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: 

   Burials and Cremation    Employment
   Charging and Trading    European Union
   Children's Services    Finance
   Combined Authorities    Health and Social Care
   Communities    Housing
   Delivery of Services    Maladministration
   Democratic Services    Planning Policy
   Economic Development    Regulatory Services
   Education    Welfare and Benefits
   Emergency Services  

Burials and Cremation

Cremation (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/883): these regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2016, amend SI 2008/2841 by providing a statutory definition of ashes and by  removing the requirement for cremation authorities to keep paper copies of documents relating to cremations for two years where the documents are also kept electronically. (8 September 2016)

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

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Charging and Trading

The Durham Company Ltd (t/a Max Recycle) v HM Revenue and Customs [2016] UKUT 417 (TCC): DC, which provided commercial waste collection services, applied for judicial review regarding the VAT exemption afforded to local authorities carrying out certain trade waste collection and disposal services. DC contended that the local authorities engaging in the activity of trade waste collection services were not doing so "as public authorities" within the meaning of Art.13(1) of the Principal VAT Directive, but that a local authority which had chosen effectively to "go into the business" of providing trade waste collection services, doing so in competition with private sector operators, was not thereby acting in its capacity as a local authority, but rather was engaging in an activity which was equally open to a private sector operator under essentially the same legal conditions.
The court held, dismissing the application, that where a local authority was making supplies of trade waste collection services to business customers in its area and did so in the performance of its duties under s.45(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the supplies were “activities in which it is engaged as a public authority” within the meaning of s.41A(1) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 and Art.13(1). Section 45(1)(b) EPA 1990 was, or at least was capable of being, a "special legal regime" as laid down by EU case law; whether any particular local authority was acting as a public authority would depend on the facts relevant to that local authority. The tribunal considered at length the legal regime governing the provision of commercial waste collection services by local authorities and the relevant charging powers. (19 September 2016)

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

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Children's Services

DH: Mental health and wellbeing of looked-after children: Government response to the Committee’s fourth report of session 2015 to 2016: this paper addresses the Education Committee’s recommendations and conclusions in its April 2016 report. The Committee stated that looked-after children should be viewed as a priority for access to mental health assessments and never refused care based on their placement or severity of their condition. This paper sets out the Government's plans to improve mental health services for all children and young people, with £1.4bn invested up to 2002 to drive that improvement. Specifically, this includes £1.4m in 2016/17 followed by £2.8m annually, for the following three years, targeted at improved mental health support for the most vulnerable looked-after children and young people: those who are looked-after in secure children’s homes. (13 September 2016)

Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 937 (CA): this case considered the extent of the court's jurisdiction to make orders in wardship and/or under the inherent jurisdiction for the accommodation of a young person who was 17 years old.
When T was aged 14, she was removed to foster care, with her two siblings, under an interim care order. As under s.31(3) the Children Act l989 there was no jurisdiction to make a care order with respect to a child aged 17, the Council issued wardship proceedings making T a ward of court, shortly before her 17th birthday. The judge concluded that it was in the best interests of all three children to remain in foster care and, as no care order could be made in respect of a child who had reached 17, stated that she would exercise the inherent jurisdiction and order that the Council provide T with the appropriate care, therapeutic intervention and accommodation in a foster placement until she was 18. The court order stated that "T shall remain a ward of court during her minority" and that "T shall remain a ward of court and the Local Authority shall provide with appropriate care and accommodation in her current foster placement in accordance with the care plan". T's mother appealed, contending that the order cut across the express restriction on the use of the inherent jurisdiction established by s.100(2) of the 1989 Act and that the judge could not ignore the statutory restriction that no care order was to be made with respect to a child who had reached the age of 17 years.
The court held, dismissing the appeal, that case law did not support the proposition that the court, exercising its inherent jurisdiction, could authorise a local authority to provide care for a child where the local authority would not otherwise have power to do so under the statutory scheme. The most that the court might do was to support arrangements that were otherwise legitimately in place by making orders which were not excluded from the court's jurisdiction by s.100. The court could not use the principle in para 1.3(b) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, PD12D, that 'no important step can be taken in the child's life without the court's consent' to achieve by the back door an outcome, an outcome, namely a binding order requiring T to remain in local authority care, which the court was not permitted to bring in through the front door. The sealed court order did not, in contrast to the judge's stated intention, 'order' the local authority to accommodate T and maintain her in the current foster placement; it did no more than provide that 'T shall remain a ward of court during her minority'. It neither required T to be placed in care nor required her to be accommodated and simply provided a framework to facilitate and support the arrangements for T's accommodation which were being provided under the statutory scheme. There was no authority for the submission that the court had jurisdiction to extend wardship into adulthood. (9 September 2016)

