A resident of New Malden who depends on Kingston social services for support with daily living is taking the council to the High Court over its decision to increase care charges, on the grounds that the Council failed to comply with its legal duty to promote equality for disabled people and women. In their letter to the Council, the solicitors wrote: ‘In a case where the decision may affect large numbers of vulnerable people, the due regard [to the aims of equality legislation] that is necessary is very high.’ The letter can be viewed here: Letter before claim
The application for Judicial Review was made on 6 May 2011 but can be withdrawn or amended depending on the Council’s response to the letter before claim. This action follows a hard-fought campaign, in which campaigners gave the Council clear information and evidence about the effects of the increase on disabled people and older people, especially those with the greatest support needs. However, the Council appeared to ignore the campaigners’ representations. Challenging the decision in the courts sends a clear message to our elected representatives that they ignore the views of residents at their peril!
The solicitor running the case is Rosa Curling of Leigh Day & Co and the barrister is Kate Markum of Doughty Street Chambers.