LA Spotlight

IPA support for contracting authorities with PFI projects

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has announced a Local Government Budget has been set up to provide specialist support in managing PFI contracts. The Local Government Budget will be funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.


The purpose of the Local Government Budget provides ring-fenced funding which the IPA can use to provide support to PFI contracting authorities to:

  • manage the expiry process
  • improve operational performance
  • build capability (training) and
  • provide project specific advice and support (for example such as disputes and refinancing).

Whilst no details of the application process have been released at this stage, it is hoped that the Local Government Budget will assist local authorities in accessing specialist advice to manage PFI projects, including in respect of expiry. 

PFI projects and expiry

Approximately 350 local authorities currently manage PFI projects across a wide range of sectors, including education, housing, accommodation, waste, highways, street lighting and leisure.

The IPA has previously recommended that contracting authorities should start preparing for expiry and handback at least seven years in advance. The reasons for this include seeking to ensure sufficient time to understand the asset condition and the contractual requirements and a smooth transition.

As is becoming increasingly evident, managing an expiry process is a complex process with multiple stakeholders, including the contracting authority, the SPV, the funders and many other stakeholders. A clear expiry plan (including the procurement of any new contracts to be effective on and from the expiry of the PFI project), whilst also continuing to manage the underlying contract itself, is critical to ensure both value for money and continuity of public services.

However, resourcing PFI expiry preparations has previously been identified as a major challenge for stakeholders, particularly the public sector. The Local Government Budget should therefore provide some comfort to stakeholders involved in managing PFI contracts in respect of local authority engagement in providing further support on PFI projects, and this should benefit all stakeholders and assist further in expiry preparations and the transition of the underlying assets and services provided to them.

IPA Decarbonisation of Operational PFI Projects

The IPA has also, on 5 July 2023, published a handbook of recommended good practice for contracting authorities in respect of decarbonisation of operational PFI projects. We will provide further information on this in our next edition of LA view.

We are PFI and PPP contract experts

Having advised on over 600 operational PFI and PPP contacts over the last 25 years, we can assist with contract management, negotiating variations, and dispute resolution, as well as assisting in expiry process. If you need assistance on your PFI project, you can reach out to our core PFI/PPP team: Olivia Blessington, Colin McConaghy, Judith Hopper, Louise Robling or Nadeem Arshad.

Judith Hopper, Partner


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Net Zero

New windfall tax for low-carbon electricity generation

Under the Finance (No.2) Act 2023, which was given royal assent on 11 July 2023, the UK Government has introduced a new windfall tax levy – the Electricity Generation Levy (EGL) – of 45% on ‘extraordinary returns’ from low-carbon UK power generation meeting certain conditions.

The EGL applies to corporate groups that undertake electricity generation in the UK from either:

  • nuclear
  • renewable, or
  • biomass sources (including energy from waste)
  • and is connected either at transmission or distribution level (ie. connected to national grid or local distribution networks).

Under EGL, a de minimis generation threshold applies, whereby the EGL only applies to groups that generate more than 50 GWh per annum of electricity in-scope from generation assets in a qualifying period (which is the accounting period of the group company responsible for administering the EGL).

EGL will be administered in the same way as Corporation Tax and will need to be paid in line with the responsible company’s normal payment dates for Corporation Tax. EGL takes effect retrospectively from 1 January 2023 and will apply until 31 March 2028.

EGL could be a significant factor in local authority energy projects that involve the supply of electricity to customers, in particular where there is the involvement of a company (eg. a private sector delivery partner) that holds significant energy generation assets.

If you would like to know how Bevan Brittan could help understand the possible implications of the EGL on any of your energy projects, please do get in touch with one of our Energy and commercial specialists Nadeem Arshad, Nathan Bradberry or Rupert Lugg.

Publications & Guidance

Decarbonisation of Operational PFI Projects

Infrastructure and Projects Authority | 5 July 2023

The IPA has published a handbook of recommendations for the decarbonisation of operational PFI accommodation projects. The aim of the publication is to support public sector PFI contract managers and those responsible for meeting decarbonisation commitments for public sector buildings delivered through PFI.

The government's resources and waste reforms for England

National Audit Office | 30 June 2023

This report examines whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is on track to achieve its resources and waste ambitions in a way that represents value for money. It assesses:

  • whether government has effective plans to achieve its resources and waste ambitions
  • whether Defra is on track to successfully implement its main programme, the collection and packaging reforms

Also see the accompanying data visualisation: Waste management: data visualisation

2023 Progress Report to Parliament

Climate Change Committee | 28 June 2023

This statutory report provides a comprehensive overview of the UK Government’s progress to date in reducing emissions. To read the press release, please see: Better transparency is no substitute for real delivery.

Energy system struggles in face of geopolitical and environmental crises

Energy Institute | 26 June 2023

The Energy Institute (EI) and partners KPMG and Kearney released the 72nd annual edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy, presenting for the first time full global energy data for 2022.

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund statistics: June 2023

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 22 June 2023

Data to monitor the installation of energy efficiency measures in domestic properties via the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) scheme in England.

New report highlights critical role of technology and digital in achieving net zero

International Federation of Consulting Engineers | 22 June 2023

In a new report launched recently, FIDIC says that in the drive to achieve net zero, the global infrastructure industry must choose the right technology for the job, incorporate technology into both new and existing infrastructure, collaborate effectively, challenge perceptions and take advantage of all the opportunities presented by technology and digital innovations.

Green power goals jeopardised by lack of overarching Government plan

UK Parliament | 21 June 2023

The UK Government has a challenging ambition to decarbonise the power sector by 2035 – but no overarching delivery plan exists to do so. A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published in June finds that while the Government has many separate ongoing power decarbonisation plans, its ambitions are jeopardised by the lack of an integrated and coherent delivery plan. This should be pulled together by autumn 2023 at the latest.

Accelerating adaptation action: councils preparing for climate change

Local Government Association | 14 June 2023

Councils are critical in preparing people and places to the impacts of the changing climate. As leaders in communities, they deliver hundreds of essential services to protect public health, manage roads, prepare for floods, and provide open space. Nationally we are not sufficiently prepared for the impacts of climate change, and central government must prioritise its work with local government to close this gap. This research report explores local authorities' preparedness for climate adaptation.

LGA Submission to DLUHC’s Environmental Outcomes Reports: a new approach to environmental assessment consultation

Local Government Association | 14 June 2023

In principle, the LGA support the objective of the new proposed system of environmental assessment, to streamline the existing EU-derived processes and place an increased focus on delivering environmental ambitions in the UK. However the consultation does not contain the level of detail required to understand how Environmental Outcome Reports (EOR’s) will work in practice. We would urge Government to engage directly with local authorities when drafting the outcomes and ahead of public consultation, to ensure they are practical and can be monitored effectively.

