This morning the Court of Appeal quashed the decision of the High Court that the Government acted lawfully in deciding to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which provides funding for independent living for around 19,000 disabled people with the highest support needs. This has some significance for me because in the first article I ever wrote for the Guardian I explained how adequate, self-directed social care support, provided by local authorities and/or the ILF, can enable disabled people to live active and fulfilling lives, engaging in paid work and participating fully in our communities, and how this is at risk due to cuts to social care funding and the proposed closure of the ILF. Continue reading
Following the reply we received from Derek Osbourne, which was encouraging but rather vague, we wrote to Simon Pearce, Executive Head of Adult Social Care, to ask for more precise, practical details on how the council would take account of people’s individual situations when assessing care charges. See below for our letter and Simon Pearce’s reply:
The Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Derek Osbourne, has replied to the letter of 8 July 2011 from Baroness Jane Campbell, Ann Macfarlane OBE, Ali Kashmiri, Pat Page and Jane Young. In our letter to Derek Osbourne dated 8 July 2011 we highlighted the serious disadvantage that would be faced by severely disabled people who will be charged huge sums for their essential independent living support. We also asked for specific details of how service users can access the promised discretion that the needs of high users of services would be considered on an individual basis. Continue reading
Five service users: Baroness Jane Campbell DBE, Ann Macfarlane OBE, Ali Kashmiri, Pat Page and Jane Young have written to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Derek Osbourne, using realistic scenarios to explain the serious effects of the new policy on adults of all ages with high value care packages.
It is with great regret that I have to report that we have been obliged to discontinue our application for judicial review of Kingston Council’s decision to increase contributions/charges for social care. This is because we would have been unable to prove that officers and councillors did not pay ‘due regard’ to their duty to promote disability equality or give proper consideration of the equality implications of the proposals before making their decision. Continue reading
Our application for judicial review against Kingston Council’s decision to increase care charges has been reported in the Kingston Guardian this week. An early version of the report is available on the Kingston Guardian website
‘Care charges row goes to High Court‘ reads the headline on the front page of the Kingston Informer this week, 13 May. It’s exciting to see that the Informer has seen fit to place an article about our legal action against Kingston on the front page of its Kingston edition this week. The article is reasonably accurate and I have scanned it here: Kingston Informer 13 May 2011
In the meantime, the legal application is now on hold as Kingston has asked for extra time, until 25 May, to submit their response to the Letter before claim.