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Local Authority round-up 27/01/23

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.


LGA calls for support for those living in poverty

Chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) resources board Peter Marland has responded to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which noted that 13.4 million people were in poverty during 2020/21, including 3.9 million children. He said that the Household Support Fund provided to councils should be made permanent and more flexible and that the welfare system should ensure that families have enough income to meet their essential living costs. Mr Marland, said “Protecting those in poverty is a critical priority for councils. As this report highlights, targeted government support does help, but millions of people still face uncertainty due to inflation and being unable to pay rising bills.”

For more information please click here.

Applications for the Windrush Day Grant Scheme are open

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that the Windrush Day Grant Scheme is open for applications. Community groups, charities and councils now have until midday on 22 February to make an application, via the Near Neighbours website, for up to £50,000 of funding for celebratory parades, educational resources, arts and sporting projects to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush community in their local areas. Communities Minister Lee Rowley said “The 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, marks a seminal moment in our nation’s shared history. This government is fully committed to honouring the Windrush generation and their immense contribution to this country. This funding will really help local communities come together, honour the past and celebrate our country.”

For more information please click here.

International Trade

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill: Update

On 18 January 2023, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23 completed its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons. During report stage, the House of Commons debated various non-government amendments to the Bill. These included amendments to move the clause 1 sunset (revocation) of legislation from 2023 to 2026, and to require the government to publish an exhaustive list of every piece of legislation to be revoked by clause 1 and allow for parliamentary oversight of this process. However, none of these amendments were agreed to. The House of Commons agreed various government amendments to the Bill, which included a new clause on assimilated law. This provides for retained EU law and related bodies or types of law to be known by new names as regards all times after the end of 2023. For example, retained EU law would be known as assimilated law, and retained direct EU legislation would be known as assimilated direct legislation. However, as regards all times at or before the end of 2023, they would continue to be known by their existing names. During the debate, in response to calls to identify the pieces of legislation that come within the scope of the Bill, the government referred to the retained EU law dashboard. The government confirmed that the figure of retained EU law that they have identified and verified is 3,200, the government expects it to be 4,000, and the government will update the dashboard again this month. However, the government made no commitment to identify, via the dashboard or otherwise, which pieces of this retained EU law (or provisions of them) fall within the scope of the Bill. The Bill will now go to the House of Lords for consideration.

For more information please click here.

International Trade Committee launches inquiry into export barriers for UK businesses

On 23 January 2023, the House of Commons International Trade Committee (ITC) launched an inquiry into the export opportunities available to, and barriers facing, UK businesses. Through its inquiry, the ITC aims to investigate the key impediments to exporting, how these can be addressed, how government support for exporters compares with other countries and whether the government could provide additional support. The inquiry includes the following questions:

  • What is the current situation for UK businesses exporting to the EU, non-EU countries the UK has a trade agreement with and other countries?
  • What are the key barriers to exporting from the UK to the rest of the world and how can these most effectively be addressed?
  • How effective in helping exporters are: Department for International Trade initiatives; support from the government’s international trade advisers, UK Export Finance and in-country teams based in UK Embassies and High Commissions abroad; and UK pavilions at world expos?
  • How does this support compare with what other countries offer and what could the UK government learn and adopt from them?
  • What opportunities do free trade agreements offer for exporters and is any extra support needed to access them?

Experts, stakeholders and interested parties can submit written evidence through the ITC’s web portal until Friday 24 March 2023. After accepting written evidence, the Committee intends to hold oral evidence sessions before producing a report.

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 enter into force

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 entered into force on 23 January 2023 which provide new requirements for ‘responsible persons’ of mid and high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to fire and rescue services to assist them with operational planning and provide additional safety measures. In high-rise residential buildings, responsible persons will be required to:

  • provide their local fire and rescue service with up-to-date electronic building plans and information on the design and materials of their external wall
  • undertake monthly checks of firefighting lifts, evacuation lifts and other key pieces of firefighting equipment
  • install a secure information box and wayfinding signage

In mid-rise residential buildings (over 11 metres), responsible persons will be required to undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common part.

For more information 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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