Legal

Former employees convicted of fraud against council

13/09/2021

Two women have been found guilty of creating a 'phantom' employee to defraud a council and a charity out of more than £40,000.

High Court grants permission for ‘Levelling Up Fund’ legal challenge

24/08/2021

The High Court has granted permission for a legal challenge to the ‘Levelling Up Fund’ after campaigners accused the Government of using the fund for political purposes.

‘Shameless’ COVID fraudsters targeted 41 councils

11/08/2021

The actions of two companies that attempted to defraud dozens of councils out of COVID grants have been labelled ‘despicable’.

Councils urged to take more action against criminal landlords

04/08/2021

Over half of local authorities in England have failed to use new powers to issue civil penalties against rogue landlords in the past three years, a new survey has revealed.

District cancels 700 court summonses

28/07/2021

Harborough DC has apologised to residents after issuing hundreds of court summonses for unpaid council tax in error.

Have social services been negligent?

14/07/2021

Saara Idelbi and Conor Monighan consider the liability of local authorities in negligence where it is argued that social services should have intervened more quickly to remove children from their family homes.

High court rejects challenge of council's low traffic neighbourhoods

29/06/2021

A legal challenge against Lambeth Council's low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) has been rejected by the high court.

Council prosecutes firm over traffic jams

23/06/2021

Thames Water has been prosecuted by a London borough after creating what the council said were unnecessary traffic jams three times in less than a fortnight.

Council calls for sentence review after attack on litter warden

21/06/2021

Dudley Council has criticised the 'unduly lenient' sentences given to two men who attacked and racially abused a litter warden.

Vulnerable children ‘detained unlawfully’ in Scotland

07/06/2021

Vulnerable children in Scotland may have been detained unlawfully in secure accommodation, a new investigation has revealed.

Newborn baby care orders on the rise, research finds

04/06/2021

The majority of mothers facing urgent care proceedings are given less than a week’s formal notice that their newborn baby might be removed, new research has warned today.

Council secures high court ruling to protect safety of residents

18/05/2021

Thurrock Council has been granted an interim injunction by the High Court to prevent residents from living in an unsafe property.

Lambeth to reimburse £27m of water bills

06/05/2021

The decision follows years of legal wrangling over charges collected on behalf of Thames Water.

Virtual council meeting challenge dismissed by High Court

28/04/2021

Councils will not be able to continue to meet virtually after 6 May after High Court Judges dismissed a legal challenge by local government.

Council had 'truly toxic atmosphere,' tribunal hears

27/04/2021

The Hammersmith & Fulham LBC director at the centre of an unfair dismissal claim had been working in a ‘truly toxic atmosphere,’ an employment tribunal has heard.

Grenfell director dismissed while on sick leave, tribunal hears

20/04/2021

A council director who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after working on the Grenfell Tower response was dismissed while on sick leave, an employment tribunal has heard.

Council action sees Tesco fined £7.5m for selling out of date food

20/04/2021

Tesco has been fined £7.5m for selling out of date food after a successful prosecution brought by Birmingham City Council.

Professionals back use of standalone supervision orders

12/04/2021

Nine out of ten professionals think standalone supervision orders should continue to be an option in care proceedings, according to a new survey.

Virtual insanity: Councils hit out at refusal to extend meeting rules

26/03/2021

Councils will not be able to hold virtual council meetings after 6 May after the Government refused to budge on changes to legislation.

Sleep-in shifts legal battle ends

19/03/2021

A long-running legal challenge by care workers over pay worth £400m has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

Liverpool parks to be protected 'forever'

19/03/2021

Liverpool City Council has become the first local authority to legally protect the future of its parks and green spaces.

Landmark judgement brings rough sleeping clarity

11/03/2021

Councils have the legal powers to help people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) who are sleeping rough during the pandemic after a landmark judgement.

UK has broken air pollution law for a decade, top court warns

05/03/2021

The UK has 'systematically and persistently' broken legal limits on dangerous air pollution since 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled.

Woman jailed for defrauding London council

02/03/2021

A woman has been sentenced to 12-months’ imprisonment for defrauding the Royal Borough of Greenwich out of nearly £10,000.

Beware the agent of change

26/02/2021

Tom Cosgrove explains what planning decisions should be made to avoid significant adverse impacts from noise.

