Legal intelligence for professionals in local government.

This update contains brief details of recent Government publications, legislation, cases and other developments relevant to those involved in local government work, which have been published in the previous two weeks. Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.

All links are correct at the date of publication. The following topics are covered in this update:  

   Adult Social Care    Enforcement
   Audit    Equality and Discrimination
   Bribery and Corruption    Fire and Rescue Authorities
   Children's Services    Highways
   Delivery of Services    Maladministration
   Education    Procurement
   Elections    Rating
   Emergency Planning      
   Bevan Brittan's Local Government Training Programme 


Adult Social Care

Commission on Funding of Care and Support: Fairer care funding: the Dilnot Commission has published its final report on changes to the funding of adult social care in England. It recommends that costs should be capped and the means-tested threshold increased. Instead of individuals paying all their care costs until they have assets of less than £23,250, as under the current system, the proposals would mean that those with high care costs would only pay up to a set amount and after that their care costs would be paid for by the State. The Commission estimates that its proposals, based on a cap of £35,000, would cost the State around £1.7bn.
Among the recommendations in the report are:
  • individuals’ lifetime contributions towards their social care costs – which are currently potentially unlimited – should be capped. After the cap is reached, individuals would be eligible for full state support. This cap should be between £25,000 and £50,000. The Commission considers that £35,000 is the most appropriate and fair figure;
  • the means-tested threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, should be increased from £23,250 to £100,000;
  • national eligibility criteria and portable assessments should be introduced to ensure greater consistency;
  • all those who enter adulthood with a care and support need should be eligible for free state support immediately rather than being subjected to a means test;
  • a new universal deferred payment scheme for anyone who would be unable to afford care charges without selling their home. Local authorities should be allowed to charge interest to recover their costs, to make the scheme cost neutral, and to remove the disincentive they currently face in promoting the scheme;
  • new social care legislation should place duties on local authorities to provide information, advice and assistance services in their area, and to stimulate and shape the market for services;
  • the Government should review the scope for improving the integration of adult social care with other services in the wider care and support system.

The Government has stated that it welcomes the report. It will consider each recommendation carefully to test whether it meets the wider objectives for reform, including increased personalisation, choice and quality, closer integration of health and social care and greater prevention and early intervention. The Government will need to consider the acknowledged significant costs of implementing the reforms against other calls on constrained resources. The Government wants to create a social care system that offers people and their carers choice and personalised, high quality care. It will be engaging with the care sector over the autumn to develop and refine its priorities and plans for action, bearing in mind the financial context. (4 July 2011)

DH: The cost of implementing personal health budgets: this third interim independent evaluation report on the personal health budgets pilot programme looks at set-up costs involved for the 20 in-depth evaluated pilot sites to implement personal health budgets. Costs examined include project management, system development, workforce development and support planning and brokerage. (15 July 2011)

DH: The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework - Handbook of definitions: sets out the technical detail of each measure in the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, with worked examples. It aims to minimise confusion and inconsistency in reporting and interpretation. (15 July 2011)

R (McDonald) v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC [2011] UKSC 33 (Sup Ct): M appealed against the dismissal of her application for judicial review of the local authority's decision to reduce funding for her care. M had limited mobility and suffered from a bladder condition which required her to urinate during the night. The local authority provided an interim care package including a night-time carer to help her access a commode. In October 2008, the local authority decided that M's needs could be met by providing incontinence pads to use at night rather than a carer, and it decided to reduce the funding for her care accordingly. M considered that being treated as incontinent (which she was not) and having to use pads.was an intolerable affront to her dignity. She contended that the authority's decision was inconsistent with her assessed need for assistance at night to use the commode, and that the local authority's failure breached her rights under art.8 ECHR and under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Court of Appeal held that the care plan reviews were to be read as including a reassessment of M's needs. There had been no breach of either human rights or DDA duties: taking any policy or practice had been justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, namely the equitable allocation of limited care resources.
The Supreme Court held, dismissing M's appeal, that it was open to an authority to make a reassessment in circumstances including that (i) there had been a change in the eligibility criteria for the assessment of needs; (ii) there had been relevant medical or technological developments which justified a change; and (iii) the authority had simply had further thoughts and changed its mind as to what was the proper assessment of the need. Assessments and care plan reviews were usually drafted by social workers, not by lawyers, and should be construed in a practical way against the factual background in which they were written and with the aim of seeking to discover the substance of their true meaning. Adopting that approach, the care plan reviews contained reassessments of M's needs. On the human rights issues, the authority's decision could not properly be characterised as a "practice, policy or procedure" within the meaning of s.21E of the 1995 Act; rather, in taking the impugned decision, the authority was doing no more and no less than their statutory duty. Furthermore, their acts constituted "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim" within the meaning of s.21D(5). The fact that the documentation contained no express reference to s.49A of the 1995 Act did not mean that they had failed in their general duty under this section. Where a public authority was discharging its functions under statutes which expressly directed their attention to the needs of disabled persons, it was entirely superfluous to make express reference to s.49A and absurd to infer from an omission to do so a failure on the authority's part to have regard to their general duty under the section. The decision was one for the local authority on the particular facts of the case and it was nothing short of remarkable to characterise their decision as irrational. (6 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Olwen Dutton.

