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Local Authority round-up 01/09/23

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.


£5 million funding announced for projects aimed at tackling fatal overdoses

The government has announced £5 million of funding which will be shared between 12 projects which aim to reduce rates of fatal drug overdoses.  The funding from the Office for Life Sciences will be given to projects which develop technologies aimed at improving detection, response or intervention in potential drug-related deaths through the use of artificial intelligence, antidote dispensing drones and wearable technologies such as smart watches or breathing monitors to detect overdoses and alert healthcare professionals, family or members of the community to the need to intervene. Minister of State for Health Will Quince said “We want to stop people taking these substances and support them to recover from their addictions, while preventing those most at risk from dying from overdoses. This fund forms part of our healthcare mission programme as we take a Vaccine Taskforce style approach to some of the biggest challenges facing our society today, backed by over £200 million.”

For more information please click here.


Proposed amendments will allow councils to opt out of London air quality road charging schemes

On 25 August 2023, further proposed House of Lords’ amendments to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill 2022-23 were published, including provisions relating to road user charging schemes in London. The new clause proposes to amend Schedule 23 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to enable London borough councils that are meeting air quality standards and objectives under the Environment Act 1995, or have an approved plan to do so, to opt out from road user charging schemes proposed by Transport for London to improve air quality. On 27 August 2023, the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed that the government will support the amendment, in a letter published on X (previously known as Twitter). The Bill is currently at the report stage in the House of Lords. A fifth day of report stage is scheduled for 4 September 2023.

For more information please click here.

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International trade

Border Target Operating Model

The government has this week published the Border Target Operating Model which sets out new controls to better protect the UK against security and biosecurity threats and create a world-class border system for trade in goods.  To give stakeholders additional time to prepare for the new checks the government has revised the proposed timetable to provide that checks on medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high risk food (and feed) of non-animal origin from the EU will be implemented in April 2024 and safety and Security declarations for EU imports will now be implemented in October 2024. Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, said “Our Border Target Operating Model will ensure more efficient trading for businesses, protect against biosecurity threats and further crack down on illegal imports such as firearms and drugs. By making maximum use of data and new technologies, our innovative yet risk-based approach is key to delivering a world-class border system. Once fully implemented, these important post-Brexit measures will, I believe, bring considerable benefits to the UK economy and to UK trade, and the Government stands ready to support businesses through this transition.”

For more information please click here.

Planning and Housing

Government announces plan to unblock defective EU housing laws

This week the government announced that it is proposing an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which will unblock EU housing laws in order to provide for more homes to be delivered in the UK.  It estimates that around 100,000 new homes are being held up under the existing laws which provide for nutrient neutrality, even in cases where planning permission has already been granted, and the proposals will enable those homes to be built within a matter of months.  The government has also announced that it will be expanding investment in and evolving the Nutrient Mitigation Scheme run by Natural England through which Natural England will work with local authorities, the private sector and others to tackle nutrient pollution and work towards the long term health and resilience of the river systems. Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Stewart Baseley “Today’s very welcome announcement has the potential to unlock housing delivery across the country, from Cornwall to the Tees Valley, where housebuilding has been blocked despite wide acknowledgement that occupants of new homes are responsible for only a tiny fraction of the wastewater finding its ways into rivers and streams. ‘The industry is eager to play its part in delivering mitigation and protecting our waterways. We look forward to engaging with government on the right way to do so, now that ministers are acting upon the arguments that builders both large and small have been making for so long.”

For more information please click here.

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar series: Data Protection

Register your interest for our on-going webinar series on ‘Data Protection’ for in-house lawyers, DPOs and senior management in private and public sector organisations. The series will run throughout 2023 providing attendees with up to date information on key Data Protection topics. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have. The next in our series ‘Marketing and data protection’ will take place on 12 September 2023.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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