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Davey Appeal Ruling

Davey Appeal Ruling

A severely-disabled man has lost an appeal over cuts to his care package in a decision described as ‘devastating’ by disability rights organisations.Luke Davey requires help with all his personal needs, but after the closure of the Independent Living Fund, it was decided by Oxfordshire County Council that his funding should be cut by 42 per cent.

The 40-year-old, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is also registered blind, fought against this decision saying that it breached the Care Act and put his personal wellbeing at risk. He lost his case at the High Court in February but appealed, this time backed by the Equality And Human Rights Commission, which argued that the ruling conflicted with the principles embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

However, this was dismissed by the Court Of Appeal in September, which ruled that the cuts decision was legal.

Inclusion London made a formal legal intervention in the case (as did the Equality and Human Rights Commission), and their analysis of the judgment and implications/lessons for disabled people is worth reading.

Inclusion London said afterwards: “This case clearly shows that local authorities can get away with implementing even very significant cuts if they follow the process set out in the Care Act and can give a logical explanation to their decisions as well as committing to reviewing the situation and stepping in if things go terribly wrong. It does not mean however the cuts cannot be challenged;we can and should do this.This was the first case brought under the wellbeing duty of the Care Act and it clearly demonstrated the limits of this duty. It is worth bearing in mind though that the case was mainly lost because of factual evidence.”

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