R (on the application of T) v Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council  EWHC 369 (Admin); (2015) PLLR 022
Community Care - Consultation - Information provided during
consultation – Inclusion of alternative proposals
A local authority held a public consultation on its proposal to
reduce it adult social care budget. In the course of consultation, the local
authority did not include or provide information about the alternative
proposals it had considered prior to consultation. That decision was reviewed
on the basis information about alternative proposals ought to have been
included as part of the consultation process. The claim was dismissed. On the
facts of the case, fairness did not impose a demand that realistic alternative
proposals must form part of the consultation process.
Mrs Justice Stewart
claimant was a disabled man. The local authority had undertaken a consultation
process relating to cuts to be made to its adult social care budget. The
claimant sought review of the consultation process.
claimant’s specific complaint was that the local authority did not provide the
necessary information on the alternatives to their proposed budget cuts, which
included the possibility of increasing council tax and using money from the
authority’s reserves. Those alternatives would have seen less of a cut in the
adult social care budget.
question before the court was whether, at common law, the local authority was
under a duty to provide information about alternative proposals in the course
of the consultation process.
claim was dismissed.
was held that, on the facts of the case, fairness did not impose a demand that
realistic alternative proposals must form part of the consultation process. The
local authority was under no statutory requirement to involve the public in the
consultation, although that was a clear intention of the consultation.
Moreover, prior to entering consultation with the public, the local authority
had taken care to consider various options and even published some of the
reasoning for rejecting some alternatives to the proposal they carried forward
to consultation. It was also doubtful whether the inclusion of alternative
proposals would have any real effect on the consultation process.
- – Background facts outlined in detail.
- – Analysis of decision in R (Moseley) v London Borough of Haringey  UKSC 56.
 – Authority allowed to present its preferred option.