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Local Authority round-up 27/08/21

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

State funded schools will receive £25,000,000 for carbon dioxide monitors

The Government has announced that state funded schools in the UK will have a £25 million investment for carbon dioxide monitors from September. This investment is to help deal with COVID-19 and to ensure that there is proper ventilation in classrooms. 300,000 monitors will become available for use by schools, most being available for the autumn term. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has stated that “providing all schools with CO2 monitors will help them make sure they have the right balance of measures in place, minimising any potential disruption to education and allowing them to focus on world class lessons and catch up for the children who need it”.

For more information, please click here.

Resignation over London’s new Marble Arch Mound

Westminster City Council recently invested a sum of £150m into the Oxford Street District of London. This sum included the Marble Arch Mound, which was intended to bring more visitors into the area. However, due to various issues that the Council faced, the current total cost for the Mound is approximately £6m, almost double the intended costs. Westminster City Council’s deputy leader, Melvyn Caplan, has resigned after leading the project. The increased costs of the Mound have been deemed as “totally unacceptable” by council leader Rachael Robathan.

For more information, please click here.


Regulatory

UK Health Security Agency launches anti-body surveillance programme

A new national surveillance programme has recently launched to test for antibodies in up to 8,000 people a day. This programme will help improve our understanding of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in terms of immunity. Adults can opt in for the service through NHS Test and Trace, and up to 8,000 of those who test positive will be sent finger-prick tests in the post, which will then be sent for analysis at a lab. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, has stated that “our new national antibody testing will be quick and easy to take part in, and by doing so you’ll be helping strengthen our understanding of COVID-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life”.

For more information, please click here.


Planning and housing

£4m grant programme for community led housing

Community led housing groups can now access a £4m fund designed to give more opportunities for good quality, affordable housing in local communities. The Community Housing Fund, launched by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, will also help to provide for matters such as legal costs and planning applications. The fund aims to help community-based groups retain control of the housing, whilst enabling that housing to be affordable locally. The fund is designed to help tackle the needs of local communities, such as helping to solve any housing problems. Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP commented that “community-led housing is about local people playing a leading and lasting role in solving their housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities where mainstream housebuilders are unable to deliver”.

For more information, please click here.

New loan support retirement homes

Homes England, the government’s housing agency, have invested £40m in retirement living homes. The Audley Group will be working with Homes England in order to grow the market and provide new homes for those who are retired. According to the government, the shortage of quality retirement homes results in a lack of family homes, with the new investment making family-sized homes more readily available. Peter Denton, Chief Executive at Homes England has stated that “first and foremost, this will enable hundreds of later life customers to enjoy high-quality, independent living accommodation for years to come. The area will benefit from enhanced care provision and family homes will be freed up for the next generation”.

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:

Public Sector Property update

Please join us at our online Public Sector Property update where our legal experts will update you on property and construction law developments relevant to the Public Sector. Register below for this free 90 minute session on 23rd September at 9.30am. You will be able to submit questions in advance, or using the Zoom Q&A feature during the event.

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.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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