Battle to stop day care centre closures goes to Court of Appeal


Sarah Staples

A BATTLE to stop the closure of day care centres will go to the Court of Appeal after permission was granted last week for service users to challenge Shropshire Council’s decision.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are acting on behalf of four adults from the region with learning disabilities and will now dispute the council’s consultation process carried out before they announced the closure of care homes across the county, including Lorne Street and Avalon day centres in Oswestry, last year.
The case was taken to High Court last December after service users said the consultation leading up to the closure announcements was flawed. But the High Court ruled in the council’s favour, leading lawyers to seek a Judicial Review.
Alex Rook, a specialist lawyer from Irwin Mitchell who is leading the case, said that although they were disappointed with the previous decision, they are confident their legal argument still stands up and that they will be successful in the Court of Appeal.

Mr Rook said: “Our clients were devastated when they found out in the local media about the day centre closures and are thankful to the Court of Appeal that they are prepared to hear the facts of the case again.
“They have been using the day care centre services for many years, and the vulnerable adult users have made friends with other users and built up a trust with staff at these centres.
“The judge has agreed that the case warrants further examination in the Court of Appeal and we still believe that the consultation was unlawful and that residents were simply not given any information about their day centres, preventing them from being able to make an informed contribution to the decision making process.”

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