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Local Authority round-up 12/01/24

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.


Government to expand Britain’s nuclear power to strengthen energy security

The Government has outlined plans for the largest expansion of nuclear power in 70 years to reduce electricity bills, increase employment and improve the UK’s energy security. These plans include the potential to build a major new power station and invest in advanced nuclear fuel production.

The Civil Nuclear Roadmap will provide certainty to the industry on the future direction of the UK’s nuclear programme. The roadmap sets out how the UK will increase the generation of this homegrown supply of energy by 2050, with the plans aiming to provide a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs.

The Government will also invest £300 million in UK production of fuel required to power high-tech nuclear reactors, known as HALEU, currently only commercially produced in Russia. The UK is the first European country to launch a HALEU programme, with the first plant aiming to be operational in the next decade, which is a crucial first step in limiting Putin’s influence on the global market.

Government Ministers plan to bring together leaders in the nuclear industry to strategize on how new nuclear projects can be accelerated, while maintaining the highest levels of safety and security. These plans will help build new supplies of affordable and clean domestic power so the transition to net zero will not result in higher prices, thus protecting households from global instability.

For more information please click here.


Government to quash wrongful Post Office convictions

Following the release of the recent ITV drama, Bates v The Post Office, hundreds of innocent postmasters, who were wrongfully convicted due to the Horizon scandal, will have their convictions quashed under new legislation brought forward by the Government. Once this legislation is passed, and convictions have been quashed, individuals will be entitled to at least £600,000 in compensation to rebuild their lives.

Those individuals, also known as the Group Litigation Order cohort, who did not receive a criminal conviction, but paid considerable sums of money because of the Horizon failures, will receive at least £75,000 in compensation upfront.

This comes as former Post Office boss Paula Vennells hands back her CBE after facing mounting pressure over the Horizon IT scandal from the public.

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

Awaab’s Law: Social landlords to repair hazards within 24 hours

The Housing Secretary has launched a consultation proposing new legal requirements for social landlords to address hazards, including damp and mould, within 24 hours.

The consultation follows the tragic death of Awaab, a two-year-old who died from a respiratory condition caused by extensive mould in the flat where he lived. The Government is now taking action to introduce reforms in social housing to prevent future fatalities.

The Awaab’s Law consultation proposes new legal requirements for social landlords to investigate hazards within 14 days, start fixing such hazards within a further 7 days, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours. Those landlords who fail to take such action can be prosecuted and potentially ordered to pay compensation to tenants.

Landlords will be expected to keep records, detailing each attempt which is made to comply with the new timescales, in order to improve transparency for tenants and encourage swift action.

This is the latest step in addressing systemic issues identified following the Grenfell Tower fire, with the Government seeking to improve the safety and quality of social housing but also how tenants are treated by their landlords.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming events

Seminar: Employment Law Update – Teesside

Register your interest for our seminar, led by Jamie Gamble and Hollie Ball, which will provide an employment law update, addressing what can be expected in 2024. This in person event will give you an opportunity to network with peers in Teesside as well as gain a better understanding of the latest developments and updates in employment law. The seminar is on Tuesday 30th January, 08:30am to 10:30am, at AV Dawson Middlesbrough.

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.

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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