LA Spotlight

Mental Health – it’s time to talk!

There has perhaps never been a more pertinent time to talk mental health and to celebrate the importance of this issue with the recent marking of World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

With long hours, high expectations and challenging deadlines, many jobs simply seem incompatible with the principles of wellbeing and flourishing mental health. Add to that the vicissitudes of the last few years, from pandemic to economic and financial crisis to the war in the Ukraine, your average person on the street is likely to be feeling the financial and mental pinch.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, the move to hybrid working across many organisations has, whilst undoubtedly giving a new lease of flexibility, led to increased dislocation from our friends and colleagues just at a time when human connection is perhaps needed the most. In a Law Care survey during the pandemic, 69% of respondents had experienced mental ill health. Of those, only 56.5% said they had talked about their mental ill-health at work. 

A pretty dismal picture, right? Well, yes and no.  Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and the doom clouds are forcing organisations to be more purposeful about addressing the mental health and wellbeing of their employees, in a way that would have been unthinkable just five years ago.

The very mention of wellbeing or mental health would have been scoffed at in many an organisation up and down the country, not least within legal teams. Now, employers have the imperative, and more importantly the opportunity, to do something really meaningful in this area and show their people that they care.

As the partner wellbeing lead at Bevan Brittan, it has been my honour to help shepherd in a range of new initiatives in this area, from signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment to our most recent commitment to become a signatory of the Mindful Business Charter. It is frameworks like these that challenge organisations to be more mindful about the way that they do business, acknowledging that whilst our jobs can be stressful at times, they is no need for them to be stress and demanding all the time. They also help us to re-examine the traditional ways in which we interact with our friends and colleagues and ask ourselves “is there a better, more mindful way of conducting this interaction”. After all, it is with small acts of kindness and respect amongst colleagues that happy, healthy relationships take root and develop.

We have also recognised that wellbeing and mental health are not topics that everybody feels comfortable talking about, particularly when we didn’t grow up with these issues being high on (or indeed even on) the agenda. This has led us to commission some bespoke training for all of our line managers, aiming squarely at dealing with how to be an authentic leader, be more mindful in your dealings with those who report to you and how to look out for the wellbeing of your team as well as the healthiness of the organisation.

So, as the storm clouds continue to gather above us, the picture is not as gloomy as it might otherwise appear.  I’m reminded of a quote from Henry Ford, who said “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” That feels particular pertinent to where we find ourselves in these troubled times.  So now is the time to double down on our efforts to address the wellbeing of our friends and colleagues and let that movement take off in the face of the gloomy winds that threaten to stop us in our tracks.

Ash Woodcock, Partner


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Net Zero

Government announcement of £1.5 billion to improve energy efficiency

On 29 September 2022, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced that up to £1.5bn would be used to fund energy efficiency and cut the bills of households throughout England who are most at risk of fuel poverty.

In summary:

  • Up to £1.5bn is being made available to local authorities and social housing providers through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) and the Homes Upgrade Grant (HUG) schemes for the upgrade of around 130,000 social housing and low-income properties in England
  • The upgrades will aim to help households save around £400 to £700 a year on their energy bills at current prices
  • The funding also aims to support around 19,000 green energy sector jobs and promote growth of the green energy sector.

The funding can be used for installation of measures such as external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels with multiple measures often being installed in a single home to improve the energy performance.

Local authorities and social housing providers will be able to submit bids for funding from early next year until March 2025. To be eligible for the fund, the social housing will have to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower. This is to ensure that those receiving the funding are the ones most at risk of fuel poverty.

Further details regarding the funding application process for the latest rounds of the SHDF and HUG schemes can be found at:

Home Upgrade Grant: Phase 2 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Apply for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: Wave 2.1 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you would like to discuss the energy efficiency grant funding that is available to local authorities, please get in touch with one of our Net Zero legal and commercial specialists Nadeem Arshad or Nathan Bradberry.

Publications & Guidance

Domestic energy prices

House of Commons Library | 28 September 2022

Household energy bills increased by 54% in April 2022 and were due to increase by a further 80% in October. The new Energy Price Guarantee will limit the October increase to 27%. This briefing looks at how and why prices have changed.

An urgent retrofit skills revolution must be locally led and nationally funded

Ashden | 28 September 2022

We will not be able to tackle the energy crisis and climate emergency without making the UK’s buildings more energy efficient – starting now. Ashden’s new policy briefing: Practical steps for a locally driven retrofit skills revolution shows how local authorities can lead the way with the right support from national government. 

Priorities for electricity market reform and Net Zero

Climate Change Committee | 27 September 2022

The Government have committed to fully decarbonising electricity generation by 2035. To understand the challenges this will pose for electricity markets, and what the solutions might need to look like, the CCC has published the report of an independent Expert Group.

Lack of action on leaky homes will cost taxpayers billions – new LGA analysis

Local Government Association | 23 September 2022

Slow progress in insulating homes will cost Government at least £4.2 billion in energy waste over the next two years, councils warn today

Energy Bill Relief Scheme: help for businesses and other non-domestic customers

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 21 September 2022

Find out about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) for non-domestic customers and how you can get support this winter.

Imports of energy from Russia

House of Commons Library | 21 September 2022

The UK imported no oil or gas from Russia in July 2022. The total value of UK fossil fuel imports from Russia has fallen since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. It was £4.2 billion in the year to July 2022.

Train local, work local, stay local: Retrofit, growth, and levelling up

The Progressive Policy Think Tank | 21 September 2022

This paper sets out a series of recommendations to address skills bottlenecks and prepare the industry to make a substantial contribution to cutting household energy bills, driving the government’s levelling up strategy, and meeting net zero targets.

Sustainability Report 2022

RICS | 21 September 2022

The 2022 RICS sustainability report highlights the increasing need for sustainable strategies across the built environment to meet net zero commitments. It provides a global benchmark for issues of climate, carbon and sustainability practice, reflecting the sentiment of around 4000 real estate and construction professionals from across over 30 countries.

Final ECO4 Guidance: Local Authority Administration

Ofgem | 20 September 2022

This guidance sets out opportunities for LAs and Devolved Administrations (DAs), to engage with energy suppliers on how suppliers meet their obligations to install energy efficiency measures in homes under ECO. This guidance document also outlines the requirements that are expected of LAs when referring eligible households for the scheme, and it provides information on our oversight and administration process.

