Residents win first legal battle to keep home open

Residents of a home for older people in Plymouth have won the
first round of a battle to keep their home open.

Eight residents of the Granby Way residential home were
successful when Mr Justice Harrison declared their complaints about
the home’s closure “arguable”, opening the way for a full judicial

The residents said that Plymouth Council’s February decision to
close down the home breached their fundamental right to respect for
their home and private and family lives under article 8 of the
European Convention of Human Rights, and that the trauma of moving
could ultimately result in their deaths.

The council argued that the decision was made in the light of “a
severe budget overspend”, and that everything possible was being
done to “minimise the disruption and anxiety for the residents”.
Justice Harrison ordered that a full hearing should take place
before the end of July.

But Birmingham resident Flossie Hands failed to secure a review
of a council decision which she claimed could lead to the closure
of her residential care home and a breach of her right to life, her
right to protection against degrading or inhuman treatment, and her
right to respect for family and private life – articles 2, 3 and 8
of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Hands, 89, a resident of Florence Hammond House in Birmingham,
had applied for permission to seek judicial review of the council’s
December decision to transfer its 30 residential care homes for the
elderly to an independent trust.

Residents of Lyndon Croft residential home in Solihull also
believe their human rights are being infringed by a decision to
close their home by the end of August. Solihull Council believes
the home will not meet the new minimum care home standards which
were officially launched in March.

Solicitor Alastair Wallace, representing three of the residents,
wrote to the council demanding the closure plans be put on hold
until the regulations to accompany the new minimum care standards
are made available. The regulations are expected to be published
within the next four weeks.

Wallace confirmed that if the council failed to comply, he would
seek an injunction, and “would have no choice but to issue a writ
for judicial review”.



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