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Local Authority round-up 12/10/23

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.

International Trade

Windsor Framework’s new “green lane” scheme takes effect

On 30 September 2023, the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) created under the Windsor Framework came into effect. The UKIMS is designed to allow a broader range of businesses moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland to declare that those goods are “not at risk” of entering the EU. This should relieve more businesses from EU customs duties and reduce administration. Businesses throughout the UK can apply for authorisation under the UKIMS if they have an annual turnover under £2 million or are supplying goods for one of the approved purposes, such as selling food to end consumers. The UKIMS aims to create a “green lane” for moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that are not intended for the EU. The green lane system is being implemented in phases. Once fully implemented by 1 October 2024, the government intends that it will significantly reduce the paperwork and customs checks required for goods moving into Northern Ireland as their final destination. Goods moving through Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland and the EU will have to use “red lane” procedures, meaning full customs documentation and checks for some products.

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

LGSCO and Housing Ombudsman launch consultation on joint complaint handling code

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has announced the launch of a consultation by the LGSCO and Housing Ombudsman (HO) on a joint complaint handling code (code). The code will be the first time that the two Ombudsman schemes have worked together on a unified code, the aim of which is to help raise the standard of complaint handling across housing and local government services. The HO already has a complaints handling code which social landlords have been required to comply with since its introduction in 2020. The joint consultation is in anticipation of that code being placed on a statutory footing under the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, which will require landlords to demonstrate they are meeting the requirements of the code, including submitting a completed self-assessment to the HO. The consultation anticipates the first complaint handling code for all local government functions, with the implementation of a joint code ending the two-tier system that currently exists for housing management and corporate complaints. Views of the local government sector are sought to steer implementation of the code and the LGSCO has written to chief executives of all local authorities in England with a direct link inviting them to respond to the consultation. The consultation will run until 23 November 2023.

For more information please click here.

Second phase of £180 million Brownfield Land Release Fund announced

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced further funding of £60 million under the Brownfield Land Release Fund in order for councils to transform unused land. Over 100 regeneration projections will receive funding to transform brownfield land and build 6,000 new homes. Cabinet Office Minister, Alex Burghart MP said “This funding will unleash the much-needed redevelopment of brownfield sites: stimulating growth and helping local areas reach their full potential. It’s fantastic news for business, and even better news for local people who will now see new investment, job opportunities, and family homes in their communities.”

For more information please click here.

Tenants urged to report housing issues

The government has launched the ‘Make Things Right’ campaign under which tenants are urged to report issues and make complaints to their landlord as part of efforts to improve housing conditions. Where landlords fail to remedy the issues then under the Social Housing Regulation Act they can face unlimited fines and be liable for the costs of emergency repairs. Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said “The continued success of our Make Things Right campaign gives residents a greater voice to bring about real change – making sure they know their rights to stand up to bad landlords and go to the Ombudsman when issues remain unresolved. Our Social Housing Act is now law and Awaab’s Law remains a firm reminder of the importance for all tenants to have the right to live in safe and decent homes while being treated with fairness and respect.”

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Employment Law Update

With many employment reforms coming out in April and October, Autumn is a great opportunity to look at recent updates in policy, legislation, and case law, and to keep an eye on upcoming changes and pending Tribunal decisions. In this webinar, we will review the right to request a predictable working pattern, recent decisions on equality and diversity, and proposed changes on trade union activity. The webinar is designed for HR managers and leaders who guide and assist their colleagues on dealing with these issues in the workplace. Our experts will ensure your team is kept up to date, focusing throughout on the practical points of what this means for employers and HR teams. Join us on 18 October 2023 at 10am for this webinar.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

Housing Management Law School Autumn Term 2023

Our Housing Management Law School will be held via Zoom on Thursday 19th October at 9:30am. The Law School is free to attend and exists to deliver training to Registered Providers of Social Housing across the country, educating and updating their housing management staff with the essential legal knowledge that they need. Our regular round up of all things current and topical in the ever changing works of housing management law.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

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 ‘Data transfers – crossing borders’ will take place on 14 November 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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