Net zero policy tracker: June 2023 update

Green Alliance | 13 June 2023

The net zero policy tracker has monitored the government’s progress towards the goals it set out in the Net Zero Strategy, using data made publicly available by the government. Green Alliance’s analysis shows that despite the announcements made on 30 March 2023, the UK remains off track to meet its net zero climate commitment by 2050. Insufficient policy ambition and a lack of delivery across all sectors remains. 

Briefing note: Developing local partnerships for onshore wind in England

Regen | 12 June 2023

Insights for local authorities and community organisations: how to respond to the current consultation on developing local partnerships for onshore wind in England.

Doubling global pace of energy efficiency progress by 2030 is key step in efforts to reach net zero emissions

International Energy Agency | 7 June 2023

A special briefing report published early June for IEA Global Conference – Energy Efficiency: The Decade for Action – highlights that ramping up annual energy efficiency progress from 2.2% to over 4% annually by 2030 would deliver vital reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time create jobs, expand energy access, reduce energy bills, decrease air pollution, and diminish countries’ reliance on fossil fuel imports – among other social and economic benefits.

VAT on solar panels and other energy-saving materials

House of Commons Library | 6 June 2023

This briefing explains the current VAT treatment on the installation of energy-saving materials in the UK, analyses recent changes, and outlines recent developments.


Green leader expresses reservations about solar farms

Local Government Chronicle | 5 July 2023

The leader of the first Green party majority council has called for the government to introduce a national policy framework for solar farms.

ULEZ battle set for court showdown

Public Finance | 4 July 2023

The fight over London’s air quality has reached the High Court.

Low emission zones are improving health, studies show

The Guardian | 30 June 2023

Review of research finds particularly clear evidence that LEZs in cities reduce heart and circulatory problems.

Prohibitive legal costs and government reforms could be behind fall in environment judicial reviews claims, foundation warns

Local Government Lawyer | 30 June 2023

A report from the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has called for reforms to costs rules in environmental judicial reviews after finding the number of environmental legal challenges has fallen from a peak of 180 cases a year to around 84.

Longfield Solar Farm development consent decision announced

Planning Inspectorate | 26 June 2023

On Monday 26 June 2023, the Longfield Solar Farm application was granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Consultation on environmental incentives to support sustainable new homes

Ofwat | 20 June 2023

Owfat are consulting on changes to our charging rules in the form of a common framework for water companies to offer stronger and more standardised environmental incentives to developers to encourage them to build new homes that are more water efficient and with sustainable drainage. The consultation closes on 1 August 2023.

Carbon neutrality 'not a top priority' in housing

The MJ | 20 June 2023

A lack of funding certainty and competing concerns have meant the issue is ‘not getting the attention’ it deserves, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee has heard.

Net zero power targets ‘implausible’, expert says

Public Finance | 19 June 2023

Ambitious Labour and Conservative plans to decarbonise the UK power sector will fail without a substantial increase in investment - and the money needed could be “politically infeasible”, a former government advisor warns.

UK switches on its first deep geothermal plant for 37 years

Power Technology | 19 June 2023

Eden Geothermal is the UK’s first operational deep geothermal project to come online in 37 years. There are hopes that this project will bolster the case for serious use of deep geothermal energy, despite its relatively high costs.

Ofwat and Defra face legal action for sewage spills dating back to the 1990s

Local Government Lawyer | 16 June 2023

Pre-action protocol letters relating to sewage spills at Whitburn, near Sunderland, have been sent by the Environmental Law Foundation and Landmark Chambers to OFWAT and Defra on behalf of local campaigner Robert Latimer, Utility Week magazine has reported.

Defra warned EPR facing 'significant hurdles' as 'lobbying' ramps up

letsrecycle.com | 13 June 2023

The UK’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme is facing “significant hurdles” as producers do not have access to the recycled materials needed, the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation has warned.

UK's offshore wind pipeline grows, but RenewableUK warns of global competition

edie | 12 June 2023

The UK’s offshore wind pipeline has reached almost 98GW – up from 91GW this time last year. But RenewableUK is warning policymakers not to be complacent, as China and the US forge ahead with their own renewable energy expansions.

Supreme Court to hear case on environmental impact assessments and downstream greenhouse gas emissions next week

Local Government Lawyer | 13 June 2023

The Supreme Court will next week (21-22 June) hear a case brought against Surrey County Council over whether the local authority acted unlawfully by not requiring an impact assessment of a proposed oil well's impact on downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before granting planning permission.

Council DIY waste charges abolished

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs | 13 June 2023

Charges to dispose of DIY waste at household waste recycling centres will be removed.

Councils call for more climate change support

The MJ | 8 June 2023

The Government must do more to help local areas adapt to climate change, councils in England have warned.

Researchers have ‘little confidence’ that national net-zero targets will be met

edie | 8 June 2023

A new study published in the journal Science ranked the net-zero emissions targets of every country with more than 0.1% of current global greenhouse gas emissions. Targets from nations were assigned a confidence score based on whether policies were legally binding, had implementation plans in place and had short-term methods to help drive decarbonisation.

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Delivering Value

Building Safety: Court of Appeal considers new retrospective limitation period under Defective Premises Act 1972

In April 2023, we commented on the decision in URS Corporation Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 189 in which the Court of Appeal addressed amendments to pleadings in light of the extended limitation period under the Building Safety Act 2022.

On 5 July 2023, the Court of Appeal handed down Judgment in URS Corporation Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 772 which further considers the provisions of the Building Safety Act and its effect on limitation periods.


BDW Trading Ltd appointed URS Corporation Ltd to provide structural design work for several blocks of residential buildings that were owned, and being developed by, BDW. 

The individual apartments were sold to purchases on long leases and BDW’s freehold interest were transferred across a time period, the last being transferred in May 2015.

On a trial of the preliminary issues, it was determined that the scope of URS’s duty did extend to the alleged losses and those loses were (in principle) recoverable as “it was clear that the cause of action in negligence accrued at the latest at practical completion.” This conclusion that the cause of action accrued at practical completion was also consistent with the Defective Premises Act 1972.

The Appeals

Following URS being granted permission to appeal the decision on preliminary issues, the Building Safety Act 2022 came into force with section 135 extending the limitation period for claims under the Defective Premises Act. In reliance on this extended limitation period, BDW successfully applied to amend their pleadings to instead being a claim under the Defective Premises Act. 