National Energy Category Strategy for Local Government 2022 – energising procurement

Local Government Association | 20 September 2022

We've designed this strategy to help local authorities optimise the way they manage energy. It includes good practice examples and case studies related to all areas of local government energy procurement.

Challenging government responses to climate change through framework litigation

The London School of Economics and Political Science | 7 September 2022

This follow-up report to the Grantham Research Institute’s recent 2022 report on Global trends in climate litigation, explores a subset of climate litigation in which governments’ policy responses to climate change are challenged, which we call ‘government framework litigation‘.


Charity in legal challenge over buffer between development and adjoining ancient woodland site

Local Government Lawyer | 5 October 2022

A charity has launched a legal challenge to the discharge of conditions to a development near an ancient woodland site.

UK wildlife charities hatch plan to pressure Government on environmental protection

edie | 30 September 2022

Three of the UK’s biggest conservation charities have joined with celebrities to launch a new People’s Plan for Nature, in response to the Government’s “open season” on policy protection for nature, which could seed hundreds of environmental laws eased.

£1.5 billion to improve energy efficiency and slash bills

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 29 September 2022

Around 130,000 low-income households could see bills slashed as their homes receive energy efficiency upgrades through the government's Help to Heat funding.

UKIB to partner with local authority projects

UK Infrastructure Bank | 29 September 2022

UK Infrastructure Bank to partner with local authority projects at the forefront of climate change and regional growth agenda as it starts up its advisory function.

Claimant to seek permission from Court of Appeal for legal challenge to decision allowing poultry farm expansion

Local Government Lawyer | 28 September 2022

A campaign group attempting to secure a judicial review of Powys County Council's decision to allow the expansion of a poultry farm near the River Wye has asked the Court of Appeal to reconsider a recent decision by the High Court to refuse to hear the claim.

The claimant, Fish Legal, has been pursuing a judicial review since April of this year in an attempt to stop the farm – based in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) – from doubling in size.

Heat Pump Ready Programme: successful projects

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 27 September 2022

The successful Stream 2 projects have been announced. Stream 2, developing tools and technology, will support the development of tools, technology and processes to overcome specific barriers to domestic heat pump deployment.

BEIS in the Growth Plan

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 27 September 2022

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will have a key role to play in delivering the government's Growth Plan.

Boost for innovative heat pump projects to drive cleaner heating

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 27 September 2022

Innovations to make heat pumps cheaper and easier to install have been backed by more than £15 million in government funding, helping accelerate the UK’s move away from fossil fuels.

The funding is part of the government’s £60 million Heat Pump Ready programme, which is developing innovative solutions for reducing barriers to the rollout of low carbon technology in homes and businesses across the UK.

UK Government Green Financing

HM Treasury | 26 September 2022

The Green Gilt and NS&I’s Green Savings Bonds help finance the transition to a green economy, tackling environmental challenges and creating green jobs across the UK.

Chris Skidmore launches net zero review

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 26 September 2022

The review will focus on the UK’s fight against climate change maximising economic growth - while ensuring energy security and affordability for consumers and businesses. Find the Review’s terms of reference here: Review of Net Zero.

Major flaws in charging infrastructure causing headaches for electric car owners

Which? News | 23 September 2022

Which? survey reveals significant shortfalls in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Problems with public chargepoints and a lack of availability are affecting electric vehicle (EV) owners in the UK, with three quarters saying they're dissatisfied with the charging infrastructure.

UK government takes next steps to boost domestic energy production

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 22 September 2022

To bolster the UK’s energy security, the UK government has today lifted the moratorium on shale gas production in England, and confirmed its support for a new oil and gas licensing round, expected to be launched by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) in early October.

District council says planning applications can be determined as usual after resolving problems with quality of water discharged at nature reserve

Local Government Lawyer | 22 September 2022

Dover District Council has said it can resume making decision on residential planning applications after overcoming problems with nitrogen and phosphate pollution at a nature reserve.

Natural England in July 2020 told the council mitigation would have to be identified and assessments made before any planning applications could be approved for new housing that would discharge into the local catchment area. 

Scarborough Borough Council: HVO fleet decarbonisation trial | Local Government Association

Local Government Association | 21 September 2022

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the Council and demonstrate leadership locally, regionally, and nationally, Scarborough Borough Council has rolled out hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) into almost two thirds of its fleet vehicles. The fuel is being used as a straight replacement for diesel in the majority of the diesel fleet, from bin wagons to ride-on mowers. Over the course of a full year, the project could lower emissions by up to 900 tCO2e.

Government outlines plans to help cut energy bills for businesses

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 21 September 2022

New support for households, businesses and public sector organisations facing rising energy bills in Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been unveiled by Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg today (Wednesday 21 September) – supporting growth, preventing unnecessary insolvencies and protecting jobs.

Energy support for councils 'too little, too late'

The MJ | 21 September 2022

The Government’s new package of energy bill support for councils is ‘too little, too late,’ trade union Unison has warned.

Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 20 September 2022

£9.2 million competition will fund training for people working in the energy efficiency, retrofit and low carbon heating sectors.

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Delivering Value

Agency workers – the solution to strike action?

On 21 July 2022 the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force enabling employers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to use agency workers to:

  • perform the duties normally performed by striking workers; or
  • perform the duties normally performed by another worker, who has been reassigned to perform the duties of a striking worker.

Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 prevented “employment businesses” from supplying agency workers to perform the duties of workers taking part in an official strike (or indeed the duties of a worker reassigned to perform the duties of an officially striking worker). To knowingly supply workers in these circumstances was a criminal offence.

In July 2015, as part of wider trade union reforms, the Government consulted on revoking Regulation 7. However, as the Regulatory Policy Committee declared this consultation “not fit for purpose”, the Government did not publish a formal response to the consultation or proceed with the proposed revocation.

In June 2022, in the midst of the rail strikes and increasing concern regarding a general strike, the Government put the Draft Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 before Parliament. They relied on the 2015 consultation, despite the fact that no formal response to that consultation had been published.

What are the practical implications of the legislation?

Employment agencies are now legally permitted to supply agency staff to perform the duties of workers taking part in official strike action.  On the face of it, for many employers, in particular those in the education and waste sectors, being permitted to use agency workers will help to ease the strain of covering the duties of those staff participating in strike action.

However, in reality, employers may still have trouble replacing striking workers with agency workers, particularly if a large proportion of the workforce opts to strike. Employers will have to ensure they employ temporary workers with the necessary skills, and they remain bound by their health and safety obligations.