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HC Communities and Local Government Committee: Audit and inspection of local authorities: this report scrutinises the Government's plans to abolish the Audit Commission and to make substantial changes to the way in which audit of local government is to take place, looking at the significant questions of principle and implementation in regard to public audit and performance management that these proposals raise. The Committee highlights its concerns over significant risks to accountability for public money unless new legal and practical arrangements are put in place to uphold the vital principle of auditor independence. It argues that the forthcoming Public Audit Bill must set out a number of key principles to govern public audit arrangements in the future, including strict adherence to the principle of auditor independence; a majority of independent members on any local audit committee; and additional safeguards to ensure the continued effectiveness of public interest reporting. It welcomes the LGA's proposals for sector-led performance management, but calls on the Government to clarify arrangements for intervention in the exceptional cases of serious corporate or service failure.  It also repeats the call made in its recent Localism report for the Government to examine the contribution which robust local government scrutiny arrangements could make to improving local government performance. (7 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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Bribery and Corruption

Bribery Act 2010 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2011 (SI 2011/1441): this Order, which came into force on 1 July 2011, makes consequential amendments to secondary legislation to take account of the abolition of the common law offences of bribery and embracery, and the repeal of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889, and the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1906 and 1916 by the Bribery Act 2010. The changes include amending reg.23 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 to make section 1 and section 6 offences mandatory grounds for exclusion. (9 June 2011)

MoJ: Bribery Act 2010 – Guidance about procedures which relevant commercial organisations can put into place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing (section 9 of the Bribery Act 2010): the Bribery Act 2010, which came into force on 1 July 2011, creates a new offence under s.7 which can be committed by commercial organisations which fail to prevent persons associated with them from bribing another person on their behalf. An organisation that can prove it has adequate procedures in place to prevent persons associated with it from bribing will have a defence to the s.7 offence.  This statutory guidance helps commercial organisations of all sizes and sectors understand what sorts of procedures they can put in place to prevent bribery. (1 July 2011)
There is also a non-statutory Quick Start Guide which sets out the key points.

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Peter Keith-Lucas.

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Children's Services

Cabinet Office: Early intervention - Smart investment, massive savings: this is the second report of Graham Allen's early intervention review. The first report Early Intervention: the next steps was published in January: that underlined that many of the costly and damaging social problems for individuals can be eliminated or reduced by giving children and parents the right type of evidence-based programmes 0-18 and especially in their earliest years. This new report sets out how to pay for those programmes within existing resources and by attracting new non-government money. The key recommendations are:
  • it is a policy objective that all babies, children and young people should have the social and emotional bedrock essential for their future development and their ability to make effective life choices;
  • an Early Intervention Task and Finish Group made up of experts from across Government departments will improve Government leadership and co-ordination by establishing, measuring and progress-chasing Early Intervention outcomes;
  • the expected “Families and the Foundation Stage” statement must include regular and purposeful assessments for the 0-5s to help spot and correct dysfunction early;
  • an independent Early Intervention Foundation will be set up to promote Early Intervention, spread best evidence based policies and complement the work being done inside Government. The Prime Minister should challenge private, local and philanthropic sources to co-fund a  £20m endowment  to sustain the  Foundation;
  • additional non-government money should be sought for investment in Early Intervention; payment by results through outcome based contracts should be promoted and funded from within existing budgets;
  • as part of building a social finance market there should be an Early Intervention Fund(s) to raise around £200m of private investment;
  • HM Treasury should commission a thorough review of Early Intervention growth incentives ahead of the 2012 Budget.

