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) Bill 2015-16 has received Royal Assent to become the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. The majority of the provisions of the Act will come into force on a day appointed by the Welsh Ministers.
- The Court of Protection has allowed an appeal against a previous decision which had refused to authorise a deprivation of liberty in respect of an individual even though there was no alternative accommodation available to him at that time (North Yorkshire County Council and another v MAG and another).
- The Local Government Ombudsman has reminded councils that when they are arranging care for an individual they must offer families the option of nursing or care home accommodation that does not require a top-up fee.
- The Cabinet Office has published updated guidance on consultation principles, as part of its commitment under the Civil Service Reform Plan to improve policy making and implementation, with greater transparency and engagement.
- The Family Court has:
- held that wardship can be used as an alternative to care proceedings when a child’s future is uncertain, but has not suffered and is unlikely to suffer significant harm if the child’s current care remains unchanged (Re S (Wardship)); and
- reminded practitioners of the proper approach to cases concerning parents with learning disabilities (Re D (A Child) (No 3)).
- The President of the Family Division has issued a consultation on proposed amendments to Practice Direction 27A of the Family Procedure Rules 2010.
- The High Court provided clarification that once proceedings have started, a court has no jurisdiction to hear an application for pre-action disclosure under CPR 31.16 (Personal Management Solutions Ltd and another v Gee 7 Group Ltd and another).
- The Senior Courts Costs Office has penalised a defendant in costs for unreasonably refusing to mediate (Bristow v The Princess Alexander Hospital NHS Trust and others).
- The Lord Chief Justice has published his 2015 annual report.
- The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has published a Civil Courts structure review interim report authored by Briggs LJ.
- The Education Workforce Council (Main Functions) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016.
- The Welsh Government has published updated guidance intended to support the development of community cohesion and prevent extremism in schools and other educational settings in Wales.
- The Department for Education has published a consultation on improving information in identifying children missing education.
Employment and pensions:
- The EFTA Court has held that an 84-hour working week imposed on resident therapists at a care home was not incompatible with the EU Working Time Directive (Matja Kumba T M’bye and others v Stiftelsen Fossumkollektivet).
- The EAT has considered whether the circumstances of younger workers were materially different to those of older workers in a redundancy exercise because they were not eligible for early retirement pension enhancements (Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland).
- The European Commission has adopted the third of four biannual reports on monitoring good practices in the areas of employment, social affairs and inclusion, as part of the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.
- BIS has published the government’s response to a consultation on tackling exploitation in the labour market.
- The Women and Equalities Commons Select Committee has published its first report on transgender equality.
- The Onshore Wind Generating Stations (Exemption) (England and Wales) Order 2016 has been made and will come into force on 1 March 2016.
- DECC has published fact sheets on certain policy areas of the Energy Bill 2015-16, including information on devolving consent for large onshore wind farms to local planning authorities, and on early closure of the Renewables Obligation to new onshore wind projects.
- Defra has:
- designated 23 new marine conservation zones in English inshore and offshore waters under Part 5 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009; and
- published a consultation on a draft code of practice for the use of species control agreements and species control orders to control invasive non-native species in England.
- BIS has published a code of practice for designated collection facilities to comply with their obligations under the regime for waste electrical and electronic equipment.
FOI and data protection:
- The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has published his Priorities for the policy and consultation activities of the organisation for 2016. The EDPS will focus on a number of key areas which include supporting the EU institutions in completing a new coherent data protection framework in Europe.
- The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (Commencement No 7) Order 2016 has been laid before the Scottish Parliament. The Order brings sections 108 and 110 of the Act further into force on 1 April 2016.
- The government has confirmed that it intends to introduce fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence cases from 1 October 2016.
- The Renting Homes (Wales) Bill has gained Royal Assent to become the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. The main provisions of the Act will come into force on a date to be appointed by statutory instrument.
- The Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No 6) Order 2016 and the Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2016 have been made and will come into force on 1 February 2016.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on empty housing in England and the powers that local authorities have to deal with empty homes.
Local government law:
- The High Court has dismissed a claim for judicial review brought by a company representing the interests of consultants at a hospital against a decision not to designate the hospital as a specialist site in the re-configuration of hospital services in the area (Keep Wythenshawe Special Limited v NHS Central Manchester CCG and others).
Property and planning:
- The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that a family farming company was entitled to compensation under sections 14 and 14A of the Land Drainage Act 1991 from a council acting as lead local flood authority (Robert Lindley Ltd v East Riding of Yorkshire Council).
- The ECJ has handed down its preliminary ruling on a reference from a Latvian court relating to the interpretation of Articles 47 and 48 of Directive 2004/18 (Ostas celtnieks SIA v Talsu novada pašvaldība).
- The European Commission has announced that an online machine translation service will be available, free of charge, for all public procurement notices in Tenders Electronic Daily.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Licensing Act 2003 (Permitted Temporary Activities) (Notices) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 2 February 2016.
- The CMA has announced that it has reminded local authorities about the need to ensure that schemes aimed at reducing consumption of high-strength alcohol do not breach competition law.