Homelessness

August 18th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Housing

Protection from eviction legislation applies when accommodation is occupied “as a dwelling”. When an applicant for homelessness assistance is being housed by a local authority pursuant to its interim housing duty the occupation of the premises provided is not occupation “as a dwelling”. However, as has been held in Dacorum Borough Council v Bugnall (2017) EWHC 2094 (QB), once the (same) accommodation comes to be provided (even temporarily) in fulfilment of the full housing duty it becomes occupied “as a dwelling”.

 

 

Highways

August 16th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In Sheffield City Council v Fairhall and others ( 2017 ) EWHC 2121 ( QB ) Males J granted the City Council an injunction to restrain direct action against highway tree removal. The tree removal was for the purpose of highway maintenance and was lawful. Objectors maintaining a presence in a safety zone after barriers had been erected and a notice had been displayed were committing a trespass.

 

 

Suspension

August 16th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Decision making and Contracts

Agoreyo v Lambeth LBC (2017) EWHC (2019) QB reaffirms that suspension ( of a teacher ) is not a ” neutral act ” ( para 24 ) and should not be considered a routine response to the need for an investigation ( para 27 ) and that alternatives must be considered ( para 29 ).

 

PSED

August 9th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Human Rights and Public Sector Equality Duty

The PSED is not triggered by a reformulation of policy, as distinct from a change of policy : Miyanji v SSHD (2017) EWHC 1939 (QB).

 

 

ECHR Articles 8 & 10

August 9th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Human Rights and Public Sector Equality Duty

In Southend Borough Council v CO (2017) EWHC 1949 (Fam) the Court held that the parents of children of children who had been removed into care were not obliged to delete an online Petition to Parliament protesting against the Court Orders. Given that there was no sufficient evidence that the Petition risked adversely impacting the children’s placements or causing them emotional harm, the children’s limited Article 8 rights were outweighed by the parents’ Article 10 rights. Parents have an important right to speak out against public authority intervention in their family where they consider that the intervention is unjust irrespective of the merits of the parents’ views.

 

 

Council Tax

August 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Council Tax and Rates

The doctrine of res judicata applies in respect of Valuation Tribunal decisions only where there is close alignment of the parties and the factual or legal issues determined in the decisions: Okon v Lewisham LBC (2017) EWHC 1933 (Admin).

 

 

Employment Contract

August 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Decision making and Contracts

In Dudley MBC v Willetts, UKEAT/0334/16/JOJ, the President of the EAT, Simler J, held that payment for voluntary overtime which is regularly worked is normal remuneration for the purposes of calculating holiday pay notwithstanding that there is no obligation in the employment contract itself to perform the work.

 

Meaning of “Highway”

August 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In Southwark LBC v Transport for London (2017) EWCA Civ 1220 the Court of Appeal applied the common law meaning of “highway” as only the road surface and “the top two spits” of subsoil necessary to use as a highway, and not the entire vertical interest in the land on which the highway runs.

 

 

Open Spaces

August 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Environment, Highways and Leisure

In R (Muir) v Wandsworth LBC (2017) EWHC 1947 (Admin) Lang J held that the Council lacked the power to grant a 15 year lease of a building on Wandsworth Common for use as a nursery for pre-school children. Under Section 10 of the Open Spaces Act 1906 and a Greater London Open Spaces Order the Council held not only the Common itself but also buildings on the Common on a statutory trust. The beneficiaries of the trust are the inhabitants of Wandsworth. The Council was obliged to maintain access for all local residents for the primary purpose of public recreation.

 

 

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 »