Council Responds To High Court Judgment

The council’s response to High Court Adult Social Care Judgment against them

This just in from the council in response to the Adult Social Care High Court Judgment handed down this morning, in the council’s own words – Ed

Roger MazilliusJoint statement from Councillor David Pugh, leader of the Isle of Wight Council and Councillor Roger Mazillius, cabinet member for adult social care, housing and community safety.

“We are naturally disappointed with this decision, having genuinely sought to undertake a thorough and proper process of consultation.

“The Isle of Wight Council was required to make substantial budget savings within a short timeframe, while at the same time protecting those who were most vulnerable and in need of support. We also had to look to the future and position ourselves to face the demographic and financial challenges that the coming years will bring.

“We will now need to spend time reflecting on the implications for both service users and the wider council budget before deciding on our next course of action.

“Throughout this process we tried to ensure that the methods used to consult and the content of that consultation would be understood by residents. We worked closely with a range of representative community groups to compile the consultation literature and tried to create the right balance between sharing information and not overwhelming people with too much complex detail. We also allowed a full 90 day period for people to consider the proposals and make their response.

“We accept the judge’s decision that that we did not provide sufficient information and that, in our attempts to explain what was a complex decision, we unintentionally breached some elements of the guidance.

“We will immediately comply with the judge’s ruling and return to the previous eligibility threshold whilst we consider our next steps. We will not be appealing the decision.

“Our staff will be making contact immediately with the 32 service users who have been directly affected by these changes, to offer a reassessment of their needs. We consider that the staff who have managed the changes over the past nine months have done so with care, sensitivity and professionalism and we have no doubt that they will continue to do so as they respond to this outcome.

“If people have queries in relation to whether they are one of the 32 affected, they can contact us on (01983) 823516.”

Update: Corrected the article’s author to IWC press office

Friday, 11th November, 2011 10:02am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Law & Order

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. This judgement by the high court and the response above, just proves Pugh has not got a clue about forming local policies or leading a council.

    Now this policy of cutting social care has been stopped in it’s tracks, Pugh should seriously consider his position as council leader as he has proved time and again he is not fit for purpose.

  2. Wight Essence

    11.Nov.2011 10:32am

    Great news and it has just been broadcast on the main BBC news. The Boy Blunder has put his foot in it yet again and should have been sacked long ago.

  3. Yet another example of an inexperienced council who is out of touch with the community they are responsible to serve and protect.

    Considering the councils action has been described as unlawful by the High Court today, any chance of a resignation by either party responsible?

    Oh, didn’t think so.

    • Out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent? To be fair to the council, I don’t think this is quite accurate? They give people a laugh.

      • I wouldn’t say the council represent me, I can do that for myself. They are responsible for providing the services I pay via my taxes for members of our community. The should have a good understanding of how to provide these services, which services they should provide and which ones they are not responsible for.

  4. They really haven’t a clue have they? The most incompetent local authority by a country mile.

    No chance any of them will resign. No chance the senior officers will stop taking their wages home in wheelbarrows, whilst the people they are supposed to serve see services cut.

  5. witchfinder general

    11.Nov.2011 10:58am

    32 affected! pull the other one. Wodger the Dodger should admit he is out of his depth and stand down. Also somebody in social services management is claiming wages under false pretences.

  6. playingthenumbers

    11.Nov.2011 11:04am

    Hey just a minute. Making up policy on-the-fly when real lives are at stake just doesn’t cut it. The council knew the rules & decided to test them, in Ms Fiore’s parlance “all areas of statutory duty to be subjected to robust challenge”.

    The council have many layers of experienced & expensive staff; professional in both the legal and social care fields. They even have councillors who claim to have the answers.

    Well now they have cost the taxpayer thousands, money we don’t have and have punished families who need, are entitled to and deserve help. As for the cringe worthily bad, mealy mouth remark about the 32 service users – as if that matters. 1 or a million in need the service exists for a reason.

    So how much time does it take to reflect upon ones position these days? If a journalist can go to jail for hacking a celebrity’s phone or a civil servant resigns because he let too many people into the country, what about deliberately creating a policy that punishes people for no reason other than to save money, torturing people with already blighted lives. This isn’t politics this is shameful & the policy makers and legal advice teams who brought this unto themselves should not be allowed to resign, but sacked and the councillors surcharged for the costs (because they knew the rules before they made these changes).

    Finally I hope the families of those affected sue, there has to be a human right violation somewhere, good luck to them.

