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Local Authority round-up: 26/04/24

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.


Government launches free business management course for SMEs

The Government has launched the new Help to Grow: Management Essentials course which offers practical guidance and resources for small business leaders. It is hoped that the course will support SME leaders to scale up and grow their business.

The Essentials course is the latest addition to the package of SME support announced by Government as part of the ‘Help to Grow’ campaign. The Help to Grow site seeks to make it quicker and easier for business owners to find the resources they need to develop their business from across Government departments.

For more information please click here.

Planning and Housing

Key changes introduced under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (LURA)

The Government has introduced key reforms via the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8) and Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2024. These regulations bring the enforcement package set out in LURA into force from 25 April 2024.

The updated regulations remove the current four-year time limit for bringing enforcement action against building or engineering operations and changes of use to a single dwelling house. A single 10-year tariff will now apply to all breaches of planning controls. However, authorities should note that these changes will not apply where the alleged operational development or change of use to a single dwelling-house occurred before 25 April 2024.

The regulations also include the introduction of Enforcement Warning Notices (EWNs) for local planning authorities. EWNs, which constitute the taking of enforcement action, invite regularisation applications when it appears that there has been a breach of planning control.

The regulations also seek to prevent delayed appeals by allowing the Planning Inspectorate to dismiss appeals against enforcement notices and certificates of lawfulness on the grounds of undue delay by the appellant.

For more information please click here.

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New measures introduced to protect stalking and harassment victims

The Government has recently announced measures which seek to make it easier for the police to apply for stalking protection orders, ensuring more victims will be protected earlier.

The updated statutory guidance instructs police officers that they no longer need to satisfy the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) in order to apply for a stalking protection order, but instead must provide evidence which meets the civil standard (the balance of probabilities).

Under stalking protection orders, perpetrators can face restrictions such as an obligation to notify the police of their whereabouts or travel. If breached, an individual can face imprisonment for up to 5 years.

This supplements the Protection from Sex-Based Harassment in Public Act 2023, which introduces a specific offence for public sexual harassment. The new offence, which will see perpetrators face up to 2 years in jail, will come into force from 1 October 2024.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming Events

Employment Law Update

In this webinar, our employment experts will review key legislative changes and provide practical assist to those who manage issues in the workplace.

The key topics which will be explore include the changes to the statutory right to request flexible working and the new rights for carers to take leave. We will evaluate any important case law decisions that employers need to be aware of, including the recent disability discrimination case which saw the claimant be awarded £4.6 million in compensation.

The webinar will take place on the 08th May, 10:00am-11:00am. To register your place, please click here.


Housing Management Law School Spring Term

The Housing Management Law School is free to attend and exists to deliver training to Registered Providers of Social Housing, educating and updating their housing management staff with the essential legal knowledge that they need.

The Spring Term session will take place on the 09th May, 10:00am-11:30am, and will explore the following:

The Revised Consumer Standards are now in force having come into effect on April 1st, this year. This session will look in depth at the new standards, how they will be applied, monitored and enforced, and what is expected of Registered Providers under the new consumer standard Code of Practice.

Disrepair claims continue to present major financial, logistical and reputational risks to social housing providers. In this session, we will consider the practical steps that can be taken to mitigate risk, handle claims effectively, efficiently and economically to protect customers, reputation and resources.

To register your place, 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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