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Welcome to the September edition of Local Government Matters.

Welcome to our latest edition of the Trowers Local Government Matters. We hope you all enjoyed your summer break!

With the team feeling refreshed after their summer breaks (we consciously dropped the holiday snaps section!) we are gearing up to attend the party political conferences for the major parties over the coming weeks. With the 2024 general election battle grounds being drawn, mini-cabinet and shadow cabinet reshuffles taking place and emerging political priorities being set out — our team will be listening intently to see the major messages from each party for local government. We will report back in next month’s edition of LGM. 

Given Birmingham City Council's recent S114 notice, on 19 September we will be hosting a roundtable with CNM Think Tank on the s114 process and local government finances. More on this topic and an overview of the session to also follow next month.

Until then, our bumper edition includes articles covering topics from decarbonisation and sustainability, to amendments to who pays for care. We also include our essential guide on the Social Housing Act in which we summarise the key aspects.

In the final section of LGM you have access to all our recent webinars and podcasts where you will find an on-demand recording of all our procurement update webinars as well as a recording of our recent Regeneration Masterclass — including details of upcoming sessions of this well-received series.

List of articles:

Paying the price of s.117 aftercare

Identifying which local authority bears the responsibility to fund packages of after-care services can lead to disputes and is of huge significance for the sector, particularly in times of ever-strained budgets. 

The Supreme Court has recently looked at this issue, and Charlotte Clayson, a Partner in our Dispute Resolution and Litigation team, looks at what it means for local authorities.

Keeping up with the changes: The evolving landscape of decarbonisation and sustainability

Trowers & Hamlins’ Energy & Sustainability team sit down to talk about how the market is evolving, what to watch for, and why the changing landscape makes for exciting opportunities and work.

Webinar: Procurement update

We checked in on the progress of the Procurement Bill, examined recent case law decisions, looked at the PPNs and other important policy guidance issued over the last six months. We also took a deep dive into the variety of service delivery structures that procurement practitioners are adopting.

Barking Riverside: Building a sustainable legacy

Barking Riverside, a former power station site in East London, was a blank page when it was earmarked for regeneration, and that presented both a challenge and an opportunity.

Chris Paul and Megan Coulton discuss this with the Managing Director of Barking Riverside, Matthew Carpen.

Webinar Series: Unlocking Regeneration

The Trowers & Hamlins Regeneration Masterclass series explores all legal aspects of the processes, including how to avoid failures, so that you have a better chance of making your scheme a success.  

Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 — essential guide

The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 20 July 2023. 

We have put together this essential guide to help summarise the key aspects.

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme — Phase 3c announced

Phase 3c of the PSDS was announced on the 12 July 2023, and under this phase, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has allocated up to £230million in funding. The portal is expected to open for applications in October 2023.

Lucie Allen and Julian Jarrett look at who eligible, the property considerations and subsidy control considerations. 

Employer failed to make reasonable enquiries into the effects of the disabled job applicant's disability

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in AECOM Ltd v Mallon that an employer was under a duty to make reasonable adjustments when its requirement for job applicants to create an online profile and complete an online application form put an applicant with dyspraxia at a substantial disadvantage. 

Grant funding for regeneration – welcome respite in a difficult market 

At the end of June, the UK government and Homes England announced that grant funding provided through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 can be applied to affordable homes on estate regeneration projects, so long as those schemes provide additional affordable homes over and above the existing number. Previously, grant funding could only be applied in the development of brand new affordable homes. This is a welcome move, with a positive response across the affordable development industry.

Webinar: Consumer regulation for local authorities

This session was focused on the key provisions of the revised consumer standards and their impact on local authorities.

The panel discussed what the new consumer regulation regime will look like, ways in which local authorities should be getting ready, and shared insight into what some local authorities are already doing including thoughts from the Regulator on the new regime and pilot inspection programme.

Local government podcasts and webinars library