Thursday, 21 January 2010

Do we really have to obey the law?


Barnet Council has announced that it is to appeal the recent High Court ruling that its plans to scrap the sheltered warden service were unlawful.

Council leader Lynne Hillan, architect of the proposals, has taken exception to the Judge’s finding that members of the Cabinet failed to consider their duties under the Disability Discrimination Act. She said:
“The judgment suggests that a council has to demonstrate that every member, not just officers, involved in the decision making gave full and stated consideration to all relevant legislation and guidance. This raises profound issues for the working of local government.”
How outrageous for the Judge to insist that highly paid members of the Executive comply with the law!

Whilst Hillan’s predecessor Mike Freer made a career out of buck-passing, in the real world decision makers are expected to take full responsibility for the decisions that they take. That is why the money she receives from Barnet's hard pressed taxpayers is called a Special Responsibility Allowance.

2 comments:

Adam said...

I would have thought that DDA compliance should have been uppermost in the minds of the Council when it took this decision. After all, it is taking a decision that affects the some of the most vulnerable in society.

I wonder whether anyone at the Council has considered the decision in the light of the HRA.

Perhaps the Council's legal Officer would like to comment?

Adam

Rog T said...

Adam,

If you knew Barnet Tories, you'd know that trousering allowances is uppermost in their minds, not actually doing the work they are supposed to be paid to do