Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

News

Legal Aid Problems

PM is a previous Client of ours and is an Irish Traveller. He lives in his caravan with his partner and recently his 3 year old son has come to live with him. PM has been in the area of a particular Welsh local authority (LA) since 2012 and, since that time, he has had to resort to unauthorised encampments since he does not have an authorised pitch in the area. However he has been pressing the LA to provide him with an authorised pitch but they have, to date, failed to do so. Since 2017 PM has instructed us to assist him and we have been taking up the case on his behalf.   In July 2019, out of desperation, he moved onto an empty pitch on a site that LA are building for Travellers in their area.  At this date LA have only obtained funding to construct three pitches and these three pitches have now been constructed. PM has moved onto one of these pitches. At this date, no further funding is available for further pitches though, ultimately, the LA intends to construct 32 pitches at this site. The LA’s Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment estimates that they need 32 pitches for Travellers in their area (hence the number of pitches they intend to construct).

London Borough of Bromley v Persons Unknown and London Gypsies & Travellers

London Borough of Bromley v Persons Unknown and London Gypsies & Travellers – [2019] EWHC 1675, 17 May 2019

The London Borough of Bromley (LBB) sought a final injunction against ‘persons unknown prohibiting unauthorised occupation and/or deposition of waste’ on 171 parcels of land owned or managed by them. The application for an injunction was clearly targeted wholly or mainly at Gypsies and Travellers. This was in a context where over 30 local authorities throughout England had already obtained such injunctions.

Moorings Consultation

Elmbridge, Runnymede and Spelthorne Councils have carried out a consultation (ended 31 July 2019) about boat dwellers who do not have a licence or who overstay time on temporary moorings. One of the proposals is to bring into force a Public Spaces Protection Order banning such boat dwellers from the area of the boroughs. You can find the consultation details here: http://mygov.elmbridge.gov.uk/documents/s24122/Unauthorised%20moorings.pdf   For CLP’s response to this consultation – click read more.

Rent Arrears and Anti-Social Behaviour

What happens when a landlord wants to evict a tenant for anti-social behaviour (ASB) having already obtained an order for possession on the ground of rent arrears?

The landlord will usually ask the court to consider whether or not to suspend the warrant in light of the allegations of ASB, even if the court would be prepared to suspend the warrant in light of the rent arrears.

Guildford BC v Cooper & Brazil

This site is in the Green Belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  A previous enforcement notice and planning appeal had been dismissed by the Secretary of State in 2014.  Guildford Borough Council (GBC) then declined to determine subsequent planning applications made in 2017 and 2018.  So there was nothing in the pipeline in terms of any outstanding application/appeal when the injunction application was heard earlier this year.