BARNET Council will not appeal the judgement that overturned its decision to cut wardens from sheltered housing.

Conservative council leader Lynne Hillan said it would not be appropriate to do so.

Portsmouth Council, the local authority taken to the High Court at the same time as Barnet Council in a linked case, has also dropped its appeal.

At present, Barnet Council's draft budget for 2010/11 includes funding for the warden service for only three months.

But Cllr Hillan said she would recommend that the service is funded for the full year.

She added: “In making the original judgement, Judge Jarman accepted that Barnet Council had carried out a 'robust and substantial' consultation that indeed went beyond consultation and amounted to the sort of involvement envisaged.

“He noted that the council's policy had been further developed in response to consultation.

“However we have to accept that on a legal point, though not on policy itself, the council has been found to be remiss.”

While residents will welcome the prospect of keeping their wardens for the time being, the decision not to appeal means the council could still make changes to the warden service at a later date.

With an ageing population, Barnet still has a need to provide for vulnerable and elderly people.

Cllr Hillan said: ”Any future decision will take into account the need to target taxpayers’ financial support to those older people whose needs are greatest as well as ensuring that our service is delivered in the most effective way.”