Further, employment agencies may be uncomfortable sending workers across picket lines and agency staff could be unwilling to accept work in these circumstances, given they may be subject to harassment and difficult working conditions.  There is also the risk that casual workers and/or agency workers may expect to receive inflated rates to cover industrial action.

Consideration of the use of agency workers should form part of an employer’s strike action contingency planning at an early stage.  It is important to assess the balance between the benefits of retaining agency workers to cover striking staff, and ongoing industrial relations.  Whilst using agency staff provides an immediate solution to maintaining continuity of services, trade unions have made their thoughts on this legislation particularly clear (see below) and any such move may inflame tensions, make negotiations more protracted and, as a result, could lead to longer, more intensive strike action.  As such, employers may wish to consider other more palatable options in the first instance, such as:

Using existing employees or casual workers to cover the work of striking employees, limiting the use of agency workers to perhaps backfill these staff (as has always been permissible)

For those in the public sector, explore, in advance, the possibility of agreements with neighbouring organisations in the same system to lend / borrow staff to provide cover where industrial action has not been co-ordinated across the system.

Temporarily outsourcing service provision in affected areas to a third-party.

Judicial reviews

Employers should be aware that a number of separate, but similar, legal proceedings against the government in relation to the lawfulness of this legislation have commenced or are contemplated.

Unison began judicial proceedings in the High Court on 13 September 2022, on the basis that the government’s decision is unfair and is based on the outdated evidence of the 2015 consultation. On 20 September the TUC – along with 11 other unions – also launched a judicial review challenge, arguing the Secretary of State (then Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng) failed to consult unions on the proposed changes, in contravention of the Employment Agencies Act 1973, and that the regulations violate Article 11 of the ECHR (Freedom of assembly and association). NASUWT, the teachers' union, has also announced its intention to issue proceedings.

The claims are all likely to be heard together, and we will keep you updated as these proceedings progress.

Please do contact our Employment team if you require further advice or assistance in respect of forthcoming or threatened industrial action.

Publications & Guidance

Vision for childcare

Children’s Commissioner for England | 12 October 2022

High-quality, accessible, and affordable childcare and early education is something every child and family across the country should be able to access. Both childcare and early education set a child up for success and improve their life chances. This was a consistent theme that came up in the Family Review.

This report outlines the ambition and vision that is needed for delivering a fit-for-purpose early education and childcare offer that works for children and families. It summarises what families want from childcare – based on what they themselves told us they want. It also sets out the main challenges around the current provision of childcare including complexity of funding, affordability, availability of placements - particularly for those with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and older children, flexibility of provision, and availability of information about local childcare.

Vacancies in social care increase by 52% to their highest rates and the workforce shrinks for the first time

Skills for Care | 10 October 2022

Key findings from the annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England report’ include:

  • There are 165,000 vacant posts - an increase of 52% and the highest rate on record.
  • The number of filled posts (posts with a person working in them) has dropped by 50,000 – the first drop in the number of social care workers ever.
  • Average vacancy rates across the sector are at nearly 11% which is twice the national average.
  • Care workers with five years’ experience are paid 7p per hour more than a care worker with less than one year’s experience.
  • The average care worker pay is £1 per hour less than healthcare assistants in the NHS that are new to their roles.

Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021

House of Commons Library | 6 October 2022

The Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 20 October 2021.

Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill 2022-23

House of Commons Library | 6 October 2022

The Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill 2022-23 [Bill 155 of 2022-23] was introduced on 22 September 2022.

Councils call for delay to flagship social care reforms, warning services face a ‘perfect storm’ of financial and workforce pressures over the next 12 months

County Councils Network | 6 October 2022

From October 2023, reforms to protect people from catastrophic care costs and make more people eligible for state support with their care costs come into force. These include a more generous means-test and a cap on care costs of £86,000 – two policies which are supported by the County Councils Network (CCN).

But the CCN warns that the system is under serious pressure currently, with councils facing a ‘perfect storm’ of financial and workforce pressures that mean the government should push back their introduction to October 2024.

The call comes in a new report released today by the CCN. The document is Point Three of the network’s Five Point Plan for County and Unitary Councils, designed to influence the policies of the new government.

Proposed reforms to adult social care (including cap on care costs)

House of Commons Library | 3 October 2022

This briefing provides information on the Government's proposals for adult social care reform, including the cap on care costs.

Public service pension increases

House of Commons Library | 30 September 2022

Covers arrangements for annual increases of public service pensions in payment.

Update on Growth Plan implementation

HM Treasury | 26 September 2022

An update on next steps following the Growth Plan which the Chancellor set out on 23 September.

Chancellor announces new Growth Plan with biggest package of tax cuts in generations

HM Treasury | 23 September 2022

On Friday 23 September The Chancellor unveiled his Growth Plan to release the huge potential in the British economy by tackling high energy costs and inflation and delivering higher productivity and wages. Supporting and related documents can be found here: The Growth Plan 2022: documents.

September 2022 fiscal statement: A summary

House of Commons Library | 23 September 2022

A summary of the announcements in the Chancellor's September 2022 fiscal statement and links to analysis and further reading.

Health and Social Care Secretary sets out plan for patients with new funding to bolster social care over winter

Department of Health and Social Care | 22 September 2022

Our plan for patients’ will inject £500m of additional funding into adult social care to help people get out of hospitals and into social care support. On 22 September 2022 the plan was unveiled by the Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.

Guide to corporate finance in the public sector

National Audit Office | 20 September 2022

The guide uses insights from our stakeholder engagement and draws on our internal expertise from years of auditing government interventions and corporate finance activities. It covers 14 themes over three core areas:

  • Principles and concepts
  • Organisations and functions
  • Transactions

The interactive guide contains useful insights from 139 NAO reports and sets out key questions for senior decision-makers to consider when overseeing corporate finance activities. It will also be of interest to professionals supporting the government to deliver a range of transactions, including commercial investments, loans and guarantees.

Making the Most of Local Authority Assets

Centre for London | 20 September 2022

Local authorities in London are responsible for managing valuable resources. This report shows how they could use their money and property to deliver social value to their residents.

Identifying additional financing options for public sport and leisure services

Local Government Association | 16 September 2022

This guide seeks to highlight additional financing options to help sustain the sector and showcases learning from a number of councils who are already doing this.


Complaints about English social care increasingly due to funding constraints

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman | 12 October 2022

The cost of providing care has become an increasingly common theme in the complaints made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman over the past year.

