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Local Authority round-up 25/11/22

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.


Councils to receive £35 million to transform derelict land

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced last week that forty-one councils from across England are to receive a multi-million-pound boost to help them transform derelict land into new houses. The funding, which will be drawn from the £180 million Brownfield Land Release Fund 2, will allow for council-owned land to be put back into use, by transforming redundant industrial sites, disused car parks and derelict buildings into new housing. Fifty-nine regeneration projects will benefit from the funding boost and the DLUHC estimates that over 2,200 homes, including over 800 affordable homes, will be built thanks to the funding. They also predict the generation of 7000 new jobs in housing and construction. Minister for Housing Rt Hon Lucy Frazer said “Regeneration is at the heart of our levelling up mission and this new brownfield first fund will help communities across the country unlock disused, council-owned sites to build more of the right homes in the right places.”

For more information please click here.

International Trade

UK and Switzerland agree three-year extension to the Services Mobility Agreement

The UK and Switzerland have agreed a three-year extension to the Services Mobility Agreement, which enables UK professionals, such as accountants and lawyers, to travel and work in Switzerland without a permit for up to 90 days. The UK and Switzerland have also agreed to begin negotiations next year on a new free trade agreement, which will establish long-term arrangements for services mobility and boost trade between the UK and Switzerland even further. Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, said “The UK and Swiss economies are both services powerhouses and closely aligned. Today’s agreement is a win-win for both sides. From financial services in Edinburgh to cyber security in Wales, the deal ensures UK businesses capitalise on the huge opportunities on offer. This is just the beginning. I am excited to launch negotiations on an ambitious, future-facing trade deal with Switzerland that will boost our already incredibly strong trading relationship, worth £39 billion last year.”

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

Secretary of State urges housing providers to improve the conditions of their housing

The Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has written to all local authority chief executives in England calling for action on housing conditions and issued them with a direction under section 3 (3) of the Housing Act 2004. The housing secretary’s letter said that “we must raise the bar dramatically on the quality of social housing” available in the wake of the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak. He reminded providers that all social homes must meet the Decent Homes Standard and if they don’t, then remedial work must be undertaken immediately. His letter further said “In light of this case I expect you to go further than the letter of the Standard and have particular regard to damp and mould. Damp and mould are not “lifestyle issues” as the Housing Ombudsman Service underscored last year. Where people complain about damp and mould, you must listen; where you find them, you must take prompt action. To keep tenants safe, you must not hide behind legal process.”

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Public sector property update

Taking place on the 29th November at 8am, the seminar will feature members of our dedicated public sector property team. They will ensure you are up-to-date with the latest developments and changes affecting property, land and estates in healthcare and the wider public sector. Topics covered will include the latest proposed planning reforms, Building Safety Act, telecommunications issues, case law update and an update on Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. The Seminar is taking place in person in our offices at Sandgate House, Newcastle.

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

The annual PFI law update 2022

We are hosting our annual free PFI law update on 5th December at midday. This event will be taking place online using Zoom. We will be covering a wide range of topics including: Insolvency, TUPE transfers, Expiry, Termination, Dispute resolution, Contract interpretation and application and latest trends.

For more information or to book a 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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