Council faces legal action over cycle lane removal

25/02/2021

A cycling charity is taking legal action against a council’s decision to scrap a cycle lane introduced during lockdown.

Ban on bailiff evictions in England extended by six weeks

15/02/2021

A ban on bailiff evictions has been extended until the end of March to protect renters during the current lockdown restrictions.

Treasury scraps cap on public sector exit payments

12/02/2021

The Government has dropped its controversial cap on public sector exit payments after admitting it had ‘unintended consequences’.

Mayor and TfL seek to appeal Streetspace judgement

11/02/2021

London mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) have applied to appeal a court ruling that deemed their Streetspace for London Plan unlawful.

The importance of managing public law and financial issues

08/02/2021

Tiffany Cloynes outlines what steps local authorities should take to avoid section 114 reports.

Council fined for death of girl following playground collapse

22/01/2021

A council in London has been fined £330,000 after a five-year-old girl died when playground equipment collapsed on top of her.

High Court rules London's Streetspace scheme was unlawful

21/01/2021

The High Court has overturned London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace for London Plan, which was introduced in May last year in response to the pandemic.

May elections to go ahead as council chiefs call for indemnity

21/01/2021

Local elections will go ahead on 6 May despite the ongoing pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled.

Commission proposes third option on integrated care

11/01/2021

The Health Devolution Commission (HDC) has called for a third 'health and prosperity' model of Integrated Care Systems.

London council ordered to keep schools open

15/12/2020

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has agreed to keep schools open after it was threatened by legal action from the Government.

Liverpool mayor steps down amid police probe

10/12/2020

Liverpool City Mayor Joe Anderson has stepped down from his post following his arrest last week.

Council drops COVID tier three legal challenge

09/12/2020

Stratford-on-Avon DC said new information had come to light following a response from the Government.

MHCLG demands updates after Liverpool mayor arrest

08/12/2020

Government officials have written to the chief executive of Liverpool City Council demanding updates on its governance after the arrest of the city’s mayor last week.

Liverpool mayor believed to be one of five arrested in police investigation

04/12/2020

Liverpool City Council Mayor Joe Anderson is believed to be one of five people arrested as part of an ‘ongoing investigation’, local newspaper reports have claimed.

The new cap on Public Sector Exit Payments

03/12/2020

Charles Pallot outlines the new Restrictions on Public Sector Exit Payments for local authorities and the clash with LGPS strain payments.

Stratford-on-Avon Council takes legal action over Tier 3

02/12/2020

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has sent the Government a Judicial Review pre-action protocol letter over its decision to place the area in Tier 3.

Police make first Grenfell arrest

26/10/2020

Detectives investigating the fire have arrested a man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

London council fines two rogue landlords £110,500

22/10/2020

Islington Council has fined two landlords £110,500 for providing dangerous and sub-standard housing.

Institutional Blindness – there is a cure

20/10/2020

Scott Dorling outlines some of the key lessons for local authorities in the recent public interest report into Nottingham's governance of Robin Hood Energy Limited.

External solicitors and Court of Protection finance deputyships – to instruct or not to instruct?

09/10/2020

Andrew Welch outlines the arguments for and against instructing external solicitors, explaining why it is a good option in appropriate circumstances.

Hundreds of homeless lives saved by emergency accommodation, researchers find

25/09/2020

More funding and emergency legal changes are ‘critical’ so local authorities can continue to support people in safe and secure accommodation, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has said.

Tribunal rules foster care workers entitled to employee rights

01/09/2020

A UK tribunal has ruled that foster care workers are council employees and therefore entitled to employment rights.

Council hits out at ‘flawed’ bus lane review

18/08/2020

Newcastle City Council has warned that a review into its bus lane signage contains a ‘number of legal errors’.

Roads to recovery

14/08/2020

Alex Glassbrook explores if councils were legally allowed to make amendments to traffic regulation orders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Convicted landlords warned over confiscation threat following COVID crisis

22/07/2020

Kevin Hegarty, QC, has warned that local authorities could legally go after law breaking landlords in a bid to cope with the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Taking action over an employee’s social media posts

22/07/2020

Daniel Piddington warns that councils need to tread carefully when staff bring them into disrepute using personal social media accounts.

Council seeks temporary drinking ban in London Fields Park

03/07/2020

Hackney Council is taking legal action to temporarily ban drinking in London Fields Park after high levels of antisocial behaviour.

