R (on the application of Williams and another) v Surrey County Council [2012] EWHC 867 (QB)

3 April 2012

Link to judgment

Discrimination ground

Summary of case
The case concerned reductions in library services because of financial constraints. The Council proposed to use volunteers to staff some of their libraries. The challenge concerned whether the volunteers, who would be a constantly changing group, would be adequately trained in meeting the needs of disabled people.

The Council ‘did fail to have due regard to the equality issues required by Section 149(1)(a)(b)(c). I have reached that conclusion both by deciding what was required for “due regard” and on Wednesbury grounds. The cabinet did not consider a relevant matter, namely the nature and extent of the Equality training needs of volunteers which had emerged from the consultations with the various community groups… and the way in which the Defendant’s officers envisaged that such training needs might be met by the Defendant.’

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