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OLD FOLKS' HOMES SELL-OFF UPHELD

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The right of councils to sell pensioners' homes in order to fund nursing home fees has been upheld in the High Cour...
The right of councils to sell pensioners' homes in order to fund nursing home fees has been upheld in the High Court after Somerset CC successfully defended a case brought by the son of one of its residents.

David Harcombe gave up an overseas career to return to Somerset and nurse his mother Faith, and stayed on in her four-bedroom house when she was forced to go into a nursing home.

Later she was able to return to the house for a while but then suffered a series of strokes in 1993 and died in residential care earlier this month aged 85.

The county council wanted to sell Mrs Harcombe's home to make up a£500 a month shortfall in her fees which it had been paying.

But Mr Harcombe challenged the council, arguing it had been unreasonable not to exclude the£85,000 value of Mrs Harcombe's home when assessing her entitlement to have her fees paid out of the public purse.

Refusing Mr Harcombe a judicial review, Mr Justice Forbes said the council's approach 'cannot be faulted in any way'.

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