Arrangements Between Authorities

March 25th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

Centralised arrangements between local authorities ( 4 London Boroughs ) for the provision of secure accommodation for children at risk of being detained in police custody have been held to be lawful in R (AR) b Waltham Forest LBC (2020) EWHC 622 (Admin) (DC). There was no systemic breach of the statutory duty under Section 21(2)(b) of the Children Act 1989. Nor was there any breach of the sufficiency duty under Section 22G. The arrangements were rational and constituted a reasonable system.

Andrews J said, at para 76, that Waltham Forest “ had to form a value judgment about the appropriate use of its resources taking account of its statutory obligations.”

Davis LJ said, at para 84, that “ the sharing arrangements put in place cannot fairly be described as unreasonable ( in the public law sense ), even if in some cases they demonstrably can not achieve the ideal. Important issues of resources and allocation also come into the equation here, and Courts must show an appropriate degree of respect for local authorities’ decision making in that respect.”

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