Legal challenge over Lancashire County Council care cuts

Lancashire County Council is facing a legal challenge over plans to cut its adult and children’s social care budget.

The authority must save £179m in the next three years, with a significant amount coming from its care budget.

Disability support group Disability Equality North West claims the cuts are illegal. The case has been taken up by solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

The council said it would to protect front line services as far as possible.

It added that it did not accept the criticism of its budget decisions.

But Melanie Close, of Disability Equality North West, said: “It feels like they’re going too fast. It feels like they’re not listening to people. It feels like they’re not looking at what impact this will have.

“Apparently all of that is also illegal.”

Solicitors are questioning the council’s public consultation process – arguing the cuts were set before the consultation came to an end.

The Conservative-run council plans to raise charges for care services. Those currently receiving the support will be assessed.

But the lawyers say the assessment process may not be fair as the council has already decided how much money it wants to take from the budget.

The solicitors are also looking at the claims from people who are losing care packages.