SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) says it accepts a court ruling which deemed that the local authority closed a day care service “unlawfully”.

The Court of Session issued its decision on Tuesday (September 20) with regards to a legal challenge to the move to shut Teviot Day Centre in Hawick.

The council decided to ‘decommission’ the centre after a meeting in June 2019, according to reports.

SBC said the centre was closed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and has not re-opened.

On Tuesday, Lady Carmichael ruled that the local authority did not follow equality legislation when deciding whether to decommission the service.

She said the local authority did not contemplate the impact closing the service would have on a woman with Alzheimer’s, identified as CD in the judgement report.

A council spokesperson said: “The judgement by Lady Carmichael determined that Scottish Borders Council’s decision to shut the centre was unlawful, on the basis that the equality impact assessment and consultation processes undertaken in reaching the decision were flawed.

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“The impact of the judgement is that there is therefore now no legal decision in place to close the centre.

“The centre was closed prior to COVID-19 and has not subsequently re-opened.

“The council fully accepts the judgement of the court and a report will now be brought forward to council setting out the recommended course of action.”

Sean Elliot, who led a campaign for the council to reconsider its closure decision, welcomed the judgement.

He said: “Obviously we are absolutely delighted with the judgement of Lady Carmichael and it vindicates the struggle we have had for over three years in trying to impress on Scottish Borders Council and its officials that they have not followed due process and adhered to statutory legal obligations in terms of consultation and equality impact assessments.

“We are now looking to Scottish Borders Council to see what they are going to do to redress the situation and adhere to the legal instruction given by the highest court in Scotland that the decision made on June 4, 2019 was unlawful.

“Secondly, are they actually going to formally apologise to AB (CD’s son who made the complaint) and CD for the distress that has been caused over the three years.”