RELATIVES fighting to keep care homes for the elderly open in Kirklees have had legal aid withdrawn.
A Government decision means that cases fought on human rights grounds will no longer qualify for help with legal costs.
Family and friends of many people have tried to mount legal challenges to the closures based on the risk to their lives and health under human rights legislation.
They include Karl Brown, of Newsome, who is a member of Kirklees Relatives Action Group for the Elderly (RAGE).
His mother, Jessie Noon, 80, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, is a resident at Moorlands Grange, Netherton.
Last week the Examiner revealed that residents at five council-run homes, including Moorlands Grange, would have to move out as part of a care shake-up.
Eighty-five people will have to be found other places as major changes get under way.
Mr Brown said he was outraged by the withdrawal of legal aid.
"I think it is a disgrace. These people have paid into the system all their working lives. It is just the way the Government backs Kirklees up," he said.
Kirklees RAGE were lobbying the Cabinet meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall today.
The future of local people's cases now hangs in the balance, because few legal firms want to take on these complex cases.
The Legal Services Commission, which gives legal aid to solicitors, has also withdrawn time and travel costs outside legal firm Hossacks' "home" region of the East Midlands. Yvonne Hossack is fighting cases nationwide.
She has five families' cases in Kirklees, including Mrs Noon's.
Mrs Hossack, who has fought cases on behalf of 81 elderly residents all over Britain, has succeeded in keeping dozens of homes open.
She has pledged to use her own savings to pay legal costs so she can continue to fight the cases.
She has said that access to justice is being denied people because they can't get the specialised help they need.
Graham Paisley, Unison chief steward, said the decision meant that justice was dependent on your income.
The shake-up in Kirklees is part of a £4.1m plan involving services for older people.
Clr Sylvia Smithson, council Cabinet member responsible for social services, has said the major works would improve services for older people and disruption would be kept to a minimum.