Council’s Budget Slashed By £39m
Lawyers representing a number of disabled service users affected by changes to adult social care in Manchester today confirmed that a High Court Hearing will start on October 24 at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, and is expected to last two days.
The latest in a series of social-care related legal challenges brought by Irwin Mitchell, campaigners claim the cuts could impact thousands of vulnerable and disabled residents, and could have huge ramifications for local authorities across the UK.
They say that Manchester City Council’s policy – which will see the council’s budget slashed by £39m - has left many people confused and worried over whether they will be eligible for care and that the move fails to follow government guidance in which it is required to meet the needs if disabled people and promote their independence.
The case mirrors other successful legal challenges bought by Irwin Mitchell, which are already having an effect on thousands of vulnerable and disabled people and could have huge ramifications for local authorities across the UK.
The challenge, which was launched on behalf of a 72-year old man who is paralysed on his left side, suffers from epilepsy and relies on others to provide the 24hr care he needs, and a 78-year old woman who suffers from memory loss, a severe brain injury, degeneration of the spine and breast cancer, after their families learnt that as a result of the council’s budget cuts, services they rely on may no longer be available.
The claimants, known as D and S in order to protect their identity, face the prospect of reductions to their care once the council’s budget cuts are implemented.
The plans outlined by the Council, which aims to reduce the amount of money it spends on adult social care, are thought to affect thousands of disabled people in Manchester who will lose all or parts of their social care packages currently provided by the Council as a result of these changes.
Irwin Mitchell is seeking a judicial review on the lawfulness of the decision making process and believes the case is one of many where Councils are making decisions to cut public services whilst ignoring residents’ legal rights.
Mathieu Culverhouse, solicitor in the Public Law team at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: “We have asked the Council to put on hold the implementation of these budget cuts and re-consider its allocation of funding once a lawful consultation process has been undertaken.
“This process should include the production of a lawful disability equality impact assessment which sets out the impact on disabled people of the budget cuts and a consultation which clearly sets out how the Council proposes to implement any cuts.
"Unfortunately, the Council have refused this request and therefore our clients have no other option but to launch proceedings.”
In addition to this case in Manchester, Irwin Mitchell is acting for a number of other vulnerable people in other parts of the UK who are facing similar cuts to their care.
Note to editors: Should you have any questions regarding this case please contact the Irwin Mitchell press office on 01142744666, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Neither party named in the above will be available for interview.