Probe into Yarm High Street pay and display judical review

Probe into Yarm High Street pay and display judicial review

Probe into Yarm High Street pay and display judicial review

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

A DIVIDED parish council has agreed to investigate how it made a legal decision which ended up costing it £40,000.

Yarm Town Council has also agreed in principle to approach its insurers to see if it is entitled to any of the money back.

The council lost a judicial review in September 2012 which was an attempt to have Stockton Borough Council’s introduction of pay and display in Yarm High Street declared illegal.

Since then, there have been accusations that the town council did not properly agree to go ahead with the judicial review at a full committee meeting, but only to investigate the possibility, but the process went ahead anyway.

Other councillors say they would not have continued if they knew the authority was not insured for its costs if it lost the judicial review.

Now members of the Save Stockton South group have issued a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to find out more about the council’s actions at the time.

Some of that information has been published online and appears to suggest the authority may not have followed procedures correctly.

That led Councillor Chris Johnson, who was the lead councillor involved in the judicial review, to bring the issue up at last week’s full council meeting at Yarm Town Hall.

He argued that if the council had made a mistake, it may be able to claim the money back from its insurers as councils are routinely insured against costs arising from honest errors.

Former chairman, Jason Hadlow, handed a written statement to media during the meeting on Tuesday.

He said: “As a result of Ms Sandra McLeavy, of Save Stockton South, making a request under the FOI Act to Yarm Town Council about the car parking judicial review, and the subsequent reply to that request published via the What Do They Know website, it is clear that Yarm Town Council has acted ultra vires and negligently in their in their conduct of the car parking judicial review and that, as a consequence, unauthorised funds have been needlessly misapplied to the initiative and wasted.”

However, Yarm councillor Mark Chatburn of UKIP, who is also a borough councillor has issued a statement laying the blame for mistakes on Coun Hadlow and Coun Johnson.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:15pm Sun 19 Jan 14

simpsonm says...

http://www.yarmindep
endents.org.uk/YTCRe
view2014.pdf
http://www.yarmindep endents.org.uk/YTCRe view2014.pdf simpsonm
  • Score: -14

11:05am Fri 24 Jan 14

Yarm Residents Association says...

YTC – Judicial Review – THE SHOCKING FACTS

You may find this interesting, remember it’s your money we’re talking about not Yarm Town Councils’.

On the 13th November 2012 YTC voted against an independent investigation into the Parking Judicial Review which could have lead to YTC being able to get our money back, nearly £40,000. Due to a very recent freedom of information request, YTC have agreed in principal to seek to recover the £40k from their insurers. The report below was presented to all Cllrs at a YTC during a Public Meeting held on the 13th November 2012. It makes shocking reading and begs the question why is it only now YTC is thinking about making an insurance claim.

YARM TOWN COUNCIL HIGHWAYS & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE UPDATE 13th NOV 2012

This document lays out the key events and communications involved. All statements are taken directly from minutes or e-mails.

Judicial Review Analysis Of Events & Time Line.

1. 24th Jan 2012 Yarm Independent, Cllr Peter Monck proposed that YTC should seek to Challenge SBCs decision to introduce Pay & Display in Yarm High Street by requesting a Judicial Review of SBCs decision made on the 8th December 2011. He explained the required timetable. Cllr Monck made this proposal at an emergency meeting of YTC on the 24th Jan 2012. Cllrs discussed the proposal.

Councilor Monck informed the meeting that he considered it possible to apply for a judicial review. If this was an acceptable course of action, there would need to be an application made for a judicial review within three months of the cabinet decision which was made on the 8th of December 2011.

2. 24th Jan 2012 Conservative, Cllr Andrew Sherris circulated an email from SBC at the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 which indicated the likely cost of such action. All Cllrs present were made aware of the potential JR costs from this very early stage and prior to starting any legal process.

3. 24th Jan 2012 At the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 Conservative Cllr Mark Chatburn expressed a concern that if YTC didn’t act soon the three-month time period as stated by Cllr Monck would elapse.

4. 24th Jan 2012 At the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 Cllr Monck proposed, Cllr Chatburn seconded that YTC should seek legal advice on the issue, it was also resolved that Conservative, Cllr Houchen would identify a suitable legal firm and inform the Clerk, Conservative, Cllr Johnson would draft a briefing paper detailing the questions upon which advice was to be sort and that the Clerk would take the necessary steps to begin the process. The proposal was put the vote and It was unanimously agreed by Cllrs that YTC should proceed as proposed by Cllr Monck with a budget of £1000

Please note that YTC agreed unanimously to begin the JR process suggested by Cllr Monck on the 24th Jan 2012.

4a. 24th Jan 2012 It was agreed that the Council should engage the services of Merritt Solicitors and ask them to give a definitive answer of whether or not Yarm Town Council has manorial rights and what these manorial rights mean.

5. 25th Jan 2012 Cllr Johnson supplied the Clerk with the briefing paper detailing the questions upon which advice was to be sought. This was circulated to all Cllrs by the Clerk. Cllr Monck in an e-mail to all Cllrs commented that the document was “Spot On”.

6. 25th Jan 2012 The Clerk confirms in an email to all Cllrs that if she received no further communication from Cllrs by 5pm 26th Jan 2012 that she will submit the paper at point 5 to a the Law firm, named by Cllr Houchen, in order to obtain legal opinion as agreed on the 24th Jan 2012.

From: maureen.milburn

Subject: legal advice request documentation Date: 25 January 2012 17:03:21 GMT

To: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Chris Johnson , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson

Cc: Philip Addison philip@addison585.fs
net.co.uk Dear Councillor

Further to last nights meeting please find attached a paper written by Cllr Johnson regarding the Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.

It is intended that this document will be passed to a Public Law solicitor as agreed at the meeting. (company name to be provided by Cllr Houchen).

Please read the content carefully and let me know if you are happy for me to proceed with the instruction.

I require a response before 5.00 p.m. tomorrow from all councillors

Maureen Milburn CSBM, ADSBM, MInstAM, BA (hons). Clerk to the Council & RFO

7. 27th Jan 2012 It is assumed the Clerk e-mails Legal Firm named by Cllr Houchen with the request for legal opinion.

