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 Local Government Ombudsman has published a report on a complaint by an adult social care recipient, relating to direct payments she received for home care, required due to a disability. A council was alleged to have been inconsistent about what was covered by direct payments, failing to follow government guidance and increasing the complainant’s financial contribution without carrying out a financial assessment.
- The House of Commons Library has published an updated version of its briefing paper on the proposals for a British Bill of Rights, which was originally published on 19 May 2015 and covers the background to the proposals for a British Bill of Rights and some of the debates surrounding the issue.
- The High Court has reminded instructed experts of their role in family proceedings, also providing a view on children’s guardians maintaining a neutral position during fact-finding hearings (Cumbria County Council v KW and others).
- The Family Court has confirmed that in care proceedings where the local authority is pleading that the threshold criteria is met on the grounds of the child being beyond parental control, there needs to be an evidential connection with the parents’ care (Re P (permission to withdraw care proceedings)).
- The Supreme Court has unanimously held that there is no presumption of anonymity in civil proceedings in the High Court in relation to a party detained in a psychiatric hospital, or otherwise subject to the compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act 1983 (R (on the application of C) v Secretary of State for Justice).
- The Court of Appeal has held that admissions made by a claimant litigant in person to the solicitor acting for a defendant landlord were protected by without prejudice privilege and were inadmissible at trial (Suh and another v Mace (UK) Ltd).
- The High Court has:
- allowed an application for cross examination of a witness, in an application for judicial review of a grant of planning permission by a council on the grounds that the council failed to notify the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (R (Save Britain’s Heritage) v Liverpool City Council and another); and
- considered whether the the merits of a case are relevant when determining an application for relief from sanction of a proposed default judgment under CPR 3.9 (Joshi & Welch Ltd v Tay Foods).
Employment and pensions:
- The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016 have been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016.
- The High Court has upheld a judicial review challenge to the criminal records disclosure scheme, finding the scheme to be incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (R (P) v Secretary of State for Justice).
- The EAT has held that tribunals are constrained in the exercise of their general case management powers under rule 29 of the Employment Tribunal Rules (Serco Ltd v Wells).
- An employment tribunal has considered how to calculate an extension of time in circumstances where Acas early conciliation began prior to dismissal (Myers and another v Nottingham City Council).
- BIS has:
- published the Trade Union Bill impact assessments on various aspects of the Trade Union Bill 2015-16, which analyse the impact on business, the public sector and individuals of the measures set out in the bill; and
- issued a call for evidence seeking views on the use of internal-only recruitment in the public sector.
- The government has published:
- its response to a consultation on the detail of the proposed ballot thresholds for industrial action in important public services under the Trade Union Bill 2015-16; and
- a consultation paper on government proposals to set targets and reporting requirements for certain public bodies in England to increase the number of apprentices working for them.
- The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint by a member who unsuccessfully applied for scheme redundancy benefits in 2008 under regulation E3 of the National Health Service Pension Scheme Regulations 1995 (Determination in a complaint by Mrs Susan Readman).
- The ECJ has given a decision that considers how the requirements of the Habitats Directive 1992 apply to a project in a site that becomes a protected Site of Community Importance after planning consent has been granted for the project (Grune Liga Sachsen and others).
- The Welsh Government has published interim non-statutory standards and guidance for sustainable drainage systems in Wales.
FOI and data protection:
- The Article 29 Working Party has published an update to its Opinion 8/2010 on applicable law in light of the CJEU judgment in the Google Spain case.
- The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed two appeals regarding whether the appellant EU citizens enjoy a right of residence and are therefore able to claim benefits in the UK. It did so on the basis that a significant aim of the measures in the Treaty of the Functioning of Europe was to ensure that EU nationals from one member state should not be able to exercise their rights of residence in another member state so that they became an unreasonable burden on the social assistance system (Mirga v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Samin v Westminster City Council).
Local government law:
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on devolution to local government in England. The briefing paper replaces the Standard Note published in November 2014.
Property and planning:
- The Welsh Ministers have made the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2016 and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2016, both of which will come into force on 25 February 2016.
- The Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2016, which amends the definition of what constitutes self-catering premises for the purposes on non-domestic rates, has been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016.
- The Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Relief) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2016 has been made and will come into force on 8 February 2016. The order has effect from 1 April 2016.
- From 1 February 2016, private landlords in England will have to carry out right to rent checks on prospective tenants and other authorised occupiers when granting a tenancy.
- The High Court has:
- refused to set aside a consent order agreed between a landlord and a former tenant in respect of rent arrears where the landlord had failed to serve a notice pursuant to section 17 of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (Lee v Sommer); and
- considered a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and held that a buyer was entitled to have its deposit returned because of an untrue representation made recklessly or fraudulently that there were no service charge arrears, when in fact there were such arrears (Greenridge Luton One Ltd and another v Kempton Investments Ltd).
- The High Court has refused an application under Regulation 96(1) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to lift the suspension of an award to an NHS Foundation Trust of a contract for substance misuse services by a council (Counted4 Community Interest Company v Sunderland City Council).
- The Advocate General has handed down his opinion on a preliminary reference from an Italian court regarding the application of Articles 47 and 48 of Directive 2004/18 (Pippo Pizzo v CRGT, AG’s opinion).
Regulation and enforcement:
- The High Court has held that a magistrates’ court should not have refused the prosecution’s application for an adjournment where witnesses had not attended because the trial was wrongly listed for pre-trial review (Crown Prosecution Service v Quinn).
- The Crown Court has fined a council £100,000 for breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after a death from legionella in a care home.