URS then launched a second appeal against this application and on 6 March they were given permission to appeal on the basis of ‘the connection between the proposed amendments and the wider importance of the points raised’.

It was noted that, whilst there is an express carve out stating the longer period does not apply to a party who made a claim under the DPA that had been finally determined or settled, there are no references to any other carve outs in the Act. The claim for contribution under the Defective Premises Act was therefore found to be open to BDW.

It was also found that the wording of the Defective Premises Act was clear and under section 1(1), URS owed a duty to BDW because as an engineer, URS was a “a person taking on work for or in connection with the provision of a dwelling”. The section 1(1) duty therefore extends to developers as well as property owners. The recoverability of damages under the Defective Premises Act is not linked to property ownership.

Interestingly, where multiple parties are involved, the Court also noted that the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 does not require the property owners to commence a primary claim before a third party developer can bring a contribution claim and the retrospective effect mentioned above applies equally to contribution claims.


In an extensive and important judgment, the Court of Appeal has (for the first time) considered claims brought under the Defective Premises Act and its extended limitation periods introduced by section 135 of the Building Safety Act 2022. 

The new limitation rules will bring many more challenge for the Courts and parties that are in proceedings may now rely on the longer limitation periods which may open up potential claims those parties may have considered were previously time-barred.

To view the full article please see: Building Safety: Court of Appeal considers new retrospective limitation period under Defective Premises Act 1972 | Bevan Brittan LLP

If you wish to discuss this further, please contact Matthew Phipps.

Publications & Guidance

Research on the nature, impact and drivers of nursery closures in England

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

The Local Government Association commissioned Isos Partnership in November 2022 to undertake a short research project. The aim has been to better understand the trends, impacts and drivers of recent private and voluntary sector nursery closures, and consider the local and national implications.

Give councils power to level up and improve local public services, Localis integration report urges

Localis | 5 July 2023

In a report published today entitled ‘Level Measures – a modern agenda for public service integration’Localis makes the case that England’s councils will need to innovate and collaborate if they are to address the capacity gap that threatens their ability to fulfil the government’s dozen levelling up missions.

NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

NHS England | 30 June 2023

The first comprehensive workforce plan for the NHS, putting staffing on a sustainable footing and improving patient care. It focuses on retaining existing talent and making the best use of new technology alongside the biggest recruitment drive in health service history.

Independent review of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Home Office | 30 June 2023

An independent review of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 carried out by Lord Anderson.

Role of the director of public health in local authorities

Department of Health and Social Care | 29 June 2023

Updated ‘Directors of public health in local government: roles, responsibilities and context’ to reflect changes to the health and care system. Removed documents ‘Directors of public health in local authorities: guidance on appointing directors of public health’ and ‘The new public health role of local authorities factsheet’.

Guidance to civil servants on use of generative AI

Cabinet Office | 29 June 2023

General principles on the government's use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used to create new text, images, video, audio, or code.

NHS strike action in England

House of Commons Library | 28 June 2023

Strikes have been taking place across the NHS in England. This briefing looks at Government pay offers, what unions are asking for and when strikes will happen.

Age UK research finds many older people are struggling to access local public services in an increasingly digital world

Age UK | 28 June 2023

In a new report published today, Age UK warns that local councils need to do more to improve access to and provision of public services for those not online. Applying for a Blue Badge and other council services if people are not online overwhelming found that most local authorities now strongly encourage people to access services digitally and in some cases do not offer offline alternatives at all, or not in a way that makes them easy to find and access.

Government proposals for children's social care reform

House of Commons Library | 28 June 2023

Summary of Government proposals for reform of children's social care in England.

Transforming health assessments for disability benefits

National Audit Office | 23 June 2023

This report provides an early assessment of the progress DWP is making with the Programme. Our report covers:

  • the baseline performance of functional health assessments
  • DWP’s approach to transforming functional health assessments
  • challenges implementing the Health Transformation Programme

Access to unplanned or urgent care

National Audit Office | 21 June 2023

This report gives a factual overview of NHS services that may be used when people need rapid access to urgent, emergency, or other non-routine health services, and whether such services are meeting the performance standards the NHS has told patients they have a right to expect.

It covers:

  • general practice
  • community pharmacy
  • 111 calls
  • ambulance services (including 999 calls)
  • urgent treatment centres
  • accident and emergency (A&E) departments

Children and young people’s mental health: An independent review into policy success and challenges over the last decade

Local Government Association | 21 June 2023

This report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition considers the policy landscape in England in relation to children and young people’s mental health over the last decade, and reviews progress relating to implementation and impact. The report is informed by a rapid review of policy which was carried out between January and March 2023. These findings reflect the view of the Coalition, not the LGA.

Health and Wellbeing Hubs: delivering local services under one roof

Local Government Association | 20 June 2023

These case studies highlight the varied ways councils are working in partnership with the NHS and other local partners to introduce Health and Wellbeing Hubs.

The asylum and protection transformation programme

National Audit Office | 16 June 2023

This report examines the Home Office’s progress in delivering the asylum and protection transformation programme.

The report does not evaluate the wider policy changes, but it does discuss the potential impact of the programme on parts of the wider asylum system. We consider the wider asylum system to include any parts of the Home Office and other government organisations that a person who has applied for asylum may need to interact with.

Government publishes response to Committee’s Integrated Care Systems report

UK Parliament | 14 June 2023

The Government Response to the Committee’s report, Integrated Care Systems: autonomy and accountability, has been published today by the Department of Health and Social Care. It also sets out its response to recommendations made in the Hewitt Review, commissioned by the Government.

Safe care at home review

Home Office | 12 June 2023

The review drew on the experience of people who receive care in their own homes, organisations representing carers, and statutory agencies including frontline professionals.

The review developed a set of cross-government actions for implementing change over three key themes:

  1. Strengthening accountability and oversight mechanisms to better protect and support victims
  2. Strengthening training and guidance so this type of harm and relevant legislative protections are better understood by frontline professionals
  3. Improving the data and evidence available about this type of harm

Newly updated Burgundy Book launched for school teachers

Local Government Association | 8 June 2023

A handbook setting out the conditions of service for school teachers in England and Wales has been updated for the first time in over two decades.

DBS launches refreshed 2025 strategy

Disclosure and Barring Service | 7 June 2023

The refreshed five-year strategy remains focussed on quality and safeguarding.

Keeping children safe in education

Department for Education | 6 June 2023

Added statutory guidance on keeping children safe in education for 2023. This is for information only and does not come into force until 1 September 2023.