8. 31st Jan 2012 The Clerk e-mailed all Cllrs seeking clarification on question posed by Merritts.

Investigation required – This is the first occasion that Cllrs were made aware that Merritts had been engaged. Further it is clear from Merritts email that they were lacking expertise in this area of law as the thrust of their e-mail was to ask the Clerk/Cllrs if they knew which parts of various Acts provided SBC with their powers for introducing P&D.

Why were Merritts engaged? Cllr Houchen did not provide Merritts as a law firm suitable for YTC purposes. Cllr Houchen had named Dickenson Dees as the law firm to be used. Engaging Merritts was not authorised by YTC. Whatever the reason for engaging Merritts this decision should have come back to all Cllrs.


9. 31st Jan 2012 Cllr Johnson e-mails Clerk & all Cllrs seeking clarification as to why Merrits had been engaged. Cllr Johnson also stated that Cllr Houchen had identified a firm with experience of JR.

Subject: Re: Query re:judicial review
From: Chris Johnson

Date: 31 January 2012 15:13:58 GMT
To: maureen.milburn

Cc: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson simpsonm@madasafish.
com

Hi maureen,

I did not think we agreed to use Merrits on the Judicial Review issue. Merrits were to look at the Manorial Rights issue as I understood it.

I thought Ben had identified a firm that had experience relevant to Judicial review.

Kindest regards Cllr Chris Johnson

10. 6th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson again e-mails Clerk & all Cllrs seeking clarification as to why Merrits had been engaged.

Subject: Re: Query re:judicial review
From: Chris Johnson

Date: 6 February 2012 11:16:04 GMT
To: maureen.milburn

Cc: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson simpsonm@madasafish.
com

Hi Maureen,

Did we get this sorted out? Has Ben been able to provide the contact details for the firm he suggested.

Kind regards Chris


11. 6th Feb 2012 Yarm Independent, Cllr Simpson e-mails Cllr Johnson supporting the unauthorised appointment of Merritts. Cllr Simpson further states that Merritts should be consulted prior to going to Cllrs Houchens advised solicitor and spending anything.

From: Marjorie Simpson Subject: Re: legal advice request documentation

Date: 26 January 2012 11:26:07 GMT

To: Chris Johnson chris@yarm-town-coun
cil.com
As I understood it the clerk is in charge of this as per meeting. We certainly do not want to be spending the £1000 if we can help it. I think on this occasiion Julie Grant email gave valuable advice even though she does work for SBC. She is aware that we will have at least a 50/50 chance of losing and what their charges are likely to be. It could be more than 50000 and does it carry VAT? If so we would have to wait for another year to retrieve that money. I have sent further evidence to Ben re Manorial Rights and I feel we should not spend anything on this especially as we are not able to register now due to them being extinct

12. 6th Feb 2012 Clerk responds to request at points 9 & 10 in an e-mail only to Cllr Johnson “Hi Chris this is all in hand”

Investigation required – Did Cllr Simpson cause or suggest the unauthorized engagement of Merritts?

13. 15th Feb 2012 Cllr Houchen e-mails Clerk seeking clarification re Dickinson Dees his named legal firm.

From: Ben Houchen Subject: RE: Highways and Environment UpDate

Date: 15 February 2012 17:07:29 GMT
To: Chris Johnson , maureen Milbrun

maureen.milburn@btco
nnect.com

Have we heard back yet about the Judicial Review? Have Dickinson Dees been in touch?

Ben

14. 20th Feb 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs with the legal opinion provided by a Barrister that Merritts have engaged and requests that Conservative, Cllr Hadlow call a special meeting to discuss.

Investigation required – Merritts had not been authorized to act for YTC and had not provided an engagement letter to YTC nor a Client Care letter or T&Cs at this time. Clearly at this stage Cllrs had now received legal opinion from a firm that was not authorized by Cllrs. There only 3 days until Cllrs must decide what to do.

15. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Monck also calls for a special meeting to be arranged ASAP. Cllrs Chatburn, Hadlow call for the meeting as well.

16. 20th Feb 2012 In an email to all Cllrs, Cllr Chatburn suggests that agreement re PAP letter could be done by e-mail.

17. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Monck proposes that the Barrister is instructed to draft the PAP letter ASAP and that this should be agreed by a majority of Cllrs by e-mail.

18. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Simpson objects to Cllr Moncks Proposal.

19. 21st Feb 2012 Clerk emails to all Cllrs agenda for emergency YTC meeting to be held 23rd Feb 2012.

20. 21st Feb 2012 Cllr Houchen e-mails all Cllrs and suggests YTC seeks insurance cover for JR.

21. 21st Feb 2012 In an email to the Clerk & all Cllrs, Cllr Johnson request site of the exact brief that was sent to the instructing solicitors upon which council has produced her opinion.

22. 21st Feb 2012 Merritts inform Clerk by e-mail that the £1000 budget has been spent and that they seeking costs for conference call with Barrister.

22a. 22nd Feb 2012 Merritts email Clerk quoting Barrister Costs for JR application.

23. 23rd Feb 2012 At a YTC meeting it was resolved the Clerk should contact Merritts and instruct them to issue the PAP letter. Cllr Johnson stated that additions will need to made to the letter.

23a. 23rd Feb 2012 – YTC meeting resolved that the Clerk should obtain insurance. Cllr Johnson was asked to liaise with the clerk which he did providing a couple of suggested companies, along with any papers the Clerk requested re obtaining insurance.

24. 24th Feb 2012 Clerk emails Cllr Johnson seeking the additions that are required to the PAP letter. Cllr Johnson Emails additions to the Clerk.

25. 24th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to the Clerk Cllr Johnson again requests the exact brief that was sent to Merritts in order to obtain the initial opinion and asks if there were any follow-up explanations.

26 27th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to the Clerk Cllr Johnson requests the exact email and documents that were sent to Merritts re the initial legal opinion.

27. 27th Feb 2012 The Barrister emails Merrits asking for clarification as she has not seen items that were contained in the briefing Paper agreed 24th Jan on which legal opinion was sort.

Investigation required – At this point it is clear the Barrister engaged by Merritts is unaware of some issues contained in the briefing letter provided by Cllr Johnson. Why had the Barrister not seen or considered the briefing Paper agreed by YTC on the 24th Jan as being the basis for legal opinion? At this stage Cllrs have already acted on the advice they were provided with.

