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Wandsworth LBC v A [2000] 1 WLR 1246

The extent of a local authority’s ability to revoke a licence

Facts

A was the parent of a child who attended a school run by the local authority. The parent was accused of verbally abusing staff at the school and the headmaster sent her a letter telling her that she should not enter the school premises. When A continued to enter the school premises, the local authority applied to the county court for an injunction preventing A from entering the school. A appealed the grant of the injunction to the Court of Appeal.

Issue

The issue in this circumstance was whether the local authority’s position differed from that of a private individual in respect of revoking a licence held by a parent to enter the school.

Held

It was held that the local authority did not have unlimited power to revoke the parent’s licence to enter the school. Before withdrawing the licence, the headmaster should have given A the opportunity to make representations. This procedural failure on the part of the headmaster meant that the local authority’s injunction application was also necessarily flawed and A was able to raise a public law defence to the private law application. The appeal was allowed.


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