Showing posts from January, 2015

Time’s up: judicial review claim for super-sewer dismissed

From the London Evening Standard 22/01/15: A council was today accused of being “totally incompetent” after the legal challenge against London’s controversial super-sewer collapsed because it submitted court papers late. Southwark’s leader today sought to explain the cock-up by blaming “ambiguous” rules setting out deadlines for submitting papers.Don’t snigger.  However much you might want to. Lib Dem opposition leader at Southwark Anood Al-Samerai said: “We all trusted the council to represent our community in court. “Now the case for a judicial review has been thrown out all because the council couldn’t manage to submit its paperwork on time. The council explained it had been working to a time-frame which would have been acceptable had new reforms currently being discussed in Parliament been passed. But with the new rules yet to come into full force, the judge applied existing rules which deemed the council’s court papers to be late.On the face of it, this sounds unforgivable.…

It’s a hard knot life

Guest Post
Japanese Knotweed has received some legislative attention recently, perhaps due to recent media interest in how it is affecting the value of properties. The new Anti-Social, Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 seeks to address the issue where homeowners do not tend to the issue of knotweed on their property. According to the legislation homeowners might fall foul of the Act where they do not act reasonably to control or prevent the growth of knotweed. Under the Act a Community Protection Notice can be issued by a local authority or the police, where the homeowner actions are a) ‘having a detrimental effect, of a continuing and persistent nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality’ and/or b) the homeowner acts ‘unreasonably’. Moreover, a failure to act also falls under conduct that is classed as ‘unreasonable’. The notice, therefore, now requires an individual to control or eradicate the knotweed on their property and breaching the notice without a reasonable…

Party Games: pin the invoice on the schoolchild

From BBC News 19/01/15: A five-year-old was billed for failing to attend a friend's birthday party - resulting in threats of legal action. Alex Nash, from Cornwall, was invited to the party just before Christmas. An invoice for £15.95 was sent by his schoolfriend's mother Julie Lawrence, who said Alex's non-attendance left her out of pocket and his parents had her details to tell her he was not going. Alex's father Derek said he had been told he would be taken to the small claims court for refusing to pay. Alex's parents, from Torpoint, had accepted an invitation to the party at a dry ski slope in Plymouth, Devon, just before Christmas. However, they realised their son was double-booked and due to spend time with his grandparents, which he did.I suppose sending an invoice is one way of doing it. (But really – what was she thinking?) Putting the silliness of the situation to one side for a moment, could Mrs Lawrence make this claim stick? Let’s think about th…

UCAS Applications – Oh the pain

Apparently it’s that time of year again.From the Telegraph 15/01/15:[It’s] when panic reigns in households inhabited by 17- and 18-year-olds across the country. Schoolbags are thrown across kitchens; bedroom doors are slammed; homework left undone and tantrums even more frequent than usual.January 15 marks UCAS deadline day, and the beginning of the end of many a school career.Oddly enough, I don’t remember UCAS applications being that much of a ballache for me.  But I’m sure it was.  My only distinct memory of the process (some 12 years ago now), was the pain experienced by one of my peers who’d made the mother of all cock-ups filling out her hand-written application form.  She’d spent days finalising that thing, only to be informed by our form tutor that she’d spelt the college’s address incorrectly and she’d have to start afresh.To describe her reaction as a meltdown doesn’t even come close.Anyway, the Telegraph have compiled some application form howlers which are well worth a gig…

Back to work blues

Well, it had to happen sometime. Normal service at work has been resumed and I’m once again a sardine wedged into a train-shaped tin disciplined commuter. Actually, I found the Christmas break this year quite relaxing and I’ve had two full weeks off, so I really mustn’t complain. Shortly before my previous blog post – published on Christmas Eve – I took the Law Society’s Christmas quiz, you know, to really get me into the festive mood. Some of the questions struck me as strangely esoteric, unless you’ve got a perfect memory for statistics on family law issues and the like. I was rather disappointed with my score of 7/12 and, as I recall, the festive-flavoured ale I was savouring at the time did little to quell that sense of disappointment. Still, the quiz had a Christmassy background and Christmassy music and at least the Law Society did something to mark the time of year. It’s nice to know those fees for practising certificates aren’t going entirely to waste.
On an entirely sepa…