Victory for SBS!

Sorry, a bit delayed, but to officially report: SBS has won their court case.

From their press release (word doc):

UPDATE: Southall Black Sisters’ Victory against Ealing Council

‘There is no dichotomy between funding specialist services and cohesion; equality is necessary for cohesion to be achieved.’ Lord Justice Moses

On 18 July at the High Court, in a dramatic turn of events, Ealing Council withdrew their case after one and a half days of a hearing which saw their defence rapidly unravelling. From the outset, it became apparent to the presiding judge, Lord Justice Moses and to all those present in the courtroom including the packed public gallery, that Ealing Council was skating on really thin ice in attempting to justify its decision to cut funding to SBS and to commission instead one generic borough wide service on domestic violence on the grounds of ‘equality’ and ‘cohesion’.

Ealing Council has committed to paying not only SBS’ legal fees, but also the EHRC’s which intervened as a third party. Full costs will run to just about £100k – the same amount that was cut from SBS in the first place! More details via Ealing Times.

Much to discuss in terms of what this will mean in the longer-term for the Government’s cohesion agenda and how guidance is interpreted, so comment away.

It was a great protest, really made my day. Check out Cath Elliot’s testimonial and analysis on Liberal Conspiracy for more.