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Lawyers Issue Judicial Review Application In Fight To Save Home That Cares For Severely Disabled Children

Family of Disabled Teenager Had Urged Salford City Council To Reverse Decision or Face Judicial Review


James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

Specialist lawyers instructed by the family of a severely disabled Salford teenager have issued the application for a judicial review against Salford Council as they continue the fight to save a home that cares for children with severe needs.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell had previously written to Salford City Council urging it to overturn its decision to close The Grange or potentially face a judicial review in the High Court.

The council announced it intended to close the home - based in Eccles and where children live full-time - in a bid to save £300,000.

But the family of a teenage girl who lives at the home say that changing where she lives and goes to school as well as the health professionals who care for her will have a devastating impact on her life. 

Mathieu Culverhouse, a specialist lawyer for Irwin Mitchell representing those affected by the closures, said: 

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“The Grange provides a vital lifeline for the children and their parents. The upheaval of forcing the children to move to a new home suitable to treat their complex needs will have a massive impact on their lives.

“The parents have asked the council not to disrupt their children’s care arrangements.

“We argue that the council failed to carry out a proper public consultation into the proposals, has not conducted a full assessment of how the current residents will be affected and has failed to identify appropriate homes, within or outside Salford, where children could be sent.

“We had previously written to the council urging it to reconsider its decision or potentially face a judicial review into the decision in the High Court.

“Unfortunately the council has not shown that it’s willing to reconsider its decision, and so we have issued our application for a judicial review.”
Mathieu Culverhouse, Partner

Rachel Barton is among the children who live at The Grange. The 16-year-old has autism and severe learning disabilities, as well as a range of other complex needs, including tuberous sclerosis – a rare genetic condition that sees tumours develop in different parts of her body. Rachel, who also has epilepsy, has been a resident at The Grange since summer 2014. 

Her mum, Rebecca Howarth, 38, from Swinton, has led campaigns opposing the home’s closure. 

She said: “The staff at The Grange have been fantastic with Rachel, providing the best possible care. Rachel is extremely happy there and is doing really well. 

“If The Grange closed she would have to move out of Salford, move school and be away from her family. This would be devastating for her and all her family. The move would really set her back. 

“No figure should be put on providing the best possible care for a severely disabled child and their happiness and development.

“It is disappointing that after being urged to reconsider its actions, Salford Council has shown no sign of being willing to do so. The actions taken by Irwin Mitchell show that we are not taking the council’s decision lying down and I continue to implore the council to change its mind.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise regarding judicial reviews