REUTERS | Dani Cardona

In brief for week ending 16 August 2017

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 incapacitated adult who had a profound learning disability and functioned intellectually at the developmental level of a one to three year old, should be relieved of the obligation to fast during Ramadan (IH (Observance of Muslim Practice)).
  • The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against a council concerning its decision to ban the complainant from visiting his partner’s mother at the care home where she had been placed by the council (Investigation into a complaint against Nottinghamshire County Council).

Central government:

  • The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis has written to the House of Lords European Union Committee to provide an update on the outcome of the second round of Article 50 negotiations, which were held from 17 to 20 July 2017.

Children’s services:

  • The Family Court has:
    • outlined the process followed to transfer children subject to care proceedings, but habitually resident in Slovakia, from England to Slovakia (Kent County Council v C and others); and
    • considered hair strand test results that showed an absence of cocaine but low level amounts of cocaine metabolite when the mother claimed sustained abstinence (Re W (A Child: care proceedings)).


  • The director of vulnerabilities at the National Crime Agency has briefed reporters on the widespread scale of modern slavery in the UK.

Employment and pensions:

  • An employment tribunal has held that a cycle courier working for Addison Lee was a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) and the Employment Rights Act 1996, not a genuinely self-employed independent contractor (Gascoigne v Addison Lee Ltd).
  • The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have issued Case Management Orders staying claims and applications brought in reliance on the Supreme Court’s ruling that tribunal fees were unlawful.
  • A response to a consultation on the approach to calculating pension loss in the employment tribunal has been published.


  • The Mayor of London has published a consultation on a draft environmental strategy for London. The draft Environmental Strategy makes a number of proposals in six key areas.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Information Commissioner has held that a request for information and messages from the Cabinet Office’s cloud communications system (Slack) was vexatious in accordance with section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (ICO Decision notice: FS50667128).
  • The Information Commissioner has urged councils and other public bodies to voluntarily disclose fire safety information.
  • The ICO has announced that a former employee of an NHS Foundation Trust has pleaded guilty to two offences under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and been fined £1,050 in the Magistrates’ Court.
  • The government has published a statement of intent on the planned Data Protection Bill.
  • The European Data Protection Supervisor has published Opinion 8/2017 on the proposal for a Regulation establishing a single digital gateway and the ‘once-only’ principle.


  • The Court of Appeal has allowed a council’s appeal against an order of the High Court that had quashed two priority schemes in its housing allocation policy on the grounds that the schemes were unlawfully discriminatory (Ealing London Borough Council v H and others).
  • The High Court has allowed an appellant’s appeal from a possession order made in the county court in favour of the claimant council (Dacorum Borough Council v Bucknall).

Local government law:

  • The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has written to all local authority chief executives about identifying all residential tower blocks with aluminium composite material cladding.

Property and planning:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that the effect of an order transferring the “highway” of a Greater London Authority road to Transport for London was to transfer only the road surface and the top two spits of subsoil, not the entire interest in the land (Southwark LBC v Transport for London).

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection has published a study, “Legal Implications of Brexit: Customs Union, Internal Market Acquis for Goods and Services, Consumer Protection Law, Public Procurement”.
  • The Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service have published updated guidance on open standards for use in government technology.
  • The European Commission has announced that it has approved under state aid rules EUR15.5 million aid for renovation of the terminal at Denmark Aarhus Airport.
Practical Law In brief

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