M, Regina (on the Application of) v Gateshead Council: CA 14 Mar 2006

The applicant had left care, but still received assistance. She was arrested and the police asked the attending social worker to arrange secure accommodation overnight. The respondent refused. The court was asked what duty (if any) is owed by local authorities to provide ‘secure accommodation’ for arrested juveniles whom they are requested to receive under the section.
Held: The application raised a point of some importance, though its significance had passed for the claimant. The authority to whom the request was made was under a duty to provide accommodation irrespective of whether in fact the child resided within their area.
The court considered whether the duty was owed to any child within the district, or only for children ordinarily resident within the area. The court noted that the Act made a clear distinction. In some sections, duties were owed to children within the area, and in others that qualification was absent.
Dyson LJ said: ‘The broad policy and objects of Part III of the Children Act 1989 are that local authorities should provide support for children and families.’


Thorpe, Dyson, Moore-Bick LJJ


[2006] EWCA Civ 221, Times 27-Apr-2006, [2006] 3 WLR 108, [2006] Fam Law 444, [2006] QB 650, [2007] 1 All ER 1262, (2006) 9 CCL Rep 337, [2006] 2 FLR 379




Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 38(6), Children Act 1989 21 25(1)


England and Wales


CitedPadfield v Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food HL 14-Feb-1968
Exercise of Ministerial Discretion
The Minister had power to direct an investigation in respect of any complaint as to the operation of any marketing scheme for agricultural produce. Milk producers complained about the price paid by the milk marketing board for their milk when . .
CitedRegina v London Borough of Barnet ex parte G; Regina v London Borough of Lambeth ex parte W; Regina v London Borough of Lambeth ex parte A HL 23-Oct-2003
The applicants sought to oblige the local authority, in compliance with its duties under the 1989 Act, to provide a home for children, and where necessary an accompanying adult.
Held: There were four hurdles for the applicants to cross. They . .
CitedRegina v Barnet London Borough Council, Ex parte Shah HL 16-Dec-1982
The five applicants had lived in the UK for at least three years while attending school or college. All five were subject to immigration control, four had entered as students with limited leave to remain for the duration of their studies, and the . .
CitedRegina (on the application of K) v Camden and Islington Health Authority CA 21-Feb-2001
The duty of a local authority to seek to provide resources to care for a mental patient after release into the community, is not absolute, and is subject to the limitations of the availability of a sufficient budget. A continued detention in . .

Cited by:

CitedM and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Lambeth and others Admn 20-Jun-2008
The claimant had arrived from Afhganistan and sought asylum and accomodation as a child. The social worker involved assessed him to be an adult.
Held: The decision was within the duties of the local authorities. . .
CitedA, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Croydon CA 18-Dec-2008
The court declined appeals against findings that local authorities through social workers could properly assess whether the claimants were under eighteen and entitled, though asylum seekers, to housing provision and support under the 1989 Act. . .
CitedMM, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Lewisham Admn 6-Mar-2009
The court considered the extent of an Authority’s duties when a young woman (17) came to its attention under section 17 of the 1989 Act. The claimant was fleeing the domestic violence of her partner. The authority had said that she should seek help . .
CitedVC and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Newcastle City Council Admn 24-Oct-2011
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Children

Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.239111