REUTERS | Sharif Karim

In brief for week ending 7 December 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 Law Commission has confirmed that, following the closure of its consultation on the law of mental capacity and deprivation of liberty, a final report with its recommendations and a draft Bill will be published in March 2017.

Central government:

  • The government has published its response to the Strathclyde Review: Secondary legislation and the primacy of the House of Commons.

Children’s services:

  • The Court of Appeal has confirmed that although a formal care plan is not required for an interim care order to be made, the court needs to have sufficiently detailed information about the local authority’s plan for the child (Re L (Children)).
  • The High Court has:
    • made an adoption order in respect of an Egyptian orphan, who had been brought to England by her British foster mother. The order was made without regard to the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity’s objections. The Egyptian Ministry had legal responsibility for the child in Egypt, but could not be regarded as the child’s guardian under the Adoption and Children Act 2002
      (Z (A Child) (Egyptian fostering UK adoption));
    • made final child arrangements orders for children who were found to have no habitual residence after their removal without consent from Scotland and retention in England. The court did not lose jurisdiction despite the children returning to Scotland (AS v TH (No 2) (Jurisdiction to make final orders)); and
    • set aside an anonymity order made in a negligence claim to protect the identity of the foster carers to allow the claimant victim to tell her story freely where findings were made against her former foster carers of physical, emotional and sexual abuse (Natasha Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council).
  • The Family Court has explained what should take place legally and practically after the court has decided to make a request for a transfer of proceedings to another member state under Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2001/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters, and matters of parental responsibility (Re Z (A Child) (Article 15 stay)).

Employment and pensions:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a Written Ministerial Statement announcing its proposed increases to statutory sick, maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay from April 2017.


  • HMRC has responded to its May 2016 consultation on proposals to amend the definition of a taxable disposal at a landfill site and for information on the disposal of certain types of hazardous material. HMRC has also published draft legislation in the Finance Bill 2017 and a tax information and impact note for landfill site operators.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a consultation on its guideline, Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health.
  • The Welsh Government has published a consultation on the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill 2016-17.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which sets out and governs the powers available to the police, security and intelligence agencies to gather and access electronic communications, has received Royal Assent.


  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published ten fact sheets by way of background information on the measures within the Homelessness Reduction Bill 2016-17.

Local government law:

Property and planning:

  • The Court of Appeal has considered whether a competent landlord could agree terms for a lease extension that would bind the intermediate landlord and whether doing so was contrary to the intermediate landlord’s human rights (Kateb v Howard De Walden Estates Ltd and another).
  • The High Court has overturned an earlier summary judgment decision that allowed a buyer to rescind a conditional contract despite the ambiguous drafting of the rescission clause (Dooba Developments Ltd v McLagan Investments Ltd).
  • The Welsh Government has opened a consultation on its proposals to update the model clauses, amend two of the short-term improvements in Part I of Schedule 8 to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 for which a landlord must compensate an outgoing tenant, and revoke the Agriculture (Calculation of Value for Compensation) Regulations 1978.
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has written to Chief Planning Officers announcing £800,000 of available funding for 2016/17, to help mineral planning authorities process shale planning applications.

Public procurement:

Practical Law In brief

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