Jude Robinson, Labour and Cooperative Councillor for Camborne North has written to Council Leader Alec Robertson, asking for an apology over a misleading Freedom of Information response on the Council’s liability for Sita’s legal costs.
In 2009, Jude asked the Council several questions about the agreements between Sita and te Council, including questions on whether the Council would have to pick up the tab for Sita’s legal action against the Council decision.
Jude said: “The Council avoided a direct question and basically split hairs to avoid giving an honest answer – that it would have to fund both the planning appeal and the fight against.
“As the Leader of the Council is also responsible for communication and the Council’s reputation, I have asked for an apology, an assurance that the FOI responses have improved under his leadership and if not, that he now makes sure this department becomes genuinely open and transparent.
“When people in Cornwall ask for answers, they should get answers – not wriggling and squirming, half truths or evasions.”
The FOI Response:
5. What budget has been set aside for SitaCornwall to fund the appeal?
Sita Cornwall have a £1m budget for an appeal.
6. In the event of SitaCornwall winning the appeal (which seems very likely) will Cornwall Council be liable for all costs on both sides?
There is a circular on costs (Communities and Local Government Circular 03/2009)In planning appeals, the parties involved normally meet their own expenses. Costs are only awarded when the party against whom the award is sought has acted unreasonably and the unreasonable behaviour has caused the party applying for costs to incur unnecessary or wasted expense in the appeal process.
7. In the event of SitaCornwall losing the appeal, would the company then claim its costs back from Cornwall Council as its contractor?
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