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Local Authority round-up 21/07/23

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.


Government consults on Best Value Duty statutory guidance for local authorities

On 4 July 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) issued a consultation on draft statutory guidance for local authorities in England on the Best Value Duty under the Local Government Act 1999 (LGA 1999). The Best Value regime requires local authorities to plan, deliver and continuously improve local authority services and function delivery. In practice, it includes issues such as how authorities exercise their functions to deliver a balanced budget under the Local Government Finance Act 1992, provide statutory services such as adult social care and children’s services, and to secure value for money in all spending decisions. Under the LGA 1999, the government may intervene in a local authority to ensure compliance with the Best Value Duty where continuous improvement is not demonstrated sufficiently. The draft guidance, Best Value Standards and Intervention: A statutory guide for best value authorities, includes sections concerning Best Value powers and principles, Defining Best Value and Assurance and early engagement, evidencing failure and models of intervention. While the draft guidance is aimed at local authorities, including combined authorities and combined county authorities, all Best Value authorities defined in section 1 of the LGA 1999 should be aware of the principles it sets out. In addition, the draft guidance will supplement (and not replace) existing related guidance, including the DLUHC’s Revised best value statutory guidance (March 2015) and Statutory guidance on the making and disclosure of Special Severance Payments by local authorities in England (May 2022). The consultation closes on 15 August 2023 and responses can be submitted by post, email or online portal.

For more information please click here.

International Trade

UK signs treaty to accede to CPTPP trade group

On 16 July 2023, the UK government issued an announcement that it has signed the UK’s Accession Protocol to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTTP is a free trade agreement covering various areas, including trade in goods and services (including financial services), investment (including provision for investor-state dispute settlement), digital trade, government procurement, competition policy, subsidy control, intellectual property, labour and environmental standards, and state-to-state dispute settlement. It currently has 11 parties: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The UK already has free trade agreements with most of the members of the CPTPP, but the government’s expectation is that accession to the CPTPP will deepen those existing arrangements, with more than 99% of UK goods exported to the bloc being eligible for zero tariffs, including cheese, cars, chocolate, machinery, gin and whisky. Accession is also expected to facilitate the export of services, and in particular digital services and data flows, to the bloc. Notably, British companies will be able to operate in the bloc without having to establish a local base. The government has published a collection of documents including the accession texts, an impact assessment and an agreement summary. Also published is a Joint Statement on Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainable Trade, made by the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Chile. The Government now has 12 months to ratify the CTTP which will involve:

  • Scrutiny by the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission to ensure the CPTTP is consistent with the maintenance of UK statutory protections in relation to animal and plant health and life, animal welfare and the environment. The government will then produce its own report on these issues.
  • Scrutiny of the deal under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
  • The making of necessary implementing legislation, when Parliamentary time allows.

The UK’s accession to the CPTTP will enter into force either 60 days after existing CPTTP parties and the UK have ratified it or 60 days after the UK and six of the existing parties have ratified it, and fifteen months (or more) have passed since the signature of the Protocol. In the latter case, the Protocol will enter into force between the UK and the Parties which have ratified.

For more information please click here.

UK and Turkey commit to negotiating new trade deal

Following a call between UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Turkish Minister for Trade Ömer Bolat last week, they have agreed to begin talks on negotiating an updated free trade agreement (FTA). The current UK-Turkey FTA rolled over when the UK left the EU doesn’t cover key areas of the UK economy like services, digital and data so it is hoped that a new modern agreement can be agreed which would cover those areas. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said “Turkey is an important trading partner for the UK and this deal is the latest example of how we are using our status as an independent trading nation post-Brexit to negotiate deals that are tailored to the UK’s economic strengths. I look forward to using the deal to deepen the UK-Turkey trading relationship, drive economic growth and support businesses up and down the country.”

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

Report highlights concerns about reforms to national planning policy

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has published a report outlining the Committee’s concerns about reforms to national planning policy. National planning policy in England consists of both guidance and duties which local authorities must adhere to under planning law and is set out predominantly in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The report:

  • Expresses concern that reforms to national planning policy will fail if local authorities lack sufficient resources to implement them.
  • Calls for draft National Development Management Policies (NDMPs) to be subject to formal parliamentary scrutiny before they are made, as in some cases, NDMPs will override local plans in favour of national policy.
  • Calls for the government to urgently conduct and publish impact assessments on all future changes to the NPPF which have not taken place since 2012.

For more information please click here.

Increase in compensation for compulsory purchase of a dwelling in England

Compensation is payable to a person who is displaced from a dwelling by a compulsory purchase order under section 29, Land Compensation Act 1973 (LCA 1973)). This type of compensation is known as a “home loss payment”. The home loss payment for someone who occupies a dwelling under an “owner’s interest” is calculated in accordance with section 30(1) of the LCA 1973. If the home loss payment does not fall within section 30(1) of the LCA 1973, then the compensation payable will be the amount specified in section 30(2). The Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2023 (SI 2023/803) (2023 Regulations) have been made and come into force on 1 October 2023. The 2023 Regulations revoke the Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/793) in relation to any displacement occurring on or after 1 October 2023. Under regulation 2(2) of the 2023 Regulations:

  • The maximum home loss payment under section 30(1) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £78,000 to £81,000.
  • The minimum home loss payment under section 30(1) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £7,800 to £8,100.
  • The prescribed amount of home loss payment under section 30(2) of the LCA 1973 is increased from £7,800 to £8,100.

The increases put into effect an uprating in line with house price inflation.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Webinar series: Data Protection

Register your interest for our on-going webinar series on ‘Data Protection’ for in-house lawyers, DPOs and senior management in private and public sector organisations. The series will run throughout 2023 providing attendees with up to date information on key Data Protection topics. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have. The next in our series ‘Marketing and data protection’ will take place on 12 September 2023.

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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