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Local Authority round-up 24/09/21

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

Council leaders call for spending review to include £1 billion to modernise sport facilities

A new report, published by the Local Government Association (LGA) in partnership with the Association for Public Service Excellence and Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association, argues that investment in public sport and leisure facilities and services is key to levelling up the health of the nation. Council leaders are therefore calling for the spending review to include £1 billion to modernise sports facilities, after warning that nearly two-thirds of the leisure estate is past its replacement date. The LGA also warns that ageing sport and leisure facilities are hampering efforts to meet net zero targets as they account for up to 40% of a council’s carbon emissions. The report urges the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to ensure the contribution of public leisure services to the nation’s wellbeing is communicated to health partners and included in strategies to promote good health, reduce obesity, promote physical activity and prevent illness.

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Welsh Government to simplify planning and historic environment law

The Welsh Government has announced that it has launched a new programme to simplify planning and historic environment law, as part of a long-term plan to create Codes of Welsh law. A consolidation bill is to bring together provisions from the “multiple, heavily amended” Acts that currently set out the main framework, the Welsh Government said. This will enable people using the planning system in Wales to refer to a single, fully bilingual act containing all the relevant law. A consolidation bill which will form a coherent body of historic environment law for Wales will also be brought forward. Mick Antoniw, Counsel General and Minister for Constitution, said “This is an important programme that demonstrates our commitment to the law being available and understandable to everyone. Making the law more accessible will help people understand their legal rights and obligations, which is particularly important in the context of the cuts to legal aid that risk people being unable to access advice if they cannot pay for legal representation.”

For more information please click here.


International Trade

New plans to capitalise on the freedoms from Brexit

Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost has announced new plans to capitalise on the freedoms from Brexit so that our rules and regulations best serve the UK national interest. EU laws which are kept on the statute book after Brexit will be scrutinised by the government to ensure they benefit UK citizens and businesses and where they do not they will be improved or repealed. The government is also carrying out individual regulatory reforms to improve digitisation and innovation. Lord Frost said “We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens get on and succeed. Today’s announcement is just the beginning. The Government will go further and faster to create a competitive, high-standards regulatory environment which supports innovation and growth across the UK as we build back better from the pandemic.”

For more information please click here.


Planning and housing

Councils able to bid for £20,000 to support housing delivery

Councils are able to put a bid in to receive support from the LGA to help them tackle the housing shortage under the Housing Advisers Programme. The programme will award up to £20,000 to council projects that are designed to meet the housing needs of communities. The funding will enable councils to access expert advice and is designed to support councils by helping them meet their local housing need whilst aiming to be simple, flexible and locally led. The Housing Advisers Programme is open for applications now and will close on 15 November 2021.

For more information please click here.

Green homes ‘revolution’ would boost economy

A new strategy to decarbonise the UK’s housing stock could create up to 138,600 new jobs and boost the economy by £9.8bn by 2030, according to a new report from Greenpeace. The report argues a ‘green homes revolution’ to insulate homes and swap gas boilers for low-carbon heating sources could deliver huge economic and social benefits. Greenpeace is calling on the Government to include a package of grants, loans and tax incentives within its upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy to deploy heat pumps more rapidly. It also wants a commitment to phase out new gas boiler installations by early in 2030, and a fully-funded programme to insulate homes.

For more information please click here.

Fund to provide £300 million to UK housebuilders

The Housing Growth Partnership II established by Lloyds Banking Group and Homes England has announced a new £300 million commitment to SME and regional housebuilders to help deliver 10,000 new homes by 2025. Housing Minister RT Hon Christopher Pincher MP said “It is a top priority of this Government to increase housing supply so hard-working people can be helped into home ownership. A thriving SME sector is crucial to our house building targets and ambitions. This significant amount of funding will help smaller and regional housebuilders by providing them with the financial support necessary to deliver much needed new homes.”

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:

Data protection and marketing – treading the fine line

Ensuring marketing communications comply with data protection regulations is a minefield. There are seemingly contradictory laws and guidelines which make knowing what you can and can’t do to use personal data to market your products and services very complex. What is legitimate interest marketing? Can I still use the soft opt-in? What do I need to do to get valid consent? What’s the difference between a service message and a marketing message and why is it an issue? What do I need to do to stay on the right side of the ICO? Using some recent cases involving Sports Direct, Papa Johns and American Express, Phil Tompkins will take a look at marketing under the current data protection regime, covering a whole range of topics including use of the PECR soft opt-in, and when a service message crosses the boundary and becomes a marketing message. Register below to join us on 28th September at 12pm.

For more information and to book your place, please click here.

Mental health and wellbeing – a discussion

As part of a series of webinars on wellness and in advance of World Mental Health Day the following week, Open North Foundation are hosting a free webinar, chaired by Ward Hadaway’s Colin Hewitt, to discuss this topic on Friday 1st October at 8.30am.  They have pulled together three great speakers to set the scene, and then to answer your questions during a Q&A until 10am.

For more information and to book your place, please click here.

The impact of the menopause in the workplace

Ward Hadaway is hosting a series of events exploring the impact of the menopause in the workplace and what very practical things organisations can do to provide relevant support. Join us in the first of these sessions to take place on 5th October from 3.30pm to 5pm where we will be speaking to Dr Joanne Hobson, specialist in menopause and hugely experienced in providing education and advice on this topic.

For more information and 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. 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. This session will take place on 7th October at 10am.

For more information and 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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