Tuesday, January 25, 2022

More insanity from Cumbria County Council on the Judicial Review request

Cumbria County Council has served the necessary legal notice to allow for the possibility of an appeal against the rejection of the council's request for a Judicial Review to overturn the proposed local government reorganisation.

Just over nineteen hours after Cumbria Council took the first step towards lodging an appeal against the refusal of permission to launch a Judicial review, and more than twelve hours after the many of us had learned from sources in other councils, the council finally got around to informing members of the county council that it had taken this step.

Did the briefing address the fact that the judge had refused permission for a Judicial review and what CCC is seeking amounts to a request for permission to consider a possible appeal? It did not. The county council is presenting what it is doing as having "taken the decision to proceed with the next stage of the Judicial review."

Every point of the original request by Cumbria County Council's was rejected by the judge,

Judicial review is not about whether the courts or anyone else agrees with the decision of the government minister or council which took the decision which is being challenged. It is about whether that decision was taken lawfully and in accordance with due process.  

Let's not forget that the application for Judicial Review of the Local Government Reform decision was launched by the council's Labour leader and Labour cabinet members against the wishes of a vote of the whole council, and against the advice of the Scrutiny Management Board after the decision was "called in" by myself and two colleagues.

Let's not forget either that the County Council has been ordered to pay the government £15,223 to cover government legal costs in this case and £7,500 to each of the six district councils in Cumbia, a total of £60,223. The county council's taxpayers will also, of course, have to fork out for the County's own legal bills.

Cumbria's taxpayers would have had to pay the legal bill whatever the court decided, of course, but the costs award, and indeed the ruling itself, makes clear that the judge thought the  County Cabinet were acting unreasonably and were responsible for the public money spent on this case.

Now they are coming back for more. Cumbria Labour - wasting your money again.

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