William Eichler 17 April 2023

Legal threat forces Devon CC to halt care cuts

Legal threat forces Devon CC to halt care cuts image
Image: Graeme J Baty / Shutterstock.com.

Devon County Council has announced it will halt its plans to cut adult day and respite services after the mental health charity Mencap threatened to take legal action.

In January, the county council announced plans to reduce its in-house provision for day care and respite services to help cut £30m from the adult care budget.

Exeter & District Mencap Society served the council with a Letter Before Claim last month, which stated a judicial review would be launched unless the council abandoned the proposals.

The charity argued the local authority had failed to comply with its legal duties to consult fairly and had not properly considered the needs of disabled people when formulating the plans.

Devon County Council today announced it would halt the consultation in order to ‘listen and evaluate’ the feedback it had received from Mencap, staff, unions and carers.

A spokesman for the council said: ‘We greatly value our ongoing working relationship with all of our stakeholders and believe it is only right, due to this and the volume of concerns, that time is taken to listen and evaluate.

‘We have therefore agreed to halt our current public consultations regarding day services and respite services, so we can review all comments in detail.’

Bob Gaiger, trustee of Exeter and District Mencap Society said: ‘We welcome the decision by Devon County Council to call a halt to the consultations and hope that their review of the comments and representations so far lead them to cancel their distressing proposals for adult day and respite services.

‘We value our working relationship with the council but would like to emphasise that we are ready to proceed to Judicial Review if the need arises.’

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