Govan Law Centre (GLC) has accepted instructions from two clients aggrieved by the closure of the Kirkton Community Centre and Library (community centre) in Dundee. Proceedings for judicial review are being raised in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, against Dundee City Council (DCC) today, Monday, 15 January 2024.
On 28 September 2020, DCC agreed to trial a “Community Hub” model approach to local services in the Kirkton area of Dundee, delivering community services from local schools. At that time, it mooted the closure of the community centre and then ran a survey consultation on usage of local facilities and its Hub model proposal.
On 23 October 2023, DCC decided to close the community centre later in 2024 and produced an equality impact assessment (EQIA) dated 23 October 2023.
The petitioners contend that there was no formative or meaningful consultation or evidence in relation to the community centre and the consequence of its closure for the petitioners and other local people with disabilities.
The petitioners argue that the DCC’s failed to exercise its duties under section 149 of the 2010 Equality Act with substance, rigour and an open mind. The respondent’s EQIA was a desk based, tick box exercise in relation to a fixed policy position that failed to comply with the 2012 Regulations due to an absence or dearth of relevant evidence in relation to those with disabilities and other protected characteristics.
No genuine or formative consultation took place in relation to the community centre and those with protected characteristics impacted by its closure at Scots common law.
Separately, the petitioners will contend that DCC’s provision, criterion or practice to close the community centre discriminated against them and their dependents as disabled service users and was unlawful in terms of the 2010 Equality Act.
The two petitions will require to satisfy the Permission test in the Court of Session Act 1988 before they can proceed further in Court. The solicitor for the petitioners is Charis Brooks, who has instructed GLC’s Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate. Laura McDonagh, Partner at Drummond Miller LLP act as Edinburgh agents.