Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Local Government email.
Adult social services:
- The High Court has dismissed a judicial review claim concerning a determination by the Secretary of State that the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was responsible for funding the care of an individual as the section 21 duty under the National Assistance Act 1948 had not arisen (R (Barking and Dagenham) v Secretary of State for Health).
- The Local Government Association has published Adult social care funding: State of the nation: October 2017, a report on the funding of adult social care. The report examines the immediate outlook for social care funding and the actions that are required to secure the longer term sustainability of adult social care.
- The Care Quality Commission has published a report on the state of health care and adult social care in England 2016-17.
- Cardiff University has published a report on welfare cases in the Court of Protection.
- The Department for International Trade has published a white paper which sets out the government’s approach to a future UK trade policy as the UK exits the EU.
- The House of Commons Library has published:
- a briefing paper on the fourth round of Article 50 negotiations, which were held from 25 to 28 September 2017, and Theresa May’s speech in Florence on 22 September 2017;
- a detailed briefing paper on Brexit: civil judicial cooperation, pulling together a number of views expressed to date; and
- two documents on the perceived implications of Brexit for the UK consumer protection regime.
- The High Court has:
- clarified that a child must be joined as a party to an application to deprive them of their liberty when applying for an unapproved secure placement (A Local Authority and AT and FE (Child: no approved secure accommodation available: deprivation of liberty)); and
- confirmed that if a person may act in breach of a wardship order and committal proceedings may be pursued, it would be prudent to seek a penal notice at the outset or subsequently, and for the order to specify what is permitted and what is forbidden (Egeneonu v Egeneonu).
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published its investigation into a complaint against Northumberland Council, finding that the council failed to safeguard vulnerable children (Investigation into a complaint against Northumberland council).
- The Commercial Court has considered the appropriate costs order regarding a summary judgment application (Grenda Investments Ltd v Barton).
- The County Court has considered the defendant’s liability for costs following late acceptance of the claimant’s Part 36 offer in proceedings under the fixed costs regime in CPR 45, and in particular the relationship between CPR 36.13 and CPR 36.20 (Parsa v Smith).
- The City of London Corporation has announced the building of a new court centre in the Square Mile. This will replace the City’s current court services, with the exception of the Old Bailey.
- The Home Office has published its updated guidance: Transparency in Supply Chains etc. A practical guide, which sets out good practice for making the statement required by section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
- The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has made a variation decision relating to Merton Infant School (VAR730).
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has overturned an employment tribunal’s decision that a disciplinary investigation into an allegation of gross misconduct should not have included details of previous similar incidents involving the employee, which had been addressed through training rather than disciplinary action (NHS 24 v Pillar).
- The TUC has published a report setting out the findings of its research into the challenges young parents face in juggling work and childcare commitments. The report found that young parents in low paid roles often had to deal with employers changing their working hours or shifts at short notice and found that their employers took a punitive rather than supportive position when they needed to take time off, or for adjustments to be made, for family reasons.
- The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government have published the government response to their April 2017 targeted consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ powers to tackle waste crime.
- The Welsh Government has announced the first rates of landfill disposals tax for Wales, which will apply when the new tax comes into force on 1 April 2018.
- The Scottish Government has announced an indefinite ban on shale gas fracking (unconventional oil and gas), following a consultation earlier this year in which approximately 99% of responses opposed fracking.
FOI and data protection:
- The ECJ has given its preliminary ruling to the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic on the interpretation of “tasks carried out in the public interest” set out in Article 7(e) of the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) in the context of tax authorities combatting fraud and in addition, an individual’s right to an effective remedy and the admissibility of evidence under Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Puskar v Finance Directorate of the Slovak Republic).
- The House of Lords Library has published a briefing on the Data Protection Bill in advance of its second reading in the House of Lords.
- The ICO has published a checklist entitled “Preparing for the law enforcement requirements (part 3) of the Data Protection Bill: 12 steps to take now”.
- The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (Investigatory Powers and Other Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2017 will come into force on 1 November 2017. The order creates a new NHS Counter Fraud Authority to replace the NHS Business Services Authority.
- The Department of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office have published the terms of reference for an independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the reconfiguration of NHS services in England.
- The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a decision to grant a possession order based on the mandatory ground for possession in the case of anti-social behaviour introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Harris v London Borough of Hounslow).
- The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Prime Minister’s Office have announced plans to increase funding for affordable homes in England.
Local government law:
- The government has launched a new ethnicity facts and figures website. The launch of the website follows an audit of public services covering over 130 different topics including health, education and employment.
Property and planning:
- The High Court has:
- considered the requirement in section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, that an order for the stopping up and diversion of a footpath must be “necessary” to enable a development to be carried out (R (Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and others); and
- looked at the power a local planning authority has under section 70C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to decline to determine a retrospective planning application for development which is subject to an enforcement notice (R (Banghard) v Bedford Borough Council).
- The Welsh government has published the rates of Welsh land transaction tax and announced ideas for further devolved taxes.
- The Planning Inspectorate has published decision notices:
- looking at the risk of sending notices required by the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 by standard post and why an informative about CIL on a planning permission can be important (APP/G5750/L/17/1200092); and
- considering an alleged breach for the failure to pay a Community infrastructure Levy on time (APP/T5720/L/17/1200089).
- The ECJ has ruled that a company wholly owned by a contracting authority can be a body governed by public law (LitSpecMet UAB v Vilniaus Iokomotyvu remonto depas UAB and another).
- The European Commission has published a public procurement initiative to encourage public procurements to be carried out more efficiently and more sustainably.
- The National Audit Office has published a report on the competitive procurement exercise undertaken by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority concerning the decommissioning of 12 Magnox power stations.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Health and Safety Executive has announced that Wrexham County Borough Council has pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and been fined £150,000 in the Magistrates’ Court.