Council cost pressures - a comment piece by Cllr James Jamieson

Local Government Association | 12 October 2022

"The Government needs to come up with a long-term plan to manage this crisis. Inflation is not going to come down overnight; reserves can only be spent once; a local service cannot be cut twice."

Government could phase in investment zones

Local Government Chronicle | 11 October 2022

The government could phase in investment zones if the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities receives a very large number of expressions of interest.

Homes for Ukraine scheme needs action, ministers warned

Public Finance | 11 October 2022

The government must act to prevent up to 21,000 Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless.

Significant milestone reached as extra 2 million scans, tests and checks delivered to bust the COVID backlogs
Department of Health and Social Care | 11 October 2022

Community diagnostic centres across the country have now delivered over 2 million vital checks, helping to bust the COVID backlogs.

One in six councils at risk of running out of money next year

Grant Thornton | 6 October 2022

New research from Grant Thornton UK LLP finds that one in six English councils could now run out of money as early as next year, without additional income or substantial further budget reductions.

Councils braced for fresh cuts

The MJ | 6 October 2022

Councils are bracing themselves for a raft of cuts as embattled Prime Minister Liz Truss this week refused to rule out a return to austerity.

Councils warn of £2.5bn ‘threat’ to services

Local Gov | 4 October 2022

Two thirds of surveyed councils said they either faced a ‘threat’ to or ‘extreme pressure’ on key service delivery over the next financial year, a poll has revealed. Survey data published by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities has revealed the extent of the threat of inflationary pressures to frontline services and regeneration projects.

Fears over asylum dispersal scheme

The MJ | 4 October 2022

Councils fear they will be flooded with people in need of support under the new full dispersal scheme for asylum seekers.

Inflation may drive increased insourcing

The MJ | 3 October 2022

Councils may be propelled to bring services back in-house to escape contracts tied to inflation amid Bank of England predictions it will peak at 11%.

NHS “dental deserts” persist in rural and deprived communities – LGA analysis

Local Government Association | 1 October 2022

New analysis by the Local Government Association reveals a growing number of “dental deserts” across the country with more deprived or rural local authority areas having fewer NHS dentists than those in more affluent urban areas.

District councils fear inflation will drive waste services cutbacks

MRW | 29 September 2022

Waste collection services could be cut by district councils in response to inflation and “significant pressure” from fuel costs, a survey of their spending last has found.

Councils’ cost-of-living support services threatened by £900m funding gap

District Councils' Network | 29 September 2022

Crucial local services to help people through the cost-of-living crisis and save money for the wider public sector are threatened by inflation, District Councils’ Network research reveals.

Councils resort to service cuts in budget struggle

The MJ | 22 September 2022

Councils are facing deep cuts to services in order to cover ‘staggering’ budget gaps.

Councils call for £13bn for social care to be delivered as promised by PM

Local Government Association | 22 September 2022

The Local Government Association is calling on the Prime Minister to deliver the £13bn pledged to tackle the crisis in adult social care as part of her leadership campaign.

Liz Truss assured councils during her leadership campaign that she would find the funding for social care after removing the rise in National Insurance expected at today’s emergency budget.

Inquiry launched into access to emergency services

UK Parliament | 22 September 2022

The House of Lords Public Services Committee has today launched an inquiry into access to emergency services, and are calling for written evidence.

NHS leaders call on new government to row back on decision to scrap crucial funding that has left thousands of medically fit patients waiting in hospital beds

NHS Confederation | 21 September 2022

Healthcare leaders are calling on the health and social care secretary to urgently invest in social care capacity by bringing back the ringfenced funding that was easing delays in patients leaving hospital. Failure to do this will risk a health emergency this winter, they argue.

Councils weigh up cost of Christmas events amid soaring bills

Local Government Chronicle | 20 September 2022

Some councils are scaling back their traditional Christmas lights switch on ceremonies this winter amid rising energy cost concerns.

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Place & Growth

Government enforces the Building Safety Act

Owners of un-remediated buildings that have outstanding safety works should take note of the enforcement action that the Government has committed to taking, using new powers in the Building Safety Act 2022, regarding Vista House in Stevenage.

On 9 October 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) issued a press release regarding building safety issues at Vista House. Vista House is a fifteen-storey tower block owned by Grey GR Limited where, according to the Government, over 100 residents have encountered delays of over two years waiting for work to start to remediate fire safety defects. The freeholders of Vista House are the first building owners to have legal action brought against them by the Government’s new Recovery Strategy Unit, which has been set up to engage with other enforcement authorities and pursue parties who “repeatedly refuse to fix” unsafe or inadequate buildings. DLUHC is taking enforcement action despite the fact that the freeholders have registered the building and applied for funding from the Building Safety Fund, though the funding agreement has not yet been signed to release funding.

The Building Safety Act 2022 introduced a raft of new powers, including the ability for enforcement action to be taken to ensure that safety defects are remediated. Under section 123 of the Act and the subsequent Regulations, power is given to a number of named entities (including the Secretary of State, the regulator, a local authority, a fire authority or a person with a legal or equitable interest in a building) to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a 'remediation order'. The purpose of such an order is to require the responsible landlord (or other party to the lease, such as a management company) to remedy specified defects in a building within a specified time. DLUHC has given notice to the Vista House owners that they have 21 days to commit to undertaking the necessary works, failing which an application will be made.

DLUHC has also indicated that it is considering making an application for a 'remediation contribution order' under section 124 of the Act. This entitles the same categories of persons to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for an order requiring particular companies or partnerships (e.g. former landlords, superior landlords, developers or parties associated with them) to make payments for the purposes of funding the costs of remediating building safety defects in a building. The Tribunal can make a remediation contribution order where it is just and equitable to do so.

Overall, therefore, the Government’s action demonstrates that in appropriate circumstances it will take action to require building safety defects to be remediated where it perceives that works are not being progressed satisfactorily. It also shows that, in parallel, the Government will be willing to pursue other parties to require them to contribute towards the costs of the works if it is felt that is necessary to enable the works to be funded and/or for financial responsibility for the works to be apportioned appropriately. It remains to be seen whether and to what extent other enforcement authorities will follow the Government’s lead in utilising these new powers.

For further advice on the Building Safety Act, please contact Steven Eccles, Louise Robling.

Publications & Guidance

Making places: The role of regeneration in levelling up

Centres for Cities | 11 October 2022

Centre for Cities' new report in partnership with Aviva argues that for the Government's regeneration schemes to succeed they should focus on city centres and be backed by public funding and planning reform.

