Press Release: Judicial Review - Ledbury Town Council's Investigation (07/11/18)

PRESS RELEASE 7 November 2018

TOWN COUNCIL JUDICIAL REVIEW INVESTIGATION

Ledbury Town Council has been investigating the factors which resulted in the Council incurring over £200,000 in legal fees to defend the Judicial Review of its actions. This resulted from grievance and disciplinary procedures that went badly wrong.

Council Chairman, Nina Shields said: “Disciplinary proceedings are not that uncommon in local Government but to allow matters to go to these lengths is almost unheard of. This action has provided case law which will give guidance for the future and help make sure that local Councils do not act beyond their powers and contrary to the law. 

“Over the last few months we have carried out a detailed analysis of the voluminous legal correspondence generated by the previous administration. At long last we are now in a position to consider taking steps to recover public money lost by acting on bad advice and/or negligence during these proceedings.  Once our analysis is complete we will be seeking a legal opinion on whether or not there is any criminal or civil liability for individuals or organisations concerned.”

The total bill in these proceedings so far* amounts to £219,925. This is made up of £121,664 of legal fees incurred by the Council and £96,261.66 legal costs incurred by Cllr Harvey which the Judge ruled must be paid by the Council.

Cllr Shields concluded: “This has been a depressing task. We have uncovered significant evidence of bad advice provided by more than one organisation and some evidence of possible criminal activity by individuals. Subject to legal advice, we will of course take the latter to the police.”

End

* We are reasonably confident of this figure. However, given the state of the financial records we may find further items.