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 Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) (Wales) Regulations 2015, which apply to both adults and children safeguarding boards, have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
- The Court of Protection has held that a local authority is required to ascertain the least restrictive alternative when granting a standard authorisation under the deprivation of liberty safeguards scheme (P v Surrey County Council and Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group).
- The Local Government Ombudsman has published its report on a complaint concerning a council’s failure to reassess a resident’s contribution towards her residential care costs when the value of her remaining capital fell to £23,250.
- The Family Court has provided guidance about which party in care proceedings should bear the costs of translating documents for a parent with public funding (Re R (a child) (translation of documents in proceedings)).
- The Court of Appeal has established an “additional common law qualification or exception to the inviolable nature of legal professional privilege” in what it described as “likely to be an extremely narrow band of cases” (R v Brown).
- The High Court has held that when exercising its discretion under CPR 44 on costs, there was no reason to deprive the successful claimants of their costs due to their stance in relation to mediation, and accordingly ordered the defendant to pay the claimants’ costs (Murray and another v Bernard).
- BIS has updated its guidance on the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, originally issued by BIS in March 2013. The new guidance follows on from a consultation carried out by BIS earlier in 2015.
- The DfE has published updated statutory guidance on the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools in England. The guidance is aimed at governing bodies of all maintained schools (including federations), local authorities, school leaders and school staff.
- The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has published its determination that the governing body of a voluntary aided junior school reduced the school’s published admission number for the September 2016 intake without proper consultation.
Employment and pensions:
- The High Court has ruled that an employer’s refusal to allow an employee’s choice of companion to attend a disciplinary investigation meeting was a breach of mutual trust and confidence, and has issued a declaration to that effect (Stevens v University of Birmingham).
- The EAT has considered whether an employee had sufficient continuous service to bring an unfair dismissal claim against a transferee when their fixed-term contract with the transferor had ended a month before the transfer agreement was signed (Services For Education (S4E Limited) v White and Birmingham City Council).
- The Unfunded Public Service Defined Benefits Schemes (Transfers) Regulations 2015 have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 7 September 2015.
- The High Court has refused an appeal by way of judicial review against an inspector’s decision that a mining company’s restoration of a footpath with large amounts of inert materials was waste disposal, rather than waste recovery (R (Lafarge Aggregates Ltd) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
FOI and data protection:
- The High Court has refused an application to order compliance with a subject access request, where it was not reasonable or proportionate for the data controller to carry out searches to determine whether legal professional privilege would apply to the information held (Dawson-Damer and others v Taylor Wessing LLP and others).
- The CMA has published its provisional findings on the anticipated merger between Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
- The Housing (Right to Buy) (Prescribed Forms) (Wales) Regulations 2015, which came into force on 22 January 2015, have been published on the legislation.gov.uk website.
Property and planning:
- The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications and Site Visits) (Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 1 October 2015.
- The DECC and the DCLG have announced that they will amend existing planning processes to allow shale gas planning applications to be fast-tracked.
- The Crown Commercial Service has published guidance on provisions in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 that support market access for small businesses.
- The European Commission has published a notice in the Official Journal announcing that it has received a request from ENI Portugal BV under Article 30 of Directive 2004/17 on procurement by utility companies.