This month includes freedom of information, housing regeneration, Alexander Kuznetsov and London Borough of Camden, EU regulation standard form public procurement notices, expert evidence, child care and immigration, conflicts of interest, information law update, and environmental law.
Welcome to our Public Matters Newsletter.
This month we have:
Responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 may be both time consuming and costly for public authorities to manage. Hannah Payne looks at three cases that should assist public authorities in considering the appropriate response to freedom of information requests that cause the greatest burden.
Karl Edwards outlines some of the key consultation requirements that a local authority should consider when looking to regenerate housing, and additional considerations in London.
Kassra Powles looks at the Alexander Kuznetsov and London Borough of Camden case, which serves as a reminder of the fundamental elements of a property sale contract and the risks of unintentionally exchanging contracts.
The European Commission has published the draft implementing regulation and new standard form notices, which will be instrumental in the digital transformation of public procurement. Lucy Gregory summarises the key changes.
The law in relation to expert evidence is not straightforward. Nichola Evans takes us through the major issues that may arise.
Naomi De Silva provides an overview of what happens when a child with immigration issues is in the care of a local authority.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.
Across the UK, homelessness is an urgent crisis, and one that is set to grow amid the rising cost of living. Local authorities are at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but with a lack of properties that are suitable for social housing across the UK, vulnerable individuals and families are often housed in temporary accommodation.
Claims arising from interest-only mortgages have been farmed in volume. Many such claims to date have sought to drive a narrative that interest-only mortgages are an inherently toxic product and brokers were negligent simply for suggesting them. Taylor is a helpful recalibration, focussing instead on what the monies raised by the mortgage product were being used for and whether the client understood the inherent risks.
Settlement agreements in an employment context are ordinarily used to provide both parties with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship – but what happens when there is alleged discrimination after entering into a settlement agreement?
Updates include UK Shared Prosperity Fund, contracts, Subsidy Control Bill, data controller liability, Government Covid-19 procurement and Highway Code revisions.
The complex and rather nebulous transitional subsidy control regime set out in the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the UK’s wider international commitments has made it difficult for public authorities and those working with them to proceed with certainty where subsidies are involved.
Investment zones have been introduced by the Conservative party to get the United Kingdom (UK) ‘working, building and growing’. They are to be designated sites which provide time-limited tax incentives, streamlined planning rules and wider support for local growth to encourage investment and accelerate the development of housing and infrastructure that the UK needs to drive economic growth. Processes and requirements that slow down development will be stripped back with the intention of attracting new investment.