R (Members of the Committee of Care North East Northumberland) v Northumberland County Council (27 November 2013) (extempore, no neutral citation as yet)(Aikens and Sullivan LJJ, Sir Stanley Burnton): the Council had lawfully had regard to the actual costs of care locally, when determining the levels of its payments to care home owners, not by undertaking a mathematical computation but by considering the rates charged in the area and comparing them with regional rates and by obtaining and carefully considering the accounts from one provider. Click here for the report summary (Lawtel only).
R (Bracking and others) v SSWP  EWCA Civ 1345 (Elias, Kitchin, McCombe LJJ): the decision of the Minister for Disabled People to close the Independent Living Fund was quashed because of failures by her to discharge the PSED in that (i) the material presented to her did not fully summarise consultation responses that explained the likely adverse effects of closing the fund and (ii) there was insufficient evidence that she focussed on the issues raised by section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and the potential adverse consequences for users of the ILF. Click here for the judgment.
R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council  EWCA Civ 1320 (Moore-Bick, Rimer, Underhill LJJ): the Council's decision to make reductions in its Youth Services budget for 2012/13 was the exercise of a function under section 507B(1) of the Education Act 1996; differing from the judge on the facts, the Council had not undertaken the statutory consultation with qualifying young persons required by section 507B (9)(a) and neither was there sufficient evidence that Council members had read the Equality Impact Assessment, thus, the Council had not discharged its PSED. However, given the time that had elapsed, it would be “close to absurd” to quash the budgetary reduction and require the Council to consult, discharge its PSED and re-take the decision. Click here for the judgment.
R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council  EWCA Civ 1483 (Moore-Bick, Rimer, Underhill LJJ): whilst Mr Hunt’s appeal had succeeded on all issues of law and fact the Court had refused to grant him any relief on the basis that it was far too late to do so (see above). On the other hand, the Council had resisted the appeal, not only on the basis that it was far too late for any relief to be granted, but also substantively. It would not be appropriate to make any award of costs in favour of Mr Hunt. On the contrary, the Council would continue to benefit from the costs order in its favour in the High Court and Mr Hunt was ordered to pay half of its costs in the Court of Appeal. Click here for the judgment.
The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children's Services (Direct Payments) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 permits named local authorities (in schedule 2A) to make direct payments for regulated residential accommodation, without limit of time. This change comes into force on the 1 November 2013.. Click here for the SI.