Client successfully challenges Local Authority’s assessment

IW was a single mother with three young children. We previously represented her in an action for judicial review of the local authority’s (LA) failure to provide support under the Children Act 1989. By Consent Order dated 16 April 2013 the LA agreed to provide IW and her children with suitable accommodation and adequate financial support pursuant to section 17 of the Children Act 1989 pending the final determination of IW’s application for Leave to Remain under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

IW returned to instruct us when she was notified that the LA were going to move her family to Nottingham. The family had lived in London for 10 years and had a support network upon which they were very dependent. The children were also in the middle of their academic year. We requested that the LA carry out an assessment in respect of the proposal to move the family.

The LA‘s assessment concluded that the family would be moved to Nottingham. On considering their assessment we identified that it was challengeable on the following grounds: the LA had unlawfully fettered its discretion, they misapplied their policy, they failed to conduct a lawful proportionality assessment, and failed to follow statutory guidance and consider the children’s wishes and feelings. We requested therefore that the LA carry out a further lawful assessment. However the LA refused to do so.

An application was issued to the Administrative Court for permission to apply for judicial review of the assessment taken by the LA and the decision contained therein that IW and her family would be moved to Nottingham.

In response to this the LA agreed to withdraw their assessment and decision, and carry out a lawful assessment. This second assessment concluded the family should not be moved to Nottingham.

This case demonstrates Philcox Gray’s continued commitment to clients. This case demanded a command of family, housing and public law – three areas of law which are intertwined and the areas in which we specialise. Our practice areas enable us to provide a full and thorough service for our clients.

This case was conducted by Poppy Bourke and supervised by Rebecca Bahar. Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court Chambers was instructed to prepare the grounds for judicial review.

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