Ofsted launches consultation for inspecting supported accommodation

Ofsted | 10 July 2023

The consultation will provide the sector with the opportunity to share its views on how supported accommodation should be inspected. The consultation runs from 10 July to 8 September 2023 and will inform our arrangements for inspections starting in April 2024. We began accepting applications to register providers of supported accommodation in April 2023, when regulations came into force. Regulation and inspection will provide essential oversight and assess whether children in supported accommodation are safe and well supported.

What the PM's action plan to tackle anti-social behaviour means for you

Prime Minister’s Office | 6 July 2023

This has been updated following the implementation of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan.

Councils face surge in young people coming into care as new report shows how local authorities are managing demand

County Councils Network | 6 July 2023

This soaring demand to help safeguard young people in 2021/22 – the year after three national lockdowns – forced 30 out of 36 county local authorities to overspend on their budgets by £317m, new analysis from the County Councils Network (CCN) reveals.

Increased referrals causing children’s services overspend

The MJ | 6 July 2023

Four in five of England’s largest councils overspent on their children’s services budget last year because of more young people requiring care since the pandemic.

Scrap plan for single word inspection ratings for underfunded adult social care services - LGA

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

“It is clear that most councils are struggling to meet all of their legal duties under the Care Act. Given that, it seems absurd to push ahead with single word ratings for adult social care departments."

Nine in 10 councils concerned about nursery capacity ahead of 30 hours free childcare extension – new LGA research

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

Nearly nine in ten councils fear that nursery closures this year will undermine capacity ahead of the rollout of the Government’s extension of the 30 hours free childcare scheme, new research by the Local Government Association reveals today.

Afghan homelessness fears as LGA warns of asylum and resettlement pressures

Local Government Association | 4 July 2023

The LGA is calling for the Government to work with councils on a jointly managed, locally driven process to asylum and resettlement that properly takes into account pressures on local areas and public services.

Children’s Commissioner for England calls for “radical rehaul” of SEND system as demand for Education, Health and Care Plans reaches new highs

Local Government Lawyer | 4 July 2023

The Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, has called for a “radical rehaul of the SEND system” and “swift implementation of the SEND Improvement Plan” after recent data from the Department for Education showed that nearly 1.2 million children in England have special educational needs support without an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), up 4.7% in 2022.

‘We specialise in prevention’: report urges ICSs to utilise district expertise

District Councils' Network | 4 July 2023

District councils’ fundamental role in determining the health of their communities makes them “indispensable strategic partners” in integrated care systems (ICSs).

LGA analysis - Councils face almost £3 billion funding gap over next two years

Local Government Association | 4 July 2023

Councils in England face a funding gap of almost £3 billion over the next two years just to keep services standing still, new analysis by the Local Government Association reveals today.

Government appoints new panel to promote cultural education

Department of Education | 3 July 2023

The government has appointed a new panel of 22 experts to support the development of the cultural education plan.

Youth services set to benefit over summer through anti-social behaviour action plan

Department for Culture, Media and Sport | 3 July 2023

Young people living in anti-social behaviour hotspots in England will get more access to sport, arts and opportunities to develop skills this summer, thanks to the first £3 million from the Million Hours Fund.

LGA statement on ability of councils to decide how to address workforce challenges

Local Government Association | 2 July 2023

"More than nine in 10 councils are experiencing staff recruitment and retention difficulties across a diverse range of skills, professions and occupations.

Swimming Pool Support Fund open for applications

Sport England | 30 June 2023

The £20 million revenue fund closes on 11 August, with a £40m pot for capital investment set to be made available in September, to help make facilities more energy efficient.

Government acts to improve patient safety in mental health care

Department of Health and Social Care | 29 June 2023

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay announces inquiry into deaths of mental health inpatients in Essex will become statutory.

Concerning food inflation rise impacts on children’s health - LGA responds to SAPHNA report into children’s health and cost of living

Local Government Association | 28 June 2023

The value of the Healthy Start voucher scheme for families should be increased to keep pace with the rising cost of food.

Establishing youth-friendly health and care services

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities | 27 June 2023

'You're Welcome': standards to help improve the quality of, and access to, health and wellbeing services for young people.

Government seeks views on learning disability and autism training

Department of Health and Social Care | 27 June 2023

Standards for learning disability and autism training for health and care staff will improve as government launches a consultation on a draft code of practice. Also see: Oliver McGowan draft code of practice

Working Together to Safeguard Children: changes to statutory guidance

Department for Education | 21 June 2023

We are seeking views on our revisions to the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance. This consultation closes at 11:59 pm on 6 September 2023.

Over 180 children a day approach councils for special needs support as local authorities warn that government reforms will not stem the tide

County Councils Network | 21 June 2023

The number of children on special needs support plans in England is now over half a million, with councils warning the government’s reforms will not stem the tide of demand.

Government to legally make visiting a part of care

Department of Health and Social Care | 21 June 2023

People in care homes and hospitals will be able to have visitors in all circumstances under law amendment. Also see: Visiting in care homes, hospitals and hospices

ADASS Spring Survey 2023

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services | 21 June 2023

New findings from a survey of social care leaders shows short-term funding boosts from Government has helped reduce the number of people waiting for care and increased support for people at home. But increases in care delivered are not keeping pace with increased needs, according to a report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. LGA’s reaction: Demand for social care continues to rise – LGA on ADASS Spring Survey.

LGA demands talks over anti-terror law

The MJ | 20 June 2023

The Local Government Association (LGA) has demanded fresh talks with senior Home Office figures amid concerns a proposed anti-terror law will heap huge costs onto councils.

Changes made to school inspections

Ofsted | 12 June 2023

Ofsted has today announced changes to improve aspects of its work with schools.

Councils warn of 'trauma' for evicted refugees

The MJ | 12 June 2023

Council leaders have warned of heaping more ‘trauma’ onto Afghan refugees by evicting them from hotels with nowhere else to stay.

Ukrainian families supported into own homes with £150m funding

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 10 June 2023

Funding will be allocated across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, helping support Ukrainian families into their own homes.

Planning for accommodation for looked after children

UK Parliament | 23 May 2023

The Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Rachel Maclean, has published a written statement addressing the government’s commitment to develop accommodation for looked after children through its planning system.

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Place & Growth

Government Inquiry into use of RAAC expanded to UK’s wider public estate

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight form of concrete which was often used in constructing low-rise, public sector buildings between the 1950s and the 1990s – although not all of these buildings remain in the public sector.

Although it was thought to be a viable alternative to traditional concrete at the time, it has been recognised for several years now that RAAC has a shelf-life (of around 30 years) and is prone to structural failure.

