Abuse by foster parents

October 19th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council (2017) UKSC 60 the appellant was in the care of the respondent local authority from the ages of seven to eighteen. The local authority placed her into foster care with Mr and Mrs A between March 1985 and March 1986, and with Mr and Mrs B between October 1987 and February 1988. She was physically and emotionally abused by Mrs A, and sexually abused by Mr B. The case proceeded on the basis that the local authority were not negligent in the selection or supervision of the foster parents, but the appellant claimed that the local authority were liable for the abuse, either on the basis that they were in breach of a non-delegable duty, or on the basis that they were vicariously liable for the wrongdoing of the foster parents. Her claim was dismissed by the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Read more »


Ordinary Residence

October 6th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In R (Barking and Dagenham LBC) v SoS for Health (2017) EWHC 2449 (Admin) Barking and Dagenham Council (“Barking”) challenged a decision by the Defendant, the Secretary of State for Health, that the second interested party, HR, was ordinarily resident in its area for the purposes of the provision of care services to him. As a consequence, Barking assumed responsibility for funding HR’s care. Barking contended that HR’s care should be funded by the London Borough of Redbridge, the First Interested Party, the authority for the area where HR grew up and was physically resident until he moved to accommodation in Barking in August 2012. Read more »


Registered Nurses

August 4th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The issue in Forge Care Homes Ltd v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (2017) UKSC 56 was whether it is the NHS or local authorities (with means-tested contributions from clients) who are responsible for paying for the work done by registered nurses not only in health care settings but also in social care settings.  The Supreme Court, allowing an appeal by local authorities has unanimously held that, on the correct interpretation of Section 49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (exclusion of nursing care from community care services), it is the NHS who are responsible for the payment. Read more »


Social Care

July 10th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

Individuals claim to be an unaccompanied child asylum seeker.  The local authority assesses their ages.  It decides that they are not children, they are not under 18.  On that basis it has no functions in relation to them under the Children Act 1989 (“CA 1989”). However, pursuant to CA 1989, the authority had been providing services pending its assessment.  At the same time that the authority provided reasons for its age assessment decision it stopped providing their services.  That was in accordance with its policy or practice.  Is that policy or practice of simultaneous over 18 age assessment decision and withdrawal of services under CA 1989 unlawful, as being procedurally unfair and contrary to ECHR Article 8?  Read more »


Local Government Election Court

June 23rd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Elections and Bylaws, Social Care

In R (Rahman) v Local Government Election Court (2017) EWHC 1413 (Admin) a Divisional Court (Lloyd Jones LJ and Supperstone J) refused the Applicant’s application to amend the grounds of his application for judicial review of a decision of the Local Government Election Court which found the Applicant personally guilty and guilty by his agents of a number of electoral offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”). The findings of the Election Court had the effect of automatically disqualifying the Applicant from holding elected office until 23 April 2020. Read more »


Notice of Redundancy

May 22nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In R (Forsey) v Northern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court (2017) EWHC 1152 (QB) the claimant was prosecuted as a director of a company which entered into administration, and whose 84 employees at a warehouse were made redundant. It was alleged that the company committed an offence by failing to notify the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (“the SoS”) in writing of a proposal to dismiss and make redundant 20 or more employees. The claimant is said also to be guilty on the basis that he had consented to, connived at, or neglected to prevent this failure. The failure was alleged to be contrary to Section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“the Act”). Read more »


National Minimum Wage

May 22nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The three appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in cases including Focus Care Agency Ltd v Roberts, UKEAT/0143/16/DM, consider the proper approach to the question whether employees who “sleep-in” in order to carry out duties if required engage in “time-work” for the full duration of the night shift, or whether they are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and 2015, only when they are awake and carrying out relevant duties. Read more »



May 2nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

On 27 April 2017 the Children and Social Work Act 2017 received the Royal Assent. It makes provision about looked-after children, makes other provision in relation to the protection and welfare of children, and (Part 2) makes provision for a specialist new regulatory regime for social workers in England. The 2017 Act provides the legislative framework to support a programme of reform in children’s social care set out in the Government’s July 2016 Policy Paper “Putting Children First”, and responds to reviews of social work education.


Inspection of accounting records

May 2nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Non Judicial Control, Social Care

On 27 April 2017 the Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Act 2017, extending to England and Wales, received the Royal Assent. It extends, 2 months after this date, access to certain documents under Section 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.  Section 26 of the 2014 Act is amended so that in subsection (1) persons who can inspect “accounting records and related documents” are extended to “any journalist”.  “Journalist” means “any person who produces for publication journalistic material”. This applies whether or not the person is paid.


Regulatory Functions

February 28th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure, Social Care

In R v Recycled Materials Supplies Ltd (2017) EWCA Crim 58 the Court considered the respective regulatory functions of the local authority and the Environment Agency under the now superseded Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (“the EPR”).  The Court determined that it was the Environment Agency, not the local authority, that had jurisdiction under Regulations 32 and 33 of the EPR over a company carrying on a massive operation recovering and processing multiple types of construction waste.  Duality of regulation was not to be encouraged.

There is a broad distinction based upon the size and seriousness of the potential risks of pollution. In general, regulation of the more serious and potentially more harmful activities is placed in the hands of the Environment Agency, with regulation at a lower level for less complex or less polluting activities falling upon the local authority.  The power of local authorities to exercise the function of issuing environmental permits is to be found in the EPR and is limited.