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

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Combined Authorities

West Midlands Combined Authority (Election of Mayor) Order 2016 (SI 2016/933): this Order, which comes into force on 16 September 2016, provides for the introduction of a directly elected mayor for the area of the West Midland Combined Authority, and for the date of the first and subsequent elections to the role of mayor and the term of office. (15 September 2016)

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

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DCMS: £4 million grants to boost volunteering among over 50s: the Office for Civil Society and Nesta have announced three new grant funds totalling £4m to explore how more charities and public services can better tap into the skills and experience of volunteers over 50 for the benefit of all society. The three grant funds are the first to be funded through the second phase of the Centre for Social Action and will be managed by Nesta. (22 September 2016)

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

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Delivery of Services

R (Tilley) v Vale of Glamorgan Council [2016] EWHC 2272 (QB) (Admin Ct): T applied for judicial review of the council's decision to establish five community libraries. T contended that the Council had: irrationally determined that one library would be viable, without determining the number of volunteers available to staff the library; failed to consider the viability assessment; failed to comply with its duties under s.7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964; failed to comply with its Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under s.149 of the Equality Act 2010; and failed to have regard to the best interests of the children affected by the decision, as required by s.28 of the Children Act 2004.
The court held, dismissing the application, that the Council's decision was lawful:
• the Council had not acted irrationally in the way it approached the question of whether there would be sufficient volunteers to staff the library;
• with regard to the viability assessment, although ideally, more information could have been provided, in this case the information provided was sufficient to enable the Cabinet to conclude that the revised business cases were viable and to agree to establish the community libraries and to delegate authority to enter into legally binding agreements on the running of the library (with the matter returning to the cabinet if such agreements could not be reached);
• the Council was entitled to assess needs and service provision by reference to the needs of the population of its administrative area as a whole and it was not under a duty to consider whether the residents of each of the catchment areas where a community library was proposed would continue to receive comprehensive and efficient library service. There was no basis for concluding that the service that it would provide would fail to meet the requirements of a comprehensive and efficient library service for its area;
• the Cabinet did have regard to its PSED under the 2010 Act: the members were provided with full and detailed information on the potential impacts on groups with protected characteristics both of establishing each of the five proposed community libraries to replace existing council-run libraries and of closure of a particular library. They were told that they had to analyse the relevant material with the specific statutory considerations in mind. On any fair and reasonable reading of the material, it was clear that the Cabinet did discharge its duty under s.149;
• s.28 of the 2004 Act was not intended to incorporate, or give effect to, Art.3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The obligation under s.28 was to make arrangements to ensure that the relevant body's functions were discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. By contrast, Art.3 of the UN Convention used different language and was concerned with a different concept, namely ensuring that the best interests of the child was a primary consideration in the decision-making of relevant bodies. The two obligations might well often, perhaps frequently, overlap. The arrangements made to promote or safeguard welfare might well lead in particular cases to decisions which result in the best interests of the child being taken into account as a primary consideration. The two obligations were, however, conceptually and linguistically separate.
(13 September 2016)

