Fight against North Somerset youth service cuts can continue
North Somerset Council is facing a fresh battle over its decision to slash its youth services by 72 per cent after a judge yesterday granted a disabled youngster permission to appeal against the move.
Aaron Hunt, 21, from Banwell, near Weston-super-Mare, attends a youth club for disabled young people which is threatened by the council’s redistribution of funds, and has been spearheading a campaign to have the decision – taken in February last year – reversed. It is seen as something of a test case against wider Government cuts.
Mr Hunt, who has learning difficulties and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, claims the council’s move was unlawful. However, his judicial review challenge to the decision was thrown out by Mr Justice Wyn Williams in the High Court at Cardiff in July last year.
Mr Hunt was yesterday granted permission to appeal that decision, after his barrister, David Wolfe QC, persuaded Lord Justice Toulson, sitting in London’s Civil Appeal Court, that it is “arguable” the High Court got it wrong. The barrister told the court that Mr Hunt used to attend the Escape Club, a youth club on Weston’s Bournville estate, providing social and educational opportunities for disabled youngsters aged between 11 and 24.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Since the funding cuts decision, the club has been moved and “remains under threat of closure”, Mr Wolfe said, adding that services for other youngsters with “additional needs“, such as gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers, also have a sword of Damocles hanging over them.
Lord Justice Toulson said that whilst the Council had “engaged in a wide consultation process with the public” it was “arguable” that process was “not good enough because it was not aimed at young people with disabilities.”
The judge added that it “could not be assumed” that the councillors had all seen an Equality Impact Assessment when they voted. The case will now go to a full hearing before three Appeal Court judges.