(4 July 2011)

DfE: Core purpose of Sure Start Children's Centres: this draft discussion document sets out the Government’s overall goal for children’s centres, and draws on the views of experts in the sector to set out how children’s centres can achieve this.  The intention behind the core purpose is to enable greater flexibility for local authorities and children’s centres to commission services based on an assessment of local need. DfE is asking for comments on the draft, in advance of the finalised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (currently out for consultation). Views on the core purpose will also feed into a broader consultation, later in the year, on updating the statutory guidance on Sure Start Children’s Centres. (6 July 2011)

DfE: Establishing a new Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England (OCCE) - Consultation on legislative proposals: seeks views on how the Government intends to implement the recommendations from Dr John Dunford's review of the Children's Commissioner that require a change to legislation. The consultation closes on 29 September 2011. (7 July 2011)

DfE: A child-centred system - The Government’s response to the Munro review of child protection: sets out the Government's response to Professor Eileen Munro’s recommendations to reform the child protection system that were published in May 2011. The response outlines the Government’s intention to build a system focused on the needs, views and experiences of vulnerable children. Ministers agree with Professor Munro that the current system is overly focused on complying with procedures and targets as a measure of success. The new approach is based on developing professional expertise and providing a range of help and services to children and families that meet all their needs. The Government states that it will reduce central regulation and prescription and place greater trust and responsibility in skilled professionals and local leaders to bring about long-term reform.
The Children's Minister Tim Loughton has written to local authorities, schools and early years providers on the changes. (13 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Caraline Johnson.

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Delivery of Services

Cabinet Office: Open Public Services White Paper: seeks comments on the Government's plans for radical changes to the way in which public services are delivered. The proposals are based on five key principles: Choice; Decentralisation; Diversity; Fair access; and Accountability. 
  • People are to have a right to choice enshrined in law.
  • Services will be opened up to new providers, with diversity the default setting, and the State will need to justify why it runs a monopoly service.
  • In selected areas, commissioners will have to seek and fully consider a minimum of three providers when they contract for services, and transparently link payment to results. 
  • Communities and neighbourhoods will be able to commission services at "hyper-local scale".
  • The Government will consult with local authorities about how to further open up locally commissioned services in areas such as customer contact, property and facilities management, family support, back office services, support for looked after children and housing management. 
  • The Government will look at applying the Foundation Trust model to other public services, and will explore extending different models of increased independence and a more diverse provider base to children’s centres – including considering employee mutuals and how to achieve a greater role for voluntary and private sector providers.

There will now be a “listening period” over the summer, enabling a wide-ranging consultation with individuals, communities, public sector staff, providers and others with an interest in how public services are delivered. This will be followed in November by details of how Departments will take forward ideas to implement open public services over the rest of this Parliament, including proposals for legislation. (11 July 2011)
Bevan Brittan has published an overview of the White Paper's proposals and their implications for public bodies: Public services open for business.

Cabinet Office: £30 million fund for charity support services opens ...as BIG pledges extra £20 million: announces that the Transforming Local Infrastructure Programme is now open for applciations. The £30m fund, which is managed by Big Fund, the non-lottery arm of the Big Lottery Fund, is intended to help improve access to high quality advice and support for people who run community groups, charities and social enterprises. Big Fund has also pledged a further £20m for infrastructure development in the future. Grants will be made to applicants who provide support services across one or more upper tier local authority area, and will be between £250,000 and £400,000 per upper tier local authority area or up to £600,000 for local authority areas that have a population of over 1m people. Interested organisations should register online by 5 August 2011. (15 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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DfE: Health & safety - Advice on legal duties and powers for local authorities, head teachers, staff and governing bodies: summarises the existing health and safety law relevant to schools and explains how it affects local authorities, governing bodies, headteachers and other school staff. It covers activities that take place on or off school premises, including school trips. It replaces a number of guidance documents on health, safety and security in schools. (4 July 2011)
DfE has published a template Consent form for for school trips and other off site activities that schools can ask parents to sign when a child enrols at the school. For most activities consent is not required at all. This one-off form will cover a child’s participation in any of the types of activities where consent is required, throughout their time at the school.