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

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Democratic Services

Electoral Commission: The 2016 EU Referendum – Report on the 23 June 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union: this report finds that the EU Referendum was well run, with voters having a positive view of the administration of the referendum process. However, the report also acknowledges the scale and complexity of delivering the referendum for electoral administrators and says that legislation for the administration and regulation of future referendums must take on board the lessons from this poll. (13 September 2016)

Electoral Commission: An evaluation of electoral administration at the EU Referendum: this research report evaluates the quality of electoral administration and management using a survey and qualitative interviews with the electoral officials involved in managing it. It concludes that given the high profile nature of the referendum, the Chief Counting Officer, the Electoral Commission and electoral officials across the UK managed the referendum very well. However, there were aspects of the underlying electoral machinery which caused problems that manifested themselves during the referendum period. It concludes that the Electoral Commission could support reforms and promote debate around these issues, given its statutory duty to keep under review the legal framework governing elections in the UK. (13 September 2016)

Electoral Commission: The National Assembly for Wales General Election – Report on the administration of the 5 May 2016 elections to the National Assembly for Wales: this report concludes that elections were well-run, with few problems. Whilst the experience for voters was overwhelmingly positive, the report finds that the combination of these elections with the PCC elections posed significant challenges for Returning Officers, their staff and those involved in campaigning at the elections. (8 September 2016)

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

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Economic Development

Welsh Government: Taking Wales forward 2016-2021: sets out the Welsh Government’s five year plan to deliver more and better jobs through a stronger, fairer economy, improve and reform public services, and build a united, connected and sustainable Wales. The document outlines the Government’s priorities for delivering those improvements. The press release summarises the key commitments. (20 September 2016)

NLGN: The four forces that make cities successful: this paper by Barry Quirk considers how cities can offer the greatest opportunities to produce a blend of economic advantage, diversity and inclusion. It looks at the nature of the forces at play in cities and suggests that these forces need to be enabled but they also need to be tamed as what starts as being a force for urban success can end by distorting city economies and become a source of urban failure. (14 September 2016)

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

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DfE: Schools that work for everyone: seeks views on the Government’s proposals to expand radically the number of good school places available to all families, by: providing the right incentives for all schools with a strong track record and valuable expertise to expand their offer to even more pupils; leveraging the expertise of high performing institutions to set up new good places in the state sector as well as turn around existing schools; and delivering a diverse school system that provides all children, whatever their background, with schooling that will help them achieve their potential. It covers four key areas:
• expecting independent schools to support existing state schools, open new state schools or offer funded places to children whose families can’t afford to pay fees;
• asking universities to commit to sponsoring or setting up new schools in exchange for the ability to charge higher fees;
• allowing existing selective schools to expand and new selective schools to open, while making sure they support non-selective schools; and
• allowing new faith free schools to select up to 100% of pupils based on their faith, while making sure they include pupils from different backgrounds.
The consultation closes on 12 December 2016. (12 September 2016)

See also: Commons Library: Grammar schools in England briefing paper that provides an outline of the current position relating to grammar schools in England.

HC Women and Equalities Committee: Sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools: this report examines sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools and its impact on children and young people aged up to 18 years old. It finds an alarming inconsistency in how schools deal with sexual harassment and violence, which is mostly targeted at girls, a disregard for existing national and international equality obligations, and a lack of guidance and support for teachers. Despite calls from parents, teachers and young people for action to address sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools, the Committee found that neither Ofsted nor the DfE has a coherent plan to tackle this issue and to monitor the scale of the problem. Its recommendations focus on preventing harassment and violence. (13 September 2016)

LGA: Councils need more powers to tackle illegal schools: the LGA is calling on the Government to give councils the power to enter homes and other premises and see children to check the suitability of education being delivered if necessary, and to compel parents to register home educated children. The LGA also wants to see a clearer definition of a "school" to make it easier for Ofsted or the DfE to classify and close down illegal schools when they are uncovered. (16 September 2016)

