on self-isolation constitutes a deprivation of liberty for those with reduced capacity.
October 22, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Social Care Tracker

This LexisNexis tracker is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to COVID-19, where relevant to social care lawyers.
October 22, 2020

Coronavirus: Regulation of business & enforcement of the three tier system

In this webinar, David Comb examines the National Three Tier system of regulating business activity in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, including enforcement of the regulations.
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