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In brief for week ending 3 January 2018

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:

Central government:

  • The House of Commons has voted to amend the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 to prescribe “exit day” as 29 March 2019 at 11.00 pm and to empower ministers to amend this in the event that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is extended.
  • The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation for a Council Decision for supplementary negotiating directives for the next phase of the Article 50 discussions with the UK.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper looking at the path towards “sufficient progress” in the first phase of Brexit negotiations and the joint report agreed by the UK government and the EU on 8 December 2017. The paper also looks at other recent developments and parliamentary consideration of Brexit.

Civil litigation:

  • The European Parliament has published a report, The implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. In particular, the report provides an analysis into the role of the UK in the development of judicial cooperation in civil matters, specifically as regards the impact of the loss of the Recast Brussels Regulation on individuals and businesses post-Brexit, and how the UK can continue to participate in the Lugano Convention.


  • The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has clarified that the proposed post-Brexit independent environmental standards watchdog will initially only cover England and environmental areas that are not devolved.

Employment and pensions:

  • A draft set of regulations, the Investigatory Powers (Interception by Businesses etc. for Monitoring and Record-keeping Purposes) Regulations 2018, have been published and will eventually replace the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000.
  • The EAT has considered whether a tribunal was right to exclude evidence of pretermination negotiations under section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 in an unfair dismissal claim, when there was doubt over the effective date of termination (Basra v BJSS Ltd).
  • The Local Government Association has published guidance providing clarity for councils on their role in the prevention of modern slavery.

FOI and data protection:

  • The ECJ has confirmed that handwritten exam scripts submitted at a professional examination and any examiner comments constitute a candidate’s personal data to which the candidate has a right of data subject access (Nowak v Data Protection Commissioner).
  • The ICO has published a series of frequently asked questions for the education, health and local government sectors on the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • The Article 29 Working Party has published its adopted guidelines on transparency under the General Data Protection Regulation for consultation.


  • The Court of Appeal has held that a housing association landlord’s “purposive and pragmatic” compliance with its policies did not render a decision to issue notice to a tenant under section 21 of the Housing Association 1988 unlawful on public law grounds (Declan Ahern v Southern Housing Group Limited).
  • The government has published its response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (now the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government) consultation of December 2016 on proposed banning order offences under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Local government law:

  • The Home Office has published updated statutory guidance for councils and police officers on anti-social behaviour powers.

Property and planning:

  • The Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) (Amendment) Order 2017 has been made and will come into force on 1 June 2018.
  • The Secretary of State for the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced new measures aimed at stopping unfair practices within the residential leasehold market.
  • The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government has published the government’s response to the consultation on possible reforms of the licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The response indicates the government’s current plans for changing the HMO licensing regime in England.

Public procurement:

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