LGA: Councils' potential £320 million bill to convert schools to academies: summarises the findings of a survey of LGA members on the potential cost of the Government's proposed plans to convert all schools to academies. The Government has indicated that Multi-Academy Trusts are its preferred model. Based on data from councils, the LGA estimates that this "sponsored" method could leave councils with up to a £320m bill. If schools were to use the "converter" method, in which they operate as a stand-alone organisation, the cost to councils could be £120m. (23 September 2016)

IPPR: Transitions at 14: Analysing the intake of 14–19 education institutions: this report considers the characteristics and pupil intakes of new types of school such as university technical colleges, studio schools and 14–19 free schools, and how they fit into the broader education system. (16 September 2016)

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

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Emergency Services

Welsh Government: Statutory duty on Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales to respond to flood and water rescue incidents: seeks views on a proposal to extend Welsh FRAs' duties so that flooding and water rescue incidents are included. As well as fighting fires and promoting fire safety, FRAs are required by law to respond to road traffic accidents and certain other incidents, such as chemical spills or rescuing people from collapsed buildings; however, there is currently no statutory duty for flooding or other water-related incidents. The consultation closes on 22 December 2016. (15 September 2016)

NAO: Upgrading emergency service communications – The Emergency Services Network: this report scrutinises government plans to upgrade the radio system used by the police, fire and ambulance services. It finds that the proposed system Emergency Services Network (ESN) is inherently high risk and there are significant technical challenges that the programme needs to overcome as no devices currently exist that would work on ESN. The management of the programme's key risks needs to improve if it is to deliver ESN successfully, including the programme’s approach to technical assurance and testing, user engagement and more clarity on the contingency arrangements for extending Airwave. The programme’s eventual success, however, depends on the emergency services and other users choosing to transition to and make full use of ESN. (15 September 2016)

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

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Welsh Government: The use of agency workers during strike action in Welsh public services: seeks views on proposals relating to the use of temporary agency staff to cover for employees undertaking official industrial action in Welsh public services. This is in light of UK Government proposals to rescind Reg.7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 which prohibits employment businesses from providing agency workers to cover the duties normally performed by an striking employee. The Welsh Government believes that this use of agency workers would undermine the right to strike by reducing the impact of industrial action, and affect the balance between employer and trade unions, which underlies its Social Partnership approach. The consultation closes on 6 December 2016. (13 September 2016)

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

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European Union

HL European Union Committee: Co-ordinated inquiries on Brexit launched by Committee: announces that the Lords' EU Committee and its six sub-committees have launched a co-ordinated series of inquiries into the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Short inquiries are being launched on the following Brexit topics: Parliamentary scrutiny; UK-Irish relations; Financial services; Future trade between the UK and the EU; Fisheries; Acquired rights; and Future UK-EU security and policing co-operation. (7 September 2016)

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

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DCLG: Local government finance settlement 2017 to 2018 technical consultation: seeks views on a range of technical issues concerning the 2017 to 2018 local government finance settlement. It includes proposals for distributing central resources in 2017/18, setting out options for expanding the multi-year settlement offer and the proposed approach to distributing funding through the Improved Better Care Fund. It also outlines the Government’s proposals that have implications for the local resources collected by councils. These proposals include:
• provisional council tax Referendum principles for 2017/18;
• the Government’s approach to adjusting tariff and top ups to ensure as far as possible that local authorities have a predictable level of income regardless of the impact of the 2017 business rates ; revaluation;
• a methodology for calculating the change in the local share and the level of tariff and top ups for local authorities piloting 100% business rates retention;
• a mechanism through which funding could be transferred to a Combined Authority if all councils affected agree to the transfer.
The consultation closes on 28 October 2016. (15 September 2016)

DCLG: Local government pension scheme – Guidance on preparing and maintaining an investment strategy statement: guidance to assist administering authorities in the formulation, publication and maintenance of their investment strategy statement, which is required by reg.7 of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Management and Investment of Funds) Regulations 2016. (15 September 2016)

