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The Supreme Court held, allowing the City Council’s appeal, that an individual who required support from his social worker in the form of general advice once a week and some social support was not a person “in need of care and attention” for the purpose of section 21(1)(a) of the National Assistance Act 1948. The Court also found that, even if he was, any such “care and attention” was “otherwise available to him” since the provision of residential accommodation under that enactment was not required if it was to be made available to him. It was irrelevant that it might not be reasonably efficacious to supply it if he had no stable accommodation.

John Howell QC represented the City Council.

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