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Local Authority round-up: 12/04/24

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 reviews Homes England

A Government review of Homes England has found that the organisation should have “even stronger relationships” with local government in order to boost housing delivery.

The review recommended that Homes England define clear objectives for regeneration and placemaking in areas were building homes is a priority, “working closely with local authority leadership”.

However, the review reaffirms the crucial role of Homes England in supporting local leaders, housing providers and the private sector to increase housing and regeneration for the benefit of communities.

In the past five years this has included:

  • supporting development of more than 186,400 new homes
  • unlocking land that could deliver close to 400,000 additional new homes
  • helping more than 252,500 households into home ownership.

For more information please click here.


Government introduces new employment protections

The Government has enacted new legislation which aims to strengthen existing redundancy protections and support employees.

The legislation increases redundancy protections for pregnant women, and also introduces leave entitlement for unpaid carers. In addition, there will be new flexible paternity leave for babies due on or after 6 April, which allows leave to be taken at any time in the first year of the child’s life and it no longer needs to be taken in a single block of one or two weeks.

It is hoped these measures will allow businesses to attract and retain talented employees.

For more information please click here.

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Ofsted publishes new policies regarding inspections

Ofsted has published an updated policy for making complaints about inspections, which aims to handle providers’ concerns more “fairly, thoroughly and efficiently”.

The revised policy allows providers to seek a review of their inspection, including the conduct of inspectors and the judgements reached, by submitting a formal complaint when they receive their draft inspection report.

If the provider remains dissatisfied with Ofsted’s formal response, they are now able to directly escalate complaints to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted (ICASO).

The guidance states that, under “exceptional circumstances”, Ofsted may agree to formally pause an inspection, for example, when leaders require support due to concerns about their well-being. This follows the ruling that an Ofsted inspection “contributed” to the death of Ruth Perry, who took her own life while waiting for a report that downgraded her school.

The new policy supplements Ofsted’s ‘Big Listen’ which seeks to consult with education providers to explore how regulation can be improved.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming Events

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 9th 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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