NLGN: Securing a resilient future: this report shows how councils are investing for resilience, analysing their new agenda, setting out leading edge examples and making recommendations to help local authorities maximise the opportunities for creative economic and social investment. It shows that local authorities are using their capital investments to generate revenue to prop up hard-pressed public services, with a handful of smaller councils using their income to become independent of national grant funding. However, the report finds that there are clear risks associated with council borrowing, and that high profile failed investments could easily result in central government introducing tough new regulations. (12 September 2016)

Institute for Government: The spending challenge – How to cut spending while maintaining quality: this briefing paper examines the options that the Government has for reducing spending while maintaining the quality of public services. (15 September 2016)

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

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Health and Social Care

DH: Help for people with learning disabilities to live independently: the DH is inviting local authorities to apply for share of a £25m Housing and Technology Fund to enable the creation of a range of housing and technology options for people with learning disabilities. The closing date for applications is 28 October 2016. (15 September 2016)

The King's Fund: Social care for older people: this report, published jointly with the Nuffield Trust, looks at the current state of social care services for older people in England, through a combination of national data and interviews with local authorities, NHS and private providers, Healthwatch and other groups. It considers the impact of cuts in local authority spending on social care providers and on older people, their families and carers. The picture that emerges is of: social care providers under pressure, struggling to retain staff, maintain quality and stay in business; local authorities making unenviable choices about where to make reductions; a complex set of causes of delays in discharging older people from hospital; and the voluntary sector keeping services going even when funding was curtailed. (15 September 2016)

HC Health Committee: Brexit and health and social care inquiry: the Health Committee is inviting written submissions on the priorities for health and social care in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The evidence submitted to the Committee's pre-referendum inquiry into the impact of EU membership on health and social care has demonstrated the wide range of areas in which EU membership affects this policy area. The Committee is now seeking views on what the most important issues are to which attention will need to be paid in the withdrawal negotiations and what outcomes should be sought from them. It also invites views on what risks and opportunities for health and social care arise from the UK's withdrawal from the EU, and how the Government should seek to mitigate the risks, and take advantage of the opportunities. The closing date for submissions is 28 October 2016. (20 September 2016)

Government Actuary's Department: A cohort approach to social care funding: this paper suggests that the problem of social care funding is approached by tailoring the solutions to each generation. It refers to this as a "cohort approach" to social care funding. It argues that considering each generational group separately and developing solutions for the group, will help a robust, practical and workable set of solutions to be developed for the longer term. The paper briefly explores the issues and how such a cohort approach might be developed. (15 September 2016)

Nesta: Spreading change – A guide to enabling the spread of person- and community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing: this action-focused guide outlines how behavioural science can help spread the take-up of person- and community-centred approaches to health and wellbeing. It is aimed at people who champion these approaches in health and social care, in other statutory bodies and in community-based organisations. It is supplemented by a second guide Supporting self-management which outlines how the science of behaviour can help people to self-manage their health and wellbeing. (7 September 2016)

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

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DCLG: New funding model for supported accommodation: announces that supported housing, which includes women’s refuges, homeless shelters and housing for those leaving care, will continue to be exempt from the Local Housing Allowance cap until 2019. From then on the new funding model will protect the sector from the cap with a top up of additional ring-fenced funding. The amount of top-up funding will be set on the basis of current projections of future need. The Works and Pensions Secretary states that the new ring-fenced pot of money will give local authorities greater flexibility to commission services in line with local needs. The Government will be consulting with the supported accommodation sector over the details of the funding model in the coming months. (15 September 2016)

LGA: Homelessness – Councils call for more homes, not more duties: the LGA states that the proposed new Homelessness Reduction Bill will not work and that what councils really need is to be able to build more homes. The Bill is due to have its 2nd Reading in the House of Commons in October. It would impose on councils a raft of new duties, such as providing emergency interim accommodation for up to 56 days for households not in priority need. (14 September 2016)

