East Ham family’s court victory against Newham Council

A family who say they were abandoned by Newham Council to look after their severely disabled son alone and without financial aid were handed a victory last week, after the local authority agreed to resume payments at London’s High Court.

Barrister Ben Silverstone, for the East Ham family, told Mr Justice Collins the badly disabled 17-year-old had been cut off from care payments by the council in April last year, leaving his struggling family to foot the �415-a-week bill themselves.

The family brought a High Court action against the council, which was due to start last Wednesday, seeking to compel them to repay the parents the money they had spent, to resume payments and to carry out a full assessment of their son’s needs.

But, at the door of the court, the case was settled by consent when the council agreed to resume making care payments to the family.

Mr Silverstone, in papers put before the judge, said that the council had stopped making payments to the family “on the basis that the claimant’s parents were failing properly to manage the claimants direct payments.”

“The council ceased all support ...and also failed to reimburse the parents for the significant expenditure they have been forced into as a result of the council’s failure to meet their son’s needs from April 2010 onwards,” he added.

The barrister also told the judge that an assessment of the boy’s needs the council carried out in June this year was “unlawful” and “fundamentally flawed.”

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Neither the family nor lawyers for either side were present to hear Mr Justice Collins announce the settlement and that care payments would be resumed.