28. 27th Feb 2012 In the absence of any response from the Clerk re points 21, 25 & 26 Cllr Johnson emails Merritts in a further attempt to establish what had happened re the briefing paper.

29. 27th Feb 2012 Merritts reply to the request at point 28 with an email to Cllr Johnson & the Clerk. Merritts confirm that the Barrister was instructed to provide opinion based on an e- mail from the Clerk dated 31st Jan 2012. They provided a copy of the email that they had received from the Clerk on the 31st Jan 2012.

From: maureen.milburn Sent: 31 January 201215:37 To: Helen Baxter Subject: RE: Query re:judicial review

Good afternoon Helen
Many thanks for your prompt response.

I note from the e-mail that you are requesting information regarding both the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004.

The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.

This is the only thing which I require an opinion on.

We have already established that Stockton Borough Council will investigate the possibility of a long stay car park and without manorial rights Yarm Town Council are unable to charge for parking.

I have e-mailed Gerard regarding manorial rights and has agreed to answer the questions via e-mail for circulation to the Councillors. Therefore the query regarding Manorial Rights will be resolved leaving only a query of whether or not we have sufficient evidence to proceed to a judicial review on the grounds mentioned above.

I hope this clarifies the situation

Regards

Maureen Milburn CSBM, ADSBM, MInstAM, BA (hons). Clerk to the Council & RFO

Yarm Town Council Town Hall
High Street
Yarm

TS15 9AH

Investigation required – why did the Clerk directly instruct Merritts to ignore the briefing Paper provided by Cllr Johnson on the 25th Jan 2012 which it was agreed by YTC on the 24th Jan would form the basis of the legal opinion that was sought?

Further, why did the Clerk specifically state to Merritts that:

“The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.

This is the only thing which I require an opinion on.”

30. 27th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson telephones the Clerk re the information he has received from Merrits. The Clerk states that she was told to send this to Merritts by a Councillor but could not remember who.

Note: The Clerks statement is supported by the fact that from analysis of the source code in the e-mail it is clear that words:-

‘whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.’

have been cut and paste from another e-mail or document. With further analysis of the source code in the original e-mail on the Clerks computer the source of the e-mail or document from which the words were cut paste should be identifiable.

30a. 27th Feb 2012 Merrits T&Cs arrive at the town hall.

Investigation required – Given that YTC had now received and acted on the legal opinion provided by Merritts, were they in fact formally engaged at this point in any event and if not were Merritts in a position to provide said legal opinion?

31. 28th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson emails the Clerk and Cllr Hadlow re the issues at points 29 &30.

From: Chris Johnson Sent: 28 February 2012 09:46 To: maureen.milburn Cc: Jason Hadlow Subject: Grounds for JR

Hi Maureen,
I have done a database search of all my hard discs and back ups on the sentence:-

The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.

It is not in any of the minutes or any other coms.

It looks like it has been cut & pasted. Can you remember who told you that. It could be very important as YTC may have substantially higher costs when it comes to issuing proceedings as Council will now need to fully consider the Traffic Management Act 2004 and the implications for our case. No other councilor should have made this instruction as it goes against the unanimous agreement made at the emergency meeting in Jan.

If you could remember who it was or check through your e-mails it would be very helpful. It looks like it has been made in response to you circulating Helen Baxters e-mail of the 31st Jan.

Kindest regards Cllr Chris Johnson Yarm Town Council Yarm Town Hall High Street Yarm TS15 9AH

The Clerk replied in an email to Cllr Johnson “Hi Chris I will try to track it back and see where it came from”

In a further e-mail dated 28th Feb Cllr Johnson again asks the Clerk to clarify which Cllr instructed her to brief Merritts in the way that she did in her email of the 31st Jan 2012.page7image24456 page7image24616

Investigation required – which Cllr instructed the Clerk to take this action, which was not authorised by YTC and directly contravened the YTC instruction made on the 24th Jan 2012.

31a. 28th Feb 2012 Clerk e-mails all Cllrs with Merritts Costs & Barristers costs.

32. 6th March 2012 At an extraordinary YTC meeting it was resolved that JR proceedings against SBC should be issued in the High Court and the costs of £750 to £1000 were acceptable. Cllrs; Yarm Independent, Wegg, Monck, Conservative Hornby, Johnson, Conservative Webster and Hadlow voted in favor.

It was further resolved that Cllr Johnson was authorized to liaise with Merritts to ensure proceedings were issued in the High Court the following day. Cllrs; Wegg, Monck, Hornby, Johnson, Webster and Hadlow in favor.

33. 7th March 2012 Cllr Johnson delivers the relevant papers to the High Court in Leeds.

Note: From the date proceedings were issued in the High Court Cllrs Houchen, Sherris & Chartburn could no participate or vote in/on any issue to do with the JR due to a conflict of interest arising, as they are also SBC Cllrs. This situation arises, as the JR process will have an effect on the finances of both YTC & SBC no matter what the outcome is.

34. 8th March 2012 Cllr Johnson asked by Merritts to provide a witness statement to be submitted to the High Court.

35. 10th Apr 2012 At a YTC meeting Cllr Johnson expressed concern over JR documents being distributed to SBC Cllrs as there may be a conflict of interest in relation to SBC councilors. Cllr Johnson concerns were not thought to be valid. It was resolved that the Clerk would circulate documents relating to the JR to all Cllrs. It was further resolved to arrange a public meeting at which alternative parking proposals would be presented. Cllrs were informed of SBC costs being £5500 if YTC should lose the JR application.

36. 25th March 2012 Cllr Jonson Provides Merritts with witness statement as requested. 37. 25th April 2012 Clerk informed by Merritts that YTC had been granted a JR.

38. 26th April 2012 Cllr Johnson e-mails the alternative parking proposals as requested to the Clerk.

39. 1st May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she has a sick note until 10th May.

39a. 8th May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she has a months sick note and will not be back at work until June.

40. 15th May 2012 SBC offer YTC a meeting to discuss the alternative parking proposals that were presented at the public meeting on the 3rd May 2012.

