UK Supreme Court Ruling on unlawful consultation of Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)

Stan Higgleston (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to North East Lincolnshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Stan Higgleston (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

In the recent Supreme Court case reported by Haringey Independent on 29 October 2014 "Moseley R (ota) v. London Borough of Haringey [2014] UK 56", it was found that Haringey Borough Council's consultation on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) which replaced Council tax benefit was unlawful.

http://www.haringeyindependent.co.uk/new...

It was held that the consultation did not offer any other ways to deal with the government cuts, such as raising council tax, cutting money to other council services, or using capital funds. (Those taking part in the consultation didn’t know there were potential alternatives to the system they wanted to use and was just presented as if they had no choice).

Giving his judgment, Lord Wilson said:

“In this case, fairness demanded that the consultation document should briefly refer to alternative methods of absorbing the shortfall in government funding and to the reasons why the Respondent had concluded that they were unacceptable [29]. In fact, the purported consultation was premised on the assumption that the shortfall would be met by a reduction in council tax relief and no other option was presented [17, 18, 21]. Neither was it reasonably obvious to those consulted what other options there may have been and the reasons why such options had been discarded. Indeed, only an infinitesimal number of responses to the consultation (approximately 20 out of 1287 responses) alluded to other ways of meeting the shortfall. Therefore, the consultation exercise was unfair and unlawful [31]. However, it was not unlawful that the Respondent had failed to consult on the possible adoption of a Transitional Grant Scheme announced by central government only 5 weeks before the completion of the draft CTRS consultation [32]. (Ref: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2014... )

Q. Would NELC please provide any and all recorded information, including that held on computers, emails etc., minutes of formal meetings of either Officers and / or Members together with any attendance notes taken by either Officers and / or Individual Members at any formal and / or informal meetings which is held by NELC and relates to the consultation on the CTRS which was the subject of the UK Supreme Court judgment; Moseley R (ota) v. London Borough of Haringey [2014] UK 56 (Judgment given: 29 October 2014)

Yours faithfully,

Stan Higgleston

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number 8724_1415.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston,

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 8724_1415.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council does not hold the
requested information.

 

We have no recorded information relating to the consultation on the CTRS
which was the subject of the UK Supreme Court judgment; Moseley R (ota) v.
London Borough of Haringey [2014] UK 56 (Judgment given: 29 October 2014),
as this judgement did not have a bearing on the North East Lincolnshire
Council scheme and consultation.  For more information about North East
Lincolnshire Council’s scheme and how it was developed please see our web
page

 

[1]www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/benefits/am-i-entitled-to-housing-benefit-or-council-tax-reduction-/council-tax-reduction-scheme-april-2013/

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

Stan Higgleston (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Your reply:

"We have no recorded information relating to the consultation on the CTRS which was the subject of the UK Supreme Court judgment;...."

I apologise for being unclear. When I used the following phrase;

"consultation on the CTRS which was the subject of the UK Supreme Court judgment",

I was merely identifying North East Lincolnshire Council's CTRS as being a similar scheme involved in the UK Supreme Court judgment.

I of course would like all the information I requested in my FOI request which is relevant to North East Lincolnshire Council's CTRS, not Haringey Borough council's.

Yours sincerely,

Stan Higgleston

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Higgleston

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your follow up request for information, which
has been allocated the reference number 8724_1415.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

C Robinson left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Higgleton:

it looks like you you have got to take North East Lincolnshire Council to court because they won't willingly give up the information willingly, it will be too controversial to give you such information, PLEASE PERSIST AS MANY OTHERS ARE DOING THE SAME AS YOU & the truth will win out in the end.
Never give up!
Sincerely
C Robinson

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Higgleston

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 8724_1415.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

Please see the attached documents

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

Resources Directorate

 

 

show quoted sections