Legal

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.

Hackney to take developer to court

02/09/2019

A London borough is preparing to take legal action against a developer over fire safety fears in a block of flats.

Lawyers warn 100 local authorities over climate change plans

02/09/2019

Environmental lawyers have threatened legal action against 100 local authorities across England unless they introduce new climate change plans.

New rules to increase housing deal transparency

02/09/2019

Councils will be legally required to publish deals with housing developers after new rules were introduced.

Council accused of acting ‘unlawfully’ over housing of homeless people

20/08/2019

Glasgow City Council has been threatened with legal action over its failure to provide homeless people with temporary accommodation.

Council loses appeal to keep publishing fortnightly newspaper

09/08/2019

Hackney Council has lost its final legal appeal to keep publishing its fortnightly newsletter, Hackney Today.

Councils accused of ‘criminalising’ businesses over rates arrears

05/08/2019

Local authorities are ‘criminalising’ struggling businesses such as pubs and shops by taking them to court over non-payment of business rates, a real estate advisor claims.

Council tenant fined £100,000 for illegal sublet

30/07/2019

A council tenant has been fined £100,000 and evicted from his property by Westminster City Council after he illegally sublet his flat through Airbnb.

Court date set for councils' £2bn tax dispute with NHS trusts

08/07/2019

A court date has been set for the long-running legal dispute between councils and NHS trusts over rates relief.

Council apologises for misinforming homeless teenager about their rights

05/07/2019

Essex County Council has apologised for turning away homeless children from care following a judicial review and has committed to better train its social workers.

Councils 'failing' to prosecute rogue letting agents

04/07/2019

The association representing landlords has accused local authorities of failing to prosecute rogue letting agents.

One in three councils fear funding for legal duties will 'run out’

02/07/2019

A third of councils fear they will run out of funding to provide statutory services, such as adult social care, by the end of this Parliament, survey reveals.

Birmingham City Council and Amey reach £300m deal

01/07/2019

Birmingham City Council has reached an agreement with Amey which will allow the outsourcing company to buy its way out of its highways contract for £300m.

Council to appeal 'town hall Pravdas' ruling

14/06/2019

Waltham Forest LBC will appeal after a judge backed Government attempts to stop it publishing a council newspaper every two weeks.

London Councils welcome drug dealers being jailed in ‘landmark’ slavery case

15/05/2019

Three ‘county lines’ drug dealers have been sent to prison in a landmark case using the Modern Slavery Act.

Councils call for tougher punishments for fly-tippers

13/05/2019

People convicted of fly-tipping should be handed tougher sentences councils have argued, after figures show no-one has been given the maximum punishment allowed since new guidelines in 2014.

Fatal accidents and criminal liability

08/05/2019

Fatal accidents are usually preventable which leads to questions of responsibility and criminal liability. Guy Bastable and Tom McNeill seek to explain when organisations and individuals will be found criminally liable, for which offences, and with what sanction.

Court rules voting provision for blind people is 'unlawful'

07/05/2019

The way in which blind or partially sighted people are able to vote has been declared ‘unlawful’ in a successful legal challenge.

Security fears after candidate addresses published

02/05/2019

Security concerns have been raised after a loophole forced councils to publish the home addresses of candidates standing in the EU elections.

Heathrow runway clears High Court hurdle

01/05/2019

The High Court has dismissed arguments against Heathrow expansion and found that the Government is free to ignore the Paris Agreement on climate action until it forms part of UK law.

Research finds 'legal aid deserts' across the country

29/04/2019

More than half of councils in England and Wales have no housing legal aid providers in their area, research has revealed.

Vicarious liability

02/04/2019

Helen Snow, senior associate in the employment team at Geldards LLP, looks at how to mitigate against the rogue employee.

Councils must finalise air quality plans or face legal action, lawyers say

27/03/2019

Environmental campaigners have written to 38 local authorities warning them to finalise their air quality plans or face legal action.

Black Country ban on 'car cruising' upheld in court

25/02/2019

Wolverhampton council has welcomed a decision by the High Court to uphold the local authority’s injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country.

Bristol council misses second deadline for clean air plan

22/02/2019

Bristol City Council has missed its second deadline for publishing its clean air plan due to concerns it would have an ‘adverse impact’ on low income groups.

Council to take legal action over Storm Doris death

22/02/2019

A West Midlands council has confirmed that it will pursue legal action against the building management company of the Mander Centre for the death of Tahnie Martin.