  7. Tilney Heritage

    11.Nov.2011 11:09am

    Do David Pugh & Roger Mazillius realise how patronising their response is? “Throughout this process we tried to ensure that the methods used to consult and the content of that consultation would be understood by residents. We worked closely with a range of representative community groups to compile the consultation literature and tried to create the right balance between sharing information and not overwhelming people with too much complex detail.”

  8. In a strange kind of way, Pugh and this awful council have probably done thousands of vulnerable people a great favour as this high court judgement will now have to be recognised by other English councils.

    The story has been on the main news and therefore should be an embarassment to Pugh and his cabinet as it exposes a lack of experience, arrogance and poor decision making.

  9. Given the speed and detail of the council’s response to this judgment it either had an advanced sight of the judge’s decision or knew the writing was on the wall.
    A third possibility is that the council had two prepared statements to cover both eventualities.

  10. Media-Watcher

    11.Nov.2011 11:39am

    Well, when they are spending over £1,000,000 a year on a communications team – we should expect them to be ready to respond.

  11. OK, brilliant news…now how about VB, IW Radio and the CP getting together to attempt a vote of no confidence in the current leadership?

  12. ‘Judge Mrs Justice Lang said that it failed even to comply with its own internal guidance on how to assess the impact of its new policy’.

    Was this failure at Officer level with the elected members being ignorant of the error OR elected members chose to ignore Officer advice?

    Either way a worryinging state of affairs which probably exists in other areas of Council policy.

  13. Wight Essence

    11.Nov.2011 12:19pm

    If this council were taken to the high court on other issues, I wonder how many other policies and consultations would be judged as flawed.

  14. Bruno Wieser

    11.Nov.2011 1:30pm

    Just heard this on BBC radio 6. Disgraceful council. Shoddy unprofessional and totally out of touch with reality.
    thank you high court

  15. Media-watcher

    11.Nov.2011 1:48pm

    Sadly Mazillius will love the national media attention, even thou it’s all about their crass decision making and serious incompetence.

  16. Surely if a high court judge finds that the councils actions are illegal, is that not Maladministration? If so the council should resign immediately and call new elections! We have known for a long time that they are incapable, now we find (sorry the high court finds) that they operate illegal policies. Why are this bunch of no-hopers allowed to continue decimating the Islands public services?

    • They should serving a 4 year year stretch in Parkhurst, not County Hall.

    • I agree with DaveQ and I don’t believe that you have to get them to resign (it would help the public if they would though). This is not the first time they have crossed the line. These tyrants need to be removed forthwith. I believe that now they have broken the law they should be impeached (they fail yet again under standards in local government)and a new council elected under the democratic process. Nobody else would stand for their behaviour, if they were MP’s they would be obligated to resign.

  17. Mr Justice

    11.Nov.2011 3:21pm

    If only the majority of Islanders felt as some of you do, it may be possible to see the back of the Tories. Unfortunately, as we see in the Yarmouth by-election, not many people really seem that bothered, do they?

  18. Disapointed??!! Of course they r disappointed at the ruling but to be fair how can they be disappointed when it is blatantly wrong what they have done. I am severely disabled and have been a victim off these cuts both in terms of losing hours and added cot to me. These cuts were made without having any type of assesssments – which was down to the council. SORRY COUNCIL YOU ASKED FOR THIS, maybe if you’d gone about it in a different way you wouldnt be in this position now.

  19. witchfinder general

    11.Nov.2011 4:20pm

    Old Step back Benyon is quiet isn’t he, I expect along with Big pocket Burbage and Dodgy Davina they are getting their stories right. Oh how I would like to be a fly on the wall, just picture it.

    Step back= Nothing to do with me,

    Dodgy = Whoops I’ve lost the memo,

    Big pocket, does this mean you cannot afford my wages now.

    Now these 3 people who get paid more than some people get to run a country should be answering some questions on their so called abilities

  20. adrian nicholas

    11.Nov.2011 4:31pm

    Brilliant news and must surely raise concern over whole tory IWC budget strategy for 2010/11 and recent forecast re-2011/12.

    What should also raise public alarm is that the same councillor whose rather patronising IWC reply is attributed to- is the same person handling the IWC’s treatment of Riverside Centre – where surely similar disabled rights are threatened by same IWC as landlord.

    And remember too Labour Cllr. Geoff Lumley’s observation of the £6.1 m budget forecast discrepancy which David Pugh could not specifically deny in his response on here.

