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In brief for week ending 12 August 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:

  • The Care and Support (Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
  • The Court of Protection has appointed successive deputies for a young woman suffering from autism (Re H).
  • The LGO has published its report on a complaint against a council, concerning the refusal to provide direct payments to meet the needs of a disabled adult, on the grounds that it would contravene the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • confirmed that an application for leave to oppose an adoption application cannot be transferred to another jurisdiction under Article 15 of Brussels II Revised (Re CB (A child)); and
    • dismissed an appeal against orders that a child, who had been removed from England and taken to Pakistan, was habitually resident in England when the mother’s partner issued her application (B (A child) (Habitual residence) (Inherent jurisdiction)).
  • The High Court has:
    • ordered GPS tagging of the parents from three families who are alleged to have attempted to take their children to Syria in support of the Islamic State (Re X (Children) and Y (Children) (No 2));
    • as part of committal proceedings, handed down an aggregate six months custodial sentence, suspended for 15 months, in respect of five charges including breaches of an order and contempt of court (Re Hancock); and
    • invoked its inherent jurisdiction to revoke an adoption order, considering the case to be highly exceptional (PK and Mr and Mrs K).

Civil litigation:

  • The Ministry of Justice has published the making document setting out practice direction changes as part of the 81st update to the Civil Procedure Rules.
  • The Court of Appeal has considered the correct approach to granting relief from forfeiture where a tenant had wilfully granted an underlease in breach of the terms of its lease where the lease had a capital value (Freifeld and another v West Kensington Court Ltd).
  • The High Court has:
  • In the Law Society’s annual lecture at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, HHJ Milwyn Jarman QC has made some noteworthy observations regarding devolution and the potential divergence in the laws of England and Wales.


  • BIS has published:
    • the government’s response to its consultation on proposals to nullify clauses that prevent assignment in a debtor’s terms of sale; and
    • the responses to its consultation on whether small businesses should have similar protections as consumers when purchasing goods and services.


Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has held that:
    • a tribunal erred in ruling that a number of alleged acts of detriment did not form part of “a series of similar acts” under the regulations protecting fixed-term employees and part-time workers from less favourable treatment, as they had occurred over a series of discrete contracts, and so were largely out of time (Ibarz v University of Sheffield); and
    • it was fair to dismiss an employee that made derogatory comments about his employer on Facebook (British Waterways Board v Smith).
  • The European Commission has published a Roadmap to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families, and formally withdrawn the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 92/85/EEC.
  • The Government Actuary’s Department has issued guidance to relevant government departments to assist scheme administrators to review the cases of retired police officers and firefighters.
  • HM Treasury has published Consultation on a Public Sector Exit Payment Cap to examine the government’s proposals to introduce a cap of £95,000 on the total value of exit payments available to public-sector workers.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ICO has published the monetary penalty notice it has issued to Instant Cash Loans Ltd, imposing a fine of £180,000 for failing to keep customers’ personal information secure, in breach of the seventh data protection principle under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • The European Commission has published its latest report on public access to documents, covering the year 2014.


  • The High Court has held that an allocation scheme that established an absolute exclusion from the housing register for those who did not meet residency requirement was unlawful (R (HA) v London Borough of Ealing).

Property and planning:

  • The High Court has held that a local authority was liable to a buyer for an incorrect reply in a local authority search result, which the buyer relied upon when purchasing a property (Chesterton Commercial (Oxon) Ltd v Oxfordshire County Council).
  • The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that a local authority framework agreement may count as a qualifying long term agreement for the purposes of the service charge consultation requirements of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea v Lessees of 1-124 Pond House, Pond Place, London SW23 and others).
  • The Welsh Government has issued a consultation on the draft Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of a Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2015 and the accompanying guidance for ratepayers. The consultation ends on 14 September 2015.
  • The Land Registry has:
    • simplified the process for postponement of charges with effect from 10 August 2015; and
    • changed the address for applications by post, DX and personal delivery and set up a postal redirection service for mail that used old addresses.

Public procurement:

  • The Scottish Government has published an analysis of the responses it has received to the February 2015 consultation on changes to the to the public procurement rules in Scotland to implement the new EU Directives.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The High Court has ruled on several issues related to criminal behaviour orders. These replaced anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) with effect from 20 October 2014 under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Director of Public Prosecutions v Bulmer).
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