Thu. May 30th, 2024

A reader of Ferret has sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Alan Draper – Clerk asking for all of the legal advice from May 2019 until now, regarding the Kirkby Road site given to Hemsworth Town Council, from all sources including him, to be released.

Ferret would have expected that there would be no problem with this as the sale is complete after all.

As you have probably guessed the request has been refused.

Response from Alan Draper:
Regarding the Kirkby Road site, even though the sale has been completed there is still an outstanding legal matter. The legal advice provided to the council is legally professionally privileged so it is exempt from disclosure, as per section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act. As I am not a property lawyer, my advice to the council on this matter has always been to simply follow the legal advice.

Ferret is disturbed by this for two reasons:

Ferret believes the outstanding “legal issue” is not actually a contractual issue at all.
It is actually the section 106 agreement and this is between the Planning department at Wakefield and Saul construction who is the owner and developer.

As Ferret has reported in the past, Hemsworth Town Council lost all legal rights to be part of the section 106 agreement when the sale was completed and Saul construction became the Landowners.

If this is the case and Ferret has no reason to believe otherwise, this obstacle doesn’t exist, well not in the real world anyway.

It would appear Kenyon and his cabal members are now trying to conceal the damage and the expected fallout of bad publicity by the expected loss of both the sports contribution and affordable housing money which total hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Money that Wakefield had agreed with the last labour council would be reserved for use in this township.

As for the legal advice provided to the council that is legally professionally privileged so it is exempt from disclosure, as per section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act, Ferret would argue that there is the Public Interest Test that should prevail due to the very large amount of money, public money that was wasted on this futile self promotion and vendetta against Saul Construction.

Ferret believes it is of the utmost importance to make this information public as we have every right to ensure our money was used in accordance with Legal advice received.

Draper’s statement of “my advice to the council on this matter has always been to simply follow the legal advice” reveals actually nothing much.

So the question needs asking

“Did the council actually follow your advice to follow legal advice at all times?”

If they didn’t, the issue then becomes why not?

Ferret believes this could actually make them liable for all subsequent costs to be reimbursed to this community.

Maybe our good Councillors could demand to see it, as is their right, better still they could order its release.

Wouldn’t that make a nice payback?

By Ferret

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