41. 17th May 2012 Merrits email the Clerk re SBCs intention to apply for an amendment to the court order of 19th April 2012.

41a. 22nd May 2012 At a YTC meeting 22nd May 2012 Cllr Johnson reported that he, and any other Councilor wishing to attend, will be meeting with Officers from Stockton BC to discuss the proposals on extra parking places that were presented at the public meeting held on 3rd May 2012 in the Fellowship Hall. Cllr Johnson then detailed the proposals for the benefit of the Councilors at the meeting. Resolved : that Yarm Town Council supports the proposals for extra parking places and the meeting with Officers from Stockton BC to discuss them. The minutes of the meeting held in the Fellowship Hall on 3rd May 2012 on car parking were noted. The judicial review is still on going.

42. 24th May 2012 Clerk emails Merritts asking for clarification re information required for JR. 43. 31st May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she will be returning to work 11th June.

43a, 12 June 2012 At a YTC meeting Cllr Johnson reported that reported that the next steps in the Judicial Review may cost up to £6,000. Cllr Johnson also reported that Stockton BC had not accepted an offer of a stay of proceedings in the Judicial Review so that talks could take place.

44. 20th June 2012 Merritts email the Clerk re the costs re the hearing to amend the court order made 19th April 2012.

45. 25th June 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating YTC lost the hearing and stating SBC costs.

46. 29th June 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating the JR will be heard 10:30am 24th August 2012.

46a. 29th June 2012 – Clerk informed in an email from Merritt’s that a proposal form had been sent to insurers

47. 9th July 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating that the Barrister will prepare here skeleton argument for the JR that will be heard on the 24th Aug 2012.

47a. 10th July 2012 – At a YTC meeting Cllrs noted that the court hearing date was to be on the 24th August 2012. No questions were raised re insurance or JR costs at this meeting. It was resolved to pay SBC £1773 in relation to JR costs.

Cllr Mrs Simpson reported back from a meeting with Stockton BC on the alternative parking proposals in Yarm that had been put forward, that herself and Cllrs Hadlow, Johnson and Wegg had attended.

46 17th July 2012 Clerk e-mails all Cllrs with the minutes of the YTC meeting with SBC re alternative parking proposals.

47. 24th July 2012 Merritts email Clerk with the draft bundle index for the hearing 24th Aug 2012.

48. 28th July 2012 Merritts e-mail Clerk stating trial bundle has been sent to Barrister and requesting a meeting between YTC and the Barrister prior to the trial.

48a 30th July 2012 – Clerk informed by Merritt’s that they had not heard anything on the insurance but were chasing the Insurer.

49. 2nd Aug 2012 Merritts email the Clerk with the Barristers skeleton argument.

50. 2nd Aug 2012 Merritts email the Clerk suggesting a conference with the Barrister 23rd Aug the day before the trial.

51. 24th Aug 2012 Merrits inform Cllrs Johnson & Hadlow that insurance cover has been declined. (This occurs in the Court Café) The Barrister acting for YTC takes all day to make

her arguments. Merrits informed YTC that this should have taken half a day. There was only a 10 to 15 min delay as Merritts had numbered the trial bundles incorrectly and the Judge adjourned the hearing while this issue was resolved. The JR trial extended for one day as SBC were not able to make their case.

52. 28th Sep 2102 SBC present their case and the JR trial finishes.

53 2nd Oct 2012 Merritts email the Clerk stating that YTC has lost the JR and includes the judgment. This document is embargoed by the Judge.

54. 3rd Oct 2012 Merritts email the Clerk with SBCs costs.
55. 11th Oct Cllr Chatburn e-mails Clerk to request an extraordinary meeting re the JR.

56. 12th Oct 2012 Cllr Johnson states he will not be available for 2 weeks and suggests that the matter could be dealt with at the next council meeting.

57. 12th Oct 2012 Clerk circulates an email to all Cllrs stating that 3 Cllrs have requested an Extraordinary meeting to discuss the JR. The meeting is set for the 24th Oct 2012.

Investigation required – Several Cllrs were unavailable on the 24th were any other dates considered.

58. 24th Oct 2012 Extraordinary YTC meeting held.

Investigation required – Why was the SBC offer discussed in public? Why was Cllr Chatburn allowed to chair the meeting? Cllrs Chatburn & Houchen should not have contributed or voted on this matter. YTC meeting 6th March 2012 Cllrs Chatburn & Houchen left the meeting due to the same conflict of interest arising as they are also Borough Councilors. This conflict remains. Dispensation is irrelevant in this case. David Bond confirmed this 9th Nov 2012. Did Cllr Simpson request dispensation in order to contribute & Vote at this meeting? Without dispensation being granted it is likely that Cllr Simpson has committed a criminal offence as she has a declared interest on the members register of interests, a hairdressing business. Clearly this business will benefit from the introduction of Pay & Display into Yarm High Street as there is free parking at Cllr Simpson business location only a mile from the High Street. Cllr Simpson should not contribute or vote on this issue without being granted dispensation. This has been the case from the 1st July 2012.

59. 29th Oct 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Johnson questions whether the SBC offer should have been discussed in public.

60. 30th Oct 2012 Cllr Simpson states in an e-mail to all Cllrs that the SBC offer should have been discussed in Public. Cllr Simpson also states “The three people responsible for this mess will also be expected to report for their actions IN PUBLIC.”

61 30th Oct 2012 In an email to all Cllrs, Cllr Simpson states that Cllr Hadlow has lost £50k of public money. Cllr Simpson further states that Cllrs Johnson & Hadlow kept information re the JR from other Cllrs.

Conclusion

A number of issues raise concerns and further investigation may benefit YTC in terms of costs.

1. Why were Merritts engaged?
2. Were they engaged correctly in any event?
3. If the correct engagement protocols were not followed by Merritts, were they in a position to provide YTC with legal opinion?
4. Why were Merritts not briefed as YTC had agreed on the 24th Jan 2012?
5. Why did the Clerk supply a specific brief of her own and which Cllr told her to do this?
6. Why were YTC not informed until the 24th Aug 2012 that no insurance cover was available?
7. Some Cllrs state that they have not been kept informed during the JR process. Is this the case? Cllrs must check their e-mails.
8. It is a matter of record that the Clerk has received all information at every step during this process including cost estimates and proposed actions. It is also a matter of record that the Clerk was instructed by YTC on 10th Apr 2012 to circulate documents re the JR to all Cllrs. Cllrs must check if they have not received any of the coms listed in this report. If documents have not been circulated then again this should be investigated.
9. Is it correct for Cllr Simpson to make the statements she has made about other Cllrs. Some of these statements that are demonstrably false have published in the media. What do Cllrs wish to do about this?

