Public benefit for the rich?: Merton LBC v Nuffield Health – Law & Religion UK

Posted June 8th, 2023 in charities, fiduciary duty, health, local government, news, rates by tracey

‘Nuffield Health is a registered charity. Its purposes are “to advance, promote and maintain health and healthcare of all descriptions and to prevent, relieve and cure sickness and ill health of any kind, all for the public benefit.” It pursues its purposes primarily through the provision of gym facilities, including the gym at Merton Abbey. It also operates private hospitals and clinics. The facilities at Merton Abbey are mainly restricted to fee-paying members. In April 2019, the standard membership fee was £80 per month. Nuffield also offers certain limited services to non-members of the gym. S.43(5) and (6)(a) Local Government Finance Act 1988 mandates an 80 per cent relief from business rates where “the ratepayer is a charity or trustees for a charity” and the premises are “wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes (whether of that charity or of that and other charities)”. Nuffield Health claimed the mandatory relief under s.43(5) and (6)(a) from 1 August 2016, when it acquired the Merton Abbey gym.’

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Law & Religion UK, 8th June 2023

Source: lawandreligionuk.com

Think of other ways to meet the duty – Nearly Legal

‘Our grateful thanks to Eleri Griffiths and Martin Hodgson of One Pump Court for the following note of a judicial review of LB Harrow’s failure to provide suitable accommodation under section 193 Housing Act 1996, following on from Elkundi (our note) and while we await the Supreme Court decision in Imam v LB Croydon on mandatory orders in such cases.’

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Nearly Legal, 4th June 2023

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

On the naughty step – a ‘rising star’ of Barking – Nearly Legal

‘Sadly, it appears that it is necessary to revive the long lapsed tradition of the Nearly Legal Naughty Step post.

We have encountered a number of councils putting, or trying to put, damn silly clauses in their tenancy agreements for secure tenants, and then threatening to evict tenants who breach these damn silly clauses. There was Sandwell silencing tenants, for example (and they were not alone in trying to include such a clause). And there was the spectacle of Wandsworth attempting to impose a clause forbidding the tenant, their household, or their visitors from behaving badly anywhere in the whole borough, on pain of eviction. That one – which is all too relevant for what follows – ended in humiliation for Wandsworth when they actually tried to use it.’

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Nearly Legal, 6th June 2023

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Humanist wins High Court battle over appointments to Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education – Local Government Lawyer

‘The High Court has quashed the decision of Kent County Council to refuse to consider a humanist for membership of Group A of its Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE).’

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Local Government Lawyer, 5th June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

High Court rejects claim over decision of adjudicator and fairness of school admissions arrangements – Local Government Lawyer

‘The High Court has rejected a claim which questioned what matters an adjudicator may and must take into account in determining whether a school’s admission arrangements are “fair”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 5th June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

“Deep disappointment” shared over Government failure to implement recommendations from Child Sexual Abuse inquiry – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Child Sexual Abuse inquiry chair, Alexis Jay, and a number of other organisations have shared “deep disappointment” over the Government’s response to recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Childhood Sexual Abuse (IICSA).’

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Local Government Lawyer, 5th June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Fresh judicial review challenge on horizon over Home Office asylum accommodation site – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Home Office could be subject to a fresh judicial review over its plans to house asylum seekers on former military sites across the country after an East Sussex resident reached a crowdfunding goal to challenge plans to move people into a disused prison.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 2nd June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

‘Horrendous’ practice of handcuffing children in care must be banned, MPs warn – The Independent

‘A coalition of MPs and peers is calling for the “horrendous” practice of handcuffing children in care during transport to be banned.’

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The Independent, 4th June 2023

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Feeding the ducks in park could mean £100 fine – Daily Telegraph

‘ “Simple joy” of taking children to give bread to the birds in Harrow’s Pinner Memorial Park could land parents with a costly penalty.’

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Daily Telegraph, 2nd June 2023

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Supreme Court refuses to hear claim that council should have conducted Habitat Regulations Assessment before green-lighting farm expansion – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Supreme Court has refused to hear a case that alleged Herefordshire Council failed to carry out the proper habitat regulations assessments before giving planning permission for farm buildings bordering the River Wye catchment area.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 2nd June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Ombudsman criticises council for “significant failings” under Equality Act that exacerbated poor mental health of resident – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Housing Ombudsman has found severe maladministration for Tandridge District Council after the local authority “did not abide by its duties under the Equality Act or its own safeguarding policy”, leading to the exacerbation of a resident’s poor mental health.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Judicial review proceedings issued against NHS trust over lack of consultation on mental health services redesign – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is facing a judicial review challenge from a claimant who alleges the trust failed to involve or consult service users on plans to redesign its community mental health services.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st June 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Judicial review challenge settled in “sleeping councillor” planning case – Local Government Lawyer

Posted May 31st, 2023 in judicial review, local government, news, planning, professional conduct by sally

‘Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has settled a judicial review challenge over a decision which saw the council’s planning committee rescind a planning refusal because the applicant claimed a councillor appeared to be asleep during the meeting.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 30th May 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

High Court gives green light to further grounds for challenge in ULEZ expansion judicial review – Local Government Lawyer

‘The High Court has allowed further grounds in the judicial review claim lodged by a coalition of London councils in opposition to the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).’

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Local Government Lawyer, 30th May 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

BSB to lobby councils over disabled access to listed chambers buildings – Legal Futures

‘The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has written to chief planning officers in central London to express concern at the difficulties chambers face in adapting historic buildings for disabled access.’

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Legal Futures, 30th May 2023

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Humanism and religious instruction in schools: the landmark case of Bowen – Law & Religion UK

‘The High Court decision in R (on the Application of Bowen) v Kent County Council [2023] EWHC 1261 (Admin) makes it clear that local authorities cannot exclude humanist representatives from their Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs). Although many SACREs already include humanists and this interpretation has been articulated in soft law, the judgment of Constable J is unambiguous on that point and presents a significant step forward. However, the judgment also highlights how the protection of non-religious beliefs continues to be controversial and lacking in clarity. This post will explore this welcome decision while highlighting the unresolved matters concerning freedom of non-religious beliefs.’

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Law & Religion UK, 30th May 2023

Source: lawandreligionuk.com

Children public law case update: May 2023 – Local Government Lawyer

‘Jennifer Frost rounds up the latest public law children cases of interest to practitioners.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 26th May 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Key issues in land disposal – Local Government Lawyer

Posted May 26th, 2023 in appeals, local government, news, planning, Supreme Court by tracey

‘When local authorities dispose of land, there are several important legal issues for them to consider. A recent case considered by the Supreme Court showed the importance of considering one such issue – the duties associated with disposing of land consisting of open space, write Paul Hilsdon and Matthew Holtam.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 26th May 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The power to withdraw under scrutiny in the Court of Appeal – Local Government Lawyer

‘In a judgment handed down on 10 May 2023, the Court of Appeal held that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman did not have a power to withdraw a report issued on completion of his investigation. Amy Tschobotko and Jason Tandy consider below the implications of the judgment for public bodies when discharging their functions, including when carrying out reviews and responding to legal challenges.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 26th May 2023

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Opinion: Judith Ratcliffe – Journal of the Law Society Scotland

Posted May 26th, 2023 in documents, government departments, internet, local government, news, Scotland by tracey

‘In this age of drives to digital, we need, written into law, a right for every citizen in the United Kingdom to access Government and local authority services offline (on paper and over the counter)’

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Journal of the Law Society Scotland , 15th May 2023

Source: www.lawscot.org.uk