I would be most interested to read the comments and thoughts of other Northumberland residents regarding the recent writ issued by Lugano Developments.
The writ accuses Peter Jackson, the Conservative leader of the county council, of ‘misfeasance in public office’.
The writ is for £10million.
The aspect that I am particularly astounded by is that within the writ, Lugano suggests that Peter Jackson acted against the advice of officers of the authority. It also alleges that he misled councillors about the advice he was given.
Any readers who have served in any public capacity will be well aware that officers lay out their advice and guidance. They will always make it clear that if you choose one of the routes that they identify, you will be protected by the insurance of the authority.
However, if you stray from the advised course of action and run into difficulties, then the liability falls on the individuals who chose not to follow the guidance offered.
Therefore, I find it hard to believe that at a county council meeting, the Conservative and Independent councillors have voted for us, as council taxpayers, to cover the legal fees for this group.
In the next council budget, cuts in the region of £24million are forecast that will erode services for our old and vulnerable and further hit schools, road repairs and other areas of council spending.
How dare councillors say that they will cut money for services, the poor and disadvantaged, while at the same time cover these legal costs?
I am incandescent at this decision.