Significant concern has been building for some time: The Local Government Association is advising its members to check as a matter of urgency whether any buildings in their estates have roofs, floors, cladding or walls made of RAAC. In December 2022, the Department for Education published a guide to help responsible bodies to identify RAAC and develop a remediation strategy.

The government launched an inquiry into the use of RAAC concrete last year, mainly focussing on schools but it has now been reported (15 June 2023) that this inquiry is to be expanded to include the entire public estate; a significant increase in scope.

The Law

The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the ‘1974 Act’) sets out general duties on organisations which are employers and/or have some control over premises. Generally speaking, most organisations will have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of its employees and others who may be affected by its work (which would include any members of the public using the building).

The risk of collapse caused by RAAC is highly likely to constitute a breach of the 1974 Act and, were a collapse to lead to a fatality, depending on the facts, there is the potential for corporate manslaughter charges. Breaches of the law are criminal, serious and fines issued by the Court often run into the millions of pounds. Whilst public sector bodies are eligible for a ‘substantial reduction’ in fines, a local authority has previously been unsuccessful in its attempt to reduce its £500,000 fine because the figure was deemed to be fair and proportionate in the circumstances.

Practical Points

The severity with which buildings are affected by RAAC is likely to vary. Whilst the new-build/change of premises option may be available to some, the development of remediation and risk management strategies is likely to be the way RAAC is managed in many buildings in the short to medium term.

If you would like further advice on RAAC, please contact Adam Kendall or Melissa Stanford.


Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023

Parliament has announced that the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill is currently in its final stages and is waiting to receive Royal Assent. The Bill seeks to make provisions about the regulation of supported exempt accommodation and the local authority oversight and enforcement powers relating to this matter. The Bill completed its third reading on 16 June 2023 and Parliament is due to announce the date of its Royal Assent.

The Building Safety (Responsible Actors Scheme and Prohibitions) Regulations 2023 (legislation.gov.uk)

These Regulations are made to establish a Responsible Actors Scheme (RAS or scheme) for developers for the purpose of improving the safety and standard of buildings. Members of the scheme will be required to identify and remediate (or pay for the remediation) of life-critical fire safety defects in residential buildings over 11 meters in height, which they developed or refurbished in England between 1992 and 2022. They are due to come into force on 4 July 2023.

The Building Safety (Leaseholder Protections etc.) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023

These draft Regulations are laid to use powers in the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) to make amendments to the existing leaseholder protection regulations to address issues raised in relation to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI) report and two Judicial Review applications against the regulations and make amendments and clarifications to the existing leaseholder protection regulations to ensure they have effect in the way originally intended. They are due to come into force on the day after the day on which these Regulations are made.

Publications & Guidance

A letter to Grenfell residents from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 10 July 2023

A letter to local residents following conversations held in May 2023.

Supporting community ownership of leisure and sports assets

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

This guide considers the powerful benefits of community-owned leisure and sport assets offers to communities and councils. The national policy direction has been set. But what does this mean for communities and councils and how can the benefits be maximised for all?

Gigabit broadband in the UK: Government targets, policy, and funding

House of Commons Library | 3 July 2023

This briefing paper provides information on the Government's targets for rolling out gigabit broadband, its policies to support the roll-out by industry, and its public funding programme, Project Gigabit.

Fire safety in houses and blocks of flats

House of Commons Library | 30 June 2023

This briefing discusses fire safety requirements for houses and blocks of flats, the 'stay put' strategy and the government response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

RSH sets out key damp and mould findings for social landlords

Regulator of Social Housing | 28 June 2023

The regulator of social housing has published a report setting out how social landlords are approaching the tackling of damp and mould in their tenants’ homes. The report highlights the features of the strongest and weakest approaches, so that landlords can learn lessons from others in the sector.

The findings are drawn from responses that RSH requested from landlords following the coroner’s report into the tragic death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale. The regulator expects all social landlords to read the report and use it to inform their approach.

Selective licensing in the private rented sector: a guide for local authorities

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 20 June 2023

Updated Selective Licensing Guidance to clarify selective licensing legislation, and requirements for applications submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Local growth funds

House of Commons Library | 16 June 2023

This briefing is a short summary of current government administered funds designed to support local economic growth.

Night Shelter Transformation Fund: Round 2 prospectus

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 6 June 2023

Information about the funding and the application process for the Night Shelter Transformation Fund.


“Generational step-change” needed in council housebuilding

Local Government Association | 3 July 2023

Every area in England should be handed a new local housing deal by 2025 which combines funding from multiple national housing programmes into a single pot to spark a “generational step-change” in council housebuilding.

Good practice including damp and mould case

Housing Ombudsman Service | 30 June 2023

The Ombudsman has used a selection of good practice cases it has seen in the past month to share where other landlords can improve their services.

Turbo-boost for estate regeneration with major change to the Affordable Homes Programme

Homes England | 27 June 2023

Move provides affordable housing sector with significant opportunity to ramp up its regeneration ambitions.

Councils call for ministers to think 'more radically' on short-term lets

The MJ | 21 June 2023

Whitehall proposals to regulate short-term holiday lets fail to deliver what is needed to tackle housing shortages and ministers should think ‘more radically,’ councils have said.

Coalition of councils, housebuilders, housing associations, charities and planners call on government to scrap flagship planning reform

County Councils Network | 16 June 2023

The County Councils Network has joined a host of high profile organisations ranging from charities, housebuilders, planners, and housing associations in calling on the government to not proceed with one of its flagship planning reforms. The letter can be read which was organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute, can be read here. 

Councils supported with £10m to improve traveller sites

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 15 June 2023

Traveller sites will be improved and people in the community will be given easier access to healthcare and education, thanks to DLUHC funding.

Response to Public Order Act and proposed thresholds for the definition of ‘serious disruption’

Equality and Human Rights | 12 June 2023

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published a response to the Public Order Act 2023 (POA 2023) and proposed thresholds for the definition of ‘serious disruption’.

Council funding plea ahead of LEP wind-down

The MJ | 12 June 2023

Council directors have called for the Government to protect them from a financial hit as Local Enterprise Partnership functions are transferred to English councils.

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Governance & Reorganisation

Governance in the news…

It would be remiss not to mention the widespread concern regarding local government finances, and the significant cost cutting that will be required by an increasing number of local authorities to avoid the issue of a section 114 notice. Effective bankruptcy is more of a concern for many local authorities now than it has been for a long time.

