Council’s policy on families with no recourse to public funds unlawful

Monday 28 July 2014

The High Court today held that the London Borough of Newham's policy on supporting families with no recourse to public funds is unlawful. The claimants were represented by Shu Shin Luh.

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The claimants are three children who brought the proceedings via their mother. They challenged Newham's failure to assess their needs lawfully and its decision to provide only £50 per week to meet their and their mother's subsistence needs. This level of support was inadequate but Newham contended it was in accordance with its policy. The High Court held that the rates derived from child benefits were flawed and should not have been applied to the claimants. The High Court directed the local authority to reconsider the policy and to consider what back payments should be awarded to the claimants.

For more information about the case, please see: PO v London Borough of Newham Note of Judgment. The judgment is available here: PO v London Borough of Newham [2014] EWHC 2561 Admin.

Shu Shin was instructed by Noel Arnold of Coram Children's Legal Centre.

Shu Shin Luh is a member of Garden Court’s Community Care and Public and Administrative Law Teams.

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