Birmingham's winter of discontent

15/02/2019

With a series of one-day strikes to go ahead in Birmingham, Mark Whitehead explores what led to this long-running dispute over waste collection.

Union refused an injunction over ongoing bin dispute

15/02/2019

A series of one-day strikes by refuse collectors in Birmingham is set to go ahead next week after a legal challenge by the Unite union failed.

Carers win right to appeal in £400m sleep-in shift battle

14/02/2019

The Supreme Court has granted carers the right to appeal in the ongoing sleep-in shift legal battle with a the mental health charity Mencap.

Union seeks injunction against Birmingham in long-running bin dispute

07/02/2019

Unite is taking high court legal action against Birmingham City Council for operating refuse vehicles without safety critical role.

Council considers selling off venues to fund equal pay settlement

04/02/2019

Glasgow city councillors are expected to rubber stamp a multi-million pound package this week to settle the long-running dispute over equal pay for women employees.

Stevenage Borough Council seeks judicial review of delayed local plan

01/02/2019

Stevenage Borough Council has decided to take legal action over the Government’s decision to delay the authority’s local plan for over a year.

Call for power to ban councillors

30/01/2019

Council standards boards should have the power to ban councillors for up to six months without allowances, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has recommended.

Third district joins legal action against Bucks unitary plan

28/01/2019

A third council has announced it will be taking legal action against the proposed new unitary council for Buckinghamshire.

Buckinghamshire districts threaten legal action over unitary plan

21/01/2019

Two Buckinghamshire districts have written to the Government warning they could launch legal proceedings over plans to create a single county unitary.

Glasgow agrees equal pay deal to end long-running dispute

17/01/2019

Glasgow City Council has struck an agreement in principle to resolve historical claims for unequal pay.

DWP’s interpretation of Universal Credit regulations ‘unlawful’, court rules

11/01/2019

The High Court today has ruled that the way the Department for Work and Pensions interprets Universal Credit regulations is ‘unlawful’.

Roles and responsibilities

08/01/2019

Tiffany Cloynes and Martyn Davies explore how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

Campaigners continue legal battle over two-child benefits

19/12/2018

Poverty campaigners are continuing their legal battle over the Government's two-child benefits policy in the Court of Appeal this week.

Brokenshire proposes specialist housing court

13/11/2018

The communities secretary has announced he is considering establishing a specialist housing court to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants.

Council prosecuted over Legionella case

08/11/2018

Tendring District Council has confirmed it is being prosecuted for failing to manage the risk of Legionella at its leisure centre sites.

Council's 'core offer' still leaves £33m deficit

05/11/2018

East Sussex CC’s chief executive Becky Shaw has laid out a ‘core offer’ that could risk the council’s ‘ability to meet statutory guidance and deadlines’.

Council hits back at 'illegitimate' loan claim

31/10/2018

Newham LBC has denied claims that decisions to enter into controversial high-interest loans were illegitimate.

Liberty to bring legal challenge against Legal Aid Agency

23/10/2018

A civil liberties group will take the Government to court over its refusal to provide legal aid to those wishing to challenge councils over their use of anti-social behaviour legislation.

A missed opportunity?

12/10/2018

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill should soften financial and operational pressure on local authorities, but it will still leave them open to legal exposure, argues Morris Hill.

Government acted ‘unlawfully’ over Dubs Amendment

04/10/2018

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the Government acted ‘unlawfully’ in not giving reasons to children refused entry to Britain under the Dubs Amendment.

Welfare support has 'collapsed' for many in England

19/09/2018

One in six top-tier councils are not providing vital welfare services devolved to them just as the sector’s budget cuts hit hard.

Court rules bereavement benefit restrictions breaches human rights

30/08/2018

Denying bereavement benefits to unmarried, cohabiting partners with children is incompatible with human rights law, court rules.

Council recovers housing benefit payments from rogue landlord

30/08/2018

In a landmark case, Thurrock council has successfully recovered housing benefit from a landlord who forced a tenant to live in appalling conditions.

Council first to use new legal powers to demand Brexit clarity

29/08/2018

The leader of Plymouth City Council is hoping to force the Government to reveal the impact Brexit will have on the city through the use of new legal powers.

Council secures injunction against travellers

17/08/2018

Bromley Council has been granted an interim High Court injunction to prevent illegal travellers from setting up in the borough.

Northamptonshire library closures ruled ‘unlawful’

15/08/2018

The decision to close 21 council-run libraries in Northamptonshire was made unlawfully, a court has ruled.

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