Empty Homes: Empty homes in England: this report analyses government data on empty homes, with a view to helping more communities use their housing stock effectively and improve their neighbourhoods. It argues that in areas with particularly high levels of empty homes, action to improve the housing standards for existing residents and to renovate empty properties should be seen as part of a rounded approach to addressing England’s housing crisis and delivering true opportunity and greater equality across the country. In addition, more could be done to generate additional housing supply by creating homes from properties that have been empty over the long term. (12 September 2016)

Policy Exchange: A new settlement between government and independent housing associations: this report argues that to meet the Government’s aspiration to build a million homes by 2020, housing associations will need to be incentivised to build 100,000 homes a year – double the number they are currently building. It proposes that housing associations, or consortia of housing associations, with a stock of more than 4,000 homes should be eligible to sign Housing Deals that commit them to building specific numbers of new affordable and market homes in areas of demand, within a five year time period. In return, Government would give the housing associations complete discretion over the use of the social housing grant from housing asset sales and allow the housing associations to set their own rents for its social housing tenants, within an overall rental envelope that could rise in line with CPI for some Deals. (19 September 2016)

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

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LGO: Council which ignored planning duties reminded of Ombudsman accountability role: the LGO has reminded local authorities that it has the same powers as the High Court to require evidence, after a council failed to comply with its recommendations following complaints about approval of a planning application. The LGO has said that its role to hold councils to account when they get things wrong is well established and has a statutory basis. Authorities can and do have the chance to comment on decisions before they are finalised, including providing evidence if they wish to challenge the findings, but they should cooperate with the investigation process. (15 September 2016)

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

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Planning Policy

NALC: Letter from Housing and Planning Minister to local councils: the Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell MP has written an open to letter to all local councils about the Neighbourhood Planning Bill which has been introduced in Houses of Parliament and welcomed by NALC. The letter outlines the important role that local councils play in communities as well as praising their work on neighbourhood planning. (9 September 2016)

Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/934): these regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2016, amend SI 2012/2031 so as to prescribe a date by which a referendum on a proposal for a neighbourhood development plan or neighbourhood development order (including a community right to build order) must be held. The new Reg.2A prescribes this as the date 56 days from the day after a local planning authority publishes their decision that a referendum must be held. A longer period of 84 days is allowed where a business referendum is also required to be held, where the referendum area comprises any part of the area of two or more relevant councils, or where the relevant council is not the local planning authority. (15 September 2016)

Town and Country Planning (Section 62A Applications) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/944): these regulations, which come into force on 21 October 2016, amend SI 2013/2140 and SI 2013/2142 so as to extend the designation regime under  s.62A TCPA 1990, whereby an applicant making certain types of application for planning permission may make those directly to the Secretary of State, rather than to the local planning authority. They prescribe applications for non-major development as a separate category of applications in respect of which a local authority can be designated, alongside applications for major development. A local authority can be designated for either or both categories. The regulations define major and non-major development, and make provision further to these changes. (23 September 2016)

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

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Regulatory Services

DEFRA: Animal welfare – Reviewing animal establishments licensing in England: A summary of responses: summarises responses to the December 2015 consultation that set out plans to update the licensing system for animal establishments in England, by introducing a single Animal Establishment Licence for animal boarding establishments, pet shops, riding establishments, and dog breeding. The proposals aim to modernise the animal licensing system by reducing the administrative burden on local authorities, as well as simplify the application and inspection process for businesses, and maintain and improve existing animal welfare standards. The Government will now draft regulations regarding the specific proposals, which will take into account the views expressed in the consultation. (15 September 2016)

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

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Welfare and Benefits

DWP: Local authority housing benefit review – Good practice guide: updated best practice guidance to help local authorities further improve the housing benefit review process. (14 September 2016)

Welsh Government: Council tax reductions will continue to protect the most vulnerable: the Welsh Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford has confirmed that vulnerable and low income households will continue to be supported by Council Tax Reduction schemes until at least the end of 2017-18. (21 September 2016)

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

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