In other news, and with little fanfare in the media, the government have scrapped (or perhaps shelved for now) the Bill of Rights which had been introduced by Dominic Raab when first appointed justice secretary. This is not however the first time that the Bill has been derailed after having been shelved during the short tenure of Liz Truss as PM. The Bill was then revived after Mr Raab found himself back on the Cabinet, but its ongoing tenure was doubtful after his resignation following allegations of bullying.

It had been proposed that the Human Rights Act 1998 be replaced with the Bill of Rights, with the then government stating that the current framework for applying human rights was flawed and had, among other things, resulted in the growth of a rights culture that had displaced focus on personal responsibility and the public interest, as well as the creation of legal uncertainty, confusion and risk aversion for those delivering public services on the frontline.

The ‘scrapping’ of the Bill has been met with widespread approval. Law Society President Lubna Shuja being quoted as stating “We are pleased the government has seen sense and decided not to pursue the Bill of Rights Bill, which would have been a step backwards for British justice.”

“Scrapping the Bill is the right decision as it would have created an acceptable class of human rights abuses, weakened individual rights and seen the UK diverge from our international human rights obligations.”

Whilst those opposed to the Bill are celebrating its derailment at present, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk told the Commons Justice Committee that “the Government remains committed to a human rights framework which is up-to-date and fit for purpose and works for the British people.”

“We have taken and are taking action to address specific issues with the Human Rights Act and the European Convention, including through the Illegal Migration Bill, the Victims and Prisoners Bill and Overseas Operations Act 2021 and indeed, the Northern Ireland Legacy Bill, the last of which addressed vexatious claims against veterans and the armed forces.”

Watch this space!

For help and advice on governance or reorganisation matters, please contact David Kitson, Philip McCourt, or Victoria Barman.

Publications & Guidance

Virtual Council Meeting Survey – 2023

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

Research Report, May – June 2023: This survey aimed to capture data on the current appetite for virtual meeting options at statutory council meetings and understand the positive and negative effects of returning to in person only council meetings in England.

Make It Local

Local Government Association | 4 July 2023

By the start of 2025, we will have had a general election. This is a moment of opportunity. A moment to look to the future and honestly question what local communities need, and how we could do things differently. This isn’t a time for top-down solutions. It is a time to listen to our communities and let them shape the agenda.

Debate Not Hate: Ending abuse in public life for councillors

Local Government Association | 3 July 2023

Our new publication outlines how councils can better support councillors to prevent and handle abuse and includes principles for councils to consider, top tips and good practice case studies.

AEA 2023 post polls report published

Association of Electoral Administrators | 27 June 2023

Unsystematic change to the UK electoral system is raising the risk of major problems at the next general election. That’s the verdict of our 2023 post polls report. Under pressure: increased demand on the UK electoral system expresses our concern that only a major electoral failure will focus attention on the electoral system’s vulnerabilities. The report reflects on delivery of the 4 May 2023 local elections – including voter ID – and examines the imminent second tranche of Election Act 2022 changes.

Unacceptably high backlog in local government audit system may get worse before improving

UK Parliament | 23 June 2023

The unacceptably high backlog of audit opinions for local government bodies may get worse before it gets better. A Public Accounts Committee report today says that delays to publishing audited accounts for local government bodies increases the risk of governance or financial issues being identified too late, and hinders accountability for £100 billion in local government spending, with knock-on impacts for central government and the NHS.

Voter ID

House of Commons Library | 23 June 2023

Voters must now show photo ID at UK Parliamentary elections, police and crime commissioner elections and at local elections in England. This briefing looks at the background to voter ID in the Great Britain.

Voter ID at the May 2023 local elections in England: interim analysis

Electoral Commission | 23 June 2023

At local elections in England on 4 May, voters needed to show photo identification (ID) to vote in polling stations. These were the first elections in Great Britain where this requirement was in place. Elections took place in 230 areas in England and around 27 million people were eligible to vote.

Our interim analysis provides information and evidence currently available about how the new voter ID requirement was implemented and how voters found taking part. We have looked at evidence from large-scale public opinion research carried out before and after the elections, and polling station data collected from the majority of local authorities that held polls this year.

Data protection: constituency casework

House of Commons Library | 22 June 2023

The Information Commissioner's Office has published guidance for Members of Parliament on what they must do to comply with data protection law when handling casework.

Who can vote in UK elections?

House of Commons Library | 22 June 2023

This briefing summarises the voting rights for different types of elections in the UK.

Lack of transparency on non-executive directors in Government, say MPs

UK Parliament | 20 June 2023

In a new report, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee highlights a lack of transparency on the appointment and activities of non-executive directors in Government. It concludes that the Corporate Governance Code, which outlines the role of non-executives, is “not fit for purpose” and should be updated or replaced by the end of the year.

Government continues to delay fundamental ombudsman reform, MPs hear

UK Parliament | 16 June 2023

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee today publishes the UK Government’s and Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman’s responses to the Committee’s annual scrutiny report on the ombudsman.


LGA: Number of councillors feeling personally at risk in role reaches new high

Local Government Association | 5 July 2023

The number of local councillors who have reported feeling at risk in their role due to rising levels of abuse and intimidation has increased to a new high in the last year.

Gove doubles down on opposition to four-day week pilot

Local Government Chronicle | 4 July 2023

The levelling up secretary has doubled down on ministerial criticism of a district council that is piloting a four-day working week.

Minister orders district to halt four-day week 'immediately'

Local Government Chronicle | 3 July 2023

The local government minister has written to South Cambridgeshire DC formally requesting that the council end its four-day week pilot “immediately”. South Cambridgeshire has asked to meet ministers and the Local Government Association issued a statement saying councils should be free to pilot initiatives such as the four-day week.

LGA: Overwhelming majority of councils want hybrid meeting powers

Local Government Association | 29 June 2023

One in ten councils surveyed had a councillor who had stepped down in their authority since May 2021 due to the requirement for them to attend council meetings in-person.

LGA to expand peer review in wake of council failures

Local Government Chronicle | 29 June 2023

The Local Government Association is to introduce two new kinds of peer challenges, but is being forced to rethink other parts of its offer after ministers pulled funding. Under its contract with government to deliver sector led support, the LGA will now offer finance and governance peer challenges alongside its regular corporate peer challenges in a bid to provide greater assurance on struggling councils.

Councillors seek government help to repair fractured member-officer relationships after senior member was jailed

Local Government Lawyer | 29 June 2023

 Senior East Devon councillors have asked communities secretary Michael Gove to help the authority recover from the fall out from a historic case of paedophilia.

Sector tells MPs 'we need your help' on audit

The MJ | 27 June 2023

A plea has been made to MPs to ‘give the sector a break’ to allow it to get on top of its audit ‘crisis’.

