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Lancashire County Council Set For Vote On Disability Transport Services

Public Law Experts At Irwin Mitchell Concerned Over Proposals To Stop Services


Lancashire County Council is due to vote today (11 February) on proposals to stop transport services it provides to those with disabilities in the region.

Public law specialists at Irwin Mitchell, who act for a man with autism and learning disabilities who currently relies on transport provided by the council to reach a day centre five days a week, have expressed their concerns that removing the services may be unlawful and in breach of the council’s obligations under the Care Act  2014.

The proposal, which will be voted on as part of the 2016/17 budget approval process, if approved, will mean Lancashire County Council will "no longer provide free accessible transport for all adults attending day centres from 1st September 2016".

The mother of a disabled man from Ormskirk, who cannot be named for legal reasons, instructed expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the legality of removing the services, which would impact older people, those with learning disabilities and those who are physically disabled and sensory impaired (PDSI).

Mathieu Culverhouse, a public law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“We believe that the proposal to end transport services to those in the region covered by Lancashire County Council, could, if implemented, be held to be unlawful and breach the council’s duties under the Care Act of 2014.

“We have been instructed by a client who relies on these services to attend the day centre which he has been assessed by the Council as needing to attend and we believe these needs also include transport to and from the facility, which is currently provided. The concern is that the vast majority of adults who have an assessed need to attend day centres will not be in a position to arrange for their own transport to and from the facilities they require.

“Clearly, any decision of this nature should not be taken lightly and there is the need for the council to undertake research into the number of people using the service who would be unable to attend their day centres if transport was removed.

“Should this proposal be approved at the council budget meeting there would clearly be no option left for our client but to challenge it through a judicial review.”
Mathieu Culverhouse, Senior Associate

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