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Local Authority round-up 20/08/21

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.

Commercial

Councils to receive funding to upgrade traffic signals

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that councils across England will receive a share of £15 million in government funding to upgrade traffic signals. This will include improving their traffic light systems to cut congestion, boost safety and reduce journey times and emissions. Councils will also be expected to use the funding to consider how to future-proof their local road networks and prepare for technological innovations. Mr Shapps said “This vital funding and work will cut journey times for millions of people, reduce emissions and keep the UK at the forefront of technological developments in roads maintenance as we continue to invest in local economies and build back both better and greener from the pandemic.”

For more information please click here.

Multi-million pound government investment to create more Family Hubs

The government has announced that the Department for Education has provided the Family Hubs programme with a further £20 million in funding in order to provide vulnerable families in England with improved access to early education, health and care services. £10 million of the funding will be used to enable councils to set up new Family Hubs in up to 10 new areas. The funding will also allow three new councils to join the Family Hubs-Growing Up Well project to help develop data and digital products to support the practical implementation of Family Hubs. Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said “It is absolutely vital that all families across England have access to the same high quality services in their local communities, no matter where they live. Services like these which offer early help and intervention can make a huge difference for parents and carers, levelling up opportunities for every child to fulfil their potential.”

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Councils call for larger fly-tipping fines to act as deterrent for repeat offenders

Councils have urged the Sentencing Council to increase fines for fly-tipping significantly, so they act as a suitable deterrent, and for repeat offenders to be given suspended custodial sentences. The call was made in a letter co-signed by the Local Government Association (LGA), 158 councils and 10 professional bodies to the Sentencing Council, which is carrying out a review of the Sentencing Guideline for Environmental Offences. The LGA claimed that current sentences handed down failed to match the severity of the offence committed and did not act as a suitable deterrent, “highlighted by the fact that almost 20,000 incidents of fly-tipping occur each week in England.” Councillor Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the LGA, said “Fly-tipping is inexcusable. Councils are working tirelessly to counter the thousands of incidents every year and are determined to crack down on the problem. However, prosecution requires a high threshold of proof and even when found guilty, the current fines fail to act as a deterrent.”

For more information please click here.

UK to ban import and export of shark fins

International Ocean Minister Lord Goldsmith has announced that the UK is set to introduce new legislation which will ban the import and export of shark fin products in order to promote shark conservation as part of its Action Plan for Animal Welfare. The world-leading move will also extend to shark fin products including tinned shark fin soup. Mr Goldsmith said “we are now banning the import both of detached shark fins and shark fin products. Our action will not only help boost shark numbers, it will send a clear message that we do not support an industry that is forcing many species to the brink of extinction.”

For more information please click here.


Planning and housing

Nottingham City Council plans 4,000 new homes

Nottingham City Council has announced plans to build 4,000 new homes in the area, which will include eco-homes and low-cost homes to either rent or buy. The plan was discussed at a meeting on 17 August at which it was agreed it should be approved by full council in September. Councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for housing and planning, told the council “This is a streamlined council plan that takes account of our new council finances, especially as we along with every other local authority in the country haven’t been fully recompensed for the losses we have incurred because of Covid.”

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:

What will change as a result of the Subsidy Control Bill?

The first of our commercial law webinars will focus on the Subsidy Control Bill.  This webinar will focus on the Subsidy Control Bill which is expected to become law in 2022. The Bill will introduce a domestic subsidy control regime to replace the EU State aid regime which applied prior to Brexit. The webinar will discuss what the law is currently following our exit from the EU and what changes the Bill will introduce. We will be discussing the end of a “block exemption” based approach to compliance and the move to a more flexible but less certain system.  Aimed at both the givers and receivers of subsidy funding, we will provide a clear insight of what to expect when this politically and economically important Bill becomes law next year.  This session will take place by Zoom on 17th September at 12.30.

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

Recruitment, Contracts of employment and Handbook

The first webinar in our CPD Programme will focus on recruitment, contracts of employment and handbook.  This session will take place by Zoom on 7th October at 10am.  These sessions are completely free and 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 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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