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.
- The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made his Budget Statement to the House of Commons. The statement includes various policy announcements of interest to local government lawyers.
- The Children (Secure Accommodation) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016. They amend the definition of secure accommodation within the Children (Secure Accommodation) (Wales) Regulations 2015 and set a maximum period for placing a child on remand in secure accommodation without court review and authorisation.
- The High Court has declared it lawful for a local authority and any medical facility to not send to the parents of a young person any information about his day-to-day life, medical assessment and possible treatment at any medical facility (PD v SD and others).
- The Family Court has:
- made a wasted costs order against every party in care proceedings for the adjournment of a fact-finding hearing (Re L (Case Management: Wasted Costs)); and
- ordered a council to pay damages and costs for their three year delay in applying for the revocation of a placement order (Re B (A Child)).
- The Court of Appeal has held that a defendant’s Part 36 offer and admissions payment under CPR 14 could not be aggregated to produce a larger sum, for the purpose of determining whether the claimant had bettered the Part 36 offer (Littlestone and others v Macleish).
- The DfE has published a consultation on its proposals to introduce a national funding formula for schools. The consultation, which is the first of two planned consultations, seeks views on the principles that underpin the formula and the pupil characteristics and school factors that have been included in the formula.
Employment and pensions:
- The government has published a number of amendments to be moved at Report Stage in the House of Lords, marginally softening the impact of the Trade Union Bill 2015-16.
- The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (Commencement No 4) Regulations 2016 have been made and will bring into force section 150 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 on 6 April 2016.
- The Court of Appeal has held that the High Court was entitled to increase the level of commission awarded to a salesperson by an employer and had not failed to have regard to the employer’s discretion in the matter (Hills v Niksun Inc).
- The EAT has:
- upheld an employment tribunal’s decision to strike out an employee’s claim for unlawful deductions from wages and direct age discrimination (Smith v Gartner UK Ltd); and
- held that there is no requirement for the whole of the service to transfer in order for the service provision change provisions of TUPE to apply (Arch Initiatives v Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and others).
- The Prime Minister has announced increases to the standard adult rate, apprenticeship rate and accommodation offset limit of the national minimum wage to take effect from 1 October 2016.
- The Government Equalities Office has further clarified the scope of the draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016, which were published on 12 February 2016.
- There are several key changes to employment law coming into force in April 2016, including the introduction of the National Living Wage, financial penalties for unpaid tribunal awards and settlements, new tribunal postponement rules, the abolition of contracting-out on a salary related basis and increases in tribunal compensation limits.
- The Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 9 May 2016.
- The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016.
- The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2016 have been made and mainly came into force on 1 March 2016.
- Defra and the Environment Agency have published:
- a revised code of practice on the waste duty of care; and
- a roadmap setting out plans for the long-term resilience of the water sector, in particular how the water sector will increase its resilience to climate change impacts and population growth.
- The Welsh Government has published its local air quality management interim policy guidance.
- The Cabinet Office and Defra have published the findings of the Cutting Red Tape review of the waste and recycling sector, which was launched in July 2015.
FOI and data protection:
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the Investigatory Powers Bill.
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has published new guidance on the use of encryption software to protect the security of personal data.
- The NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been laid before Parliament.
- The Court of Protection has held that that various options put forward for dealing with the appointment of Rule 3A representatives in deprivation of liberty welfare order cases under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, where there was not a family member or friend willing to act, were not fit for purpose under Articles 5 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights or under the common law principle of fairness (Re JM and others).
- The Judicial Office has published a draft practice direction in advance of a case management pilot beginning in the Court of Protection in June 2016.
- The Department of Health has:
- updated its Care and Support statutory guidance that was issued on 29 October 2014; and
- published a consultation inviting views on a proposed change in its approach to determining ordinary residence disputes between local authorities and new guidance for establishing the ordinary residence of adults who lack capacity to decide where to live and looked after children transitioning to adult social care and other accommodation.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the structure of the NHS in England, following reforms implemented by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
- The DCLG has published:
- The National Audit Office has published a memorandum for the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts on extending the right to buy.
Local government law:
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on overview and scrutiny in local government. The briefing paper covers the legislation governing the establishment of overview and scrutiny committees.
Property and planning:
- The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made and came into force in Wales on 16 March 2016.
- Two sets of town and country planning regulations have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
- The High Court has held that a council acted unlawfully in demanding £170,900 of Community Infrastructure Levy, by interpreting two planning permissions as one (R (Orbital Shopping Park Swindon Ltd) v Swindon Borough Council and another).
- The Land Registry has launched a new online service called “Application Enquiry”. The service, which replaces the Day List Enquiry, allows customers to search using the title number or the Land Registry reference number to obtain more details about their application.
- The National Infrastructure Commission has published reports on:
- transport needs in the North of England, High speed north; and
- London’s future transport needs, Transport for a world city.
- The Privy Council has dismissed an appeal of the Central Tenders Board of Montserrat against a decision of the High Court, upheld by the East Caribbean Court of Appeal, that it was in breach of a building contract made with the respondent (Central Tenders Board and another v White (t/a White Construction Services)).
- The Scottish Court of Session has handed down a ruling on an action against the Scottish Ministers regarding a challenge to a procurement award for the provision of ferry services (Shetland Line (1984) limited v The Scottish Ministers).
- The Advocate General has handed down his opinion on a preliminary reference from a Belgium court regarding the application of Article 53(2) of Directive 2004/18, under which a contracting authority must specify in the contract notice or the contract documents the relative weighting that it gives to each of the criteria chosen to determine the tender (C 15 TNS Dimarso NV v Vlaams Gewest).
- A corrigendum confirming the date of entry into force of the Council Directive 89/665 (the Remedies Directive) has been published in the Official Journal.
Practical Law In brief