Sunday, 29 November 2015

20 councils accused of a lack of consultation in test case over care cuts

Court fight to keep live-in wardens

Residents of sheltered housing developments have begun a legal fight to retain their live-in wardens.

A solicitor for tenants of around 50 schemes in more than 20 local authorities has issued papers to bring a judicial review of the decisions or proposals to remove the wardens.

Yvonne Hossack served papers on Barnet Council on 4 September. The council plans to remove live-in wardens from some schemes and replace them with visiting staff. Bradford, Hackney and Devon councils, which have all removed live-in staff from some schemes, will also be challenged as part of the test case.

Ms Hossack said: ‘The court can see what happens in practice by having cases from people who have been without a warden for longest.’
Papers against the remaining councils will be issued this week. The cases are funded by legal aid.

Ms Hossack has also asked the court to consider an application to stop Barnet from making further changes to the service until the case concludes.She is waiting for a court date for the judicial review. Her assistant Louise Kirk said they would argue that the residents expected a live-in warden when they moved in and that there was a lack of proper consultation about a change to the service.

The Essential Role of Sheltered Housing, which represents sheltered housing landlords, said restrictions under the European working time directive made it difficult to employ resident wardens, some schemes struggled to attract live-in staff and some residents did not want them. Instead it backed visiting staff based on the needs of the residents.

Meanwhile, a disciplinary case between Ms Hossack and watchdog the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal will be heard this week. Three councils against which she had brought legal cases over care cuts reported her, saying her standard of work must suffer because of the long hours she works.

Readers' comments (29)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • Dolphin to keep homes free from government policies

    21 October 2015

    A housing charity has decided to keep a central London estate it ‘saved’ out of its registered housing association arm, to ensure the properties are not affected by new government policies.  

  • Haringey likely to keep ALMO for another 10 years

    11 September 2015

    Haringey Council is set to renew its arm’s-length management organisation’s contract for a further 10 years.

  • CIH: Allow councils to keep rogue landlord fines

    9 June 2015

    Councils should be able to keep the fines they receive from rogue landlords as an incentive to improve standards in the private rented sector (PRS).

  • Keep moving


    Last month, housing professionals found their voice - but they’ve got to keep shouting

  • Landlords' plea to keep AHP grant


    Social landlords that will miss a ‘drop dead date’ for completing homes are locked in negotiations to persuade funding bodies not to deduct their grant.

IH Subscription