HSE: School trips and outdoor learning activities - Tackling the health and safety myths: this statement clarifies misunderstandings about the application of health and safety law that may discourage schools and teachers from organising trips, such as frustrations about paperwork, fears of prosecution if the trip goes wrong, and the belief that a teacher will be sued if a child is injured. It gives clear messages to tackle the myths about bureaucracy and prosecution. (4 July 2011)
See also the HSE's consultation Proposed replacement for the licensing regime for adventure activities established under the Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995 in England that seeks views on proposals to abolish licensing requirements for caving, climbing, trekking and water sports activities. The consultation closes on 21 September 2011. (29 June 2011)

Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1627): these regulations, which come into force on 1 September 2011, consolidate and update SI 1999/2257 and its amending regulations that set out the requirements for a non-maintained special school to be approved, and continue to be approved, by the Secretary of State. They remove unnecessary requirements on the sector and realign the requirements for non-maintained special schools with those for maintained special schools. (8 July 2011)

DfE: Guidance for governing bodies on behaviour and discipline: this statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools is issued under s.88 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. It explains why maintained schools must have a behaviour policy, what the policy must cover, and the role of the governing body and headteachers in shaping their school’s behaviour policy. It replaces Chapter 2 of "School discipline and pupil behaviour policies – guidance for schools". 
DfE has also issued a number of associated documents on behaviour and discipline, including: 

The Education Bill currently going through Parliament includes measures to increase the authority of teachers to discipline pupils and ensure good behaviour so this guidance will be reviewed in the autumn 2011 after the Bill becomes law. (11 July 2011)

DfE: Reducing absence – ensuring schools intervene earlier: announces that the threshold at which a pupil is defined as “persistently absent”  is being lowered from 20 per cent to 15 per cent , in order to deal with the reality of pupil absenteeism in schools and its impact on their learning. The new threshold will be published in statistical releases from October 2011 onwards, with the old threshold being published alongside it; in addition, the DfE will also be releasing national figures showing the numbers of pupils who miss 12.5, 10 and 5 per cent of lessons. Ofsted will continue to take into account the number of pupils over the "persistently absent" threshold when looking at a school’s performance on attendance. They will explore ways of taking this new threshold into account in the 2012 framework, which is due to come into effect from January 2012. (12 July 2011)

Ofsted: Ofsted to trial spot checks on schools with behaviour problems: announces that Ofsted is to trial some unannounced monitoring visits of satisfactory schools where behaviour is a weakness. The trial will help determine whether unannounced visits are workable and give a clearer picture of behaviour in schools. The results will inform its future monitoring visits to schools where there is a significant need to improve behaviour. (14 July 2011)

DfE: New standards raise the bar for teachers: announces that the Government has accepted the recommendations of Sally Coates' review of standards for teachers. From September 2012, all teachers will be expected to meet new standards of competence and conduct, regardless of whether they are newly qualified or have been in post for many years. The new standards place a sharp focus on the key elements of teaching, including subject knowledge, managing behaviour and teaching pupils with a variety of special needs. (14 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Caraline Johnson.

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Cabinet Office: Draft electoral administration provisions: this Command Paper sets out draft legislation on three electoral administration provisions for pre-legislative scrutiny. The draft provisions:
  • extend the electoral timetable for UK Parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 working days and adjust a number of the deadlines which are fixed to the start of the electoral timetable;
  • make changes to the timing of polling place reviews to bring them in line with the proposals to set Parliamentary terms to 5 year periods;  and
  • enable a UK Parliamentary election candidate jointly nominated by two or more registered political parties to use on the ballot paper an emblem registered by one of the nominating parties.