End….
YTC – Judicial Review – THE SHOCKING FACTS You may find this interesting, remember it’s your money we’re talking about not Yarm Town Councils’. On the 13th November 2012 YTC voted against an independent investigation into the Parking Judicial Review which could have lead to YTC being able to get our money back, nearly £40,000. Due to a very recent freedom of information request, YTC have agreed in principal to seek to recover the £40k from their insurers. The report below was presented to all Cllrs at a YTC during a Public Meeting held on the 13th November 2012. It makes shocking reading and begs the question why is it only now YTC is thinking about making an insurance claim. YARM TOWN COUNCIL HIGHWAYS & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE UPDATE 13th NOV 2012 This document lays out the key events and communications involved. All statements are taken directly from minutes or e-mails. Judicial Review Analysis Of Events & Time Line. 1. 24th Jan 2012 Yarm Independent, Cllr Peter Monck proposed that YTC should seek to Challenge SBCs decision to introduce Pay & Display in Yarm High Street by requesting a Judicial Review of SBCs decision made on the 8th December 2011. He explained the required timetable. Cllr Monck made this proposal at an emergency meeting of YTC on the 24th Jan 2012. Cllrs discussed the proposal. Councilor Monck informed the meeting that he considered it possible to apply for a judicial review. If this was an acceptable course of action, there would need to be an application made for a judicial review within three months of the cabinet decision which was made on the 8th of December 2011. 2. 24th Jan 2012 Conservative, Cllr Andrew Sherris circulated an email from SBC at the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 which indicated the likely cost of such action. All Cllrs present were made aware of the potential JR costs from this very early stage and prior to starting any legal process. 3. 24th Jan 2012 At the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 Conservative Cllr Mark Chatburn expressed a concern that if YTC didn’t act soon the three-month time period as stated by Cllr Monck would elapse. 4. 24th Jan 2012 At the YTC meeting on 24th Jan 2012 Cllr Monck proposed, Cllr Chatburn seconded that YTC should seek legal advice on the issue, it was also resolved that Conservative, Cllr Houchen would identify a suitable legal firm and inform the Clerk, Conservative, Cllr Johnson would draft a briefing paper detailing the questions upon which advice was to be sort and that the Clerk would take the necessary steps to begin the process. The proposal was put the vote and It was unanimously agreed by Cllrs that YTC should proceed as proposed by Cllr Monck with a budget of £1000 Please note that YTC agreed unanimously to begin the JR process suggested by Cllr Monck on the 24th Jan 2012. 4a. 24th Jan 2012 It was agreed that the Council should engage the services of Merritt Solicitors and ask them to give a definitive answer of whether or not Yarm Town Council has manorial rights and what these manorial rights mean. 5. 25th Jan 2012 Cllr Johnson supplied the Clerk with the briefing paper detailing the questions upon which advice was to be sought. This was circulated to all Cllrs by the Clerk. Cllr Monck in an e-mail to all Cllrs commented that the document was “Spot On”. 6. 25th Jan 2012 The Clerk confirms in an email to all Cllrs that if she received no further communication from Cllrs by 5pm 26th Jan 2012 that she will submit the paper at point 5 to a the Law firm, named by Cllr Houchen, in order to obtain legal opinion as agreed on the 24th Jan 2012. From: maureen.milburn Subject: legal advice request documentation Date: 25 January 2012 17:03:21 GMT To: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Chris Johnson , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson Cc: Philip Addison philip@addison585.fs net.co.uk Dear Councillor Further to last nights meeting please find attached a paper written by Cllr Johnson regarding the Pay and Display on Yarm High Street. It is intended that this document will be passed to a Public Law solicitor as agreed at the meeting. (company name to be provided by Cllr Houchen). Please read the content carefully and let me know if you are happy for me to proceed with the instruction. I require a response before 5.00 p.m. tomorrow from all councillors Maureen Milburn CSBM, ADSBM, MInstAM, BA (hons). Clerk to the Council & RFO 7. 27th Jan 2012 It is assumed the Clerk e-mails Legal Firm named by Cllr Houchen with the request for legal opinion. 8. 31st Jan 2012 The Clerk e-mailed all Cllrs seeking clarification on question posed by Merritts. Investigation required – This is the first occasion that Cllrs were made aware that Merritts had been engaged. Further it is clear from Merritts email that they were lacking expertise in this area of law as the thrust of their e-mail was to ask the Clerk/Cllrs if they knew which parts of various Acts provided SBC with their powers for introducing P&D. Why were Merritts engaged? Cllr Houchen did not provide Merritts as a law firm suitable for YTC purposes. Cllr Houchen had named Dickenson Dees as the law firm to be used. Engaging Merritts was not authorised by YTC. Whatever the reason for engaging Merritts this decision should have come back to all Cllrs. 9. 31st Jan 2012 Cllr Johnson e-mails Clerk & all Cllrs seeking clarification as to why Merrits had been engaged. Cllr Johnson also stated that Cllr Houchen had identified a firm with experience of JR. Subject: Re: Query re:judicial review From: Chris Johnson Date: 31 January 2012 15:13:58 GMT To: maureen.milburn Cc: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson simpsonm@madasafish. com Hi maureen, I did not think we agreed to use Merrits on the Judicial Review issue. Merrits were to look at the Manorial Rights issue as I understood it. I thought Ben had identified a firm that had experience relevant to Judicial review. Kindest regards Cllr Chris Johnson 10. 6th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson again e-mails Clerk & all Cllrs seeking clarification as to why Merrits had been engaged. Subject: Re: Query re:judicial review From: Chris Johnson Date: 6 February 2012 11:16:04 GMT To: maureen.milburn Cc: Barbara Wegg , Andrew Sherris , Ben Houchen , Graeme Webster , Jason Hadlow , Mark Chatburn , Mike Hornby , Chris Neil , Peter Moncl , Philip Addison , Marjorie Simpson simpsonm@madasafish. com Hi Maureen, Did we get this sorted out? Has Ben been able to provide the contact details for the firm he suggested. Kind regards Chris 11. 