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In brief for week ending 27 September 2017

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 High Court has ruled that the duty to provide and fund after-care services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA 1983) had not been triggered in relation to a patient’s mother who sought funding to continue to undertake temporary excursions with her son from the hospital in which he was detained under section 3 of the MHA 1983 (R (CXF (acting by his mother, his litigation friend)) v Central Bedfordshire Council and another).
  • The British Red Cross has published its report, Prevention in Action, looking at how local authorities are meeting their duties under the Care Act 2014.

Central government:

  • The European Commission has published five position papers ahead of the fourth round of Brexit negotiations with the UK.
  • Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has made a statement focusing on a possible transition period at a press conference following the General Affairs Council (Article 50).
  • The Prime Minister Theresa May has given a speech in Florence on Brexit setting out the UK’s current stance in relation to Article 50 withdrawal issues, the future relationship and a transitional period after Brexit.
  • The House of Lords Library has published an updated briefing note on select committees in the House of Lords that deal with public matters.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has held that a claim form was not validly served within an agreed extended period and has refused to extend time for service, permit retrospective alternative service or make an order dispensing with service (Higgins and others v ERC Accountants & Business Advisers Ltd and another).
  • The County Court has considered a defendant’s liability for costs following late acceptance of the claimant’s Part 36 offer in proceedings under the fixed costs regime in CPR 45, and in particular the relationship between CPR 36.13 and CPR 36.20 (Parsa v Smith).
  • The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims came into force on 1 October 2017.
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service has suspended a pilot scheme to hear cases outside the current traditional 10 am to 4:30 pm court day until February 2018.
  • Downing Street has announced the appointment of Lord Mance as the new Deputy President of the Supreme Court.


  • The National Audit Office has published its modern slavery and human trafficking statement 2016-17.


  • The Department of Health has published non-statutory guidance for schools on the use of emergency adrenaline auto-injector devices.


FOI and data protection:

  • The Data Protection Bill 2017-19 has had its first reading in the House of Lords. A second reading including general debate on all aspects of the Bill is scheduled for 10 October 2017.
  • Clauses 161 to 163 of the Data Protection Bill 2017-19 set down new proposed criminal offences under the legislation.


  • The Court of Protection has confirmed an earlier court ruling that a court order will not be necessary in cases of patients in minimally conscious states, where all parties are in agreement about the withdrawal of treatment (M v A Hospital).


  • The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced that the government will be launching a social housing Green Paper.
  • The Chartered Institute of Housing has published a report, Building Bridges: a guide to better partnership working between local authorities and housing associations. The report, which makes various recommendations to the government, states that a closer relationship between local authorities and housing associations is essential in order to meet housing need.

Local government law:

  • The Local Government Association has published its submission to the Autumn Budget 2017, detailing the financial pressures faced by local government organisations.
  • The South West Audit Partnership, carrying out an investigation on behalf of Herefordshire Council, has reported that a £1m overspend on a council project was caused by council officers disregarding council procedure.

Property and planning:

  • The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 (Commencement No 2) Regulations 2017 have been made and brought into force various provisions of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 on 22 September 2017.
  • The Water Act 2014 (Commencement No 9 and Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2017 has been made.
  • The government has published a consultation on proposals to reform the planning system to increase the supply of new homes and increase local authority capacity to manage growth in England.
  • The National Assembly for Wales has published a briefing paper on compulsory purchase orders in Wales.
  • DCLG has amended its guidance Compulsory purchase process and the Crichel Down Rules, with the addition of a compulsory purchase model compensation claim form and guidance notes.
  • Falcon Chambers and Hogan Lovells have developed a new protocol for use where neighbours are in dispute about the location of the boundary between their properties.

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The ECJ has handed down its judgment on an appeal by the European Commission against a General Court decision annulling a Commission decision that found a Slovak write-off of tax debt was incompatible with the state aid rules (European Commission v Frucona Kosice AS).
Practical Law In brief

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