Council waives home care fees before challenge reaches court

    Liverpool Council has waived home help charges accrued over five
    years after a woman suffering from paraplegia had refused to pay,
    writes Gideon Burrows.

    The decision to waive the fees was made known on the day the
    woman’s legal challenge to the charges was due to be heard in the
    high court.

    Sue Ferguson, from Garston in Liverpool, refused to pay £25
    a week for her care because she said the council had not consulted
    disabled people properly before the introduction of charging. She
    also complained her independence had been compromised when she was
    assessed according to her husband’s income.

    On the morning of the judicial review, Liverpool Council agreed
    to waive Ferguson’s charges, and vowed to reassess her needs
    as an individual. The council is now launching a comprehensive
    review of home help charges.

    Kate Adams, of campaign group Incapacity Action, said: “It is a
    landmark case, and it will change things.

    “Disabled people at grass roots are now refusing to pay, and we
    don’t know of any council that will take legal proceedings
    against them,” she said.



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