Local Authority round-up 15/12/23
15th December, 2023
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.
Transport Secretary seeks to improve connectivity across the UK
The Transport Secretary has recently announced that the Government will be funding rail upgrades as well as road improvements to increase connectivity across the UK.
The initiatives announced include (among others):
- providing £8 million to the Scottish Government to begin improving the A75.
- providing £3.3 million of funding support to Translink to deliver a study on the cost, feasibility and value for money of electrification of the railway in Northern Ireland from Belfast to the border.
These initiatives are set to complement the Government’s existing support to Network North which has recently provided £1 billion to fund the electrification of the North Wales Main Line to bring areas of North Wales within an hour of Manchester. Network North has also seen the Government invest £1.75 billion into the Midlands Rail Hub to improve journey times, increase capacity and boost frequency of services, including between Cardiff and Birmingham.
The Government hopes that by improving connectivity across the UK, partnerships between the devolved institutions will grow, supporting levelling-up and boosting economic growth.
For more information please click here.
Procurement Act Knowledge Drops
In anticipation of the Procurement Act 2023 coming into effect late next year, the Government has published a series of ‘Knowledge Drops’ to provide an overview of the Act, and the key changes it introduces, in order to support contracting authorities during the transition.
The Knowledge Drops have been tailored to three key audiences:
- contracting authorities (with accompanying fact sheets that outline specific differences for Wales, Northern Ireland, utilities, light touch, defence and security, and schools)
- suppliers who deliver contracts to the UK public, utilities and defence sectors
- small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs)
These Knowledge Drops are a key resource announced by the Government to support their transformation of procurement law in the UK. To supplement this, Ward Hadaway will be producing, in the new year, a series, though our ‘Procurement in a Nutshell’ publication, on the new Act to provide a more in-depth analysis of the changing law. To sign up for our updates click here.
For more information on the Knowledge Drops please click here.
Planning and housing
Government invests £80 million to support council’s in building new homes
The Government has invested £80 million to deliver thousands of new homes on council-owned brownfield sites to transform neglected land into thriving communities.
Councils across England will be able to bid for a share of the final round of the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2. The application window will be open until 14th February 2024 with successful projects expected to be announced in Summer 2024.
The latest round will release land for over 8,000 new homes by March 2028, creating numerous construction jobs and transforming underused sites into desirable living areas.
The previous round of funding has supported projects in areas including Rochdale and Somerset, helping to unlock new homes, as well as increase access to accommodation for homeless people.
The full brownfield fund is due to deliver over 17,600 new homes and 56,000 skilled new jobs over the next four years, helping to level up communities across the country.
The Government has already announced two rounds of funding allocations in November 2022 and October 2023, and to date, the fund is supporting 89 local authorities, over 160 projects, and has provided over £100 million to support councils to release land for almost 8,600 homes.
For more information 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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