Local authorities need to hold a proper consultation about changes to charging, closing services or other things that have a big impact on disabled people. If the authority didn’t consult, or didn’t do it properly, then it may be unlawful to make the change. It may be that your local authority has not run a consultation properly, so it’s well worth looking at what they have done in your area.

A consultation must have:

  • allowed plenty of time for responses - for example, if it was less than 12 weeks you may be able to argue it didn’t allow enough time
  • done it in a way that was easy to understand and respond to
  • had a simple and brief consultation document, clearly setting out the questions and including a summary
  • provided all the information needed for people to weigh up the issues
  • made it widely available
  • carefully considered all responses and been open to changing the proposals in light of them
  • made the results widely available, including an account of the responses and explaining the decision
  • completed the consultation before taking the decision, for example to close a service or change the eligibility criteria.

Complaining because your local authority failed to hold a proper consultation can be successful. But it may only succeed in delaying the change.