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Local Authority round-up 02/12/22

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.

Commercial

LGA calls for clarity on UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, has called for clarity on the future of the delayed post-Brexit shared prosperity fund.  The LGA said councils urgently needed to know when they will receive their respective allocations from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which was introduced to replace the seven-year European Structural and Investment Fund. The Government has previously committed to approve local investment plans by October, but the decision has repeatedly been pushed back. Around £250 million was allocated directly to councils and combined authorities for 2022/23, out of a total of £2.6b billion, and was intended to be spent between October 2022 and the end of March 2023. However, due to repeated delays by the Government, councils have been left with little time to deliver the first year allocations. Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said “Local leaders want to get on with the work of levelling up their communities, but are waiting on government to give them the go-ahead when it comes to the UKSPF. Investment plans, setting out how they intend to boost businesses, high streets, community support and a whole range of other areas, have been submitted by councils and combined authorities, but continual delays in approval make it harder for them to deliver their ambitions. What is needed now is a clear decision from government on the UKSPF, so that these vital projects – which are so essential to our economic growth and recovery – can be kickstarted before inflation and prices rise further.”

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Welsh Government consults on regulations and code of practice for separate recycling by business, public and third sector

On 23 November 2022, the Welsh Government (WG) published a consultation on its proposals for new regulations enforcing new business, public and third sector recycling requirements. The WG expects the new regulations to come into force on 1 October 2023. The new regulations will require all non-domestic premises to separate key recyclable materials to enable separate collection in the way that domestic premises already do. Also on 23 November 2022, the WG published a consultation on the accompanying code of practice and the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, published a written statement. Both consultations close on 15 February 2023. Provisions in Part 4 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, when commenced, will amend the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to give Welsh Ministers the power to make regulations to increase recycling from non-domestic premises. The three sets of regulations will set out:

  • The separation requirements to enable separate collection (these are the subject of the current consultation).
  • Incineration and landfill bans on specified separately collected recyclable materials from non-domestic and domestic premises, and a landfill ban on all wood waste. The Waste (Circular Economy) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/904) will prohibit the operator of an incinerator or landfill from accepting certain separately collected recyclable materials.
  • A ban on the disposal of food waste to sewer specifically from non-domestic premises.

All regulations will include civil sanctions for the associated criminal offences under Part 3 of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008.

For more information please click here.


Planning and Housing

Government consults again on Building Safety Levy

The government has launched a second consultation on its proposed Building Safety Levy for England under the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022). Under the new proposals, the levy will apply to developers of residential buildings (regardless of a building’s height) and will be paid as part of the building control process. The consultation suggests that:

  • The levy will be collected by local authorities and levy rates may vary across different geographical areas depending on local house prices or whether the development is on a greenfield or brownfield site. The method for calculating levy rates is yet to be decided.
  • Various buildings will be exempt from the levy, including affordable homes, NHS facilities and care homes, as well as small developments of less than ten units. The government has not yet determined an approach for the build to rent, purpose-built student accommodation and older people’s housing sectors.
  • Payment must be made in two stages. 60% will be payable before work commences (at gateway two of the BSA 2022’s gateway regime) and 40% before the final certification stage (gateway three). This two-stage process allows for recalculation of the amount payable if the project changes during construction. If payment is not made, the local authority may issue a “stop notice” or refuse final certification. Beyond this, the consultation suggests additional sanctions, including punitive fines in various situations.

The consultation closes on 7 February 2023. While the consultation document does not indicate when the levy will come into force, that is widely expected to occur at some point in 2023.

For more information please click here.

Cladding fix pilot launches

Leaseholders and residents living in medium-rise buildings will get their properties made safe while being protected from extortionate cladding repair bills under a new pilot being launched by the government this week.  Under the Building Safety scheme, £3 billion will be provided from the Building Safety Levy to put interim safety measures in place for buildings between 11 and 18 metres tall.  Approximately 60 buildings across England have been invited to apply for the pilot which is then expected to be rolled out further next year.  The scheme, which is being ran by Homes England, will ensure that building owners or freeholders get the help they need to assess and fix fire safety defects.  Minister for Local Government and Building Safety Lee Rowley said “This is an important step forward for leaseholders who have been trapped in unsafe, unsellable homes with unfair costly repair bills for far too long. Building owners have the responsibility to get essential cladding repairs done and this scheme will help ensure this happens.”

For more information please click here.


Upcoming Webinars

The annual PFI law update 2022

We are hosting our annual free PFI law update on 5th December at midday. This event will be taking place online using Zoom. We will be covering a wide range of topics including:

  • Insolvency
  • TUPE transfers
  • Expiry
  • Termination
  • Dispute resolution
  • Contract interpretation and application
  • Latest trends

For more information or to book a place please click here.

The procurement law update 2022

For the last couple of year public sector procurement has been a highly discussed topic of vital importance, and this year has been no exception.  Before we enter into 2023 our annual Procurement Law Update, taking place on Monday 12 December at midday will take you through a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to:

  • The Procurement Bill – latest developments
  • A case law update featuring the most important cases from the last 12 months
  • Application of the latest guidance

For more information or to book a 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.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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