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In brief for week ending 9 December 2015

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:

  • Two sets of regulations have been made dealing with care and support in Wales under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which will come into force on 6 April 2016.
  • The Court of Protection has provided further guidance on its approach to payments for care provided by family members of a person lacking capacity (known as gratuitous care allowances) (Re HNL).
  • The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on the Care Act 2014 first-phase reforms and local government new burdens.
  • The Office of the Public Guardian has published an updated version of its safeguarding policy for children, and adults at risk of abuse.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has confirmed that there is an expectation that lawyers and the court should strive to finalise care proceedings at the Issues Resolution Hearing (RE v North Yorkshire County Council and others).
  • The President of the Family Division has issued new Practice Directions 5B and 9B, along with amendments to existing practice directions.

 Civil litigation:

  • The County Court has dismissed an appeal against an order refusing an extension of time for service of the claim form, particulars of claim and striking out the claim (Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Ltd).
  • The new Practice Direction 5B on communication and filing of documents by email came into effect on 7 December 2015.



  • The High Court has allowed a judicial review application against an assertion by the Secretary of State for Education that newly issued GCSE Religious Studies subject content was “consistent with the requirements for the statutory provision of religious education in current legislation” (R (Fox and others) v Secretary of State for Education).
  • The DfE has published a consultation on the government’s proposals on the rights of parents and childcare providers to request wraparound and holiday childcare.

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has:
    • upheld a tribunal’s decision that part-time property judges were treated less favourably than their full-time tax judge comparators under the Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000 (Ministry of Justice v Burton and another); and
    • allowed an appeal against an employment tribunal’s decision that there was no service provision change under TUPE 2006 where a new owner of a university campus appointed a new security provider, purportedly on an interim basis, pending an expected redevelopment of the site (ICTS UK Ltd v Mahdi and others).
  • An employment tribunal has upheld a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments, brought by a disabled NHS employee who failed to achieve the required score in a competitive interview for an internal post (Waddingham v NHS Business Services Authority).
  • The Department for Work and Pensions has published proposed benefit and pension rates for the tax year beginning on 6 April 2016, including figures for Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay, Maternity Allowance, and Statutory Sick Pay.
  • The DCLG is consulting on proposals to introduce a prudential approach to securing a diversified investment strategy in the Local Government Pension Scheme.


FOI and data protection:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a decision notice finding that the commercial interests exemption in section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 was not engaged where the information is of significant age.


  • The Code of Practice for Landlords and Agents licensed under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was brought into force in Wales on 23 November 2015.
  • The government has launched a “cutting red tape” review to identify barriers to growth and productivity in the house building sector.

Local government law:

  • The First-tier Tribunal has published two decision notices relating to the asset of community value regime under the Localism Act 2011.
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority has suggested that local authorities providing “reserved legal services” will only be permitted to continue to provide these if they are delivered through an authorised entity, such as an ABS.

Property and planning:

  • The Supreme Court has considered whether a tenant that exercised a break clause should be refunded rent and other payments for the period after the break date (Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd and another).
  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • confirmed that, as a matter of EU law, local planning authorities in Wales have a duty to give reasons for screening opinions that an environmental impact assessment is not required, even though the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 do not specifically require this (Jedwell v DH and another); and
    • considered the standard of reasons required when planning permission is granted for development that has a detrimental impact on a listed building (Jones v Mordue and another).
  • The DfT has launched a consultation on the property compensation and assistance schemes for Phase 2a of HS2.

Public procurement:

  • The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No 2) Order 2015 has been made and will bring into force certain provisions of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 on 11 January 2016.
  • The Crown Commercial Service has published a Procurement Policy Note providing guidance on the use of the new standard EU forms and notices for public procurement.
  • The European Commission has published a statement following the first regular meeting on public procurement between the Commissioner for Regional Policy and the Internal Market Commissioner.

Regulation and enforcement:

Practical Law In brief

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