Council vows to fight High Court and Government orders over illegal newsletter

Local Democracy Reporter, Waltha

The council has been forced to stop publishing its illegal newsletter, but has vowed to keep fighting a High Court ruling against them. Waltham Forest Councilís newsletter, Waltham Forest News, was last published on June 10 and council notices have since started to appear in local newspapers for the first time.
In spite of this, the council insists its position hasnít changed and it will continue to fight the decision, at further cost to the tax payer.

Waltham Forest Council lost a taxpayer funded judicial review when it took the Government to court last month over an order to stop printing its newsletter more than four times a year.

The presiding judge ruled to uphold the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, which states it is illegal for a council to print its own newsletter more often than this. The law is in place to ensure councils are properly held to account and the local newspaper industry is better supported.

Endlebury Conservative councillors published estimated costs of the legal battle so far in their ward magazine this month.

According to the groupís figures, Waltham Forest Councilís administration spent £27,000 of tax payersí money on the judicial review last month, which they lost.

The administration is expected to pay at least another £15,000 to appeal the ruling. Despite the Government order and the High Court decision, the council now plans to take the case to the Appeals Court.

A council spokesperson said: ďWe did not take the decision to challenge the Government lightly. We produce Waltham Forest News because the government, by law, insist that councils pay to publish statutory notices in a printed newspaper.

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uploaded: Thu, Aug 1 2019
modified: Tue, Dec 30 1969