Haringey LBC, ex p Norton [1995] CCLR 168 (QBD)

Assessments – social and recreational needs – cuts to services

Although local authorities assessing needs must take into account earlier assessments, both they and the court on review were entitled to have regard to evidence suggesting that an earlier care plan made more extensive provision than was actually considered necessary, in justifying a cut to services. However, the local authority had misdirected itself in law, by differentiating between the applicant’s personal care needs and his social, recreational and leisure needs, the latter of which it did not consider itself bound to provide. ‘Needs’ was a multi-faceted concept and the package should have been multi-faceted, and should have allowed that the applicant was able to overcome the worst characteristics of his illness by the social intercourse achieved in recreational facilities such as swimming and the playing of bridge. The authority had to reconsider the applicant’s needs according to law, taking into account all relevant material, which included an expert’s report.

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