Councils call for clarity on local lockdowns

16/06/2020

Councils this week called for clarity on the legal powers they will have if they are forced to implement local coronavirus lockdowns.

Evictions suspended for a further two months

08/06/2020

Council chiefs have welcomed the ban on evictions for a further two months.

Remote local authority meetings

08/06/2020

Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy outline the challenges and opportunities presented by conducting remote meetings in local government.

Council gets go-ahead for local plan judicial review

05/06/2020

Sevenoaks District Council has been given permission to bring a judicial review against the government's planning inspector’s after it refused to endorse its local plan.

Westferry Printworks scheme quashed after Jenrick accused of 'bias'

27/05/2020

The Government has agreed to revoke planning permission for the former Westferry Printworks on the Isle of Dogs after being accused of bias towards the developer.

Care home on the brink of collapse

18/05/2020

Care homes in the North East have issued a legal warning to North Tyneside council, claiming they could collapse within days without further funding.

Making use of a force majeure provision

27/04/2020

Michelle Craven-Faulkner and William Occleston explain how local authorities can make use of a force majeure clause, and what options are available if there is no such clause in a contract.

Risk and resilience around Covid-19

15/04/2020

Kella Bowers outlines the potential for future civil liability in social care.

Care home bosses disqualified for diverting £500,000 of council money

31/03/2020

‘Reckless’ care home bosses have been disqualified for diverting council funds and abandoning elderly residents.

Housing tenant issued Britain’s first ‘coronavirus injunction’

30/03/2020

The first ‘coronavirus injunction’ has been issued to a tenant in Manchester for breaking rules on social distancing.

Renters protected from eviction during coronavirus crisis

27/03/2020

Charities have welcomed moves to protect tenants from all ongoing housing evictions.

Union and council end dispute amid coronavirus crisis

24/03/2020

Trade union Unite has said its dispute with Veolia over holiday pay for refuse staff working at Tower Hamlets LBC has been resolved.

Council clerk convicted of breaking Freedom of Information Act

19/03/2020

A council employee has been fined for illegally deleting an audio file in the first conviction under the Freedom of Information Act.

Council to prosecute leisure centre over death of toddler Rocco Wright

18/02/2020

Leeds City Council has announced it intends to prosecute David Lloyd Leisure Ltd ‘in the near future’ over the death of Rocco Wright.

Councillor found guilty of two counts of fraud

13/02/2020

A Greenwich councillor who applied for social housing despite owning three properties has been found guilty of fraud.

Councils urge retailers to become 'no knife shops'

10/02/2020

Councils are urging retailers not to sell knives in an effort to tackle the knife crime epidemic.

Tackling and preventing modern slavery and human trafficking

10/02/2020

Tiffany Cloynes and Julia Shannon outline the opportunities local authorities have to tackle and prevent modern slavery from occurring in their areas

Councils slam Grenfell's witnesses' immunity request

07/02/2020

Councils would be unlikely to use products from any company that fails to cooperate fully with the Grenfell Tower inquiry, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Council ‘disappointed’ by decision to grant traveller camp planning permission

06/02/2020

East Herts Council has said that it is ‘extremely disappointed’ by the decision of a planning inspector to grant permission for travellers to remain on land where they set up an unauthorised camp.

Court finds in favour of museum in ‘landmark’ business rates case

17/01/2020

A long-running battle over how museums are valued for business rates has come to an end with a court ruling that they should be valued based on net income.

Medway caves after Ombudsman rap

16/01/2020

Medway Council has finally accepted the recommendations in a Local Government Ombudsman public interest report after a two-year stand-off.

Charity drops legal action against Glasgow Council

15/01/2020

Shelter has dropped legal action against Glasgow City Council after the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) announced it was intervening.

Union calls for Sanctuary Care homes to be brought ‘back in-house’

14/01/2020

Unite is urging councils who have contracts with Sanctuary Care to bring them ‘in-house’ after a criminal investigation was launched into one of its homes.

Council chiefs welcome £4m ‘rogue landlord’ fund

03/01/2020

Local authorities have welcomed a funding commitment by the Government aimed at cracking down on criminal landlords and letting agents.

Homeowner fined over £60,00 for ‘wilful damage’ to a protected tree

24/12/2019

A homeowner who damaged a 90-year-old tree so much that it had to be felled has been fined over £60,000 by magistrates.

