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Westminster City Council required to consider race equality in Maida Hill Square injunction dispute

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Central London County Court today declared that the Westminster City Council were required to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty when making an application for an anti-social behaviour injunction.

Westminster City Council are seeking an anti-social behaviour injunction against a number of individuals who regularly gather in Maida Hill Square, London. One of the named defendants is Mr Ernest Theophile, who has attended the Square regularly for a number of years.

At a preliminary hearing in April, Mr Theophile argued that the proposed injunction was likely to be indirectly discriminatory, because the majority of people who congregate in Maida Hill Square (including Mr Theophile himself) are Afro-Caribbean. Mr Theophile told the Court that he visited the Square in order to develop connections within the local West Indian community, and to maintain cultural traditions of that community (including playing dominoes and backgammon), and to provide informal support to those experiencing social isolation and mental ill-health.

Westminster City Council denied that they were subject to obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (including the Public Sector Equality Duty) in applying for the injunction in question. Today, the Court rejected that argument.

Tim James-Matthews appeared on behalf of Mr Theophile, instructed by Anne McMurdie, Matt Foot, and Niamh Quille of Birnberg Peirce.

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