Friday, 9 November 2007

Were these decisions legal?

Tony Robertson decided the time had come to write to councillors in all parties explaining that he had instructed the Legal Director to take Counsel's advice. We framed the request after consulting the excellent Philip Goldenberg. We asked

a) were the decisions of the council meeting valid or not?

b)if invalid what are the consequences for those who voted in favour?

c)what legal option are now open to the council

Councillor Tony Robertson

Leader of Sefton Council

Office address: Tel: 0151 934 2252

Town Hall Fax: 0151 934 2251

Lord Street e-mail:




7th November 2007

TO: All Members of Sefton MBC

Dear Fellow Councillor,

Legal Advice

I thought it would be useful if I shared with you all, in the interests of transparency, my letter to the Legal Director of last week which called upon her to gain the advice of Counsel.

I sent the letter because of questions asked both at the Full Council meeting and after it by members who clearly had some misgivings about the process.

I realise that we may well have differing views on the policy decision, but I am equally sure that we all want to ensure that the processes we use to make decisions are the correct ones. I felt that there were enough Councillors raising concerns for me to take action and that was why I sent the attached letter to the Legal Director.

Obviously, as I write this note I do not know what the independent advice will be, but the three specific questions that I asked for advice on covered the areas that I felt members would want clear guidance upon.

ours sincerely,

Councillor Tony Robertson