Severely disabled man loses his battle in the Court of Appeal over council cuts

Severely disabled Luke Davey has lost his battle in the Court of Appeal over cuts by Oxfordshire County Council to his care funding

Mr Davey had launched the first Court of Appeal challenge of its type following "savage" cuts in care funding vulnerable people.

The 41-year-old was challenging Oxfordshire County Council's decision to reduce his weekly personal budget by 42 per cent.

Mr Davey, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is wheelchair dependent, requires 24-hour care.

Three appeal judges ruled the council had not acted unlawfully after a one-day hearing.

Jamie Burton, representing Mr Davey, told the judges his client's reduced budget was not enough to fund the same team of personal assistants who had cared for him for nearly 20 years.

There was a significant risk of him losing his trusted carers and suffering anxiety, argued Mr Burton.

Mr Davey and his mother speaking to ITV News in 2015. Credit: ITV News

Critics of the Government say Mr Davey's case illustrates how disabled people are suffering because ministers axed the independent living fund (ILF) in 2015 but failed to ring-fence sufficient money for the disabled under the new Care Act 2014. This makes local authorities, who have faced big budget cuts, responsible for funding all care needs.

Mr Davey, who is registered blind, attempted to overturn a ruling by High Court judge Mr Justice Morris which went against him.

Lord Justice McFarlane, sitting with Lord Justice Bean and Lady Justice Thirlwall, rejected the bid, saying: "Like (Mr Justice Morris), I have great respect for the manner in which the claimant, his family and his team of carers cope with his difficult situation.

"But that is not the same thing as saying that the council's actions have been unlawful."

Speaking after the court had dismissed Mr Davey's appeal, Chief executive of Inclusion London, Tracey Lazard said they were "deeply disappointed and concerned".

Inclusion London campaigner Svetlana Kotova said: "This is not about disabled people demanding golden cars.

"This is about very basic things."

A spokesman for Oxfordshire council said: "The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the council's assessment of Mr Davey's care needs and the allocated amount for his personal budget is appropriate and lawful.

"All local authorities who provide adult social care services against a background of financial constraints in the public sector are having to make difficult decisions."

Mr Davey and his lawyers were given until September 18 to consider whether they wish to apply to the Supreme Court for permission to make a further appeal.