Bid for Sheffield nursery cash review is dismissed

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Four mums have lost their bid for a judicial review into Sheffield Council’s decision to stop grants paid to 20 independent nurseries.

The council withdrew childcare subsidy grants in March, as part of budget savings to meet Government funding cuts – but the mums, whose children go to nurseries affected, wanted to quash the move.

Their challenge it was irrational, unfair, and in breach of the council’s duty to consider equality rights and the wellbeing of children in the city’s poorest areas was dismissed at the High Court today.

Judge Mr Justice Turner ruled the council completed thorough consultation and met all its statutory equality and childcare duties, as well as its obligation to ensure it obtains ‘best value’ for public money. Although the mums believed the decision was wrong he could not detect a ‘darker motive’ and dismissed the claim.

He said: “Councils are democratically elected to make decisions and some of these are bound to be contentious and unpopular.

“Ultimately the decision in this case, controversial as it was, complied with standards imposed by public law and must remain undisturbed.”