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Birmingham decision supports Lancashire legal action

Posted by Mark Buckley on Mon 23/05/11. Listed in Disability Equality NW news

Case for cuts weakens in Lancashire

Following the successful legal action by disabled people in Birmingham (see summary below), Lancashire County Council issued a statement at the end of last week as follows, "We are looking carefully at the Birmingham judgement. Whilst there are some clear differences between their case and the claims brought against us, we will consider any implications it may have for us."

The Judicial Review in Lancashire continues.


Here is a brief summary from the Birmingham judgement as reported in The Guardian 19.05.11.

"Birmingham city council, the UK's biggest council, acted unlawfully over a decision to cut its provision of care for disabled people, the high court has ruled.

The judgment, involving four severely disabled people who brought a test case against the council, has widespread implications for local authorities.

Mr Justice Walker said councils had to take account of people's disabilities, even where that involved treating disabled persons more favourably than others.

The Tory-Liberal Democrat authority in Birmingham had proposed the cuts as part of a plan to save 212m by limiting council-funded social care only to those assessed as being in "critical" need.

But the judge described this move as potentially devastating and found that the cuts failed to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. All public bodies had a duty to follow the disability discrimination law, while acknowledging that that placed "significant and onerous" obligations on local authorities, the ruling said.

The council said it would rerun the consultation and make fresh decisions on adult social care in accordance with the ruling.

Disability campaigners welcomed the ruling, though some feared the government could try to create a law allowing councils to make such cuts".


For a full account of this article use the link below.


Guardian article 19.5.11