Judge backs family’s battle against youth cut decision

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 May 2012

Aaron Hunt with his mum Alison

Aaron Hunt with his mum Alison

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A JUDGE will now rule on the legality of the cuts North Somerset Council has made to its youth services after a young man’s judicial review bid was granted.

Aaron Hunt launched his legal challenge after saying the council had not taken into account the special needs of everyone using the services when it made its decision to slash services.

And his case will now be heard in the High Court after a judge deemed the authority had a significant case to answer.

Aaron has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, used to attend a youth club in Weston but says the cuts have ‘ripped his family of friends apart’.

The 21-year-old, of Westfield Road, Banwell, is entitled to youth service provision until the age of 25.

His action claims the council breached its requirements under the Equality Act 2010 by failing to consider matters including the disability, sexual orientation and race of those using the youth services.

Now a judge has confirmed that the Hunts’ claim has raised significant concerns that require the full consideration of the High Court.

A date for the hearing has not yet been confirmed, but it is expected to take place on June 22.

Aaron’s mum, Alison Hunt, said: “I told Aaron that it had gone to the High Court and he just said ‘good’.

“We’re over the moon as we are determined to do this for all of the young people in North Somerset as we feel that what the council is doing is simply wrong.”

The Hunts are represented by Public Interest Lawyers in their bid, and Daniel Carey, from the firm, said they had been encouraged by messages of support from other residents in North Somerset.

He urged other people who are affected to contact them on nsyouthserviceschallenge@yahoo.co.uk

He said: “We gave North Somerset Council plenty of opportunity to turn back, but it has pressed on regardless.

“We are pleased the High Court has confirmed the claim is properly made and needs an urgent trial to resolve.

“The High Court will now listen very carefully to the views of North Somerset’s youth - something the council manifestly failed to do.”

A council spokesman said: “We will be defending our decision when the matter is heard and it would not be appropriate to comment further at the moment.”


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