Monthly Archives: October 2014

Doncaster Childrens Services Trust: how Colin Hilton is strong and independent

Three weeks ago, on 26th September 2014, Doncaster Childrens Services Trust (“DCST”) filed new Articles of Association – governance documents – with Companies House.

It may be recalled that Michael Gove had said that Childrens Services would be removed from the local authority. There was widespread concern about whether it would be handed to profit-making companies. DCST, however, was set up as a private company limited by guarantee. In February, Colin Hilton was appointed as the first chair of the new Trust, with Michael Gove saying of the Trust that,

It will provide a new model for the delivery of children’s social care services in England, one intended to drive improvement and innovation through strong independent leadership.

With these new Articles of Association, we get some glimpse of the legal mechanism whereby Colin Hilton will deliver strong independent leadership. It is perhaps fair that I point out this blog critiques these governance documents, rather than anything about his personal style or what is happening on the ground.

I want to comment on three things: Continue reading Doncaster Childrens Services Trust: how Colin Hilton is strong and independent


The Statutory Guidance Project

Getting a definitive list of statutory guidance in force

How do you know if something is a piece of statutory guidance and is in force? The immediate inspiration for this blog is the difficulty extracting a straight answer to that question from the internet.

So far as I know, there is no comprehensive list of “statutory guidance in force” as there are projects to keep on top of “legislation in force”. No single place to which to come.

(I have a list on my own website at It is the problems with keeping it up-to-date that have inspired this blog. But it may be the nearest thing there is at the moment.)

Worse, if you want to locate statutory guidance on a particular subject, you generally have to know what it is you are looking for.

Worse still, the current government embarked on a project shortly after coming into office which – whether or not intentionally – has made problems that much worse. That project consisted of archiving whole chunks of the previous government’s websites, which can now generally only be found in the national archive. That project was undertaken indiscriminately, so that statutory guidance – which has its own peculiar status discussed below, and doesn’t change its status just because a new government comes to power – is sometimes only to be found, misleadingly, in the national archive.

So what I thought I would do is Continue reading The Statutory Guidance Project

Protecting Human Rights in the UK: collated commentary

Just a quick compilation of some of the commentary on today’s Conservative’s Human Rights announcement.

Here is the document itself: “Protecting Human Rights in the UK

Here is it marked up by Carl Gardner @carlgardner at Head of Legal: ““Protecting Human Rights in the UK”: the Tory human rights plan

Commentary from:

Carl Gardner @carlgardner, author of the mark-up above “Full of Sound and Fury on Human Rights

Liberty @libertyhqLegally IlliterateContinue reading Protecting Human Rights in the UK: collated commentary