Judicial review challenges cuts to charities

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith has ruled that London Councils’ decision to make a £10m+ cut to London voluntary sector grants programme was flawed and has ordered it to run fresh consultation.

London Councils, which represents the capital’s 33 local authorities, decided in December to repatriate funds from its £26m grants programme to individual councils, meaning they would be free to spend the money as they chose. It would have meant the scheme falling in value to £17.6m in 2011/12 and to £9.9m the following year if no new funding was found.A judicial review brought by service users from one of the 200-plus charities that would have been affected by the move found in the charities’ favour. Mr Justice Calvert-Smith ruled that London Councils’ consultation process was flawed and that it failed to meet statutory equality duties. The judge quashed all of the cuts and ruled that London Councils must rerun the consultation process with full impact equality assessments.

Patrick Butler has blogged in the Guardian about whether judicial reviews will protect charities against cuts. He concludes, “it looks like a judicial review may offer respite from the cuts, but not neccessarily a reprieve.”

£16.5m cut to London voluntary sector grants programme


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