New report puts the spotlight on counties' infrastructure and transport projects

County Councils Network | 5 October 2022

A new report released today as part of the County Councils Network’s County Spotlight series examines how county councils and unitary councils are setting out or delivering infrastructure and transport projects to boost their local economies.

The Building etc. (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2022: circular 04/2022

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 4 October 2022

This circular and accompanying letter draw attention to the publication of The Building etc. (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2022 and Approved Document R volumes 1 and 2.

Using design to level up places

Local Government Association | 29 September 2022

An evaluation of the Local Government Association's ‘Design Skills for Economic Growth’ Programme 2021/22.

Housing Ombudsman’s latest insight report shows complaints remain high

Housing Ombudsman | 29 September 2022

We have published our latest Insight report covering April to June 2022. It shows that complaint volumes remain high, with the service receiving 6,009 enquiries and complaints over the three month period.

Temporary Accommodation: London’s hidden homelessness crisis

Centre for London | 29 September 2022

This report recommends solutions to improve the experience of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in London.

Housing our ageing population | Local Government Association

Local Government Association | 28 September 2022

This report, commissioned by the LGA from the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (authors: Ian Copeman and Lois Beech), makes a number of recommendations to government on how we can best meet the needs of people in later life with case studies demonstrating how councils are addressing the housing needs of an ageing population.

Toolkit suggests road to recovery and renewal for Kent high streets

Localis | 27 September 2022

Independent think-tank Localis has today published a policy toolkit setting out how high streets across Kent and Medway are tackling a changing and challenging retail landscape. Entitled ‘Recovery and Renewal on the Kent High Street’  the practical study sets out concrete examples of how Kent’s local centres are adapting with a sense of determination, ingenuity and resilience to maintain a sense of pride in place amid a fast-changing retail and cultural climate.

The Internationalisation of the Northern Powerhouse

Northern Powerhouse Partnership | 26 September 2022

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Northern Powerhouse has rocketed 72% in the last five years despite dropping across the rest of the UK, according to new analysis of fDi markets data by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP).

FDI into the North rose from $25.4bn between 2012-16 to $43.7bn between 2017-21. By contrast, FDI into Greater London dropped 23% over the same time period, from $43.4bn to $33.4bn.

Our new report ‘The Internationalisation of the Northern Powerhouse’ also found that the North increased its share of overall FDI into England, from 19% in 2012-16 to 33% in 2017-21.

Investment Zones in England

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 24 September 2022

Additional information about Investment Zones in England.

The Growth Plan 2022: Factsheet on Investment Zones

HM Treasury | 23 September 2022

This factsheet provides a summary of Investment Zones including which areas the government is in early discussions with and how they will work.

Building Safety: Levelling Up Secretary's op-ed for The Telegraph

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 21 September 2022

Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke sets out his commitment to building safety and protecting leaseholders.

Learning from the Community Renewal Fund Programme

Local Government Association | 23 September 2022

The Local Government Association commissioned Shared Intelligence to deliver a series of case studies drawing on lessons learnt from the Community Renewal Fund.

New build developments consultation: delivering gigabit-capable connections

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport | 22 September 2022

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has published its response to the consultation on delivering gigabit-capable connection, which ran from December 2021 to February 2022. The consultation received 28 responses relating to the gigabit-ready physical infrastructure and gigabit-capable connection requirements, deployment and location of infrastructure, land access issues, duplication of infrastructure deployment, suitable content for statutory guidance, and exemptions. Having considered these responses, the government will shortly introduce secondary legislation that will make changes to the Building Regulations 2010 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2020.

Further urgent action needed to avoid homelessness, as well as economic crisis

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping | 21 September 2022

The cost of living crisis could have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on homelessness if the new Prime Minister and her Government do not treat it with the same level of urgency seen at the start of the pandemic. That is the warning today, (21 September) from an influential group of experts from the housing, homelessness, health and political sectors. The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping has published a new report entitled ‘A New Way of Working: Ending Rough Sleeping Together – Progress Report September 2022 which assesses the steps made towards ending rough sleeping in England and considers the impact of the current economic crisis.

Information for leaseholders and other residents on fire safety and remediation of historic building safety defects

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 20 September 2022

This page brings together information leaseholders and other residents should be aware of on fire safety, and remediation of historic building safety defects – including who is responsible for paying for remediation works.

No Homeless Veterans: Toolkit

Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation (Stoll), Homeless Link and the National Housing Federation | 20 September 2022

Local authorities and housing providers can now access a free resource aimed at reducing veterans’ homelessness. The No Homeless Veterans toolkit has been designed as part of a collaborative campaign by the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation (Stoll), Homeless Link and the National Housing Federation.

Building Safety Fund for new applications (2022): A guide for leaseholders and residents

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 20 September 2022

The Building Safety Fund (BSF) provides funding to address life safety fire risks associated with cladding in high-rise buildings (those over 18m) in England. This is a guide on how the adapted 2022 BSF process works.


£50m to tackle health inequalities through research

Department of Health and Social Care | 11 October 2022

First ever investment for local authorities to turbo-charge research into health inequalities affecting their local area.

First legal action launched to keep residents safe

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 9 October 2022

The Department for Levelling Up has taken the first step in legal action, protecting residents and ensuring proper building safety.

Investment zones will not be imposed on areas, Clarke says

Local Government Chronicle | 3 October 2022

There will be no “top-down imposition” of investment zones, the levelling up secretary has said. In a pre-recorded message at the Conservative Party Conference, Simon Clarke said investment zones would be defined by local “consent” and “led by the people who best know what their area needs and what it does not”.

Areas urged to 'go for growth' as Investment Zone applications open

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 2 October 2022

Local areas can apply to host a new Investment Zone from today to boost growth, deliver homes and spread opportunity.

Landlords call for cost-of-living plan

Local Gov | 30 September 2022

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has written to Kwasi Kwarteng warning that rising energy, food and other bills will make it more difficult for many tenants to meet their rent payments.

Shortage of planners ‘inhibits’ councils’ ability to create healthy places

Local Government Chronicle | 30 September 2022

The lack of planners is “is inhibiting progress” around clean and healthy plans for cities, the leader of Bradford City MBC told a Labour fringe event this week.

LGA opens bids for Housing Advisers Programme to tackle local challenges

Local Government Association | 29 September 2022

The Local Government Association is launching the sixth year of the Housing Advisers Programme, an innovative scheme to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas.

