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CHILDMINDER CHALLENGES LANCASHIRE REGISTRATION RULING

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In London's High Court a Lancashire woman is challenging the County Council's decision to cancel her registration a...
In London's High Court a Lancashire woman is challenging the County Council's decision to cancel her registration as a childminder after a youngster suffered injury in her care.

And Gene Ryan, 45, won a victory when Mr Justice Ward declared her claims against the council 'arguable', opening the way for a full Judicial Review of her case.

Mrs Ryan claims the County Council's Social Services Sub- Committee took account of 'prejudicial' evidence before recommending that her registration be cancelled. She challenges the sub-committee's findings that she had demonstrated a lack of understanding of child care issues; had failed to keep appropriate records and to report an injury to a child in her care.

The sub-committee also found that Mrs Ryan, of Clevelys, had cared for more children than she was registered for.

The court heard that in January this year the mother of one of Mrs Ryan's charges - referred to as Mrs C - made a complaint to the county 'about the injuries her child received' while in the childminder's care.

Mr Justice Ward said the child appeared to have suffered a 'burn to the wrist'.

But when the case came before the Social Services Sub- Committee Mrs C declined to give evidence.

The Committee then assured Mrs Ryan that it would revise its report 'omitting references to details of the complaints made by Mrs C', the court heard. But Mrs Ryan now says the committee's decision was 'prejudiced' by Mrs C's complaint. complaints.'

But the County Council's barrister, Mr Clive Lewis, claimed the local authority's approach was entirely fair. Mr Lewis said Mrs Ryan had told council officials that the child was burnt after coming too close to a heated oven.

Mr Bradley said Mrs Ryan agreed that the child suffered a 'slight burn to her wrist'. But she 'did not accept that injuries of any seriousness had occurred'.

Mr Justice Ward told the court: 'There is some argument that the procedure adopted here has been unfair to this lady in circumstances where her livelihood is at stake.'

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