    Please note also re-housing cllr.Ian Wards, health and community wellbeing scrutiny panel member, in today’s IWCP reporton official IWC housing stats of 5,788 homeless, to which current new homes will equal 172, an ongoing shortfall of several thousand.
    which Cllr.Ward tries to paint that those figures are misleading when the reverse is actually true’
    Ward comments;
    ‘questions whether people on housing list are in genuine need?’ …. adding that some people wanted social housing even though they did not need it’.

    This is a blatant untruth – evidence – the many Island people in IWC tempoary accomodation living in ex-holiday let caravans during winter(Apse Heath) for instance, and the estimated several thousand mainly single young people -particuarly single adult males currently, ‘sofa surfing’ – some for many years – that do not qualify for housing list priority.

    Head of housing and families, Martin Stanley recently at a Community Forum indicated that his dept. believed the true homeless figures to increase quite considerably since the annual figures were compiled in advance of the new coalition welfare and HB capping requiring 80% of private market rent and tenure changes which affect new tenants from 2012 which added to 16-19 yr old 3 yr. terms of short term contract under new JSA rules could leave many young adults homeless if they are made redundant during or following 6 month 1980’s style failed ‘YOP’ scheme
    re-introduction – this impact within a Island noted for its high areas of deprivation and unemployment with attendant travel cost and low wages hampering job mobility.

    In 2004, the official homeless figure at time of SEERA option B was approx. 4,000 – so this rise is relative to demographic increase on iow – yet the estimated real housing need was 625 units per year over 25 yrs

    – exactly the same estimated geo-demographic IOW scenario in which the recent 2 tier schools re-organisation was made and justified!

    Affordable housing – Pan Meadows was already undertaken in response, is now seriously constrained by prohibitive interest rates by the banking sector who deem development and even existing loans to Housing associations and RSLs as ‘High Risk’ even though their income streams from tenants are clearly sustainable
    …. or were before Ward’s Tory minister for housing -(rather housing disaster by consequence of tory policy, Grant Schapps,(notably now in disagreement with the same homeless charity, St.Mungo’s , of whose selected studies Schapps peppered his 2009 election statements and own personal web site), decided with his grotesque chum, Pickles to scrap HB payments direct to HA or IWC – on grounds of tenant ‘choice’- thus destroying the previous high real securitization of HA assets and loans.

    Net effect, predictably, is to invert market real supply and increased demand by capping HB tenants at 80% of private market rent- thus actually virtually halting Affordable housing since he also, against sector advice, has ‘cut’ HCA grant subsidy to not -for -profit, charitable re-investment housing associations, whilst Cameron announced at tory Conference the creation of a development fund – to enable private investment banks,equity groups and corporate developers errr- subsidy. Just last week , corporate JCB and tory party large donator,got a large helping of Camerons fund- whilst affordable housing cannot access these new funds directly –

    Even PFI, discounted by Housing sector has re-surfaced as a way of giving public money to wealthy tory cronies and planning law green belt changes mean that with material,fuel, and transport real CPI increase – the viability for the average 15-20% profit margin for developers will be more attractive for development in small scale medium and high end development or in increasing private rented sector with anticipated CSL registration criteria to suit ‘for profit’ large corporates and institutional and large landlords like tory Duke of Westminster.
    The consequence , with renewed ‘right to buy’ – unaffordable due to current 1st time buyer mortgage deposits of 20-25& will mean LESS Affordable housing as many developers have recently decided to ‘dump’ the affordable and social housing’ element from Existing development schemes.
    Banks still hold toxic mortgage debt and negative property equity values from 2008 – so are reluctant to take more housing loans on – pricing up private rent using 80% market rates conveniently suits stabilization of remaining bank held stock and the value of that stock and deeds as equity for securitization in the predominant ‘low risk’ Financial sector.

    For Islanders, particularly – the young and vulnerable the waiting list, in official and unofficial figures WILL Rise.

    I suggest Cllr.Ward, who presumably is safely housed and of generally good well being should place himself in those homeless peoples shoes before he makes wild inaccurate statement for political purpose, that contradict real concerns of within housing (CiH,, etc.) and tenant(TPAS, NTO,TAROE, ) sectors that coincidentally correspond to the shared view of homeless statistics of the IWC housing dept. who have to cope and genuinely do provide their best to re-house genuine Island people on housing register as well as those volunteer, community groups and HA funded schemes that are currently giving food stamps to an increasing number of national and Island people in desperate need.