Nandy pledges to boost council housing

The MJ | 26 September 2022

Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy today vowed to end the political ‘vandalism’ of UK social housing stock.

A hand-up for start-ups: 33,000 new loans for small businesses as £900m government scheme widened

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 25 September 2022

The Business Secretary has widened eligibility of Start Up Loans scheme to businesses trading for up to three years.

Soaring costs feared over social rent caps

The MJ | 22 September 2022

Plans to cap social rent rises could cost London councils £23bn over the next 40 years, figures seen by The MJ have revealed.

Regulator of Social Housing to introduce tenant satisfaction measures from 1 April 2023

Regulator of Social Housing | 21 September 2022

On 21 September 2022 the Regulator of Social Housing published the outcome of its consultation on tenant satisfaction measures. As a result, from 1 April 2023 all registered providers of social housing will need to collect and publish a range of comparable information on areas such as repairs, safety checks and complaints.

MPs warn over proposed infrastructure levy flexibility

Public Finance | 14 September 2022

Proposals to give local authorities flexibility on how they spend levies charged on development projects could give councils the “easy option” to reduce local investment, MPs have warned.

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Governance & Reorganisation

The importance of sound financial management – what have we learnt from recent Public Interest Reports?

Eighteen months ago Grant Thornton published their lessons learned on public interest reports (PIRs). So what have we learnt?

With reduced government funding set to continue following the Chancellor’s speech in the House of Commons on 17 October, Councils are going to remain reliant on cutting spending and working more efficiently, but will also be looking to generate additional income to support and deliver frontline services. Whilst commercialisation can bring significant benefits, we have seen a number of PIRs demonstrating how the failure of joint ventures and Council-owned companies can have a significant financial and reputational impact.

The latest report focusses on key themes from the latest set of interventions:

  • cultural and governance issues
  • failure to understand and manage the risks associated with external companies
  • failure to address and resolve relationship difficulties between senior officers and members
  • financial capability and capacity
  • audit committee effectiveness.

The report concludes that there remains a lack of appropriate scepticism, challenge and scrutiny within some councils, with organisational culture a key area where systems break down, citing “ineffective and inappropriate tone and behaviour from the top” as the issue.

Peer challenge and review is suggested as a way councils can work together to offer this insight, alongside ongoing self-assessment, and that the “better councils should assume nothing based on past performance and always be looking for ways to improve”.

In an increasingly volatile financial climate, maintaining good governance has never been more important. Councils should focus on accessing the right financial and legal advice from a suitably qualified and independent party before entering into complex or large corporate arrangements.

If you have any questions regarding financial management and governance issues, please contact David Kitson.

Publications & Guidance

Why the Government's impact assessment system is failing Parliament and the public

UK Parliament | 10 October 2022

This is the theme of a report published today by the cross-party House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee after scrutinising the hundreds of Statutory Instruments (SIs) laid before Parliament every year.

Parliamentary boundary reviews: public consultations

House of Commons Library | 4 October 2022

Constituencies are reviewed periodically by independent Boundary Commissions, one for each part of the UK. This briefing outlines how the public can get involved in the consultation stages.

Ethnic diversity in politics and public life

House of Commons Library | 30 September 2022

In 2021/22, 13.0% of the UK population aged 16 and over was from an ethnic minority background. How is this reflected in politics and public life?

LGA Be a Councillor: Guide launched to support disabled residents to stand as councillors

Local Government Association | 29 September 2022

The LGA’s new guide; Improving access to local government elected office for disabled people, offers specific advice and support for disabled people who are considering the role.

New report examines how counties have transformed their digital strategies in the wake of the pandemic

County Councils Network | 28 September 2022

Today the County Councils Network has launched the latest report in its Dialogues series, partnering with HSO to explore digital transformation in county authorities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The London & Partners affair

London City Hall | 26 September 2022

In September 2019, The Sunday Times published an article referring to an investigation it had undertaken, which it said revealed that The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP failed to declare a series of potential conflicts of interest over a friendship with Jennifer Arcuri during the time he held the office of Mayor of London.

As a result, the GLA Oversight Committee decided there was due cause to investigate the suitability of the GLA's Code of Conduct and the governance processes of L&P.

On 26 September 2022 the Committee published a report which assesses the evidence the Committee received across sessions with experts on local authority codes of conduct; representatives from L&P; and beneficiaries of L&P's sponsorship and trade missions. 

Government should ‘turbocharge’ devolution and conclude agreements with first cohort of councils by end of this Autumn, county authorities urge

County Councils Network | 26 September 2022

The new government should go ‘further and faster’ on devolution than its predecessor and conclude devolution deals with the first cohort of county areas by the end of this Autumn, the County Councils Network (CCN) today urges.

It comes as the network publishes the second chapter of its Five Point Plan for County and Unitary Councils, which calls on the government to maintain the momentum on devolution and levelling up by ‘placing county authorities and their areas at the heart of a pro-growth agenda’

Bar Council engages Government on legal panels diversity

The Bar Council | 26 September 2022

Government legal panels are lacking in diversity, says a new report published by the Bar Council today. The Bar Council – which represents all barristers in England and Wales – is engaging with the Government to address the findings and support measures to widen the pool from which panels are recruited.

Lessons from recent Public Interest Reports

Grant Thornton | 22 September 2022

In March 2021, we published our lessons learned on public interest reports (PIRs). Guy Clifton and Paul Dossett look at subsequent developments.

Report on the May 2022 local elections in England

Electoral Commission | 21 September 2022

This report looks at how the May 2022 elections in England were run, how voters and campaigners found taking part, and what lessons can be learned for the future. We have reported separately on elections held in Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

CfGS Annual Survey 2021-22

Centre for Governance and Scrutiny | 20 September 2022

Each year the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) asks senior scrutiny officers, elected members and other officers working in local authorities in England and Wales about their attitudes, experiences and thoughts around the effectiveness and impact of Overview and Scrutiny in order to gain in-depth insights into this area. This report provides an overview and summary of key analytical points from the survey.


Council staff should speak out about discrimination, Ombudsman finds

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman | 6 October 2022

Hertfordshire County Council has not yet agreed to Ombudsman recommendations to improve its practices after a primary school admitted it had discriminated against a little boy because of his disabilities.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman was asked to investigate by the boy’s parents after the council failed to acknowledge there had been a problem with the support it provided.

Reviewing council constitutions

Local Government Lawyer | 30 September 2022

Ed Hammond from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny explains why it is important for councils to review their constitutions.

