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Local Authority round-up: 03/05/24

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.

Planning and Housing

Government releases terms of reference for the review of causes of legal challenges against NSIP

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published the terms of reference for the review of legal challenges brought against the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime.

The terms of reference state that the purpose of the review “is to explore the causes of legal challenges brought against the NSIP regime and the scope and options for improving existing processes”.

This independent and advisory review will aim to answer the following key questions:

Are NSIPs unduly delayed by inappropriate legal challenges?

If so, what are the main reasons for this and how can the problem be effectively resolved?

The review seeks to answer the above questions within 3 and a half months, and will take the form of a written report addressed to the Secretary of State for DLUHC.

For more information please click here.


The DfE launches investigation into profiteering

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the Market Interventions Advisory Group to investigate concerns regarding the profiteering of private companies from children’s social care.

Local authority representatives have recently highlighted the difficulty to manage the rising demand for child social care given the increased cost of procuring residential accommodation from private providers.

Earlier this year the Local Government Chronicle found that local authorities spent £2.5bn on residential placements in 2022-23, which was £1.1bn more than in 2018-19.

The new advisory group seeks to that ensure ‘money in the system is directed towards meeting the needs of children and young people, rather than lining the pockets of executives and investors’.

For more information please click here.

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New legislation to protect customers against cyber criminals

The Government has introduced new consumer protections against hacking and cyber-attacks by requiring that all internet connected smart devices meet minimum-security standards.

This legislation forms part of the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regime, which has been designed to improve the UK’s resilience from cyber-attacks and ensure malign interference does not impact the wider UK and global economy.

Under the new regime, manufacturers will be banned from having weak, easily guessable default passwords such as ‘12345’ and will be required to prompt users to change commonly used passwords. Manufacturers will also be required to publish guidance on how to report security issues so that the speed at which problems are addressed is increased.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming Events

Employment Law Update

In this webinar, our employment experts will review key legislative changes and provide practical assist to those who manage issues in the workplace.

The key topics which will be explore include the changes to the statutory right to request flexible working and the new rights for carers to take leave. We will evaluate any important case law decisions that employers need to be aware of, including the recent disability discrimination case which saw the claimant be awarded £4.6 million in compensation.

The webinar will take place on the 08th May, 10:00am-11:00am. To register your place, please click here.

Housing Management Law School Spring Term

The Housing Management Law School is free to attend and exists to deliver training to Registered Providers of Social Housing, educating and updating their housing management staff with the essential legal knowledge that they need.

The Spring Term session will take place on the 09th May, 10:00am-11:30am, and will explore the following:

The Revised Consumer Standards are now in force having come into effect on April 1st, this year. This session will look in depth at the new standards, how they will be applied, monitored and enforced, and what is expected of Registered Providers under the new consumer standard Code of Practice.

Disrepair claims continue to present major financial, logistical and reputational risks to social housing providers. In this session, we will consider the practical steps that can be taken to mitigate risk, handle claims effectively, efficiently and economically to protect customers, reputation and resources.

To register 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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