Search

‘Unlawful’ Newham Council policy left family of four living on £50 a week

16:47 26 August 2014

An “unlawful” Newham Council policy left a family of four living on just £50 a week, a judicial review has found.

The payments - which are below the threshold to meet essential living needs - were received by a Nigerian national and her three children in the 13 months leading up to May 2014 while the Secretary of State for the Home Department considered whether they should be granted leave to remain in the country.

During this time, the council continually failed to provide a written policy governing its rates for financial support for those who have no access to public funds or an explanation for their basis, despite a number of requests.

The £50 provided was well below the £235.91 worth of “mainstream” benefits which a family of this size could have been eligible for, as well as the £202.72 equivalent sum which the Secretary of State makes to meet essential living needs as part of asylum support.

At the Royal Courts of Justice ruling last month, John Howell QC said it would be unlawful for the council to apply the existing policy as it stands “or to treat the standard rates of payment which it contains as appropriate to meet the normal subsistence needs of a family”, before calling for the council to reconsider its support.

A spokesperson for Newham Council said: “We are disappointed at the judgement of the court. Our policy was developed to ensure that the support we provide meets the needs of destitute families. What we do is informed by close working relationships with other leading organisations in this field.

“We are pleased the judge agreed that we are entitled to set our own local rates, that it is not for the courts to dictate what those rates should be, and that we do not need to adhere to national analogous ones. What we do have to do however is be seen to demonstrate how those rate have been calculated. In line with the judgement, we will look to publish our updated policy later this year, which will clarify how our rates are set.”

Read more:

Newham residents lowest paid in London

Latest Newham News Stories

12:00
The Luftwaffe bombing the Royal Docks in 1940     Picture: Newham Archives

Imagine living in a city where several hundred tonnes of high explosives fell from the sky and smashed into the streets and houses and factories every other day.

army
North Beckton Primary School donating a cheque to Newham City Farm

It was thumbs up all round as pupils handed over a bumper cheque to Newham City Farm.

Yesterday, 17:00
This latest production of The Chairs has been updated for a modern audience. Picture: Lily Owen

Whether or not you enjoy this modern telling of Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist play at Stratford Circus will be decided by your propensity for radical theatre innovation over traditional structure and character development.

Yesterday, 09:00
Fred Meade is raising funds in memory of Newham school teacher Lucia Devine

A friend of a popular Newham school teacher who died last October is cycling part of the Tour de France route in her memory.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe