Campaigners fighting the closure of a ‘life-saving’ alcohol dependency unit have launched legal action against the council.
Public law experts have applied for a judicial review into the decision to close the Brian Hore Unit, in West Didsbury .
People who use the service claim they were not consulted properly by Manchester City Council about the closure.
The unit will shut in March as part of the redesign of Manchester’s drug and alcohol services.
Mathieu Culverhouse, a public law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We believe the consultation process undertaken by the local council focused on redesigning drug and alcohol services in Manchester and did not indicate changes would result in the closure of the Brian Hore Unit. The users of services at the unit appear not to have been consulted.”
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National drugs and alcohol charity CRI will replace Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust as sole-provider of the service from April 1.
Seamus Quinn, chairman of the Friends of the Brian Hore Unit, said: “Manchester City Council’s commissioners and CRI appear to have ignored the people who use the service, the crucial role the unit plays in the city and the help and support it provides to individuals struggling with alcohol and mental health problems in the area.
“We believe that closing the Brian Hore Unit will unnecessarily put lives at risk as there is still no clear strategy for the future of the services provided to vulnerable people at the facility.”
Council chiefs are in the process of writing a formal reply to the legal challenge.
Coun Paul Andrews, Manchester City Council’s executive member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, said: “The Brian Hore building is owned by the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and we are in discussions with the trust about the legal challenge and also the use of the building.
“In the meantime, we’d like to reassure people that the types of services run at the Brian Hore Unit are what we want to commission and offer in accessible sites across the city, as part of an integrated approach to recovery.
“This integrated, community-based provision is also a key focus for CRI who will be the lead provider of our redesigned alcohol and drugs service of the service from April 1.”