The Cabinet Ofice has also published draft legislation on individual electoral registration that outlines the Government’s plans to tackle electoral fraud by replacing the current household registration system with individual registration. Every elector will have to register individually and provide identifying information which will be used to verify their entitlement to be included in the electoral register. The closing date for comments is 14 October 2011. (13 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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Emergency Planning

Cabinet Office: Phase 2 Consultation on revised chapters of Emergency Preparedness: seeks views on a number of revisions to the statutory guidance that accompanies the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The Annex gives a brief summary of the proposed chapter changes, including a table setting out the regulation amendments. The Cabinet Office does not anticipate that the changes will  result in any increase in the burden on responder organisations which currently comply with the regulations. The consultation closes on 27 September 2011. (4 July 2011)

DfT: Government announces updated coastguard reforms: announces further consultation on proposals to modernise the coastguard service and create a national network of coastguard stations. The consultation closes on 6 October 2011. (14 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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MoJ: Options for dealing with squatting: this consultation aims to gather more information about the extent of problems caused by squatters. It seeks views on whether, and how, existing criminal and civil mechanisms should be strengthened to deal with squatters, focusing on people who occupy buildings and their immediate surroundings. It does not concern unauthorised encampments on open land. The consultation closes on 5 October 2011. (13 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Kane Kirkbride

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Equality and Discrimination

EHRC: Research report - The equality duties and schools: this report looks at the action taken by schools in England and Wales under the former race, disability and gender equality duties, which have been superseded by the new Public Sector Equality Duty. It contains evidence from schools about the impact that the equality duties have had on improving pupil outcomes. There are also case studies and a policy paper Lessons for the future which makes recommendations for key organisations in the new policy landscape in education. (4 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Sarah Lamont.

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Fire and Rescue Authorities

National Audit Office: The failure of the FiReControl project: this report  is highly critical of DCLG's project to replace the 46 Fire and Rescue Services' local control rooms across England with nine purpose-built regional control centres linked by a new IT system. It finds that the project has been a comprehensive failure. It concludes that the FiReControl project was flawed from the outset because it did not have the support of those essential to its success. (1 July 2011)

DCLG: Future of fire and rescue control services in England - consultation: summary of responses: sets out the next steps for the future of fire and rescue control services in England following the decision to close down the FiReControl project, in light of responses to the April 2011 consultation. It states that the Government's strategy for the future is to build national resilience through local solutions. It also announces £81m funding for England's Fire and Rescue Authorities to help them develop their own solutions for improving resilience and efficiency. All FRAs will be invited to send a summary of their plans and these will be reviewed by DCLG to ensure that the funding offers value for taxpayers’ money and resilience benefits. An additional £1.8m (in total) will be available to fund initiatives from the sector that deliver cross‑cutting resilience and efficiency benefits. (5 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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Dalton v Nottingham CC [2011] EWCA Civ 776 (CA): the local authority appealed against the decision that it was liable for personal injuries sustained by D. D stumbled against a loose, raised and wobbling paving block and fell while walking across a pedestrianised area in the town centre. She sustained a serious and unpleasant injury to her leg. The authority later made a repair order that identified the area as being in need of repair because the stone in question was loose. The judge found that the fact that the stone was given a category 1 rating by the authority's highways inspector was clear evidence of its dangerousness. The local authority appealed, submitting that the judge had failed to follow a proper process of fact-finding; also, that he had imposed on the authority standards of inspection and maintenance which were simply too high and failed to recognise a proper balance between private and public interest.
The Court of Appeal held, dismissing the authority's appeal, that the judge's findings on dangerousness and causation could not sensibly be challenged. The judge had not lost sight of the need to make his own independent assessment of dangerousness. The issue of a category one repair order was a powerful pointer to the correctness of his conclusion. An "immediate or imminent hazard" was something which, in this context, presented a danger to users of the highway. Where a local authority had an inspection and maintenance regime couched in terms of the identification of an immediate or imminent hazard, the identification of a defect so defined was powerful evidence of the presence of a danger against the risk of which the authority could reasonably be expected to take steps to safeguard the public. Nor had the judge set the standard too high. Minor depressions and holes in pedestrian areas were a fact of life; here, however, the danger lay in the combination of height differential and instability, moreover it was in a particular area which called for vigilance going beyond even that which the area as a whole was acknowledged to attract. The judge's conclusion that the authority had not shown that they took such care as was in all the circumstances reasonably required to secure that this paved area was not dangerous and that the defence under s.58 of the Highways Act 1980 had not been made out was unassailable. (6 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Adrian Neale.

