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R (LH) v Shropshire Council [2014] EWCA Civ 404, [2014] MHLO 18

"This is an appeal about the extent of consultation required when a local authority reconfigures its day care services for citizens in its area and then decides to close a day centre. LH is 63 years old, has a learning disability, has been assessed as having substantial care needs and has been using the services of Hartleys Day Centre in Shrewsbury. Shropshire Council has decided to close that day centre as a result of its re-thinking of day centre care in the county; that re-thinking is itself a result partly of budgetary constraints and partly of encouragement from central Government to give disabled people their own personalised budget for spending in relation to their disability. The Council contends that it consulted generally about the new system which it brought in and made clear that some day centres would close; LH contends by JL (her litigation friend and sister) that LH and others should have been consulted in relation to the closure of Hartleys itself before it occurred. There is also an allegation of failure to comply with the statutory Public Sector Equality Duty as contained in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. ... my own conclusion is that the omission to consult the users and relatives on the closure of Hartleys Day Centre before it was decided to close it was indeed unlawful. ... If I had held that the Council had complied with their duty to consult at common law, I would not have held that there was a breach of the statutory duty under the Equality Act. ... I would therefore allow this appeal and (subject to any written observations from the parties on the terms of the declaration before hand down) formally declare that, in breach of its common law duty, the Council failed to consult the users of Hartleys Day Centre and their carers before deciding to close the centre."

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