Gloucestershire

Dursley Training Unit closure challenged in High Court

A decision to close a centre for adults with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire is to be challenged in the High Court by one of its residents.

Gloucestershire County Council announced plans in February to shut the Dursley Training Unit (DTU).

Gary Pockett, who is registered blind, has instructed his solicitor to challenge the decision's lawfulness.

The council acknowledged it had received a letter from Mr Pockett's lawyers.

Proposals to close the unit, confirmed in May, are part of wider cost-cutting measures announced by the council as it tries to reduce spending by £114m.

'Life changing decision'

Mr Pockett, who also suffers from epilepsy and uses a hearing aid, has attended the unit for almost 20 years.

His family said the council "failed to have due regard under the Equality Act 2010, for the care needs of Gary and other residents at the centre".

Mr Pockett's brother, Chris, said: "Throughout our campaign, we have maintained that closure of the DTU would be a life changing decision that would negatively impact a group of disabled adults for the rest of their lives.

"We do not take this action lightly, but the stakes are very high for my brother Gary and the other users of the centre and we must therefore do everything that we can to protect the future wellbeing of one of the most vulnerable groups in our community."

Antonia Noble, cabinet member for people with long term support, said: "We have received a letter from lawyers, representing a Dursley Training Unit user.

"We will look at it closely," she added.

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