REUTERS | Daniel Munoz

This is the latest in our series of quarterly adult social care update blogs giving readers a snapshot of the most important cases, issues or developments in adult social care. This post looks at developments from January 2017 to April 2017. Please feel free to submit a comment below or send us an Ask query if you have any views on the cases, issues, or legal developments that are covered or if you think we have missed something that should be brought to the attention of adult social care practitioners.

In this post we look at:

  • The Spring 2017 Budget.
  • New legislation.
  • Recent case law.
  • Guidance and policy statements.
  • Local Government Ombudsman decisions.
  • House of Commons Library Briefing papers.

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REUTERS | David Bebber

On 22 November 2016, in ClientEarth’s judicial review of the government’s air pollution policy, the High Court ordered the defendant, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (SoS) to publish a draft modified Air Quality Plan (AQP) by 4pm on 24 April 2017, and a final Air Quality Plan by 31 July 2017 (see Legal update, ClientEarth succeeds in judicial review application to quash government’s December 2015 air quality plan (High Court)).

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REUTERS | Toby Melville

In his speech to the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) on 9 May 2017, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir James Munby called upon social workers to end the practice of separating elderly couples against their wishes when one or both of them move to care home accommodation, describing the practice as “simple inhumanity” (The Times, Wednesday 10 May 2017). His remarks have been followed by calls from care providers for new rules to prohibit elderly couples from being separated and placed in different care or nursing homes against their wishes.

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REUTERS | Ina Fassbender

Councillor conduct has been a hot topic in local government in recent years, manifested in the duty for each local authority to promote and maintain high standards of conduct under Part VII of the Localism Act 2011, backed by the requirement to adopt a code covering the conduct of councillors from their time of election as representatives of their constituents. Maintaining high standards in public life ultimately reflects on those who make decisions and the decision-making bodies they represent, and at a time of austerity and cuts to local government budgets, the need to maintain those high standards is greater than ever. The management of alcohol licensing under the Licensing Act 2003 as part of the work of local government is no exception to these requirements, and the proper conduct of licensing hearings is central to that process. Continue reading

REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

On 7 April 2017, in R (SDC LLP) v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2017] EWHC 771 (Admin), the High Court dismissed a judicial review challenge brought by a disappointed bidder to the decision by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to appoint a rival consortium as preferred bidder for the purchaser of the UK Green Investment Bank Plc.

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