Sunday, 7 October 2007

Labour MP confirms Council advice on Coatham Links covenants

Vera Baird QC MP has published the outcome of her investigation into the covenants on the land at Coatham Links on her web site.

She has concluded (though she states it is the advice of the Land Registry) that what the Lib Dem led Coalition Council said about them is right, although she starts off by spinning the line that we had promised to make the legal advice public but didn't.

Vera Baird knows perfectly well that the Scrutiny Committee that asked for the advice wanted it made public, as did every member of the Council at the time. What she doesn't say is none of those Councillors are lawyers and were unaware at the time that such advice is meant for those acting for the Council, who in turn are acting for the public. The QC advised the Council that it was not in the public interest to publish this advice.

As a top QC Vera Baird knows this and should accept that Councillors were acting honourably in following the legal advice received. They had no choice and could have faced punishment by the Standards Board had they gone against this advice. It contains advice that may be used in court on behalf of the public. Does Vera Baird advise her clients, whom she acts for in court, to make public the advice she gives them before it is played out in court?

Anyone can argue anything in court, if they are prepared to pay for it. The group fighting the proposals are not speaking on behalf of the public as a whole and have delayed the scheme long enough with a whole series of failed legal challenges. They have cost Council taxpayers an absolute fortune and all their candidates in the recent elections were defeated heavily.

The ironic thing about all this is that one of the covenants was placed to protect the view of a convalescent home that was demolished in the 1950's. Since then a swimming pool was built in front of where the home stood (since demolished) and the Mungle Jungle buildings have also been constructed.


Anonymous said...

Not what was expected, but still doesn't answer the question, just raises more concern.

Chris & Glynis Abbott said...

What question anonymous? Please explain.

The answer to some questions can never be what you would like to expect, no matter how many times you ask it.