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In brief for week ending 7 October 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.

Children’s services:

  • The Family Court has held that a psychiatrist’s application for disclosure of documents from care proceedings in which he was instructed as an expert, and from GMC fitness to practise proceedings for the purposes of recovering his reputation after negative media coverage, was disproportionate (Re C (A Child)).

Civil litigation:

  • The majority of changes being introduced by the 81st Civil Procedure Rules update came into force on 1 October 2015. The 81st CPR update includes amendments to practice directions and introduces new practice directions.
  • The MoJ has published court statistics for the quarter April to June 2015.


Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has considered whether employees who had been temporarily laid off work immediately before a service provision change could be part of an organised grouping of employees within the meaning of regulation 3(3)(a)(i) of TUPE 2006 (Inex Home Improvements Ltd v Hodgkins and others).
  • The Scottish Government has published a consultation on improving the diversity of board members and on lowering the 150-employee threshold for publishing gender pay gap information and equal pay statements as required by the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
  • The European Commission has adopted a Roadmap on the evaluation of Council Directive 79/7/EEC on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment of men and women in the area of social security.
  • The High Court has upheld an appeal from a determination of the Pensions Ombudsman and found that the eligibility of a former NHS employee for permanent injury benefit under the NHS Injury Benefit Scheme should have been assessed having regard to her existing medical condition (Young v NHS Business Authority).
  • The Pensions Ombudsman has held that the University of Cambridge, as employer, and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, as trustee company, misconstrued their respective roles under the Universities Superannuation Scheme rules in deciding whether a member was eligible for ill-health early retirement benefits from active service (Determination in a complaint by Ms B).

FOI and data protection:

  • The ECJ has given its judgment on whether authorities are able to charge for the provision of property search information under the environmental information regime (East Sussex County Council (Judgment)).
  • The General Court has given its decision in a challenge brought by ClientEarth and the International Chemical Secretariat to a refusal by the European Chemicals Agency to disclose information relating to 365 substances regulated under the EU REACH Regulation 2006 (ClientEarth v European Chemicals Agency).
  • The DCMS has published the government’s response to the European Commission’s consultation on the evaluation and review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services under the Digital Single Market Strategy.
  • The ICO has issued Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd with a record monetary penalty notice of £200,000 for making automated marketing calls without the recipients’ prior consent.


  • The Department of Health has published advice to local authorities on delivering universal health visitor reviews, with effect from 1 October 2015.
  • The European Commission and the expert panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH) have launched a public consultation on the Preliminary Opinion of the EXPH on Access to health services in the EU.


  • The Local Government Association has published the results of research it commissioned into the likely costs associated with the right to buy extension.

Local government law:

  • The Charity Commission has published a regulatory case report on charity land, describing the circumstances in which it may authorise a land swap by a local authority trustee in order to preserve designated land.
  • HM Treasury has announced plans to devolve a number of powers to local government in relation to local taxes, and in particular business rates.

Property and planning:

  • The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (Commencement No 1) (Wales) Regulations 2015 have been made and brought into force sections 35 and 36 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 in Wales on 1 October 2015.
  • The ECJ has handed down its ruling on a reference from a Belgian court as regards whether Article 13 of the Authorisation Directive precludes local authorities from introducing a tax on telecommunications operators for pylons, masts and antennae installed in the local area (Mons v Base Company SA).
  • The Welsh Government has announced new practice guidance to help local planning authorities carry out an employment land review and develop an economic development evidence base in support of local development plan policies.
  • The government has announced the launch of the National Infrastructure Commission.
  • The Law Society has published a revised version of the LPE1 leasehold property enquiries form for residential properties and a new buyers information summary.
  • The changes to the Housing Act 1988 section 21 notice procedure introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. The amended procedures place further restrictions on when a landlord can serve and enforce a section 21 notice in relation to residential properties let on assured shorthold tenancies.
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has launched a new arbitration service for construction and engineering disputes.

Public procurement:

Practical Law In brief

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