Skip to content

Local authority round up – 28/05/21

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.


New funding for councils to extend support to care leavers

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a £51 million funding boost to help councils support care leavers.  He also announced a consultation on improving the quality of housing for care leavers by introducing nation standards that accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds must meet.  The support package includes £33 million continued investment in ‘Staying Put’, which helps looked after children stay with their foster carers after their 18th birthday, £3.6 million to extend the ‘Staying Close’ pilot which gives extra support for young people leaving residential care, and £12 million for councils to continue to provide personal advisors to support care leavers up to the age of 25.  Around £2.7 million will also be available to provide intensive support to care leavers at high risk of homelessness, as part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, said “The £50 million for care leavers that we are announcing today will ensure that vulnerable young people get the necessary support and security that is fundamental to their future. As we level up across the country, this Government will do everything in its power to ensure that no young person is left behind and everyone is given the opportunity to be author of their own life story.”

For more information please click here. 


New self-isolation support pilots launched

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that nine councils in England have been chosen to pilot new ways to help ensure people stick to self-isolation rules in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.  The councils will receive a share of £12 million of government funding to trial new, creative ways such as providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, increasing existing social care support for vulnerable adults and providing ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown.   Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said “Rapidly targeting local outbreaks and supporting people to self-isolate when required is absolutely crucial to our continuing fight against coronavirus.  These pilot schemes will provide further insight into what works best in supporting those who test positive and their contacts to do the right thing to protect themselves, their families and their wider communities.”

For more information please click here.

Councils should be given powers to decide future of high street

A report, published by Centre for London, called “Community Town Centres,” has called for greater council powers to protect the future of the high street.  The report sets out that councils and local communities should be given more power to decide the future of their high streets by extending the permitted development rights over commercial to residential property conversions.  It also calls for reviews to the powers of councils to bring long-term vacant commercial properties with unknown or negligent owners back into use for community benefit.

For more information please click here. 

International Trade

House of Lords Sub-Committee publishes call for evidence on operation of Northern Ireland Protocol

The House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has published a call for evidence, seeking views on the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Written submissions should be made online before the deadline of 9.00 am on Monday 14 June 2021.  The call for evidence includes questions on matters such as the main practical issues in relation to the Protocol’s operation for businesses based in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the impact of the Protocol, and UK withdrawal more broadly, on trade flows between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the rest of the EU, practical steps for the UK and EU to take to mitigate the Protocol’s negative impact on the people and businesses of Northern Ireland, through the withdrawal agreement Joint Committee and the Specialised Committee on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol and the practical difference that a UK-EU veterinary or sanitary and phytosanitary agreement could have on the operation of the Protocol.

For more information please click here.

Consultation launched on trade deal with India

Trade Secretary Liz Truss has announced that a 14-week consultation has been launched to seek the views of the public and businesses in respect of a trade deal with India.  The public consultation, which runs to 31 August 2021, includes a questionnaire that will gather information from participants about their experiences and priorities when doing business with India. Formal negotiations are expected to begin later this year and the government is required to complete a pre-negotiation scoping phase ahead of that which is why the consultation has now been launched.  International Trade Minister, Ranil Jayawardena said “India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and we share much in common, so we’re natural partners.  A trade deal will break down barriers, making it easier for British businesses to sell their wares in India – and secure more investment, better jobs, higher wages, more choice and lower prices here at home.”

For more information please click here.

Planning and Housing

Funding for councils to develop new design codes

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher has announced that fourteen councils across England will each receive £50,000 in funding to develop new design codes.  The aim of the new design codes is to enable councils to set out design principles for new development in local areas to ensure that they are beautiful and fit in with local character.  Councils were invited to submit an expression of interest and following a consultation period, fourteen applicants were chosen to pilot the project.  Anna Rose, Head of the Planning Advisory Service said “It is really exciting to see the National Model Design Code being tested by local councils across the country. The outcomes from this first set of pilots will help to build the capacity and collective learning that we need across the sector. I am looking forward to seeing what councils can achieve with their communities by using this new code.”

For more information please click here.

LGA publishes councillor’s guide to homelessness

On 11 May 2021, the Local Government Association (LGA) published a councillor’s guide to homelessness.  The guide has been written primarily for recently appointed cabinet members with responsibility for homelessness, but is also intended to be of interest to any councillor dealing with homelessness, either as a ward councillor or through scrutiny work. The guide aims to provide an overview of the issues surrounding homelessness and contains links to a range of sources including examples of good practice. The guide also examines the legislative framework on homelessness within which councils work, and specific aspects of the policy area and how responsibilities are discharged.

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.

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.

Follow us on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with all the latest updates and insights from our expert team

Take me there

What we're thinking