Leaked emails leads Cromer Town Council to keep correspondence over court case between mayor, deputy mayor and clerk’s office

Cromer Town Council Offices. Photo by Mark Bullimore

Cromer Town Council Offices. Photo by Mark Bullimore

A north Norfolk council has decided to restrict correspondence about a long-running court battle to the mayor, deputy mayor and clerk's office, after emails were leaked to the News.

Cromer Town Council was ordered to pay more than £31,000, over a right-of-way dispute, to a company which had leased the basement flat in its North Lodge offices

The News wanted to find out how much tax payers' money had been spent fighting the case and submitted a request to the council under the Freedom of Information Act.

But leaked emails between the council and its lawyers showed it purposefully delayed responding to the request, in the hope of delaying the release of the information until after a court hearing. The council has refused the News' request.

At a council meeting on Monday, clerk Julie Chance reported that the council's solicitor said the press had been selective about what it quoted.

She said: 'There is no obligation to respond and he advised we do not. The matter needs to be decided by the Court of Appeal and not in the press.'

It was agreed that responsibility for the case would be delegated to the mayor, deputy mayor and clerk's office.

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An appeal hearing is expected to take place in July.