Improvements needed to ensure voter ID does not become a barrier to voting

Electoral Commission | 23 June 2023

Further work is required to ensure that elections remain accessible to all, according to interim findings from the Electoral Commission on the new voter ID policy. New public opinion research on the measure found that 4% of all people who said they did not vote at the elections on 4 May listed the ID requirement as the reason. 3% said they did not have the necessary ID, and 1% said they disagreed with the new requirement.

City leader slams DLUHC's 'lack of imagination' over devo deal

Local Government Chronicle | 22 June 2023

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has shown a ‘lack of imagination’ in not taking forward a separate devolution deal for Solent, the leader of Portsmouth City Council has said.

Lords debates state of local government

UK Parliament | 16 June 2023

On Thursday 15 June, members of the Lords debated the state of local government in England and the case for the reinvigoration of local democracy.

Manchester 'frustrated' at pace of devolution

The MJ | 8 June 2023

Manchester’s leader has said there is “a long way to go” to meet the city’s devolution ambitions.

Accountability and scrutiny of Teesworks

House of Commons Library | 7 June 2023

This landing page has been prepared for the Opposition day debate on Accountability and scrutiny of Teesworks on 7 June 2023.

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Contract Management

Gigabit broadband in the UK: Government targets, policy and funding

The Government’s target is for gigabit broadband to be available to 85% of the UK by 2025 and nationwide by 2030. The House of Commons have put forward a research briefing paper which provides information on the Government’s targets for rolling out gigabit broadband, the policies to support the roll out by industry and its public funding programme.

Gigabit-capable broadband means download speeds of at least one gigabit-per-second – this would allow a high definition file to be downloaded in under one minute. The Government has promised £5 billion to subsidise the roll-out of gigabit broadband to the hardest to reach premises in the country that will not be reached by private investment. This is around five million premises, mostly in rural areas. The funding programme is called “Project Gigabit” and is delivered by Building Digital UK, an executive agency within the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

Project Gigabit has three main parts:

  • A series of procurements subsidising the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband in specific areas Broadband suppliers will bid for contracts to build in each area
  • A voucher scheme for residents and businesses in eligible rural areas to subsidise the cost of a new gigabit-capable connection, and
  • Funding to connect to public sector buildings, such as schools (called “Gigahubs”).

Gigabit capable broadband can be delivered by a range of technologies, including full fibre, high-speed cable broadband and potentially wireless technologies. The UK Government has primary responsibility for broadband policy and coverage targets because telecommunications is a reserved power. However, the delivery of broadband infrastructure projects often involves local authorities or devolved responsibilities, such as building regulations, planning and business rates.

If you need support in delivery of procurements in relation to broadband infrastructure, broader support for roll-out projects or the implementation of new technologies, including the benefits that this could bring to local authorities, please get in touch with Richard Lane or Liz Fletcher.


The Windsor Framework (Disclosure of Revenue and Customs Information) Regulations 2023

These Regulations are made in exercise of legislative powers under the EU(W)A 2018 in connection with Brexit. They allow the disclosure of information held by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs where this will enable the UK to meet obligations arising under or relating to the Windsor Framework. They come into force on 30 June 2023.

Publications & Guidance

PPN 07/23 Government Security Classifications

Cabinet Office | 3 July 2023

The Government Security Classifications Policy (GSCP) has been updated to address gaps in the previous policy and changes in government working practices since the last major update in 2013. The Policy applies to any information or data that is created, processed, stored or managed as part of an HMG contract.

PPN 06/23 The Commercial Playbooks

Cabinet Office | 20 June 2023

PPN setting out which organisations are in-scope of the Commercial Playbooks and how their principles should be applied.

Procurement Bill: Progress of the Bill

House of Commons Library | 12 June 2023

The Procurement Bill would reform the way public authorities purchase goods, services and public works. This briefing has been prepared ahead of the Bill’s report stage in the House of Commons, scheduled for 13 June 2023.

Complying with the UK’s international obligations on subsidy control: guidance for public authorities

Department for Business and Trade | 9 June 2023

Guidance on the UK’s international subsidy control commitments updated to reflect the commencement of the Subsidy Control Act, and new guidance published on Article 10 of the Windsor Framework.


Part 1 Consultation on draft regulations to implement the Procurement Bill

Cabinet Office | 19 June 2023

This is a consultation on the secondary legislation required to implement the new public procurement regime established by the Procurement Bill. This consultation closes at 11:45 pm on 28 July 2023.

House to examine strengthened national security measures as Procurement Bill progresses to report stage

Cabinet Office | 13 June 2023

Transformative new rules which rip up bureaucratic EU regulations for public sector procurement will be debated in the House of Commons today.

Procurement Bill strengthened to protect national security

Cabinet Office | 7 June 2023

Stepped up measures to protect national security in government contracts are to be brought forward, the government has announced today.

Drax Energy Solutions Ltd v Wipro Ltd [2023] EWHC 1342 (TCC)

Bailii.org | 9 June 2023

In a dispute arising out of a master services agreement for the provision of software services, the Technology and Construction Court has decided preliminary issues as to the interpretation of a limitation of liability clause. Drax (an energy company) had claims for misrepresentation, quality defects, delay and termination and sought separate losses for each, the amounts of which exceeded the contractual cap.

The issue was whether there was one cap applying to all claims or separate caps that applied to each claim. As a matter of the language of the contract, the court considered that there was a single cap for all claims and commercial considerations and the approach in Triple Point v PTT [2021] UKSC 29 did not alter that conclusion. The court rejected the suggestion that ‘claim’ meant ’cause of action’ or ‘liability’ and concluded that had there been multiple caps, they would have been those categories identified by Drax, namely misrepresentation, quality, delay and termination.

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Disputes & Regulatory Support

High Court declares ‘strike-breaking’ agency worker regulations unlawful

The High Court have, following a judicial review challenge from a number of unions, quashed the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022. These regulations had the effect (contrary to previous legislation) of allowing employment businesses to supply temporary workers to cover the work of those taking part in official industrial action. To do so, following the decision, will now be unlawful. The High Court, in reaching this decision, considered that a proper consultation which was required by statute hadn’t been undertaken by the Secretary of State before making the 2022 regulations.

With a number of sectors currently experiencing strikes (particularly in the healthcare, education and transport sectors), this change will no doubt have implications for organisations seeking to cover the ongoing effects of industrial action. Whilst most employers would absolutely support the premise behind holding proper consultations as required by statute, this U-turn now means they may face unprecedented disruption in agency staff being now unable to cover the services directly provided by striking staff. The safety and delivery of services to their service users will be the primary consideration for employers who will may now need to immediately revisit their strategies for covering strikes.

