Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Archived News

Water Rates

Jones – v – London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWHC 457 (Ch) 4 March 2016

It was revealed in this case that London Borough of Southwark and a number of other local authorities regarded themselves as agents in the collection of water rates for Thames Water but that they were in fact re-sellers and thus subject to the Water Resale Order 2006 which imposes maximum charges on re-sellers and allows only for modest administration charges.

Computer Still Says NO

The arrogance of the Legal Aid Agency in their “a rush & a push & the land is ours” approach of deciding not to delay mandating CCMS from 1 April 2016 was frustrating and disappointing. When mandated, the system had not been working for several weeks beforehand following what the LAA refer to as a series of “enhancements” but what are known in common parlance as “fixing the latest error”. The net result is that CCMS is still unstable and prone to errors. I have lost count of the number of times I and my colleagues have been unable to log in, have logged in & automatically been logged out, have been told we are using back/forward buttons on browsers when we have done no such thing and have had to apologise to clients for wasting their time. 


We attach here a link to a film called ‘Off the Cut’ about boatdwellers (about 21 minutes long). This concentrates on the issues which the Travellers Advice Team, amongst other things, advise boatdwellers on and we are happy to hear from boatdwellers who are facing injunction action by Canal and River Trust (CRT) because CRT state that they are not complying with their “Continuous Cruising Guidance”.  It should be noted in the film that Mr Symonds for CRT incorrectly states that they are not a public authority.  You can find the film here:-


This is no April fool.  CCMS D-Day is here.

A recent Resolution survey confirmed that while 82% of users thought that CCMS was not ready for compulsory use, 71% of respondents said they welcome the concept of electronic working. I am among those 82% and 71% respectively.   I am however filled with very little confidence going forwards and while I want CCMS to work, there seems little prospect of that any time soon.