6th Feb 2012 Yarm Independent, Cllr Simpson e-mails Cllr Johnson supporting the unauthorised appointment of Merritts. Cllr Simpson further states that Merritts should be consulted prior to going to Cllrs Houchens advised solicitor and spending anything. From: Marjorie Simpson Subject: Re: legal advice request documentation Date: 26 January 2012 11:26:07 GMT To: Chris Johnson chris@yarm-town-coun cil.com As I understood it the clerk is in charge of this as per meeting. We certainly do not want to be spending the £1000 if we can help it. I think on this occasiion Julie Grant email gave valuable advice even though she does work for SBC. She is aware that we will have at least a 50/50 chance of losing and what their charges are likely to be. It could be more than 50000 and does it carry VAT? If so we would have to wait for another year to retrieve that money. I have sent further evidence to Ben re Manorial Rights and I feel we should not spend anything on this especially as we are not able to register now due to them being extinct 12. 6th Feb 2012 Clerk responds to request at points 9 & 10 in an e-mail only to Cllr Johnson “Hi Chris this is all in hand” Investigation required – Did Cllr Simpson cause or suggest the unauthorized engagement of Merritts? 13. 15th Feb 2012 Cllr Houchen e-mails Clerk seeking clarification re Dickinson Dees his named legal firm. From: Ben Houchen Subject: RE: Highways and Environment UpDate Date: 15 February 2012 17:07:29 GMT To: Chris Johnson , maureen Milbrun maureen.milburn@btco nnect.com Have we heard back yet about the Judicial Review? Have Dickinson Dees been in touch? Ben 14. 20th Feb 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs with the legal opinion provided by a Barrister that Merritts have engaged and requests that Conservative, Cllr Hadlow call a special meeting to discuss. Investigation required – Merritts had not been authorized to act for YTC and had not provided an engagement letter to YTC nor a Client Care letter or T&Cs at this time. Clearly at this stage Cllrs had now received legal opinion from a firm that was not authorized by Cllrs. There only 3 days until Cllrs must decide what to do. 15. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Monck also calls for a special meeting to be arranged ASAP. Cllrs Chatburn, Hadlow call for the meeting as well. 16. 20th Feb 2012 In an email to all Cllrs, Cllr Chatburn suggests that agreement re PAP letter could be done by e-mail. 17. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Monck proposes that the Barrister is instructed to draft the PAP letter ASAP and that this should be agreed by a majority of Cllrs by e-mail. 18. 20th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Simpson objects to Cllr Moncks Proposal. 19. 21st Feb 2012 Clerk emails to all Cllrs agenda for emergency YTC meeting to be held 23rd Feb 2012. 20. 21st Feb 2012 Cllr Houchen e-mails all Cllrs and suggests YTC seeks insurance cover for JR. 21. 21st Feb 2012 In an email to the Clerk & all Cllrs, Cllr Johnson request site of the exact brief that was sent to the instructing solicitors upon which council has produced her opinion. 22. 21st Feb 2012 Merritts inform Clerk by e-mail that the £1000 budget has been spent and that they seeking costs for conference call with Barrister. 22a. 22nd Feb 2012 Merritts email Clerk quoting Barrister Costs for JR application. 23. 23rd Feb 2012 At a YTC meeting it was resolved the Clerk should contact Merritts and instruct them to issue the PAP letter. Cllr Johnson stated that additions will need to made to the letter. 23a. 23rd Feb 2012 – YTC meeting resolved that the Clerk should obtain insurance. Cllr Johnson was asked to liaise with the clerk which he did providing a couple of suggested companies, along with any papers the Clerk requested re obtaining insurance. 24. 24th Feb 2012 Clerk emails Cllr Johnson seeking the additions that are required to the PAP letter. Cllr Johnson Emails additions to the Clerk. 25. 24th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to the Clerk Cllr Johnson again requests the exact brief that was sent to Merritts in order to obtain the initial opinion and asks if there were any follow-up explanations. 26 27th Feb 2012 In an e-mail to the Clerk Cllr Johnson requests the exact email and documents that were sent to Merritts re the initial legal opinion. 27. 27th Feb 2012 The Barrister emails Merrits asking for clarification as she has not seen items that were contained in the briefing Paper agreed 24th Jan on which legal opinion was sort. Investigation required – At this point it is clear the Barrister engaged by Merritts is unaware of some issues contained in the briefing letter provided by Cllr Johnson. Why had the Barrister not seen or considered the briefing Paper agreed by YTC on the 24th Jan as being the basis for legal opinion? At this stage Cllrs have already acted on the advice they were provided with. 28. 27th Feb 2012 In the absence of any response from the Clerk re points 21, 25 & 26 Cllr Johnson emails Merritts in a further attempt to establish what had happened re the briefing paper. 29. 27th Feb 2012 Merritts reply to the request at point 28 with an email to Cllr Johnson & the Clerk. Merritts confirm that the Barrister was instructed to provide opinion based on an e- mail from the Clerk dated 31st Jan 2012. They provided a copy of the email that they had received from the Clerk on the 31st Jan 2012. From: maureen.milburn [mailto:maureen.milb urn@btconnect.com] Sent: 31 January 201215:37 To: Helen Baxter Subject: RE: Query re:judicial review Good afternoon Helen Many thanks for your prompt response. I note from the e-mail that you are requesting information regarding both the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004. The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street. This is the only thing which I require an opinion on. We have already established that Stockton Borough Council will investigate the possibility of a long stay car park and without manorial rights Yarm Town Council are unable to charge for parking. I have e-mailed Gerard regarding manorial rights and has agreed to answer the questions via e-mail for circulation to the Councillors. Therefore the query regarding Manorial Rights will be resolved leaving only a query of whether or not we have sufficient evidence to proceed to a judicial review on the grounds mentioned above. I hope this clarifies the situation Regards Maureen Milburn CSBM, ADSBM, MInstAM, BA (hons). Clerk to the Council & RFO Yarm Town Council Town Hall High Street Yarm TS15 9AH Investigation required – why did the Clerk directly instruct Merritts to ignore the briefing Paper provided by Cllr Johnson on the 25th Jan 2012 which it was agreed by YTC on the 24th Jan would form the basis of the legal opinion that was sought? Further, why did the Clerk specifically state to Merritts that: “The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street. This is the only thing which I require an opinion on.” 30. 