  21. Wight Essence

    11.Nov.2011 4:56pm

    Pugh said” We are naturally disappointed with this decision”.

    If Pugh is disappointed about not being able to cut the budget of vulnerable islanders, in my opinion it shows he must be quite a heartless type of person who is not bothered about people in need of social care.

  22. The Parson

    11.Nov.2011 5:17pm

    remember it is not just social sevices part of this council that do as they please, highways have done the same with John Street in Ryde,gone compleatly against council policy and the goverment via the Disability act,in discriminating against disabled persons. perhaps there should be an nother court of appeal on this case.

    • Dont get what your point is – the issue here is social care. You may be perfectly right, maybe other departments have issues but we are talking about a very important issue here. Pbviously as i have personally experienced cutts within social care I am obvioussly very passionate about it.

  23. This is both shocking and yet again, disapointing.
    Why oh why have the council made themselves look so stupid?
    They were warned by families and providers months ago about the possible repercussions of their “cuts”, but yet again chose to ignore the care givers and fleece the vulnerable.
    Well let me make it plain Roger and Dave, you’ve just cost us, the council tax payers a fortune in legal fees and presumably compensation, although no money will be enough to compensate for the pain and anguish you have caused innocent people.
    I would like to congratulate the brave parents who had the guts to stand up to a corrupt and moraly bankrupt council. They must be so pleased that their sons are finally able to receive the support that they need and deserve.
    The person responsible for this “flawed” consultation and “unlawful” policy should be sacked immediately.
    Good luck job hunting Roger.

  24. Fred Karno

    11.Nov.2011 5:38pm

    I imagine that the IWC have been ordered to pay the legal costs? That means we will pay through our Council Tax.

    I wonder if Maximillius might like to tell us how much we are in hock for over this case?

  25. I think I’m right, no doubt people here will quickly correct me, any council member that authorises a unlawful decision, such as this, has to resign or be removed from post. Is this correct?

  26. Wight Essence

    12.Nov.2011 12:09am

    I can never understand why the IOW Tory party could be so stupid to elect somebody with a boy like mentalitity as their leader. He is making the them become a laughing stock.

    • They elected him leader for one very simple reason, he’s so far out of touch with reality that he could not see that he was being set up as the fall guy- sooner or later they’ll blame everything on him and dump him!

  27. greenfiremouse

    12.Nov.2011 12:40am

    Look what I have just found on the internet:
    “Last name: Mazillius
    Of Italian origin, this name is a variant spelling of a semi descriptive nickname for one of wild disposition, even a person of murderous intent! It derives from “Mazzare” meaning – to kill or destroy…”


    You couldn’t invent it!

  28. The Auditor

    12.Nov.2011 8:46am

    Looks like ‘Incompetence Maximus’ rules…………. again

  29. Can I pose a simple question to all readers of Ventnor Blog.(I say “readers” because I’m certain far more people read VB than contribute to it!)

    Is our council fit for purpose?

    Answers on a postcard please to Boy Blunder, c/o County Hall Newport

  30. Wight Essence

    12.Nov.2011 10:53am

    Boy Blunder should be honest with himself and accept he is hopeless at politics. If he hopes to gain any success in the future, he ought to get out of politics and go back to what he is good at, selling paper clips and rubber bands.

    • biggmarket

      12.Nov.2011 11:38am

      What does suprise me about this verdict is that the court found the council in breach of its own guidelines. I know that ultimately Councillors have to accept responsibility for their actions or inactions but you have to wonder what advice the Director of Social Services and the Legal Beagles gave.

      I know some on here are delighted to vent their spleen on David Pugh and Co. but I am depressed by this for various reasons

      1. Whether it’s one adult or 2000 unecessary distress has been caused.
      2. The Council will almost certainly cut other services to make up the shortfall unless the Government gives them more cash(unlikely)
      3. The ineffective opposition. I don’t always agree with her but Charlotte Hofton makes some telling points about the West Wight By Election in this week’s County Press.

  31. Braveheart

    12.Nov.2011 3:14pm

    There is now another matter which will no doubt upset the IWC, an online petition calling for more ‘Disabled Toilets’ on the Island:-

    The Isle of Wight No Barriers to Disability Group (NBTD) is campaigning to have more purpose-built toilets, called Changing Places, on the Island.

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