claim brought by Aaron Hunt, a resident of Banwell, Weston-Super-Mare, which
challenges the lawfulness of North Somerset Council’s decision to cut funding
to its youth centres is to be heard in the High Court sitting in Cardiff on 13
June 2012. If the claim is successful, North Somerset Council may be forced to
reconsider the cuts it has made.
Claimant, represented by Public Interest Lawyers, lodged his claim on 12 April
2012. He argues that the decision to
impose cuts of over 70% to the budget of Youth Services in North Somerset was
arrived at without consulting adequately with service users. Moreover, it is
argued that the Council did not give due consideration to the needs of
vulnerable users protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Hunt suffers from learning difficulties and relied upon his local youth club
for support and friendship. The reconfiguration of his club left Mr Hunt
feeling confused and isolated and the uncertainty about the club’s long term
sustainability has been the source of considerable upset. In his evidence to
the Court, Mr Hunt described his concerns that the ‘happy family’ he is a part
of might be ‘broken up’.
Council’s decision has already had profound effects across the whole of North
Somerset with six youth groups already confirmed as having closed or being due
to close. Surviving youth groups face a period of uncertainty as the Council
provides only a limited funding grant. Local town and parish organisations and
residents are desperately attempting to organise activities to try and plug the
gaps left by the Council’s decision.
was granted for the case to proceed to full judicial review by Mr Justice Wyn
Williams on 14 May 2012. Mr Justice Wyn Williams abridged the usual timetable
for judicial review hearings and the case was transferred to the Administrative
Court in Cardiff to facilitate an expedited hearing of the crucial matters
raised by the claim.
claim seeks a declaration that the decision of North Somerset Council to reduce
funding to Youth Services was unlawful. An order overturning the decision is
further information, contact:
Interest Lawyers - Phil
Shiner and Cianan Good
Telephone: 0121 515 5069
Related Press Coverage –
bid granted over North Somerset youth cuts'; BBC News, 17 May 2012
backs family’s battle against youth cut decision’, Weston Mercury, 25 May 2012