Action taken against SEVEN organisations who failed in their duty to respond to information access requests

Information Commissioner’s Office | 28 September 2022

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has taken action against seven organisations who have failed to respond to the public when asked for personal information held about them, known as a Subject Access Request (SAR).

A SAR must be responded to within one to three months. But an ICO investigation found seven organisations, across the public and private sector, repeatedly failed to meet this legal deadline. This resulted in regulatory action including reprimands as well as practice recommendations issued under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Intervention: What happens when the government sends in commissioners

Local Government Chronicle | 13 September 2022

The government is making more use of statutory powers to intervene when councils are deemed to be failing. LGC explores how these interventions work.

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Contract Management

Managing the rising costs of waste collection contracts

The delivery of environmental and waste collection services is one of a number of areas where the cost of living crisis is causing challenges for many local authorities and waste management contractors:

  • the change in red diesel tax in April and rising diesel prices means waste management operations, including waste collection and transport of waste and recyclables, face a rising cost base
  • the ongoing challenges around a shortage of HGV drivers in the sector which, together with inflation, is driving up wages
  • a number of local authorities have seen issues with strikes over pay over recent months.

For those local authorities who have outsourced their contracts to waste management contractors, then the risks of those cost rises has been transferred to the private sector, and so the local authorities are, in theory at least, shielded from those rapid costs increases.

However, contractors will be keen to discuss with local authorities where service changes, driven by efficiencies, can be used to generate savings for both parties. Examples of possible service changes include re-routing collection rounds and changing working patterns in order to reduce the cost of vehicle and fuel requirements.

Where service changes are agreed, it is important that such changes are properly documented and in writing.  This is not only so that there can be no dispute at a later date as to what was agreed, but also because the original contract is likely to state that only variations agreed in writing will be binding.

In the event that waste management contractors are struggling to make the economics of the contract stack up (e.g. through the recent unexpected costs increases), then this may lead to disagreements and contractual claims being made by contractors. The source of such claims could come from various places in the contract, including the wording of indexation, force majeure and change in law provisions.  Whether these are applicable will depend on the precise wording of the contract.

We are also seeing an increasing number of claims following the start of new contracts with waste management contractors, in particular in respect of transferring assets (such as the quality of transferring vehicles) or the nature of information provided by local authorities during the procurement itself: 

  • Depending on how the contract has been drafted, it may be that the information provided by the local authority will be warranted or amount to a representation. In these circumstances, the waste management contractors may be able to recover additional or losses from the local authority as a result of the information provided being inaccurate. Calculating such costs or losses can be difficult.  However, the typical length of these types of contracts, and the associated operating costs, mean any such claims can be significant in value.
  • For local authorities managing waste collection contracts, it is important to ensure that any information provided to the private sector provider as part of the procurement bidding process, or in contract negotiations, is safely stored, including any associated documents and emails. Whilst any warranted information should, theoretically, be set out in the contract, there may be helpful information in, for example, method statements submitted by the contractor which may undermine any argument that they have relied on the data. Where arguments are put forward by the waste management contractor, a robust response in writing, and an audit trail of any conversations relating to the additional costs or losses, should also be retained.

Our dedicated Waste and Resource Management team are advising both local authorities and waste management companies on environmental and waste collection contract management issues all over the UK. As sector specialists, we can help you manage any operational issues which you may be facing and ensure that you achieve a successful commercial outcome.

Publications & Guidance

Subsidy control regime

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 23 September 2022 

BEIS has published a new webpage containing links to the Subsidy Control Database and to guidance and consultations on the new UK subsidy control regime.

Procurement Policy Note 02/22 – The Consultancy Playbook v1.1

Cabinet Office | 20 September 2022 

Updated version of the Consultancy Playbook (Version 1.1) published 05/09/2022.


Levelling up education

Local Gov | 4 October 2022

James Lowe, director of Grolife, argues that local authorities should level up the procurement process and put pupils, not price, first.

Public sector aims to close digital skills gap with private sector

Computer Weekly | 4 October 2022

Digital leaders from the public sector have stressed the need to build up the digital skills and capabilities of civil servants to successfully deliver the government’s digital transformation ambitions, but not at the expense of supplier ecosystems.

Warning of £75m audit fee increase

The MJ | 3 October 2022

Experts have warned councils could be hit by a £75m increase to their audit fees as details of the next five-year procurement were announced.

A lack of transparency has left taxpayers in the dark over Covid contracts

Politics Home | 27 September 2022

Meg Hillier claims that massive deals were awarded with competition as emergency measures were used for longer than required.

Procurement Bill Byte 7: Contract management under the Procurement Bill 2022

Bevan Brittan LLP | 26 September 2022

In this article, we explore the contract management provisions in the Procurement Bill (the Bill).  The existing Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR) are mainly concerned with the procurement and award process, and only contain very limited obligations around the rest of the contract lifecycle (such as modifications to existing contracts). In its publication “Transforming Public Procurement; our transparency ambition[1]” the Cabinet Office has stated that making information on the actual costs and performance of public contracts available to the public is a key part of its transparency agenda.

This article details the provisions that contracting authorities will need to comply with over the life of the contract and how these link in with the procurement and planning stages.

Procurement Bill Byte 6: Modifications to Public Contracts

Bevan Brittan LLP | 22 September 2022

In this article we explore the provisions in the Bill that regulate when public contracts may be modified.   

As we noted in our Road to Reform article, the Green Paper stated that the existing rules on contract modifications (found in Regulation 72 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR)) could result in uncertainty for contracting authorities who find it difficult determine whether a modification they wish to make would be lawful. The Government said that the new law should provide greater clarity, flexibility, and transparency. The Bill generally achieves these aims.

Westminster launches "war on dirty money" with campaign against money laundering, call for changes to procurement laws

Local Government Lawyer | 22 September 2022

22 September 2022 | Westminster City Council has made a fair tax pledge and called on the Government to tighten UK procurement law as part of a new campaign that it described as a "war on dirty money".

The council said its decision to adopt a 'Dirty Money' motion at a full council meeting yesterday (21 September) made it the first UK local authority to launch such a campaign.

Breach during procurement "not sufficiently serious to justify an award of Francovich damages", High Court judge rules

Local Government Lawyer | 22 September 2022

An error in the award of an NHS orthodontic contract was not serious enough to entitle the loser to Francovich damages, the High Court has found. In Braceurself Ltd v NHS England [2022] EWHC 2348 (TCC) Alexander Nissen KC, sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court, found provider Braceurself had suffered insufficiently serious damage to be entitled to a Francovich award of damages and that the NHS’s error had been excusable and the provision of public services was unaffected.

