Search

Judge rejects councils' case

PUBLISHED: 08:50 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:25 03 July 2010

COUNCILS fighting plans to overhaul Norfolk's town halls lost a legal battle to derail the process on Friday at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to ratepayers.

COUNCILS fighting plans to overhaul Norfolk's town halls lost a legal battle to derail the process on Friday at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to ratepayers.

A top judge refused to stall plans for local government reorganisation which could see all seven of the district councils including Great Yarmouth Borough Council, along with the county council itself, consigned to the history books and replaced by a new super council including Lowestoft.

He also ordered the authorities bringing the challenge - Breckland, South Norfolk, and King's Lynn and West Norfolk - to pay three-quarters of the legal costs incurred by the Boundary Committee as well as their own fees, adding to the spiralling multi-million pound bill even before any final decision has been made.

Mr Justice Cranston, in the High Court, ruled their challenge was “premature” but they came away with a slim hope after he said it would be impossible to complete consultation on the affordability question by a December 31 deadline.

That leaves alive their hope that the tight schedule set by ministers to get Parliament to approve a new council and get it up and running by 2010 could fall because a general election is due.

Last week the Mercury revealed that financial cases submitted to the Boundary Committee by the borough council proposing the 'wedge' option, a council made up of Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich had not been examined by independent consultants tasked to look at the affordability of plans.

Councils have one week left to comment on the finance reports, while the Boundary Committee will consider them as it makes its final recommendations to the government on December 31.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury