08 September 2009
Disability, race, gender
Summary of case
The Council decided to make a charge for non-residential home care services. This decision was challenged mainly under the Disability Equality Duty but the Race and Gender Duties were also raised.
The Court concluded that ‘the Council did in substance, not just in form, have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity in relation to the relevant equality duties. The Council carried out a substantial consultation, which was part of the general exercise of paying “due regard”. It also commissioned a careful impact assessment, the essence of which was translated into the report to cabinet…Essentially, decisions which had already been taken as a part of the budgetary process, such as the decision to reduce the Council Tax, were water under the bridge. There were also substantial countervailing factors which had to be considered, such as (in the circumstances) the Council’s budgetary needs, as well as the comparison of the situation in Hammersmith and Fulham with every single other council in the country… All in all, I agree with the judge that there is no reason to find any material failure of “due regard” in the present case.’