Improvements demanded by review of troubled project

The MJ | 20 September 2022

A review of a troubled IT programme across two councils has demanded improved governance and accountability within complex contracts.

Procurement Bill Byte 5: Frameworks and Dynamic Markets

Bevan Brittan LLP | 14 September 2022

Under the Bill frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems are replaced with three commercial purchasing tools: frameworks, open frameworks and dynamic markets. This article examines how each of those tools work and explores the differences (and similarities) with the existing regime.

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Disputes & Regulatory Support

MXX v A Secondary School

The High Court has recently dismissed a claim against a school by a former pupil (MXX), finding it was not vicariously liable for the actions of a work experience student, who committed torts against her.


MXX was a pupil at the defendant school where she met a work experience placement (WEP) student (PXM), who was shadowing a PE teacher for a week. PXM was convicted in 2015 of having perpetrated serious offences against MXX, when she was aged 13. MXX relied on those convictions, in pursuing a compensation claim against the school, in respect of those torts committed against her.

Vicarious Liability

A central issue was whether the school were vicariously liable for the actions of PXM. The High Court applied the two-stage vicarious liability test, developed in a series of Supreme Court decisions.

Firstly, the Court considered if the relationship between the school and PXM was capable of giving rise to vicarious liability. PXM was neither employee nor independent contractor. He was held out to pupils as a staff member, so in that respect, the relationship was akin to employment. However, on balance, the school had effectively granted the WEP as a favour to PXM and did not derive benefit from his presence in any real sense. It was therefore not fair, just or reasonable to conclude that this one week placement amounted to a relationship akin to employment.

The second stage of the test was to consider whether there was a close connection between the school and PXM.

The torts were committed many weeks after conclusion of the WEP. Whilst the WEP gave an opportunity for PXM to meet the Claimant, this was quite different to those cases where torts were committed during a period of work and continued after the work had ceased.

MXX was the subject of abhorrent criminal behaviour. These acts were not connected with the school’s activity and the court concluded the school was not liable.

If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, please contact Adrian Neale.

Publications & Guidance

Administrative Court judicial review guide

HM Courts & Tribunals Service | 23 September 2022

Detailed legal guidance on bringing a judicial review case in the Administrative Court. The 2022 edition, published on 23 September 2022, reflects legislative and practice changes relevant to the Administrative Court over the last year.


Council secures interim injunction stopping hotel from being used to house asylum seekers

Local Government Lawyer | 7 October 2022

The High Court has issued an interim injunction to pre-emptively stop a hotel from being used to house asylum seekers, following an application made by Great Yarmouth Borough Council. During September, the local authority raised concerns that the Home Office had placed asylum seekers at a Great Yarmouth hotel without planning permission being sought beforehand.

Nearly 240 applications made for deprivation of liberty for children in first two months of new national court

Local Government Lawyer | 6 October 2022

There were 237 applications to deprive children of their liberty in the first two months of the new national deprivation of liberty (DoLs) court, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (NFJO) has said. The court was launched in July 2022 by the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane. It is based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the leadership of Mr Justice Moor.

Charity in legal challenge over buffer between development and adjoining ancient woodland site

Local Government Lawyer | 5 October 2022

A charity has launched a legal challenge to the discharge of conditions to a development near an ancient woodland site.  Friends of the West Oxfordshire Cotswolds said that, with the support of 55 local and district residents, it had reached its £30,000 target to support the challenge over a development at Rushy Bank in Charlbury. 

Council secures possession in case concerning effect of time spent in residential care by person with no mental capacity and whether it should deprive family member of right to succeed

Local Government Lawyer | 23 September 2022

A woman must leave her home of 57 years because her mother - the legal tenant of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council - died in a care home rather than in the house, the High Court has ruled. Mr Justice Cotter said Dudley was seeking possession of a property in Halesowen which had been let to the defendant’s mother in 1965 and the defendant had lived there since.

Unions launch judicial review challenge over changes to employment laws allowing use of agency workers during strikes

Local Government Lawyer | 22 September 2022

Teaching union NASUWT has joined Unison in issuing legal action against the Government’s move to allow employers to use agency workers in place of those on strike. Unison last week initiated a judicial review application over what it said were unlawful changes to the The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 , which it said were unfair and based on unreliable evidence, including what it called “out-of-date and discredited findings from a 2015 consultation”.

CPR Form amendments following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of HM King Charles III

Ministry of Justice | 20 September 2022

The Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) Committee has approved changes to all approved forms requiring amendment following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

High Court backs move of 89-year-old man with Alzheimer’s from care home in UK to Jamaica

Local Government Lawyer | 20 September 2022

It is in the best interests of an 89-year-old man currently in a care home in the UK to travel to Jamaica for his last years, despite him lacking the mental capacity to make the decision himself, a High Court judge has ruled.

Court of Appeal refuses permission for appeal over council approval of plan to build 110-home development

Local Government Lawyer | 16 September 2022

The Court of Appeal has refused a residents’ group permission to appeal in a dispute over the lawfulness of Lewisham Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the construction of more than one hundred homes on the Sydenham Hill Estate in South London. The London borough first approved the plans, which will also see the demolition of Mais House and Otto Close garages, in November 2020.

High Court gives go-ahead for judicial review of Home Office decision not to implement recommendation on emergency evacuation plans for disabled residents

Local Government Lawyer | 16 September 2022

The High Court has agreed to hear a judicial review over the Home Office’s decision not to implement a recommendation from the Chair of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry for personal emergency evacuation plans for disabled people living in tower blocks.

Judge rules Tribunal erred by putting responsibility for part of EHCP on individual who was not lawful delegate or proxy for local authority

Local Government Lawyer | 16 September 2022

The First-Tier Tribunal erred in law by giving responsibility for compiling an ‘all your need to know about’ document concerning a child to a doctor who was not a lawful delegate or proxy for the council, the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has said.

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Resource Library

Procurement Bill Byte 7: Contract management under the Procurement Bill 2022

Procurement Bill Byte 6: Modifications to Public Contracts

All Bevan Brittan articles and news

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Events On-Demand

An overview of the key changes set out in the Health and Care Act 2022
Monday 21 November 2022

All forthcoming webinars

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