It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As published on BCL Legal's 'The Brief' – 28 March 2019.
We catch up with Jonathan Cox to discuss his career and work in the property sector.
Jonathan, can you please tell us a bit about your career and current role at Anthony Collins Solicitors?
I am one of the social housing sector partners; part of a multi-disciplinary housing sector team. My background is property law but my role at Anthony Collins Solicitors has always been in the space where property, regulatory and housing operations mix; it has been an area full of a wide variety of instructions. My current role is to co-ordinate our work in the sector and be head of our new Manchester office.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the property sector in the Midlands?
The key issue is whether the “Brexit downturn” experienced in the south east will spread to the Midlands; if that results in a slowing down of residential development activity then for our social housing sector clients this would mean in a decrease in the section 106 “pipeline”.
The other related difficulty is the challenge of delivering the West Midlands Combined Authority’s “Housing Deal”; the Government is investing a lot in the area and the property sector in particular – the headline figure is £350M; the region must make sure it delivers.
If you could improve anything in the region what would it be?
Long term thinking; we have land in the West Midlands where people don’t want to live; we must get to a place where we are bold and all stakeholders; local authorities, housing associations, Homes England; developers and funders combine to make those places desirable – I think the Housing Deal is a big step in doing just that.
What are the two most rewarding or most high-profile projects that you’ve been involved in?
With Anthony Collins Solicitors I have been proud to be involved in a lot of high-profile projects. A current project is working with the National Housing Federation and its members in developing the Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot for the Midlands – since it is voluntary the legislative framework that exists for the “usual” right to buy wasn’t available so it was technically difficult. Our advice covered policy, planning, financial services, land law, rent charges and more; – it’s a £200M project that will change the lives of tenants and their families in 3,000 homes and builds on the national pilot I lead on in 2016.
Building wise it’s difficult to single out one - but 15 years on, the redevelopment of Lee Bank – a joint venture between Birmingham City Council, Optima Community Association and Crest creating a new district called Park Central transformed an area dubbed by its residents “the worse slum in Europe” –has stood the test of time.
In your view, what sets Anthony Collins Solicitors apart?
We define what we do at Anthony Collins Solicitors through our social purpose – improving lives, communities and society. Myself and my colleagues have joined Anthony Collins Solicitors to do just that. We work in specific sectors all of which are focussed on those outcomes - it means we are on the same page as our clients and together we can produce life changing results.
The firm opened a new Manchester office in January; how are things progressing?
As much as better serving our North West clients, the office is about giving lawyers in the Greater Manchester area an opportunity to work for a social purpose law firm; Manchester has a proud history of social activism and we are talking to a number of lawyers interested in joining us; so far we have had lawyers from Trowers & Hamlins, Barnardos and Fiona Bruce join us; we’re looking forward to having a well-known NW Social Housing Property Partner join us in July to head our Social Housing property team.
Finally, what’s the best thing about your job?
Working somewhere where I can make a positive contribution with my skills.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
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