There is however, no prohibition on using agency workers to backfill the work of those employees or casual workers covering the strike action of their colleagues. As such employers may wish to consider reverting to using this approach, or consider using other options including the temporary outsourcing of service provision in affected areas to a third party.

The Department for Business and Trade have said they will consider the judgment and next steps carefully, so an appeal could be on the cards.

If you wish to discuss this further, please contact our industrial action experts Sarah Wimsett, Alastair Currie, or Heather Stickland.

Publications & Guidance

New how-to guide to help families access trust funds of disabled young adults

Ministry of Justice | 9 June 2023

Parents who care for disabled young people will be better supported to access vital savings – including Child Trust Funds – thanks to the launch of a new easy-to-use guide.

PAC seriously concerned at Court Reform Programme’s multiple delays and revisions

UK Parliament | 30 June 2023

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is seriously concerned that HM Courts & Tribunals Service is once again behind on delivering critical reforms. In a published report, the PAC finds that the long history of resets, revisions and delays to the Court Reform Programme has largely been due to HMCTS’ consistent underestimation of the scale and complexity of these reforms.

Guidance on the use of Psychologists as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales (Standards and Competencies) - June 2023

British Psychological Society | 1 June 2023

This document is a joint effort by the Family Justice Council and the BPS and provides a set of guidelines for how to instruct expert witnesses in family proceedings.


Council threatened with judicial review over station improvements project

Local Government Lawyer | 6 July 2023

North Yorkshire Council faces a judicial review over a scheme to improve access to Harrogate station.

Kent launches legal action over asylum-seeking children

The MJ | 6 July 2023

Kent CC has issued a claim for judicial review against home secretary Suella Braverman, asking her to direct other local authorities to ‘receive their fair share’ of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

High Court gives green light for judicial review challenging use of non-material amendment in Aylesbury Estate regeneration

Local Government Lawyer | 4 July 2023

A High Court judge has granted permission on the papers for a judicial review of the London Borough of Southwark's decision to approve a "non-material amendment" under s.96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in order to demolish a 1960s estate.

Home Office facing judicial review challenge over decision to require controlled drugs licence to carry out festival drugs testing

Local Government Lawyer | 3 July 2023

A Home Office policy requiring charities to obtain a controlled drugs licence in order to conduct safety tests on drugs at music festivals has "put lives at risk", a pre-action protocol letter challenging the decision has argued.

Judge rules on controversial asylum hotel

The MJ | 3 July 2023

The Home Office must consider alternatives to a controversial asylum hotel in Brighton & Hove's boundaries in which officials placed an unaccompanied nine-year-old, a judge has ordered.

Court of Appeal hears appeal against judgment declaring Government’s National Disability Strategy unlawful

Local Government Lawyer | 30 June 2023

The Court of Appeal has this week heard an appeal brought by the Government against a High Court judgment which declared its National Disability Strategy as unlawful.

The hearing, which took place on 28 and 29 June, appealed the decision made on 25 January 2022 in R(Binder & Others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] EWHC 105, in which Mr Justice Griffiths upheld two challenges made by disability campaigners Jean Eveleigh, Victoria Hon, Douglas Paulley and the late Miriam Binder, who brought the case against the then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey.

High Court refuses claimant permission for ninth shot at judicial review over same development site

Local Government Lawyer | 29 June 2023

A High Court judge has refused a claimant permission for a ninth claim for judicial review over a 400-home development approved by Canterbury City Council.

NHS trust takes councils to court in funding row

The MJ | 29 June 2023

A judge is set to decide whether three councils acted lawfully when they rejected a hospital trust’s request for money from housing developers.

Court of Appeal dismisses Braintree airfield asylum appeal, refuses to consider Class Q argument

Local Government Lawyer | 29 June 2023

The Court of Appeal has dismissed Braintree District Council's appeal of the High Court's decision not to grant an injunction blocking the Home Office's plans to use a disused airfield to accommodate asylum seekers.

CoA removes costs cap in long running state aid dispute

Local Government Lawyer | 29 June 2023

The Court of Appeal has overturned a costs cap imposed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in a long-running dispute between Durham County Council and a waste management firm named The Durham Company, which trades as Max Recycle.

CMC, Ciarb and CEDR Unite for Intervention

Civil Mediation Council | 27 June 2023

Leading dispute resolution bodies have joined forces to intervene in the case of Churchill v Merthyr Tydfil before the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

Council secures fundamental dishonesty finding after social media posts show “injured” golfer playing competitively

Local Government Lawyer | 23 June 2023

A golfer who made a claim against a council for an injury that allegedly kept him playing golf for a year has been ordered to pay £11,000 in costs after images posted to his social media account showed that he had continued to play the sport at a competitive level.

Sheffield to apologise to courts for misleading documents referenced in judicial review decisions regarding street trees dispute

Local Government Lawyer | 22 June 2023

A four-page apology over the bitter 'street trees' dispute has seen Sheffield City Council admit that it should have removed a misleading document from circulation and made the High Court aware that it was inaccurate during the course of two judicial reviews which referenced the document.

Supreme Court hands down ruling on coroner’s inquests and verdict required where woman deprived of liberty in care home later died in hospital

Local Government Lawyer | 22 June 2023

In the case of Maguire, R (on the application of) v His Majesty's Senior Coroner for Blackpool & Fylde & Anor [2023] UKSC 20, the Supreme Court has handed down its judgment on the type of verdict required at a coroner's inquest after a woman with Down's syndrome had been deprived of her liberty in a care home and later died in hospital.

Council breached court embargo by releasing news of judicial review ruling before hand down

Local Government Lawyer | 20 June 2023

The London Borough of Lewisham has acknowledged it breached a court's embargo after a press officer sent an embargoed press release detailing the outcome of a judicial review 45 minutes before the judge handed his decision down.

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Resources Library

All Bevan Brittan articles and news

Update on the DoL Streamlined Procedure
Building Safety: Court of Appeal considers new retrospective limitation period under Defective Premises Act 1972
Testing for a Safer Future: The New Construction Product Regulations
NEW - Energy Matters July 2023
Article 2 duties re-confirmed: The Systems Duty and Operational Duty
Pensions Points – July 2023
Health and Care Update – June 2023



Have you registered for…

20 July 2023, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Practical and Legal Guidance for Assessing Capacity

27 September 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 am
Service Change: Navigating public law requirements

All forthcoming webinars

On Demand

Liberty Protection Safeguards and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards – where are we now?
In discussion: harassment in health and social care services
Children and Young People: Placement and Restrictive Support Packages

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