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County council withdraws post-16 transport policy after judicial review threat

A county council withdraws its new post-16 transport policy for the 2020-2021 academic year after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.

Hampshire County Council had approved the policy on 27 May, with the aim of saving £680,000.

According to 39 Essex Chambers, the policy sought to narrow the circumstances in which transport is considered “necessary” for young people with disabilities and SEN.

The set said a letter before claim was sent to Hampshire on behalf of four young people likely to be negatively affected by the policy.

It alleged several errors of law, ranging from an unlawful consultation to a failure to discharge the public sector equality duty.

39 Essex Chambers said that on 16 June Hampshire responded to the letter, indicating that it would withdraw the new policy and that it intended to reconsider the matter on 8 July 2020.

Katherine Barnes of 39 Essex Chambers advised the claimant on the matter, instructed by Alice Cullingworth at Irwin Mitchell.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “There has been no withdrawal of service. However, we can confirm that a policy, that was in place for post 16 transport for young people with special educational needs for the 2020/21 academic year, has been withdrawn for reconsideration on 8 July. All transport eligibility decisions will be delayed until 8 July.”

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