Our Housing team are delighted following a formal tender procurement process to have been appointed to three lots under the new multi-million-pound legal services framework for The Riverside Group.
As creatures of statute, local authorities can only do those things that they are empowered to do, or those that are reasonably ancillary or incidental to those powers.
This has caused many problems over the years, and Parliament has, from time to time, tried to increase the ability of Local Authorities by introducing more “generic” powers. These, for example, included the “well-being” power under the Local Government Act 2000 (now repealed) and, more recently, the “general power of competence” within the Localism Act 2011. It should be noted that the well-being power remains in Wales, whilst the general power of competence only applies in England.
When these matters have gone before the courts, they have however got a history of interpreting legislation intended to provide for a breadth of powers in a more restrictive manner than one supposes Parliament originally intended. To date, the test of the “general power of competence” in the courts has not emerged. It’s always worth noting however that the general power of competence gives an authority the powers of individual, and many things that a local authority may wish to do are outside the powers of an individual!
Whether or not a local authority has indeed the powers to carry out the activity it wishes to do, is something that is always at the front of the mind of a local authority lawyer. This goes further and looks at whether or not such a matter is either an executive or a council matter, something that is, despite the introduction of the executive/council split with the Local Government Act 2000, still causes problems, as it is not always clear as to where the dividing line is.
Whatever the issue with local authority powers and duties, we have vast experience of navigating the whole range of the issues that need to be considered in relation to whether or not local authorities have the powers and how they should go about exercising these. This includes for example:
- Local authority powers and duties;
- Powers and duties of other public bodies;
- Internal governance considerations for councils;
- Clear and effective decision making;
- Consultation processes;
- Executive/council split;
- Proportionality and the impact of the proportionality;
- Council chairman and committee chairman;
- Constitutional issues;
- Standing orders;
- Financial regulations;
- Member/officer protocol;
- Code of Conduct and member complaints;
- Senior officer employment matters;
- Officer/member decision making; and
Our team of expert solicitors regularly advise councils on issues of vires, decision-making and the duties that councils have. This includes matters such as charging for service delivery, setting up companies, directors' responsibilities, charities and member conduct and investigations. We are leading specialists in this area and are extremely active in relation to investigations, and the powers needed and utilised by local authorities in setting up new delivery mechanisms.
A specialist in legal and strategic advice to local authorities.
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It was first referred to in the Charities Act 2006 (which was subsequently replaced by the Charities Act 2011) but it has finally been announced that charitable companies are able to convert to a charitable incorporated organisation (“CIO”).
The Private Members Bill Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19 now has Government support and was debated at second reading on Friday 19 January 2018.
In short - yes. This is a common question in personal injury or clinical negligence claims and has recently come before the High Court in judicial review proceedings.
GDPR The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018 and bring changes to the rules governing data protection and the requirements placed on organisations which control or process personal data.
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