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Local Authority round-up 13/05/22

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.


Queen’s Speech 2022

The Queen’s Speech was delivered on 10th May 2022 by Prince Charles. The forthcoming government agenda includes a total of 38 bills, covering a wide range of issues. The government aspire to use Brexit independence to stimulate the economy, create jobs and achieve levelling up.

For more information please click here.

Energy Security Bill is a welcome step in protecting consumers

The Energy Security Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech will allow for the extension of the price cap beyond 2023. The cap was introduced to protect households from expensive long term tariffs and climbing bills in the wake of dramatic price fluctuations. Environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association Cllr David Renard welcomes this step, highlighting the role councils must play in supporting households whilst contributing to the low carbon future.

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CMA warns action against cartels amidst cost-of-living crisis

The Competition and Markets Authority has stressed that competition is key in mitigating the negative effects of the cost-of-living crisis, and there will be a crack-down on anti-competitive activity. The Executive Director of enforcement at the CMA, Michael Grenfell, has warned that cartelists will not be allowed to exploit the current crisis, and that efforts will include tackling anti-competitive practices, transactions which unnecessarily raise prices, and unfair practices.

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The Green Jobs Delivery Group embarks on the creation of UK green job opportunities

The Green Jobs Delivery Group has met for the first time in a quest to boost the UK green industrial revolution. The group will help deliver up to 480,000 skilled green jobs by 2030, with leaders across sectors committing to train workers with the skills required to match the changing green economy. The government is working towards a low carbon future involving billions in private investment which will create new opportunities, but it will require a workforce with a new green skillset. Chair of the Delivery Group and Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Greg Hands, stated:

“We will need tens of thousands of skilled workers for our clean transition and to boost energy security; and well-paid green jobs will help with the cost of living. Spreading opportunity by levelling up all parts of the country…The UK’s most important asset is its workforce. Our new Delivery Group will help us ensure employers have the know-how and employees the skills to drive our transition to becoming the world’s leading green economy.”

For more information please click here.

Arts and culture bolstered through £128 million of funding

Access to arts and culture, library services, and museums will be supported through the Cultural Development Fund, the Museum Estate Development Fund and the Libraries Improvement Fund. Funding will broadly be directed at improving access to arts and culture where current investment is low, and improving services and infrastructure. The aim is to protect cultural assets, contribute to levelling up, and to bolster the cultural sector, bringing social and economic benefits to the recipient regions. Organisations are now advised to register an expression of interest. Chief Executive of Arts Council England Darren Henley started:

“Artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have the power to animate and energise villages, towns and cities in amazing and innovative ways…This new investment in culture and creativity will help people across the country to enjoy happier lives.”

For more information please click here.

UK Space Agency rolls out Monitor Your Satellites pilot service

The UK Space Agency is rolling out the Monitor Your Satellites service in 2022 for operators of UK-licensed satellites. The aim is to provide a platform for information about risk of potential collisions and to improve safe operations of satellites in space. Participation will be by invitation only to begin with, in order to assess whether to expand the scope.

For more information please click here.


Schools Bill to allow council run MATs

The Schools Bill announced at the Queen’s Speech will allow councils to form their own multi-academy trusts. A recent Local Government Association report shows a higher percentage of council run schools being rated outstanding or good by Ofsted compared to academies, and so the bill is a welcome move in allowing councils to play a central role in education delivery going forward. The government plan to encourage all schools to convert to academies by 2030. The Schools Bill will also increase controls on home schooling in a move to ensure that every child is receiving a suitable education in a safe environment.

For more information please click here and here.

International Trade

Boris Johnson signs mutual security assurances with Sweden and Finland

The Prime Minister has signed declarations with Sweden and Finland, pledging to come to the aid of both nations should they come under attack. The move is expected to fortify northern Europe’s defences amidst the turmoil of the invasion of Ukraine. The existing security partnerships will be strengthened, with greater collaboration in intelligence sharing and military operations in efforts to tackle traditional, hybrid and cyber threats. Boris Johnson met with Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson, and President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, to discuss the relationship and commit to the new security measures.

For more information please click here.

New Bill for the implementation of Free Trade Agreements

The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill has been introduced to assist the implementation of the recently negotiated Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand. The bill provides an important step towards opening these markets to UK businesses, the deals with both countries including the removal of tariffs on 100% of UK goods exports. International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated:

“I am excited to see the UK implement its first ‘from scratch’ Free Trade Agreements in over 50 years and deliver on a key Brexit benefit – having our own independent trade policy…This Bill will enable us to export our world-class goods and services and bring high-quality imports at reduced rates for British customers.”

Among the provisions are changes to procurement rules in order to widen access for UK suppliers abroad, and climate change commitments.

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

The Levelling up and Regeneration Bill overhauls planning system

The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech introduces a raft of changes to the planning system, including the replacement of Section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy with a new Infrastructure Levy. Rates and thresholds will be tailored by local planning authorities, and there will be at least as much onsite affordable housing provision. Also among the measures are requirements for local authorities to maintain a design code for their entire areas, and a ‘Street Votes’ system in which residents will have voting rights on certain planning proposals. Local authorities will be able to compel owners of certain vacant commercial properties to let them out in a bid to rejuvenate high streets, and the Compulsory Purchase Order System will be changed to allow for its use by local authorities for regeneration purposes.

For more information please click here and here.

The OPR issues guidelines for increased efficiency in the planning process

A report by the Office of the Planning Regulator in Ireland has highlighted the importance of ensuring that planning applications are correct from the beginning. The Report outlines a number of practical steps for parties to follow, including highlighting the need for skilled local authority staff who can advise and spot potential errors. Parties are encouraged to ensure that all regulatory requirements are complied with in order to guard against an application being rejected due to being invalid.

For more information please click here.

UK government to deliver ‘new deal’ for renters

The newly introduced Renters Reform Bill provides a radical overhaul of the renting system in the UK. A ban on Section 21 no fault evictions will protect tenants by preventing landlords from terminating tenancies without giving any reason, and a new Private Renters’ Ombudsman will be created to settle landlord-tenant disputes. Alongside this will be a strengthening of repossession grounds, where landlords will be able to evict tenants who wilfully do not pay rent, or who engage in anti-social behaviour. Also included will be an extension of the Decent Homes Standard to private renters, a move which will mitigate the increasing problem of landlords renting out low quality and dangerous homes, and one which will give renters in both sectors the right to a safe and warm home. The Social Housing Regulation Bill will introduce new regulations to improve standards for social renters, including fines for registered social housing providers which do not meet the required standards. As well as providing long awaited protection and assurances for renters, the reforms are expected to ease cost of living pressures in the sector.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Housing Management Law School Spring/Summer term 2022

We are delighted to invite you to the latest Spring/Summer term of our Housing Management Law School, held online via Zoom on 19th May at 10am. As usual during this session, we will feature a roundup of recent case reports, regulatory and legislative changes in the housing law world. Our revision topic this term is abandonment and tenancy fraud, both being issues in which we have seen a marked increase in recent months. In this session we will look at how to deal with tenant absence, unauthorised sub-lettings and how to recover possession of property. The hot (but cold) topic for the Spring session is the Dampness, Condensation and Disrepair update. 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.

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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