27th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson telephones the Clerk re the information he has received from Merrits. The Clerk states that she was told to send this to Merritts by a Councillor but could not remember who. Note: The Clerks statement is supported by the fact that from analysis of the source code in the e-mail it is clear that words:- ‘whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street.’ have been cut and paste from another e-mail or document. With further analysis of the source code in the original e-mail on the Clerks computer the source of the e-mail or document from which the words were cut paste should be identifiable. 30a. 27th Feb 2012 Merrits T&Cs arrive at the town hall. Investigation required – Given that YTC had now received and acted on the legal opinion provided by Merritts, were they in fact formally engaged at this point in any event and if not were Merritts in a position to provide said legal opinion? 31. 28th Feb 2012 Cllr Johnson emails the Clerk and Cllr Hadlow re the issues at points 29 &30. From: Chris Johnson [mailto:chris@yarm-t own-council.com] Sent: 28 February 2012 09:46 To: maureen.milburn Cc: Jason Hadlow Subject: Grounds for JR Hi Maureen, I have done a database search of all my hard discs and back ups on the sentence:- The request for a Barristers opinion was purely based on whether or not the Town Council has sufficient ground to apply for a judicial review in view of a flawed consultation with members of the public regarding Pay and Display on Yarm High Street. It is not in any of the minutes or any other coms. It looks like it has been cut & pasted. Can you remember who told you that. It could be very important as YTC may have substantially higher costs when it comes to issuing proceedings as Council will now need to fully consider the Traffic Management Act 2004 and the implications for our case. No other councilor should have made this instruction as it goes against the unanimous agreement made at the emergency meeting in Jan. If you could remember who it was or check through your e-mails it would be very helpful. It looks like it has been made in response to you circulating Helen Baxters e-mail of the 31st Jan. Kindest regards Cllr Chris Johnson Yarm Town Council Yarm Town Hall High Street Yarm TS15 9AH The Clerk replied in an email to Cllr Johnson “Hi Chris I will try to track it back and see where it came from” In a further e-mail dated 28th Feb Cllr Johnson again asks the Clerk to clarify which Cllr instructed her to brief Merritts in the way that she did in her email of the 31st Jan 2012.page7image24456 page7image24616 Investigation required – which Cllr instructed the Clerk to take this action, which was not authorised by YTC and directly contravened the YTC instruction made on the 24th Jan 2012. 31a. 28th Feb 2012 Clerk e-mails all Cllrs with Merritts Costs & Barristers costs. 32. 6th March 2012 At an extraordinary YTC meeting it was resolved that JR proceedings against SBC should be issued in the High Court and the costs of £750 to £1000 were acceptable. Cllrs; Yarm Independent, Wegg, Monck, Conservative Hornby, Johnson, Conservative Webster and Hadlow voted in favor. It was further resolved that Cllr Johnson was authorized to liaise with Merritts to ensure proceedings were issued in the High Court the following day. Cllrs; Wegg, Monck, Hornby, Johnson, Webster and Hadlow in favor. 33. 7th March 2012 Cllr Johnson delivers the relevant papers to the High Court in Leeds. Note: From the date proceedings were issued in the High Court Cllrs Houchen, Sherris & Chartburn could no participate or vote in/on any issue to do with the JR due to a conflict of interest arising, as they are also SBC Cllrs. This situation arises, as the JR process will have an effect on the finances of both YTC & SBC no matter what the outcome is. 34. 8th March 2012 Cllr Johnson asked by Merritts to provide a witness statement to be submitted to the High Court. 35. 10th Apr 2012 At a YTC meeting Cllr Johnson expressed concern over JR documents being distributed to SBC Cllrs as there may be a conflict of interest in relation to SBC councilors. Cllr Johnson concerns were not thought to be valid. It was resolved that the Clerk would circulate documents relating to the JR to all Cllrs. It was further resolved to arrange a public meeting at which alternative parking proposals would be presented. Cllrs were informed of SBC costs being £5500 if YTC should lose the JR application. 36. 25th March 2012 Cllr Jonson Provides Merritts with witness statement as requested. 37. 25th April 2012 Clerk informed by Merritts that YTC had been granted a JR. 38. 26th April 2012 Cllr Johnson e-mails the alternative parking proposals as requested to the Clerk. 39. 1st May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she has a sick note until 10th May. 39a. 8th May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she has a months sick note and will not be back at work until June. 40. 15th May 2012 SBC offer YTC a meeting to discuss the alternative parking proposals that were presented at the public meeting on the 3rd May 2012. 41. 17th May 2012 Merrits email the Clerk re SBCs intention to apply for an amendment to the court order of 19th April 2012. 41a. 22nd May 2012 At a YTC meeting 22nd May 2012 Cllr Johnson reported that he, and any other Councilor wishing to attend, will be meeting with Officers from Stockton BC to discuss the proposals on extra parking places that were presented at the public meeting held on 3rd May 2012 in the Fellowship Hall. Cllr Johnson then detailed the proposals for the benefit of the Councilors at the meeting. Resolved : that Yarm Town Council supports the proposals for extra parking places and the meeting with Officers from Stockton BC to discuss them. The minutes of the meeting held in the Fellowship Hall on 3rd May 2012 on car parking were noted. The judicial review is still on going. 42. 24th May 2012 Clerk emails Merritts asking for clarification re information required for JR. 43. 31st May 2012 Clerk emails all Cllrs stating she will be returning to work 11th June. 43a, 12 June 2012 At a YTC meeting Cllr Johnson reported that reported that the next steps in the Judicial Review may cost up to £6,000. Cllr Johnson also reported that Stockton BC had not accepted an offer of a stay of proceedings in the Judicial Review so that talks could take place. 44. 20th June 2012 Merritts email the Clerk re the costs re the hearing to amend the court order made 19th April 2012. 45. 25th June 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating YTC lost the hearing and stating SBC costs. 46. 