REUTERS | Bob Strong

In brief for week ending 13 January 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 House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the state of the care home market in England.

Children’s services:

  • The Children (Secure Accommodation) (Wales) Regulations 2015, which provide the detail to the power to place children in secure accommodation under section 119 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2016.
  • The Family Court has made findings against a local authority for breaches of a father’s human rights both pre and during care proceedings, because of the late identification of his having parental responsibility (Re C (A Child)).


  • The High Court has considered the scope of an exception to the rule that a party can rely on grounds for termination not initially raised. Other issues considered include the exclusion of common law rights to terminate a contract, variation of a contract by email, and audit provisions (C&S Associates UK Ltd v Enterprise Insurance Company Plc).


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on school admissions in state-funded mainstream schools in England.
  • The DfE has published:
    • new departmental advice on understanding and dealing with issues of parental responsibility; and
    • new guidance for schools on setting up or reviewing complaints procedures.


  • Defra has published:
    • a consultation on implementation of Commission Directive (EU) 2015/1127; and
    • the government response to its consultation on making flood defence consents part of the Environmental Permitting regime.
  • The Environment Agency has published a report on the findings of the river maintenance pilots across England from October 2013 to March 2015. These pilots trialled a new regulatory approach, to make it easier for farmers and landowners to carry out their own maintenance work on main rivers.

FOI and data protection:

  • The FTT(IR) has:
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office has published guidance on the exemptions for disclosure of information intended for future publication and research information, under sections 22 and 22A of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • The European Data Protection Supervisor has published two sets of guidelines on personal data and electronic communications and personal data in mobile devices, for the EU institutions and bodies.


  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the increase in number of homeless households in temporary accommodation in England.

Local government law:

  • The CMA has published a letter that it sent to the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive providing advice on competition issues that might arise from plans to reform bus services in the South Yorkshire region.


  • The Pensions Ombudsman has held that a Police and Crime Commissioner had a duty of care as employer to provide a police officer with relevant information about the tax penalties on his retirement benefits if he were re-employed within a month of becoming entitled to his Police Pension Scheme benefits (Determination in a complaint by Mr John Cherry).
  • The Pensions Regulator has published for consultation a draft policy explaining when and how it will exercise its prosecution powers in relation to criminal offences created by workplace pensions legislation.

Property and planning:

  • The Welsh Government has published:
    • the eighth edition of Planning Policy Wales, which sets out the policy framework for local planning authorities when preparing local development plans and determining planning applications.
    • a consultation document seeking views on revisions to Technical Advice Note 20: Planning and the Welsh language.
  • The government has published a consultation seeking views on the governance, structure and operation of the National Infrastructure Commission.

Public procurement:

  • The CMA has announced that it has worked with the Crown Commercial Service to develop an e-learning module to help central government procurers to spot and prevent bid-rigging.
Practical Law In brief

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