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 Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (Social Enterprise, Co-operative and Third Sector) (Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
- The Care and Support (Eligibility)(Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
- The Adult Protection and Support Orders (Authorised Officer)(Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
- The Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Social Services have published a guide for commissioners of adult social care to help ensure that commissioning decisions and practices embed Mental Capacity Act principles.
- The National Audit Office has published a report setting out information on the approaches local authorities are using to implement the first phase of the Care Act 2014 reforms.
- The Court of Appeal has allowed a local authority’s appeal against a recorder’s refusal to make findings that the younger of two siblings was likely to suffer significant harm and that many of the older sibling’s injuries were non-accidental (Re L-K).
- The High Court has:
- considered how applications without notice should be dealt with and whether a mother can apply for orders to protect her daughters (Re E (children) (Female genital mutilation protection orders)); and
- highlighted two required steps when a party is considering making an application, after a request for a transfer of proceedings to the Czech Republic under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised was severely delayed (Re X, Y and Z (Children: care proceedings)).
- The Family Procedure Rules 2010 have been updated to include practice and procedure to be followed in applications for female genital mutilation protection orders. Minor amendments have also been made to Practice Directions 3A (Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings), 4A (striking out a statement of case), 5A (forms) and 30A (appeals).
- The Ministry of Justice has published a consultation on behalf of the Family Procedure Rule Committee on proposed amendments to the Family Procedure Rules, including a new draft Part 3A, concerning children and vulnerable witnesses giving evidence and participating in family proceedings.
- The High Court has:
- refused a late application for re-amendment of a defence on the first day of a trial (Harb v Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz);
- considered an application to withdraw an admission of liability (Cavell v Transport for London); and
- made a costs order on the indemnity basis against a litigant in person. The litigant in person had made a committal application that was fundamentally flawed and left a third defendant exposed to significant costs (H v Dent, McKay and Harman).
- The Judiciary has announced:
- The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Commencement No 2 and Transitional Provision) (England) Order 2015 has been made and will bring into force Chapter 4 of Part 3 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in England on 1 September 2015.
- The Home Office has published the results of its consultation seeking views about the provision in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requiring transparency in supply chains.
- The High Court has refused leave in two linked cases (an application to renew and an application for permission) in which the claimants challenged the decision of a council to close two primary schools in its area (R (Wiggins and another) v Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council).
- The Department for Education has published an updated guide on the free school application process for groups wishing to open schools in September 2016.
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has upheld a tribunal’s decision that the scope of regulation 13, Agency Workers Regulations 2010 is limited to providing agency workers with a right to be informed of vacancies within the end user company. It rejected arguments that agency workers were entitled to be afforded equal status with comparable permanent employees in being considered for a vacancy (Coles v Ministry of Defence).
- Further to publication of the Trade Union Bill, BIS has published a European Convention on Human Rights Memorandum addressing the compatibility of changes that will be made by the Bill with Convention rights.
- From September 2015, fluent English will be a legal requirement for all public sector employees who work in a customer-facing role.
- HM Treasury has published a consultation on the government’s proposals to introduce a cap of £95,000 on the total value of exit payments to public sector workers.
- The Low Pay Commission has opened a consultation on the government’s planned changes to the national minimum wage.
- BIS has published a consultation paper on implementing the Posted Workers Enforcement Directive.
- The government has published a consultation seeking views on the creation of an offence that would prohibit the use of the terms “apprentice” or “apprenticeship” in relation to any course or training in England unless it is in relation to a government funded apprenticeship.
- The Pensions Ombudsman has issued an announcement about a series of complaints he has received regarding the restructuring of the Police Pension Scheme under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.
- The Infrastructure Act 2015 (Commencement No 4) Regulations 2015 have been made. They bring into force, on 31 July 2015, obligations on the Secretary of State relating to safeguards for onshore shale gas fracturing under section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015, by inserting sections 4B(4)-(7) into the Petroleum Act 1998.
- The Court of Appeal has quashed a conviction for waste offences under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 because it considered that the Crown Court had not given sufficient direction to the jury on the definition of waste (R v Jagger).
- The Environment Agency has published its response to a consultation on proposed new standard rules and amendments to existing standard rules for some waste activities under the Environmental Permitting regime.
FOI and data protection:
- The Supreme Court has granted Google permission in part to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in Google Inc v Vidal-Hall and others.
- The FTT(IR) has ruled that the commercial interests exemption under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applied to information about two tenders (one winning, one non-compliant), for a leisure management contract being tendered (Ballan v Information Commissioner).
- The government is consulting on proposals to introduce fees for tribunal appeals from the decisions of the Information Commissioner.
- The National Archives and the Information Commissioner’s Office have published guides to the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.
- The European Data Protection Supervisor has adopted an opinion on the draft Data Protection Regulation designed to inform the upcoming trilogues between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.
- The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the notification requirement for creating a secure tenancy under paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 requires a local authority to notify a tenant that the tenancy is to be regarded as secure at the date of grant, and not at some unspecified date in the future (London Borough of Wandsworth v Tompkins and another).
- The government has announced new measures to tackle rogue landlords as part of its commitment to reducing illegal immigration.
Local government law:
- The government has published a consultation on proposals to devolve to local areas the power to set their own Sunday trading rules.
Property and planning:
- The Supreme Court has held that non-contiguous floors occupied in the same building by the same business should be treated as two separate hereditaments for non-domestic rating purposes (Woolway v Mazars).
- The Court of Appeal has:
- The Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service have published: