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Can they stop transport for DLA kids?

(10 Posts)
MooMummyMoo Tue 17-Feb-15 06:26:05

Bradford council has recently 'consulted' on their proposals to cut SEN transport. I say 'consulted' because as I understand it they only have to request feedback from people on their questionnaire (which they didn't publicise..) but don't have to take any notice of the opinions people give.

Anyhoo. Part of the proposal is to remove transport for all SEN children that receive high rate mobility DLA.

Can they legally do this?

In my mind DLA isn't for getting a child to school. But I can't find anywhere on the gov website where it makes any reference to what it is for at all really - just a vague mention of higher costs associated with having a disability.

Obviously for parents it will put people in impossible positions - how to drop siblings at different schools at same time as travelling long distance to SS to do drop off/pick up, what about your own work commitments Etc etc.

But really I want to know if there is a legal case or if they really can do this?

bjkmummy Tue 17-Feb-15 09:44:22

I would contact ipsea and then they can take on the LA on parents behalf through judicial review which is something they have done in the past when a LA has made a stupid decision such as this.

my sons transport costs £28k a year! so I would hand back the DLA if I had to as no way the dla would even cover the tip of the costs.

the Law states that the LA have to provide transport to the school named in part 4 of the statement and there is case law on that so that would need I guess to be the angle it would need to be challenged as on as council policy doesn't top the law.

ipsea recently did a judicial review on behalf of parents where they could show that the consultation done by the council was not a counsultation at all

MooMummyMoo Tue 17-Feb-15 11:09:21

Thanks BJK that's really helpful.

ouryve Tue 17-Feb-15 11:18:31

How the hell would they expect these kids to get to school, without transport?

It sounds extremely unlawful and actually discriminatory.

bjkmummy Tue 17-Feb-15 11:38:08

this has been muted by other LA s in the past and then slowly again disappeared I guess when the LA realised that they could not do it. its often muted over social care as well if a child is allocated help that the parents should use dla to top it up or use dla to pay for it - just seems to be the thing at the moment that the LA are dragging up but once challenged they realise how its now lawful but it certainly does enough to scare parents

MooMummyMoo Tue 17-Feb-15 12:01:27

It has really scared me.

The other big change they want to do is to stop house pick ups and get families to go to pick up points. We would really struggle to manage that too with my other children and all her equipment etc.

It's all good fun isn't it....

senvet Tue 17-Feb-15 12:41:12

Their best chance is to get a minibus and tour around picking up kids one by one.
But there are rules about the length of the journey and its comfort....

Icimoi Tue 17-Feb-15 15:55:19

They absolutely cannot do this. The legislation on transport is very clear that it is not means tested - witness the fact that Katie Price's child is, absolutely justifiably, provided with transport to his special school. Mobility allowance is calculated on the basis of an assumption that the LA will comply with its obligation to provide home to school transport, it isn't there to save them money; how to they imagine you can get your child out for other purposes if it is swallowed up by travel to school?

Have they actually finished the consultation and put it into effect? If they do you need to contact IPSEA or a lawyer quickly about a judicial review. Otherwise you will need to wait and see what the final policy says. As bjk says, they may well think better of it once a lawyer has a look at it.

MooMummyMoo Tue 17-Feb-15 16:16:18

Ici, it's not in force yet. The consultation has just closed and they will decide in march/April apparently

MooMummyMoo Tue 17-Feb-15 16:16:46

Oh and apparently their lawyers have already been involved!!

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