Newham council reconsiders relocation – after threats of legal action.

A London council has agreed to review a decision to move a family of five with a disabled child to Liverpool after being threatened with legal action.

Law firm Miles and Partners’ client was to be moved permanently to a property in Liverpool on 15 May but a High Court judge on that day ordered Newham Council to house them temporarily while the local authority reviewed the case.

Solicitor Rajea Sultana said this is one case that the legal firm has been able to take on from the many calls it has received this year from people who wanted to prevent councils sending them outside London. She said most of the calls had come from Newham, but there had been others from Tower Hamlets and Camden.

In the recent case the firm had lodged a judicial review but this has been withdrawn as the council has agreed to review the case. It has until 2 July to do this.

Ms Sultana said: ‘We are arguing she [the mother] needs to stay in the borough because of the support she has [with her son]. The son does not adapt well to changes. He goes crazy if someone new assesses him.’

The firm argues the son has a behavioural impairment, focal onset epilepsy and suicidal tendencies, which are liable to be triggered when travelling by car. He currently receives a range of specialist help from support workers and psychologists in the local area known to him.

Ms Sultana is requesting the family stay in the borough, or is moved to a neighbouring borough.

The family, which consists of two parents and three children, is currently staying in bed and breakfast accommodation paid for by Newham Council.  

Councils in London say they have been forced to house people outside London because rising rents and cuts to housing benefit have exacerbated the lack of affordable private rented sector accommodation.

Ms Sultana said most of the calls to her company are from people who London councils are intending to move permanently out of their areas into private rented sector accommodation.

from insidehousing.co.uk   29th May 2013

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