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Local Authority round-up 04/08/23

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.


Funding for adult social care announced

The government has announced £600 million in funding over the next 2 years in order to boost the capacity of the social care workforce and funding for the social care sector. The £600 million funding for adult social care includes a £570 million workforce fund over 2 years, distributed to local authorities, and £30 million funding for local authorities in the most challenged health systems. Councillor Martin Tett, County Councils Network Spokesperson for Adult Social Care said “The County Councils Network (CCN) very much welcomes this timely announcement by the government. The network called for this remaining funding to be provided directly to councils as soon as possible to help tackle additional inflationary costs and demand pressures which are impacting social care services this year and next. With funding split over 2 years this will help councils mitigate some of the financial and workforce pressures over the next 18 months. It is also positive that the funding will be distributed through the existing Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund without further administrative burdens.”

For more information please click here.


Plymouth City Council fined £200,000

Plymouth City Council has been fined £200,000 after its failures led to employees developing hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that during 2017–2019, two council employees developed HAVS and a further four were diagnosed with CTS as a result of prolonged and uncontrolled exposure to hand arm vibration while working in the grass cutting team or when carrying out arboriculture activities. The HSE’s investigation found that between 2005–2019, Plymouth failed in its legal duty to comply with legislation even though guidance had been available for employers since 2005. The local authority pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £25,877 in costs at Plymouth Magistrates Court on 29 June 2023.

For more information please click here.

Planning and Housing

Free legal advice for people at risk of losing their home

A new government-backed scheme providing free legal advice to help 38,000 people a year at risk of losing their home launched this week on 1 August.  Under the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, people who are facing eviction or repossession in England and Wales will be able to receive expert legal advice free of charge in a bid to help them keep their homes. The advice will be available from the moment a written notice is received and they will also be able to have legal representation in court, regardless of their financial circumstances. Rhys Moore, Executive Director of Public Impact at the National Housing Federation, said “It’s positive to see the government providing legal support for people facing eviction or repossession which is particularly important in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis. Access to advice and support as early as possible is crucial to helping people navigate the legal system at a time of immense stress and difficulty.”

For more information please click here.

Warnings issued to complete fire safety remedial works

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH) and a group of regulatory bodies have warned building owners that they could face enforcement action if they continue to delay fire safety remedial works. DLUHC’s statement, issued jointly with the Building Safety Regulator, the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council, said those that are continuing to stall “should know they are running out of time if they are to avoid being forced to act”. It noted that some building owners have been stalling vital safety work, even where funding for remediation work has been agreed by the Government. It said “Whilst we are pleased that a number of landlords have done the right thing and remediated their buildings, it is unacceptable that too many are still failing to make their buildings safe”.

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.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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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