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Local Authority round-up 19/11/21

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.

Regulatory

Councils can arrange COVID-19 and flu vaccines for looked after children despite parental opposition

The High Court has ruled that councils can arrange COVID-19 and flu vaccines for looked after children despite parental opposition. In a recent case, the child (C), aged 12, was the subject of a care order. He wished to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 and winter flu vaccines. C’s mother objected to him being vaccinated on the grounds that the vaccines were untested and potentially unsafe for a child of C’s age. In response, the council applied for a declaration that either the council could exercise its parental responsibility (PR) to consent and arrange for the vaccines (section 33(3)(b), Children Act 1989), or that the administration of the vaccines was in C’s best interests. There was no medical concern about C receiving either vaccine. Poole J determined that the council could exercise its PR and consent to C being vaccinated with both vaccines. UK Health Security Agency Guidance, updated on 19 October 2021, approved and recommended the use of COVID-19 vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds. Its Flu vaccination programme 2021 to 2022: briefing for schools was also updated on 13 October 2021 to include secondary school children in years 7 to 11. Both vaccines are part of the national programmes of vaccination for children and should be regarded as being in the best interests of the children covered in the programmes.

For more information please click here.


International Trade

UK announces plan to boost overseas trade

The government has announced plans to boost the UK’s annual exports to £1 trillion by the end of the decade. The Made in the UK, Sold To The World plan is intended to help firms seize new opportunities in global markets. As part of the 12-point plan, government agencies such as UK Export Finance will offer new services to help UK exporters to secure business. There will also be a new UK trade show programme to give UK companies help in exhibiting their products at international events. Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, said “This is a defining moment in our national trading story. As we agree ambitious new trade deals around the world, it is more vital than ever that businesses across the UK take advantage of these opportunities and unleash their full exporting potential. Our export strategy will help more businesses start exporting and help those who already export to sell more products to more countries. Reaching £1 trillion worth of exports by the end of this decade means more jobs, more opportunities and higher wages helping the UK to level up and build back better.”

For more information please click here.


Planning and housing

Council commits £12.8 million to decarbonise its buildings

Suffolk County Council has announced it will invest £12.8 million to reduce the carbon produced by hundreds of its buildings. The money will target measures to reduce the energy consumption of buildings such as fire stations and libraries. Through its Energy Management Strategy, the council will also review the heating and cooling of its buildings, continue its LED lighting rollout, replace older fossil fuel boilers and generate its own energy. Cllr Richard Rout, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and environment at Suffolk County Council, said “The report that we have approved today outlines an implementation plan for how we approach reducing the carbon emitted by the hundreds of buildings we own. It is a considerable milestone in our journey to net zero.”

For more information please click here.

Consultation on amendments to Welsh permitted development rights

The Welsh government has published a consultation, Permitted Development: Amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. The consultation relates only to Wales and closes on 15 February 2022. The consultation contains proposed changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995/418) (GPDO 1995) including retention of COVID-19 related permitted development rights (PDRs) and removing PDRs for dwellings in use as houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).  HMOs would no longer benefit from PDRs for alterations and extensions of a dwellinghouse granted by Part 1, Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995. Class F, Part 1, Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995 permits the provision of a hard surface within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. It is proposed that the existing permeability condition for hard surfaces should apply to all areas of new or replacement hard surfacing not just forward of the principal elevation. It also proposes greater flexibility through PDRs to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Part 39 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995 granted a temporary PDR until 21 March 2008 to allow the erection of temporary shelters to protect birds against avian influenza or to modify existing buildings without the need to obtain specific planning permission. It is proposed to bring Part 39 back into effect each time avian influenza controls are put in place (locally or nationally).

For more information please click here.


Upcoming Webinars

As you may well know we run a programme of webinars on a wide range of topics, listed below are those webinars upcoming in the next few weeks which may be of interest to you:

CPD Programme – managing capability: performance and sickness absence

The second webinar in our CPD Programme will focus on managing capability: performance and sickness absence. Join us on Tuesday 23rd November at 10am. These sessions are completely free and will take place by Zoom, so they will not disrupt your day. They are perfect for HR professionals and managers who have responsibility for managing people. You will have the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature, or our teams will be on hand for drop-in sessions for attendees after each event.

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

The office, reimagined for a post-Covid world

At this free webinar on 1st December at 10am, Simon and Daniel Harrison, CEO from True Potential will be talking to employment partner and health and wellbeing speaker Jamie Gamble. They will share their experiences of how businesses can create a “destination” office environment – a place to attract colleagues back into a shared workplace from their home working environments.

For more information or to secure 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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