The court considered whether it was lawful for a local authority to outsource the decision making on homelessness reviews. The appellants said that it could not be contracted out, and that the agent employed lacked the necessary independence and was not democratically accountable.
Held: Reviews could be contracted out. The court could ‘not see that a third party should necessarily be any less impartial than an employee. Whether he can be regarded as less independent may depend on the particular facts, and in particular the terms of the contract between the authority and the third party. ‘
Stanley Burnton, Tuckey, Sedley LJJ
Times 12-Oct-2009,  EWCA Civ 930,  HRLR 34,  LGR 937,  HLR 8,  PTSR 572,  BLGR 937,  1 WLR 990
Housing Act 1996 202, Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999 2, Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 70, Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Allocation of Housing and Homelessness Functions) Order 1996 3
England and Wales
Cited – Starrs v Ruxton HCJ 11-Nov-1999
The court was asked ‘whether the Lord Advocate has acted in a way which was incompatible with the rights of the accused under art 6(1) of the Convention to fair trial by ‘an independent and impartial tribunal’ within the meaning of that article.’ . .
Cited – Porter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
Cited – Runa Begum v London Borough of Tower Hamlets (First Secretary of State intervening) HL 13-Feb-2003
The appellant challenged the procedure for reviewing a decision made as to the suitability of accomodation offered to her after the respondent had accepted her as being homeless. The procedure involved a review by an officer of the council, with an . .
Cited – Feld, Lord Mayor and Citizens of the City of Westminster v London Borough of Barnet, Lord Mayor and Citizens of the City of Westminster CA 18-Oct-2004
The applicants sought housing as homeless people. After the refusal of their applications, they sought a review, and in due course a second review. That second review was conducted by the same officer who had conducted the first. The appellant . .
Cited – Hazell v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council HL 1991
Swap deals outwith Council powers
The authority entered into interest rate swap deals to protect itself against adverse money market movements. They began to lose substantial amounts when interest rates rose, and the district auditor sought a declaration that the contracts were . .
Cited – Zumtobel v Austria ECHR 21-Sep-1993
The Zumtobel partnership objected to the compulsory purchase of their farming land to build the L52 by-pass road in the Austrian Vorarlberg. The appropriate Government committee heard their objections but confirmed the order. They appealed to an . .
Cited – London Borough of Newham v Adan CA 14-Dec-2001
The applicant was a Dutch national. She appealed for housing as a homeless person. The local authority, after review found her not to have a settled intention to stay in England. She appealed, to the County Court, and succeeded, and the Authority . .
Cited – ISKCON v United Kingdom ECHR 8-Mar-1994
(Commission) A local authority had served an enforcement notice on ISKCON alleging a material change of use of the land. ISKCON appealed against the notice under section 174(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and after a report by an . .
Cited – Regina (Holding and Barnes plc) v Secretary of State for Environment Transport and the Regions; Regina (Alconbury Developments Ltd and Others) v Same and Others HL 9-May-2001
Power to call in is administrative in nature
The powers of the Secretary of State to call in a planning application for his decision, and certain other planning powers, were essentially an administrative power, and not a judicial one, and therefore it was not a breach of the applicants’ rights . .
Cited – Bryan v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Nov-1995
Bryan was a farmer at Warrington in Cheshire. He built two brick buildings on land in a conservation area without planning permission and the planning authority served an enforcement notice for their demolition. He appealed on grounds (a) (that . .
Cited – In Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 2); Director General of Fair Trading v Proprietary Association of Great Britain and Proprietary Articles Trade Association CA 21-Dec-2000
The claimants alleged that a connection between a member of the Restrictive Practices Court, who was to hear a complaint and another company, disclosed bias against them. She had not recused herself.
Held: When asking whether material . .
Cited – Kingsley v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Nov-2000
The judicial review procedure which restricted the matters which it considered so as to exclude consideration of the allegation by the applicant that the tribunal whose decision he challenged had not been impartial, was insufficient to support the . .
Cited – Stefan v United Kingdom ECHR 1998
Cited – X v United Kingdom ECHR 19-Jan-1998
The complainant said that the system under which he had been declared unfit to be involved in the management of an insurance company was unfair. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Local Government, Housing
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.373190