29th June 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating the JR will be heard 10:30am 24th August 2012. 46a. 29th June 2012 – Clerk informed in an email from Merritt’s that a proposal form had been sent to insurers 47. 9th July 2012 Merrits email the Clerk stating that the Barrister will prepare here skeleton argument for the JR that will be heard on the 24th Aug 2012. 47a. 10th July 2012 – At a YTC meeting Cllrs noted that the court hearing date was to be on the 24th August 2012. No questions were raised re insurance or JR costs at this meeting. It was resolved to pay SBC £1773 in relation to JR costs. Cllr Mrs Simpson reported back from a meeting with Stockton BC on the alternative parking proposals in Yarm that had been put forward, that herself and Cllrs Hadlow, Johnson and Wegg had attended. 46 17th July 2012 Clerk e-mails all Cllrs with the minutes of the YTC meeting with SBC re alternative parking proposals. 47. 24th July 2012 Merritts email Clerk with the draft bundle index for the hearing 24th Aug 2012. 48. 28th July 2012 Merritts e-mail Clerk stating trial bundle has been sent to Barrister and requesting a meeting between YTC and the Barrister prior to the trial. 48a 30th July 2012 – Clerk informed by Merritt’s that they had not heard anything on the insurance but were chasing the Insurer. 49. 2nd Aug 2012 Merritts email the Clerk with the Barristers skeleton argument. 50. 2nd Aug 2012 Merritts email the Clerk suggesting a conference with the Barrister 23rd Aug the day before the trial. 51. 24th Aug 2012 Merrits inform Cllrs Johnson & Hadlow that insurance cover has been declined. (This occurs in the Court Café) The Barrister acting for YTC takes all day to make her arguments. Merrits informed YTC that this should have taken half a day. There was only a 10 to 15 min delay as Merritts had numbered the trial bundles incorrectly and the Judge adjourned the hearing while this issue was resolved. The JR trial extended for one day as SBC were not able to make their case. 52. 28th Sep 2102 SBC present their case and the JR trial finishes. 53 2nd Oct 2012 Merritts email the Clerk stating that YTC has lost the JR and includes the judgment. This document is embargoed by the Judge. 54. 3rd Oct 2012 Merritts email the Clerk with SBCs costs. 55. 11th Oct Cllr Chatburn e-mails Clerk to request an extraordinary meeting re the JR. 56. 12th Oct 2012 Cllr Johnson states he will not be available for 2 weeks and suggests that the matter could be dealt with at the next council meeting. 57. 12th Oct 2012 Clerk circulates an email to all Cllrs stating that 3 Cllrs have requested an Extraordinary meeting to discuss the JR. The meeting is set for the 24th Oct 2012. Investigation required – Several Cllrs were unavailable on the 24th were any other dates considered. 58. 24th Oct 2012 Extraordinary YTC meeting held. Investigation required – Why was the SBC offer discussed in public? Why was Cllr Chatburn allowed to chair the meeting? Cllrs Chatburn & Houchen should not have contributed or voted on this matter. YTC meeting 6th March 2012 Cllrs Chatburn & Houchen left the meeting due to the same conflict of interest arising as they are also Borough Councilors. This conflict remains. Dispensation is irrelevant in this case. David Bond confirmed this 9th Nov 2012. Did Cllr Simpson request dispensation in order to contribute & Vote at this meeting? Without dispensation being granted it is likely that Cllr Simpson has committed a criminal offence as she has a declared interest on the members register of interests, a hairdressing business. Clearly this business will benefit from the introduction of Pay & Display into Yarm High Street as there is free parking at Cllr Simpson business location only a mile from the High Street. Cllr Simpson should not contribute or vote on this issue without being granted dispensation. This has been the case from the 1st July 2012. 59. 29th Oct 2012 In an e-mail to all Cllrs, Cllr Johnson questions whether the SBC offer should have been discussed in public. 60. 30th Oct 2012 Cllr Simpson states in an e-mail to all Cllrs that the SBC offer should have been discussed in Public. Cllr Simpson also states “The three people responsible for this mess will also be expected to report for their actions IN PUBLIC.” 61 30th Oct 2012 In an email to all Cllrs, Cllr Simpson states that Cllr Hadlow has lost £50k of public money. Cllr Simpson further states that Cllrs Johnson & Hadlow kept information re the JR from other Cllrs. Conclusion A number of issues raise concerns and further investigation may benefit YTC in terms of costs. 1. Why were Merritts engaged? 2. Were they engaged correctly in any event? 3. If the correct engagement protocols were not followed by Merritts, were they in a position to provide YTC with legal opinion? 4. Why were Merritts not briefed as YTC had agreed on the 24th Jan 2012? 5. Why did the Clerk supply a specific brief of her own and which Cllr told her to do this? 6. Why were YTC not informed until the 24th Aug 2012 that no insurance cover was available? 7. Some Cllrs state that they have not been kept informed during the JR process. Is this the case? Cllrs must check their e-mails. 8. It is a matter of record that the Clerk has received all information at every step during this process including cost estimates and proposed actions. It is also a matter of record that the Clerk was instructed by YTC on 10th Apr 2012 to circulate documents re the JR to all Cllrs. Cllrs must check if they have not received any of the coms listed in this report. If documents have not been circulated then again this should be investigated. 9. Is it correct for Cllr Simpson to make the statements she has made about other Cllrs. Some of these statements that are demonstrably false have published in the media. What do Cllrs wish to do about this? End…. Yarm Residents Association
  • Score: 10

1:22pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Lyn Casey says...

The first comment here is a link to the Yarm Independent Association and is placed by councillor Simpson who is Chair of YIA and spoke vehemently against any review or insurance claim at the Yarm Town Council meeting and after much argument decided to abstain from voting. It begs the question why anyone who considers themselves blame free would not want an investigation.
The first comment here is a link to the Yarm Independent Association and is placed by councillor Simpson who is Chair of YIA and spoke vehemently against any review or insurance claim at the Yarm Town Council meeting and after much argument decided to abstain from voting. It begs the question why anyone who considers themselves blame free would not want an investigation. Lyn Casey
  • Score: 11

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree