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29 JUN 2012

R (on the application of Siwak) v London Borough of Newham [2012] EWHC 1520 (Admin)

Community care - Advice - Duty to Consult - Public Sector Duties

The Claimant could not challenge proposals to change the way advice services were provided prior to any decision being made. The Defendant council was not required to consult regarding the changes at the early stage of the proposals.

1 June 2012

Administrative Court

Cranson J

(1)        The Claimant, a Roma woman with multiple problems, had previously received support in relation to welfare benefits, housing and debt. The necessary funding was withdrawn in July 2011. The decision challenged is that of 17 November 2011 regarding the shape of advice services in Newham, in so far as it provided that future advice services would be provided by Council officers, and not include advice from the voluntary sector. A key aspect of the Claimant's challenge was that the Council had failed to comply with its public sector duties under section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. Further in this regard, the Claimant challenged the decision on the basis that there was a failure to take into account the potential advantages of commissioning external advice services.

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