Public Sector Bulletin - 10 March 2017

Devon and Somerset Law Society Awards - Team of the Year

Ashfords is delighted to announce that the firm has been awarded "Team of the Year" at the Devon and Somerset Law Society (DASLS) Legal Awards which took place on 2 March 2017 at Sandy Park, Exeter.

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Watch this space: New NEC4 "evolutionary" contracts soon to be published

The NEC has announced that the new NEC4 standard form contracts will be launched on 22 June 2017. The NEC is describing the NEC4 suite of contracts as an "evolution" of the ever popular NEC3 suite, building on the core principles and successes of the NEC3.

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Fit for Work

Fit for Work is a government-funded referral service that provides free access to an occupational health professional for employees who have been, or are likely to be, off sick from work for four weeks or more.

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Planning Challenges: Changes in Costs

Changes regarding 'cost capping' for those seeking to challenge planning decisions came into force on 28 February 2017.

The government introduced these changes as a response to proposals to revise the existing cost protection scheme regarding environment-related planning challenges falling within the scope of the Aarhus Convention. The aims include allowing for cost flexibility in individual cases and deterring 'frivolous' cases from being brought.

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State Aid and Procurement

Innovative proposals in housing White Paper to "make land available in the right places" offer potential opportunities to local authorities

On 7 February 2017, the government published the White Paper "Fixing our broken housing market" (the "White Paper"). A really exciting proposal involves the introduction of a form of "land pooling" that derives from Germany, which would make more land available for new development, primarily for small and medium sized sites in rural communities. Such a policy will involve extensive collaboration between the local authority, local landowners and contractors.

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Webinar series

We have recorded a series of short 5 minute public sector webinars, click here to view them. 

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