Northants reorganisation stalled amid election


Plans to reorganise cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council have stalled amid the general election.

Queen's Speech 19: Brexit, health and devo at the heart of Government plans


Brexit, the NHS and devolution are at the heart of the next round of Government legislation as outlined in the first Queen’s Speech today.

Plans for voter ID bill branded 'dangerous and undemocratic'


Plans to introduce voter ID across the whole country have been branded ‘dangerous, misguided and undemocratic’ by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS).

Named person scheme dropped


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

Calls to scrap ‘draconian’ Vagrancy Act


A new report has argued the 1824 Vagrancy Act, which makes rough sleeping and begging illegal in England and Wales, is ‘inhumane’ and should be scrapped.

Sunak brings forward revaluation of business rates


Business rates will reflect property values more accurately after a shake-up being introduced in new legislation.

Security fears after candidate addresses published


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

Unfair evictions to be banned under new proposals


The Government has outlined plans to abolish short notice and unfair evictions for private renters in England.

Labour promises to repeal nineteenth-century Vagrancy Act


The Labour Party has announced that they plan to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824 which criminalises begging and rough sleeping.

A missed opportunity?


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.

Christchurch reorganisation challenge defeated


Christchurch BC may launch an appeal after a High Court judge today refused its challenge to local government reorganisation plans.

Councils should not pick up costs of reversing ‘staircase tax’ warn MPs


Councils should not be financially worse off if the Government decides to reverse the controversial ‘staircase tax’, MPs have warned today.

Amendment to protect free bus passes announced


The Government has announced a change in legislation that will ensure free bus passes for older and disabled people will be protected for the future.

IFS implores action over growing social care funding chasm


The Government will need to scrap its funding reforms, significantly boost top-ups or centralise care if it is to plug the social care funding gap, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned today.

Mandatory reporting calls rejected by Government


Ministers today rejected calls for the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse – claiming an effective case for a new law has not been made.

Council chiefs support ‘common sense’ reform to noise pollution law


Council leaders have thrown their support behind a campaign which will see a person or business responsible for a change in noise conditions being held responsible for managing that change.

Inspectors sent in to probe Northamptonshire Council's finances


Local government secretary Sajid Javid has ordered a best value inspection of Conservative-led Northamptonshire CC amid continuing concerns over its financial management and corporate governance.

Councils win high-value home reprieve


Local authorities will not be forced to sell high-value council homes until at least April 2019 after lobbying from the sector.

Preventing progress


Ashley Bijster argues that outdated legislation has become a barrier to smarter urban living.

Councils urged to act on nuisance hedges


Councils in Scotland are not always using legislation to tackle overgrown hedges effectively, an investigation by MSPs has revealed.

Northern Ireland council leaders call for local government reform


Council leaders in Northern Ireland have called for an ‘urgent’ review of legislation required to complete local government reform.

Councils to be banned from adding credit card fees


Councils will no longer be allowed to charge extra for people making credit or debit card payments, under new rules unveiled today.

A legal duty to prevent homelessness


Neil Merrick explores the impact and financial burdens the new Homelessness Reduction Act will have on local authorities.

Think tank calls for ‘overhaul’ of local democracy in Scotland


A think tank has published a ‘blueprint’ for a complete overhaul of local governance in Scotland via the introduction of primary legislation.

Campaigners seek judicial review of Government’s ‘extreme surveillance regime’


Civil liberties campaigners are launching a legal challenge against the ‘extreme mass surveillance powers’ in the Government’s new Investigatory Powers Act.

Over 200 London families to relocate to Canterbury


The law should be changed to restrict councils from re-housing large numbers of people outside their own districts, the leader of Canterbury City Council has said.

Taking the strain off unpaid carers


Paul Smith calls on local authorities to use the disabled facility grant to support carers as well fund adaptations.

Trade Union Act threat to ‘a fundamental British liberty’, TUC says


Whitehall’s controversial Trade Union Bill passed into law yesterday despite accusations it poses ‘a serious threat’ to industrial relations.

Dog microchipping law to deliver significant savings for councils


Local authorities are expected to save up to £33m a year now that compulsory dog microchipping has come into effect.

There should be a law against it


Graeme Creer examines new regulations, which are supposed to be make it easier for local authorities to make new byelaws.

Inflation-proofing of pensions could cost councils £1bn warns firm


Reforms to state pensions could cost local authorities and their contractors up to £1bn due to a ‘quirk of legislation', consulting firm Mercer is warning.

Reform of Welsh public services ‘still too slow’


Welsh public services need to radically change if they are to meet the challenges they face now and in the future, according to the Auditor General (AG).

Tougher powers to tackle waste crime


The Government has introduced tougher powers for tackling waste crime, which costs the country £568m a year.

MPs approve English votes for English laws plan


Plans to introduce ‘English votes for English laws’ have been voted through by 312 to 270 votes in the House of Commons.

Leave Scotland out of Trade Union Bill, UK Government told


The Scottish Government has asked that Scotland be excluded from the controversial Trade Union Bill, arguing it contradicts policy north of the border.

Treading carefully on signage


Find out why councils must ensure their variable message signs meet new government regulations.

Oldham seizes van with new fly-tipping powers


Oldham Council have used new powers to seize a vehicle suspected as being used for flytipping.

Vnuk: an involuntary risk transfer


How can local authorities prepare for upcoming changes to the Road Traffic Act to ensure that they are protected from any personal injury claims?

Boroughs get new powers over sign and street light placement


London streets could be emptied of ‘clutter’ under new legislation freeing boroughs from needing to gain permission for erecting lampposts and signs.

LGA pushes for annual devolution progress report


A report measuring progress towards greater devolution must be produced every 12 months, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

Wales plans e-cigarette ban amid stricter demands on councils


Smoking e-cigarettes could be banned in enclosed spaces and councils hit with new demands over local toilets under new Welsh public health laws.

Councils get new powers to seize waste crime vehicles


New legislation will make it easier for local authorities to stop, search and seize vehicles suspected of waste crime.

Fears raised over 'divisive' council prayers Bill


Measures that could grant councils powers to include prayers before meetings have been branded 'a recipe for divisiveness' in the House of Lords.

Council launches campaign in light of car smoking ban


A city-wide health campaign has been launched in Portsmouth ahead of a new law that will ban smoking in cars carrying children.

Late payment penalties could cost councils millions warns MP


Local authorities have been warned they could face millions of pounds in fines unless they prepare for changes in procurement legislation.

Government vows to protect forests from transfer to housing body


Publicly owned forests will be exempt from house building plans put forward by government bodies, following last minute pressure in the House of Lords.

City given green light for road racing first


Coventry is set to become the first city in the UK to stage competitive motorsport on its public roads.

Crime bill undermines ability to hold authorities to account, say lawyers


Peers are being urged to amend legislation that could open the door to ‘dodgy decision-making by public authorities’.

New legislation should pass 'obesity test' says report


The Government should create a dedicated taskforce to ensure all new legislation is assessed against an 'obesity test', according to a new report.

New guidance following baby ashes inquiry


Councils across Scotland will be issued with a range of guidance around improving the way they manage crematoria following an investigation into practices in Edinburgh.

Commission calls for greater fairness in spending decisions


There should be greater transparency in future spending reviews to ensure decisions made by government are 'fair to everyone', according to a new report.

Queen’s Speech advances pro-growth agenda


Continued capping of the overall welfare bill and support for house building took centre stage at today’s Queen’s Speech.

What should local government expect from the Queen's Speech?


Although the Queen’s Speech is unlikely to hold any great legislative surprises, there will be some announcements of great interest to local government.

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