Council opts not to appeal costs award

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

Rothbury Parish Council has decided not to appeal the costs award related to the tribunal earlier this year, but will call for the £7,500 to be paid.

The decision came at an extraordinary meeting of the council, which took place last Wednesday night.

A statement from the parish council said: ‘Rothbury Parish Council (RPC) recently had a judgement in its favour at a tribunal which led it to ask for costs against the man who brought the action.

‘The tribunal assessed RPC’s recoverable costs at £32,000 as the maximum it could order him to pay, but decided he should pay £7,500 to reflect his apparent financial situation.

‘A majority, if not all, of Rothbury’s parish councillors would dearly wish to see him pay the full amount of assessed recoverable costs. In addition the general opinion in the village is clearly of the same mind.

‘RPC has received eight strongly worded emails and many verbal comments saying this is what it should do.

‘RPC has sought expert legal advice and, in the opinion of our legal representatives, has been told that if it appeals it is likely to incur costs of at least £18,000 and it is unlikely to be awarded anything extra.

‘In addition, RPC’s current financial situation is such that it is not able to fund an appeal.

‘It is therefore with great regret that it has been decided, by four votes to one, that it is in the best interests of the people of Rothbury not to appeal but request enforcement of the award of costs of £7,500.’

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.