In a judgment handed down today, the Administrative Court has ruled that Worcestershire County Council acted unlawfully in failing to carry out proper transitional planning in relation to families affected by its decision to cut a much-valued home-visiting service known as ‘Portage’ for children with special educational needs and disabilities. The Claimants raised a variety of statutory and common law challenges to the decision-making process. Mr Justice Nicklin ultimately decided the case on the basis that the Defendant had frustrated the affected families’ legitimate expectations, which had arisen from assurances made by the Defendant at the time the decision to cut the Portage service was taken to the effect that proper transitional planning would take place in order to ensure that the impact of the cessation of the service would be properly mitigated.
Michael Armitage acted for the Claimants, instructed by Bindmans LLP. Having acted unled at the permission stage, Michael was led by Jenni Richards QC of 39 Essex Chambers at the substantive hearing.
Steve Broach also advised the Claimants at an earlier stage in the proceedings.
The judgment is the latest in a series of cases in which Monckton members have successfully represented claimants challenging local authority cuts (see News 14 August 2018, 6 August 2018 and 22 July 2016)