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In brief for week ending 1 June 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 an individual’s regime of private care and treatment and support was a deprivation of liberty under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights that required its authorisation by the making of a welfare order (Staffordshire County Council v SRK and others); and
    • issued suggested explanatory guidance for a family member or friend appointed as a representative under Rule 3A of the Court of Protection Rules 2007 (Re VE).

Children’s services:

  • The Children and Social Work Bill 2016-17 has had its first reading in the House of Lords.
  • The Court of Appeal has given guidance on how local authorities should provide full information and instructions when working with foreign authorities to obtain information and assess potential carers (Re V-Z (Children)).
  • The High Court has continued a reporting restriction order prohibiting publication of the names and details of a child, the child’s siblings and parents, who were arrested in connection with terrorist offences (Re S).


Employment and pensions:

  • The Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2016 have been made and will bring several provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 into force on 12 July 2016.
  • The EAT has held that:
    • an expectation for a disabled employee to work long hours amounted to a provision, criterion or practice for the purposes of a disability discrimination claim based on a failure to make reasonable adjustments (Carreras v United First Partnership Research); and
    • compensation for injury to feelings is not available for a failure to provide rest breaks under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (Gomes v Higher Level Care Ltd).
  • The government has published a consultation paper outlining proposals to amend the IR35 legislation for workers who provide services to a public sector engager through an intermediary.
  • A new in-depth report by Blueprint For Free Speech and the Thomson Reuters Foundation has measured UK whistleblowing law against international standards and highlighted specific measures needed to improve whistleblower protection.


FOI and data protection:

  • The FTT(IR) has ordered the disclosure of withheld information concerning the Chilcot Iraq invasion inquiry following an appeal against an earlier decision notice withholding disclosure under the qualified section 35(1)(a) exemption (formulation of government policy) of FOIA (Christopher Lamb v Information Commissioner (Freedom of Information Act 2000)).
  • The ICO has announced that a former waste management employee who unlawfully took information about former clients when he left his job has been prosecuted and fined under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • The Minister for the Cabinet Office has delivered a speech on keeping Britain safe from cyber attacks.


  • The High Court has held that a council had failed to undertake a housing needs assessment as required by section 192 of Housing Act 1996 in relation to an applicant seeking housing assistance (R (Smajlaj) v London Borough of Waltham Forest).
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the abolition of “lifetime” tenancies.
  • The government has published information for local authorities on the exemption from the new social housing rent regime under the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.
  • The Homes and Community Agency, in its role as social housing regulator, has published a consultation on changes to its registration criteria and use of powers.

Local government law:

  • The Local Government Association has published a guide to civil emergencies for councils and councilors.

Property and planning:

  • The Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 has received Royal Assent to become the Housing and Planning Act 2016. It contains provisions that may be of particular interest to property and planning practitioners.
  • The Court of Appeal has considered whether a land owner could prevent someone from claiming an easement over the land merely by placing notices indicating that the land was for private use only (Winterburn v Bennett).
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on planning for housing.
  • The DCLG has made a number of amendments to Planning Practice Guidance including the reinstatement of guidance on affordable housing contributions following the Court of Appeal’s decision in Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government v West Berkshire District Council and another.
  • The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a consultation on its process and methodology for producing a national infrastructure assessment.

Public procurement:

Regulation and enforcement:

Practical Law In brief

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