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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