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 Court of Appeal has held that a local authority was permitted to include additional revenue received by care homes in calculating its accommodation rates under the National Assistance Act 1948 care regime (Torbay Council v Torbay Quality Care Forum Limited).
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the funding of adult social care services in England.
- The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill 2017-19 has been introduced and given its first reading in the House of Commons.
- The High Court has dismissed a claim for breaches of Articles 5, 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights against an NHS Trust and the Lord Chancellor on the basis that the Human Rights Act 1998 did not create jurisdiction for it to issue the declaratory relief sought by the claimant (Aamir Mazhar v The Lord Chancellor).
- The European Council (Article 50) meeting that took place on 20 October 2017 has concluded that the Brexit negotiations have not made sufficient progress to start phase two of the negotiations.
- The House of Commons Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK’s economic relationship with the EU.
- The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has published the uncorrected transcript of a meeting held on 12 October 2017 to gather evidence in the inquiry on the impact of Brexit on UK competition policy.
- The Supreme Court has decided that local authorities can be vicariously liable for abuse inflicted by foster carers on children in care. However there is no non-delegable duty on local authorities to ensure the safety of a child in care placed in a foster placement (Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council).
- The Civil Justice Council working group on ADR has published its interim report on the future role of ADR in the civil justice system. The report sets out a number of recommendations and invites responses to a series of questions by 15 December 2017.
- Members of the House of Lords have called for tougher rules for making modern slavery statements under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published a focus report on Education Health and Care Plans introduced in 2014 to replace Statements of Special Education Needs.
Employment and pensions:
- The ECJ has held that a minimum height requirement for the Greek police was indirect sex discrimination and could not be objectively justified. Although the ECJ accepted that the Greek government had a legitimate aim of enabling the effective accomplishment of the various functions of the police force, the height requirement was not a proportionate means of achieving that aim (Esoterikon v Kalliri).
- The Prime Minister has issued an open letter to EU citizens in the UK promising to make it as easy as possible for them to remain in Britain post-Brexit.
- The government has launched the employment tribunal fees reimbursement scheme.
- The Environment Council has agreed a general approach on two European Commission legislative proposals that form part of its low carbon economy package, adopted on 20 July 2016.
- The Cabinet Secretary for Wales has given a statement on the circular economy for Wales. The statement included an announcement that the Welsh Government will consult on a route map for a more resource-efficient economy, in July 2018. The consultation will include proposals for an 80% municipal waste recycling target for 2030.
- The UK Environmental Law Association has published a report on the challenges of developing environmental law in Wales after Brexit. In particular, the report notes that the UK will need new institutional mechanisms to support its environmental protection frameworks after Brexit.
- Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have launched a consultation for a zero emissions zone in Oxford.
FOI and data protection:
- The Article 29 Working Party has:
- adopted revised Guidelines on Data Protection Impact Assessment and determining whether processing is “likely to result in a high risk” for the purposes of Regulation 2016/679 (WP 248 rev.01); and
- launched a consultation on its draft guidelines on data breach notification (WP250) and automated decision-making and profiling (WP251).
- The government has launched a consultation on four draft data sharing codes of practice on public service delivery (debt and fraud), civil registration, research and statistics as well as a statement of principles and a draft Regulation, as required by Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017.
- The House of Commons Library has published briefing papers on:
- Health and Social Care Integration. The briefing paper analyses the challenges facing integrated health and social care services, and the impact of successive government’s policies to promote integration, including those of the devolved administrations and their respective policies; and
- NHS charges for overseas visitors. The briefing paper includes information on changes introduced by the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015, recent policy developments, and GP services and charges for overseas visitors.
- The Court of Appeal has:
- clarified the meaning of “significantly more vulnerable” set out by Neuberger LJ in Hotak and other v London Borough of Southwark and another  UKSC 30 to be used when assessing whether a homeless applicant was vulnerable and therefore in priority need under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 (Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest and Smith v London Borough of Haringey); and
- considered the causal link between an applicant’s historic intentional homelessness and current homelessness in deciding whether a housing duty was owed under section 190 or section 193 of the Housing Act 1996 (Doka v London Borough of Southwark).
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued a report against the London Borough of Redbridge, finding that its placement of homeless families in unsuitable B&B accommodation for longer than the statutory limit amounted to injustice to the families.
- The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has dismissed an appeal by a local authority against a decision finding that it was unreasonable for it to have granted a reduced length licence in a selective licensing area to an applicant whose conviction was not spent (London Borough of Waltham Forest v Reid).
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has published two letters to local authority chief executives in England on identifying all residential tower blocks with aluminium composite material cladding.
Local government law:
- The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on local authorities.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has published guidance notes for Bellwin claims for emergency financial assistance to local authorities made in 2017-18.
Property and planning:
- The Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (Wales) Regulations 2017 have been made and will come into force on 4 December 2017.
- The High Court has considered whether a planning permission could be interpreted to incorporate a non-food goods condition, or whether such a condition could be implied (London Borough of Lambeth v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and others).
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation document on proposals to implement Part 8 of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, which restricts the ability of a person to register land as a town or village green, where it is solely for the purpose of preventing lawful development in Wales.
- The Welsh Government has updated Technical Advice Note 20: Planning and the Welsh Language.
- The ECJ has:
- handed down an order on an appeal by Greenpeace Energy eG against a General Court order that dismissed its action challenging a European Commission decision to approve state aid for Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, and dismissed the appeal as unfounded in its entirety (Greenpeace Energy and Others v European Commission); and
- handed down its judgment on an appeal by Agriconsulting Europe SA against a judgment of the General Court regarding a European Commission procurement decision (Agriconsulting Europe v European Commission).