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Local Authority round-up: 21/06/24

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.

Planning and Housing

Consultation launched on introducing new Social Tenant Access to Information Requirements

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has issued a consultation on the content of new Social Tenant Access to Information Requirements (STAIRs).

STAIRs intends to cover information related to the management of social housing by private registered providers (PRPs). This may include details of policies, plans and actions carried out in the management of social housing, and any information relating to property repairs, rent rates and anti-social behaviour.

The proposals also include a requirement for PRPs to adopt and maintain a publication scheme where information is published proactively for the benefit of tenants.

The consultation also seeks views on whether the requirements should apply to local authorities when they have contracted with tenant management organisations to oversee social housing on their behalf.

The consultation closes on 15 July 2024 and responses should be submitted here.

For more information on the proposals, please click here.


DfE publishes Keeping Children Safe in Education 2024

The Department for Education (DfE) published an update to its statutory guidance for schools and colleges in England on safeguarding children. The May 2024 version of the guidance is for information purposes, pending publication of the final version which will come into force in September 2024. Until then, the DfE have stressed that Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 remains in force.

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Annex F to the updated guidance sets out the substantive changes from the September 2023 version, which includes (among others):

  • The definition of abuse now includes ‘where they see, hear, or experience its effects’ to reflect the impact of domestic violence on children.
  • The 2024 guidance makes clear that ‘where a school places a pupil with an alternative provision provider, it continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the placement meets the pupil’s needs’.

For more information, please click here

LGA publishes report on adult social care under the Care Act 2014

The report by the Local Government Association (LGA) analyses the extent to which the Care Act 2014 (CA 2014) has achieved Parliament’s aims since it received Royal Assent in 2014. The report also details how, according to the LGA, the shortcomings of the Act could be addressed.

The LGA considers that the full value of care and support is “untapped”, and the full potential of the CA 2014 has not been fulfilled. The causes of this include:

Significant underfunding, which, according to the LGA, has resulted in underinvestment in prevention and early intervention services. It is argued that if adult social care was given adequate funding, other council services would not need to be cut.

Limited public understanding of the importance of adult social care, which reduces the possibility of it being prioritised by the Government.

The increased politicisation of adult social care, and the corresponding decrease in the possibility of cross-party consensus on the issue.

The LGA has also urged the Government to develop a comprehensive long-term plan for the care workforce and invest in preventative activity. In doing so, the discourse surrounding social care, which mainly focuses on supporting hospital discharge, could be shifted to bolster local community services and reduce demand on the NHS.

For more information, please click here.

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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