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 Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (Commencement No 1) Order 2016 has been made and brought into force from 6 April 2016 certain provisions of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.
- The High Court has allowed an appeal against an extradition, holding that the extradition would be a breach of the appellant’s Article 8 ECHR rights, as the appellant was primary carer of child and extradition would adversely affect her mental health (Dzurkova v Czech Republic).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the government’s proposals to convert all state-funded schools in England to academy status.
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has:
- upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that an employer’s genuine and reasonable belief that an employee was no longer permitted to work in the UK was sufficient to show that a subsequent dismissal was for some other substantial reason and was both substantively and procedurally fair (Nayak v Royal Mail Ltd); and
- held that an employment judge erred in finding that a claimant, who had incorrectly completed his ET1 to suggest that he was exempt from undertaking Acas early conciliation but who had then contacted Acas and provided an EC number to the tribunal, had not sought a hearing to reconsider the decision to reject his claim (Ahmed v Arearose Ltd).
- The Employment Lawyers Association has published a report responding to Law Society proposals to establish a Single Employment Court for the hearing of all employment disputes, to include those currently coming before the Employment Tribunals and those currently brought before the High and County Courts.
- HMRC has published updated forms and guidance for scheme administrators which address the introduction of the new state pension, the abolition of defined benefit contracting-out, and pensions tax changes announced in the 2016 Budget.
- The Environment Agency has announced that it has successfully prosecuted a company in the Magistrate’s Court for allowing effluent to flow into a watercourse, causing extremely high levels of ammonia in the water.
FOI and data protection:
- The High Court has:
- ruled that a private investigator must comply with a subject access request made by a Russian couple involved with a company whose affairs it had indicated it was investigating (Gurieva and another v Community Safety Development (UK) Ltd); and
- dismissed an action for misuse of private information and breach of confidence brought by the claimant, a former Commanding Officer of a Royal Navy frigate, against the Ministry of Defence (Axon v Ministry of Defence and News Group Newspapers Ltd).
- HMRC has published details of the types of information held about individuals and companies. The publication includes details of the type of information collected, how information is used, how it can be disclosed to others and how requests for information can be made.
- The High Court has held that a charitable housing trust’s decision to refuse a tenant’s request that he wished to exchange his tenancy was not amenable to judicial review. It did so on the basis that, when declining to allow the mutual exchange, the trust had not been acting as a public body given various factors that applied to the portfolio of properties that it had purchased from the Crown Estate Commission (R (Macleod) v Governors of the Peabody Trust).
Property and planning:
- The Town and Country Planning (Notification) (Underground Coal Gasification) (Wales) Direction 2016 came into force on 25 March 2016. The direction requires all planning applications for underground coal gasification development, made on or after 25 March 2016, which the local planning authority is minded to approve, to be referred to the Welsh Ministers.
- The High Court has:
- dismissed an application to quash a planning inspector’s decision letter. The inspector had dismissed the applicant’s appeal against a refusal by a council to grant prior to change the use of an agricultural building to a dwelling under permitted development rights. The case considers the burden of proof and the role of the planning inspector in the written representations procedure where facts were disputed (R (Pratt and another) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government); and
- considered the process for appealing against a decision of the Secretary of State to modify an affordable housing planning obligation (Medway Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on permitted development rights. The briefing paper sets out the government’s policy on proposed changes to the permitted development regime and relates to England only.
- Defra has published a plan setting out priorities for improving National Parks in England over the period from 2016 to 2020.
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation seeking views on proposed revisions to national planning policy concerning the historic environment.
- The ECJ has handed down preliminary references:
- from a Polish court relating to the application of Articles 2, 44 and 48(3) of Directive 2004/18 and Directive 2014/24 in relation to a tendering procedure divided into lots and to be concluded by an electronic auction (PARTNER Apelski Dariusz v Zarzad Oczyszczania Miasta); and
- on a reference from an Italian court relating to the interpretation of Articles 1(1) and 1(3) of Directive 89/665 and Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (Puligienica Facility Esco SpA v Airgest SpA).
- The High Court has struck out a claim brought by an aggrieved contractor following the company’s unsuccessful tender for the award of a contract tendered by a council. It did so on the basis that the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 did not apply to the procurement exercise that the council had conducted, which finding was fatal to the contractor’s pleaded claim (Newlyn PLC v London Borough of Waltham Forest).
- The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Decision establishing the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Committee on Government Procurement as regards the draft decision on arbitration procedures pursuant to Article XIX:8 of the Revised Agreement on Government Procurement.
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation seeking views on plans for the introduction of legislation on public procurement activity undertaken by Welsh public sector organisations.