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Local Government Ombudsman: Homelessness - How councils can ensure justice for homeless people: this focus report looks at the serious mistakes some councils make when dealing with people with housing difficulties. People are legally entitled to help from councils if they are homeless or face homelessness within 28 days. Common areas where councils go wrong include:

  • failing to do enough to prevent people becoming homeless;
  • failing to look into whether a person needs help;
  • failing to recognise an application for help; or
  • failing to provide interim accommodation where someone is in priority need.

The report asks councils to consider how they can ensure that people who face homelessness get the help to which they are entitled. (5 July 2011)

Local Government Ombudsman: Annual report 10/22 - Delivering public value: the latest annual report from the LGO shows a 21% increase in complaints and enquiries dealt with at the initial point of contact, raising the number received to 21,840. Education and children’s services now forms the largest category of complaint considered by the LGO's investigation teams, increasing by 15% from last year, while adult social care complaints increased by nearly 50%. Complaints about planning have reduced. The Annual Report includes a number of case studies illustrating the range of complaints considered and the remedies for personal injustice caused by the actions of local authorities, care providers and schools. (14 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Bethan Evans.

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Alstom Transport v Eurostar  International Ltd and Siemens Plc [2011] EWHC 1828 (Ch) (Ch D): the High Court has for the first time considered the availability of the new ‘ineffectiveness’ remedy under the procurement regime. Although the decision relates to an award by a utility entity, the provisions in the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 relating to remedies and the availability of the ineffectiveness remedy are very similar to those applying to the public sector under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.
The case concerned E's decision to award a major contract for new trains to S.  A, the unsuccessful tenderer, contested this decision alleging breaches of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 linked to the specification and also the evaluation and scoring of tenders, failure to comply with general EU Treaty principles and breach of an implied tender contract. At a High Court hearing in October 2010 the judge refused A’s application to prevent E from concluding the contract with S. In May 2011 A applied for a declaration of ineffectiveness of the concluded contract, contending that:
  • there was an award of a contract without prior publication of a notice in the Official Journal; and
  • there were breaches of the standstill requirements, thus depriving A of the possibility of starting or properly pursuing proceedings before the contract was entered into. 

The court held, striking out that part of A’s claim, that neither of the grounds claimed for ineffectiveness were satisified. The test of whether or not a notice had been publicised was mechanistic but there had to be a notice which was objectively capable of being related to the procedure and the contract. In this case the notice publicising the qualification system satisfied those requirements. The judge also held that the second ground was not available:  A was able to, and did, commence proceedings (the subject of the earlier hearing) before the contract was entered into and so had not been deprived of this opportunity. Obiter: A had submitted its claim outside the limitation period, so even if the ineffectiveness remedy had been available the claim would be time barred. (13 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Emily Heard.

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DCLG: Business rates information letter (4/2011) -Temporary increase in Small Business Rate Relief: the Chancellor announced in the 2011 Budget that the Government is temporarily increasing the level of Small Business Rate Relief, so that eligible small businesses occupying properties with rateable values up to £6,000 will pay no business rates for one year from October 2010. Small businesses benefiting from the rate relief taper (rateable values up to £12,000) may also receive significant reductions. This letter provides more information on this increase. (8 July 2011)

If you wish to discuss any of the items noted in this section please contact Peter Keith-Lucas.

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Bevan Brittan's Local Government Training Programme

Bevan Brittan has developed a well-recognised programme of training designed to assist local authorities in successfully implementing legal change. Led by key members of our local authority team, each session will clearly explain the key aspects of the law and the implications for local government. Using case studies and carefully selected complementary speakers, they will assist attendees in realising the full benefits of implementation and the dangerous pitfalls in failure to act.

Forthcoming seminars in 2011 include:
  • 13 September (Bristol) & 15 September (London): Procurement update
  • 21 September (London): Governance, service restructuring and social enterprise
  • 27 September (London) & 5 October (Birmingham): Outsourcing
  • 6 October (London): Education - where are we now?

Full details of our new Training Programme for 2011/12 will be distributed shortly - see our website

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