There were a number of letters in last week’s paper criticising me for correcting figures quoted in a previous article, ‘300k High Court bill for council tax payers’.
Let me be clear. I welcome our Scrutiny and Overview Committee looking at appeal costs, and the extremely important issue of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money being spent on fighting developers.
It is important that we keep our expenditure to a minimum and do not waste council tax payers’ money on hopeless cases. I was not objecting to the process of scrutiny, I was correcting inaccurate information. Unfortunately the errors keep being repeated.
For example, last week David Shipton stated that in Quarter 4 of 2014/15 £347,619 in adverse costs were awarded against my department on planning appeals.
This is not true on two counts. Firstly, the figure is for the entire year and secondly it was not awarded against the council. It included all of the costs we incurred in fighting appeals.
So please, let’s have the debate, but let’s use correct information.
(Con, Southwater) Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, Horsham District Council, Chart Way, Horsham
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