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GLOUCESTERSHIRE DISABLED CARE SERVICES CHALLENGE ADJOURNED

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case no: CO/2764/95 ...
case no: CO/2764/95

Despite losing a court ruling in June, Gloucestershire CC has not restored full community care services to more than 1,000 disabled or chronically sick people, London's high court was told today.

Alan MacLean, for the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR), claimed that the council's stance in the light of the divisional court's decision was 'plainly unlawful'.

The court had ruled in June that the council had had no right to withdraw home help services from 1,200 chronically sick or disabled people without first reassessing their needs.

But, since then, the council had refused to restore the services taken away pending needs reassessments for which no firm timetable had been set, said Mr MacLean.

RADAR, a national charity devoted to furthering equal rights and independence for the disabled, had come to court today to seek an 'expedited' hearing of its legal challenge to the council's alleged continued refusal to restore full community care services.

Mr MacLean said the charity had been granted leave to mount a full judicial review challenge by Mr Justice Tucker in September this year.

But 'confusion' had since been caused by the county council's claim that RADAR did not have the legal standing necessary to bring its case to court.

That issue would now have to be put before Mr Justice Tucker who, the court heard, will have to reconsider his decision to grant RADAR leave to seek judicial review.

In the circumstances, Mr Justice Popplewell today adjourned RADAR's bid for an expedited hearing.

In October 1994, the county council decided to withdraw some or all of 1,200 disabled or chronically sick people's home care services on the basis that they could no longer afford to provide them.

It was that decision which was struck down by the divisional court in June.

RADAR claims that on June 26 the council's strategy and resources committee refused to allocate an extra £200,000 to finance reassessment of the needs of 1,200 disabled or chronically sick people who had had services withdrawn.

No timetable has yet been set for the reassessments and the council has stressed that those re-assessed may lose even their reduced levels of services, RADAR claims.

The council has refused to restore the services formerly provided pending the reassessment process, and RADAR claims that flies in the face of the divisional court's ruling.

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