Setback for boundary Committee proposals

PUBLISHED: 18:10 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 23:48 15 June 2010

SARA Randall Johnson.

SARA Randall Johnson.

It seems very unlikely that the Boundary Committee will report to the Secretary of State with its advice on local government reorganisation in Devon on 15 July as planned, according to East Devon District Council.

It seems very unlikely that the Boundary Committee will report to the Secretary of State with its advice on local government reorganisation in Devon on 15 July as planned, according to East Devon District Council.

Several Suffolk district councils, building on the previous court successes of East Devon and Breckland councils, have won their case in the High Court. Judgment was handed down this morning. It is critical of the Boundary Committee's failure to undertake a fair process, and vindicates this council's position to date.

The Suffolk councils complained that the Boundary Committee had acted unfairly in failing to properly consider and discuss the concept they had put forward of a three unitary Suffolk. Mr Justice Foskett agreed. The Suffolk councils are now seeking court orders quashing the March 2009 consultation exercise.

As the court has indicated the consultation exercise was defective for Suffolk, East Devon District Council considers this applies equally to the Devon processes. East Devon put forward a four unitary concept.

EDDC councillors and officers need to see the final court order [expected early next week], but this decision makes the current reorganisation timetable look increasingly unrealistic.

It is understood the Boundary Committee has been granted leave to go to the Court of Appeal.

"I welcome the judgment handed down against the Boundary Committee which vindicates everything EDDC has done to defend local democracy," said Sara Randall Johnson, leader of East Devon District Council.

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