*R (on the application of A) v Lambeth London Borough Council / R (on the application of G) v Barnet London Borough Council / R (on the application of W) v Lambeth London Borough Council
Case date: 23 October 2003
These three appeals had been joined together because they all concerned the responsibility of local authorities to provide accommodation for children in need. This duty of local authorities was set out in section 17 of the Children Act 1989. The main issue in these cases was the nature and extent of the duty – in other words: what does the duty consist of, and how far does it go?
The claimants in the appeals said that section 17(1) said that a local authority must assess the needs of a child in need, and then meet those needs once they had been assessed.
The second issue was whether a local authority could insist on providing accommodation for a child alone, as opposed to providing it for the child and his mother, when a child needed accommodation and it would cost no more to provide accommodation for both.
In the first appeal, two of the children of the family were in need because they were disabled.
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