Costs ruling after tribunal involving parish council

Rothbury Parish Council noticeboard in the village
Picture Jane Coltman

Rothbury Parish Council noticeboard in the village Picture Jane Coltman

1
Have your say

The long-term critic whose campaign against Rothbury Parish Council ended up in a courtroom earlier this year has been ordered to pay £7,500 to the authority in costs.

However, this is just a fraction of what the parish council has spent on legal fees and it has the opportunity to appeal this decision.

In July, we reported that an information-rights tribunal had found in favour of the parish council.

The ruling related to a hearing which took place in March and which had a narrow remit in relation to an appeal over refused information requests. However, it was just the latest incident in an ongoing saga which has seen ‘dissident elector’ Tony Kell repeatedly complain about and criticise the council, its members and the clerk.

Following the dismissal of the appeal, the parish council made an application for costs, in the sum of more than £40,000. The decision notice states that Judge David Farrer considers a figure of £32,000 to be appropriate.

Mr Kell was asked to provide a statement of means and while the tribunal had to make a decision based on ‘very unsatisfactory evidence’, it does not believe he can meet the costs of £32,000.

The parish council is considering an appeal of this decision and an extraordinary meeting is to be held next Wednesday at 7.30pm.