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In brief for week ending 5 October 2016

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 Protection has held that a litigation friend has a generally unrestricted power to conduct proceedings and can arrange for a patient subject of those proceedings to attend court and give evidence (A County Council v AB).

Central government:

  • The Prime Minister has announced that Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March 2017 and that the Queen’s Speech will include a Great Repeal Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper discussing diversity in the democratic institutions of the UK.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has overturned a decision of a Costs Master that an appellant’s provisional assessment costs should be capped, even though the appellant had made a successful Part 36 offer in respect of the costs (Lowin v W Portsmouth & Co).


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the government’s intentions in respect of grammar schools in England.

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has held that an employment tribunal erred in characterising two workplace union officials as employees of a union for discrimination law purposes (Unite the Union v Nailard).
  • The Local Government Pension Scheme (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 2016 have been laid before Parliament, and will come into force on 1 November 2016. The government’s response to its consultation on a draft version of the regulations has also been published.
  • The Pensions Ombudsman has held that in exercising its discretions on early payment of deferred benefits, an LGPS employing authority did not direct itself correctly as to the law, failed to inform the member of his appeal rights and wrongly appointed two decision-makers who were previously involved in the matter (Determination in a complaint by Mr Davies).

FOI and data protection:

  • The FTT(IR) has held that aggregated financial information relating to a proposed wind turbine development held by a council engaged the exception provided by regulation 12(5)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, but that the public interest weighed in favour of disclosing the information (Peter Higham v Information Commissioner and another).
  • The European Data Protection Supervisor has issued an opinion on the coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big data.


Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The European Commission has:
    • published in the Official Journal an implementing decision on the identification of ICT technical specifications for referencing in public procurement;
    • announced its decision that Lithuania’s planned public support to Science and Technology Parks is in line with EU state aid rules;
    • announced that it has sent a reasoned opinion to Slovakia in relation to its failure to properly implement the provisions of the Remedies Directive by finalising the re-evaluation of tender for a railway reconstruction contract;
    • published a policy brief newsletter on state aid transparency; and
    • launched the Eurostat Guide to the Statistical Treatment of Public-Private Partnerships, which is intended to provide a clear overview of the potential impact of PPPs on government finances.
  • The government has published contractual documents and supporting information for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project.
  • The Crown Commercial Service has published a list of the framework agreements through which government and public sector organisations can procure common goods and services.
  • The European Ombudsman has published a decision finding no maladministration by the European Commission in its treatment of “interested parties” in the context of an in-depth state aid investigation.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The CMA has published a letter sent to the Chief Licensing Officer of the City of Sheffield in relation to Sheffield City Council’s plans for regulating taxis and private hire vehicles.
Practical Law In brief

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