PLC Public Sector reports:
Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reviewing our latest list of recommended actions.
Children’s services: local authorities setting policies in relation to payments to special guardians should note the decision of the High Court in R(TT) v London Borough of Merton, finding that the policy implemented by the Merton was unlawful, as it failed to have due regard to the government guidance on the issue.
Civil litigation: litigation lawyers will be interested in:
- Confirmation from the Court of Appeal that general damages on civil cases will increase by 10% where judgment is given after April 2013.
- Revised Civil Justice Council guidance on instructing experts to give evidence in civil claims.
Education: education lawyers should note:
- The School Premises (England) Regulations 2012, which set out the standards for school premises in England. The regulations, which are accompanied by guidance for schools and local authorities on the revised requirements, will come into force on 31 October 2012.
- The government has changed the Academies model funding agreement to allow Academies to appoint teachers to appoint teachers without Qualified Teacher Status. Existing Academies can request for their funding agreement to updated to take account of this change.
Employment: employment lawyers should note that in NHS Leeds v Larner, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that a failure to request holiday does not affect a sick worker’s right to carry over holiday, and in this case the claimant’s right to receive a payment in respect of unused holiday on the termination of their employment.
Freedom of Information: information lawyers and officers will be interested in:
- The Justice Select Committee’s report on its post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The report states that the regime is working well and recommends that it remains relatively unchanged.
- Various pieces of new guidance on FOIA published by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Housing: housing lawyers and officers will be interested in the Supreme Court decision in Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council v Hickin, in which it held that where a joint tenant holding a secure tenancy dies, the tenancy passes to the sole surviving joint tenant, even if they are not in occupation of the property, in preference to another person in occupation of the property who would otherwise be entitled to succeed to the tenancy. In this instance as the sole surviving tenant had not moved back to the property and satisfied the occupancy requirement the authority was entitled to a possession order.
Planning: planning authorities should note that in R(Halebank Parish Council) v Halton Borough Council, the High Court found that even though the council complied with the minimum statutory consultation period set out in the domestic regulations, it had breached Article 6 of Directive 85/337 relating to the consultation requirements for environmental impact assessments.
Public procurement: public procurement lawyers and officers will be interested in the decision in Turning Point Limited v Norfolk County Council finding that the claimant’s claim was brought out of time. The judgment also considered qualified tenders and implied contracts (finding on the council’s side in both instances).
Consultations: this week consultations have been published on:
- The Office of the Public Guardian delivering services online.
- Proposals for health and wellbeing boards.
- A “compact” in Wales in relation to health and health services.
- Whether coastal access should include the Isle of Wight.
- Sustainable development indicators.
- De minimis state aid regulation.
- Unfair contract terms.