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Christmas Cracker – Kirklees Council to pay granny 10,000 pounds in carer backpay after court battle

by Ridley&Hall in News posted November 29, 2010.

Nov 25 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner

A YOUNG boy is set for an extra-special Christmas.
The eight-year-old is cared for by his Huddersfield grandmother – and she has finally won a marathon payout battle with Kirklees Council.
The authority lost a court fight over care payments and was ordered to pay out.
Now, more than eight months after the court victory, the grandmother has won her award.
She has been given back pay of £10,661.30p and has seen her fortnightly allowance rise from £184.98 to £284.98.
Judge Peter Langan QC originally ruled: “Kirklees’ decision to pay SGO (Special Guardianship Order) Allowance at two-thirds of core Fostering Allowance, involved a substantial departure from the relevant ministerial guidance”.
The judge said: “No sufficient justification for that departure has been provided. It follows that the decision and policy were, and the policy remains, unlawful.
It was back in February that the Kirklees grandmother who cared for her grandson won the landmark ruling over the council’s payment of the Special Guardianship Order.
Lawyers argued that carers like her, who took in relatives, were receiving around only about 75% of standard Fostering Allowance and were being put under serious financial hardship.
Her solicitor, Nigel Priestley, yesterday welcomed the payments.
“This is a case going back more than four years and it is sad it has taken so long. This is a lady who is on pension credit and this money means she and the boy can have a very special Christmas, as well as a brighter future.
“It has been a long hard battle, as she provides everything the boy needs”.
He added: “Kirklees Council may now have to face many other payouts from people in similar situations as clearly anyone who has a Special Guardianship order could be entitled to extra payments, if not necessarily back pay”.
Kirklees Council said the legal judgement earlier this year had affected all councils and it had taken time to work through the implications.
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For further information please contact Nigel Priestley, Ridley & Hall Solicitors, 01484 538421



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