“Flabbergasted” after SLDC loses £55,000 in a court case after a “admin error”

Something is seriously wrong…

A disabled charity told South Lakeland District Council that there would be legal action if they imposed changes to their disabled parking policy. But SLDC went ahead and did it and its cost the Council £55,000 in legal fees and pay outs.

The change to policy was only supposed to bring in about £49,000 a year! Of course the policy was soon changed after the case came forward.

Ive asked for a public and external investigation into exactly what broke down here. But SLDC has promised an internal one, surely we cant let them run their own courthouse? Although I doubt anyone will even get a slap on the wrist either way…

Its disturbing and I look forward to getting data on how many other court cases SLDC have lost or settled on because of other such decisions.

 

My formal response is below:

Opposition Conservative Councillor Ben Berry said: “I am flabbergasted that this policy was recommended in the face of all the evidence that showed the Council would be challenged by disabled groups and that similar cases across the country had been lost by Public Authorities. What I and residents across South Lakes are now wondering is why do we spend £100,000′s of pounds every year on Directors, internal and external legal teams, to bring forward recommendations, if they can’t bring forward advice that wont put vulnerable people at risk and cost tax payer money in legal challenges?

“It is not good enough to simply say ‘we are sorry and we wont do it again’.

“Which is why I have delivered a demand for a public, external investigation to the Chief Executive so that this cannot be simply swepped under the carpet and forgotten.”

(3) Comments

  1. Bettie Monica Norwood Good on yer Ben! ~ I am giving all the £2,000 to One Voice, formally South Lakes Shopmobility. As you know they suffered and very nearly had to close, through the action of the Council. They lost the pay back from running the reduced rate scheme for the council when the Council charged full parking fees for blue badge holders. Therefore I consider the money I am passing to them (and more) should have come from the Council in the first place, in the form of grants. For information of anybody else, Shopmobility was only saved by the staff training and diversifying into the Centre for Independent living to gain grants elsewhere. The Council were pig headed, were repeatedly warned of the consequences of their action but would not listen.

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