Judicial review of Hillingdon funding

Hillingdon Council has been granted permission by the High Court for a judicial review of the government’s alleged underfunding of services for unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.

The council has claimed that the lack of government funding left it 5.3m out of pocket for the 2004-5 and 2005-6 financial years.

It said the Department for Education and Skills guaranteed the funding but that a policy change had left it with the gap in its finances (Hillingdon seeks ruling on shortfall, 13 April).

Hillingdon has had to make 10.4m of budget cuts in the current financial year, including around 150 redundancies, to cope with the extra costs.

In the court case the council will also allege that the DfES has failed to recognise the impact on Hillingdon of the large numbers of young people entering the UK through Heathrow airport, which lies within the borough’s boundaries.

It has requested that the review takes place as soon as possible.

A DfES spokesperson said the government was working with the Local Government Association and the Association of London Government to review the costs of supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.

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