Welsh government bans combustible cladding

23/12/2019

Welsh government has banned the use of combustible cladding on high rise buildings following the Hackitt review into fire safety after the Grenfell tragedy.

Former council employee who falsified air quality data convicted of fraud

20/12/2019

A former Waverley Borough Council employee has been given a suspended prison sentence for committing fraud after falsifying air quality data.

Rogue west London landlord fined over £400,000

18/12/2019

A landlord in west London has been ordered to pay £430,000 for illegally renting out her property to 15 tenants.

NHS business rates claim rejected by High Court

12/12/2019

Councils have successfully defended a claim for billions of pounds of tax relief for NHS trusts.

Wakefield council ‘overcharging’ cabbies, court rules

12/12/2019

A court has ruled that Wakefield council were overcharging local taxi drivers for a licence to trade in what could prove to be a landmark case.

Council loses court battle over £1m fatal bin lorry crash damages

11/12/2019

Glasgow City Council has failed in its bid to reclaim the £1m in damages it was forced to pay to the families of those who lost their lives in a bin lorry crash.

Rogue landlord fined for ‘endangering lives’

11/12/2019

A landlord in Birmingham has been successfully prosecuted and ordered to pay close to £20,000 for breaching housing regulations.

Council fined £500,000 after death of woman with dementia

10/12/2019

A council has been fined half a million pounds and has apologised following the death at one of their care homes of a woman with dementia.

Court rules adoption service ‘discriminated against’ couple

09/12/2019

A court has awarded a couple £120,000 in damages after their local adoption service turned them away because of their Indian heritage.

Councils could lose millions in utilities repayments after court ruling

04/12/2019

Local authorities could be facing repayments worth millions of pounds to council tenants in excess water charges, after a High Court ruling last week.

London council sues contractors for £130m over ‘fire safety failings’

29/11/2019

Camden Council has launched legal action against a group of contractors over ‘multiple fire safety failings’ that led to the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate two years ago.

Council wins battle to ban anti LGBT protests

26/11/2019

Birmingham City Council has won a court battle to permanently ban anti-LGBT protests outside a local primary school.

Council secures ‘unusual’ legal order against home improvement firms

07/11/2019

Gateshead Council has used a little-used piece of legislation to take enforcement action against two home improvement agencies.

Councils spending more than £4m on SEN tribunals

28/10/2019

Local authorities spent £4.3m on handling and contesting special educational needs tribunals last year - an increase of nearly a quarter compared to the year before.

Ashford BC’s local plan ‘legally sound’, court rules

11/10/2019

The High Court has rejected a case brought against Ashford Borough Council’s local plan, which the court concluded was legally ‘sound’.

Home Office urged to review abortion clinic buffer zone decision

09/10/2019

Charities and medical bodies have today written to the Home Secretary to ask for an ‘urgent review’ of a decision taken last year not to install buffer zones around abortion clinics.

Glasgow faces legal battle over homeless services

03/10/2019

Shelter Scotland has launched a legal battle against Glasgow City Council over failures in its homelessness service.

Councils vs network operators?

01/10/2019

The Electronic Communications Code reduces red tape, but in doing so it cuts the potential revenue property owners stand to make and risks pitting local authorities against operators. Zoe Wright reports.

Biffa fined for £350,000 over contaminated China shipment

30/09/2019

Waste management firm Biffa has been fined £350,000 for trying to send contaminated household waste to China.

Facing up the future?

27/09/2019

Sue Chadwick urges local authorities to think hard before using Automatic Facial Recognition technology on publicly owned land and buildings.

Named person scheme dropped

20/09/2019

A mandatory named person scheme for every child in Scotland – underpinned by law – will not now happen, deputy first minister John Swinney has announced.

Funding boost for councils to crack down on illegal green belt development

13/09/2019

Councils will receive nearly £2m to help tackle illegal development on the green belt.

High Court overturns Highworth election result

09/09/2019

Swindon Borough Council has welcomed a High Court decision to overturn an election which saw the wrong candidate elected as a councillor.

Sutton Councils IoT pilot project image

Sutton Council's IoT pilot project

David Grasty, head of digital strategy & portfolio for Kingston and Sutton Councils, outlines how in-home sensors have improved the safety of vulnerable residents living in social housing.
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Gloucestershire County Council
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Brent Council
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