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LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL'S SCHOOL TRANSPORT POLICY COMES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

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A mother with multiple sclerosis was today victorious in the first stage of her high court battle to make Liverpool...
A mother with multiple sclerosis was today victorious in the first stage of her high court battle to make Liverpool City Council provide full-time school transport for her sick son.

Jacqueline Hilton's seven-year-old son Thomas is also disabled by a debilitating hip disease, for which he endured an operation and a two-and-a-half-month hospital stay earlier this year, and has trouble walking.

Mrs Hilton herself is on crutches and cannot walk for long distances.

She applied numerous times to the council for transport for Thomas from their home on Parkside Street, Liverpool, to Whitefields School, but the best the council would provide was an escort three days a week.

Mrs Hilton's counsel, Stephen Simblet, told Mr justice Owen in London today: 'It's extremely difficult if not impossible for Mrs Hilton to devise a safe arrangement for her son to get to school.'

After a brief hearing, the judge granted Mrs Hilton permission to mount a full judicial review challenge to the council's latest refusal to provide free transport on September 4 this year.

He ordered the council to provide free transport pending the outcome of the full hearing, a date for which has yet to be set.

Afterwards Mr Simblet said: 'Mrs Hilton is very ill with MS and Thomas has a hip problem.

'Basically we've been ringing the council asking them to provide transport constantly, and so far they've just refused.'

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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