Judicial review to be held over Havering Council tax on disabled

Councillor Mark Logan.

Councillor Mark Logan. - Credit: Archant

A judicial review will be held into Havering Council’s decision to tax severely disabled people.

Former councillor Mark Logan, who was controversially “sacked” for being too ill to attend meetings, took the authority to the high court last week.

A judge ruled a three-day hearing will be held in August.

The decision came after Mark had spoken to Barrister David Lawson about the possibility of challenging the council’s decision to charge 15pc council tax to everyone of working age from April.

Until then, he and many other severely disabled people had not paid it, but the change meant only pensioners were exempt.

The decision let to criticism from disabled people and their families.

“It’s about equality,” said Mark, a former Independent Residents’ Group member. “It’s very unfair. They have said the elderly are exempt from paying it. Legislation states that you can’t use age as a barrier to discriminate against someone of a lower age group.

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“I’m standing up for myself. I can barely see or walk and this 15pc has hit me hard. It’s not helping.

“It has effect us badly. The government has slashed benefits disabled people need. Some people can’t work anymore, like me – I can’t walk five paces.”

Mark is hoping the decision will change and come into affect next April – meaning he and others will pay the 15pc for one year.

A Havering Council spokeswoman said: “The council is confident its decision was the right one and continues to defend its case in court.”

Mark was dismissed as a councillor in December 2013 under the Local Government Act 1972, which states failure to attend any meeting of the council for six months means automatic dismissal.