Yesterday Central Bedfordshire Council Conservatives announced they had sanctioned Judicial Review proceedings against the Conservative Cabinet Minister Eric Pickles MP. People attending a meeting of the Council last Thursday when the decision was made said several Councillors’ voted against the Judicial Review. As well key Conservatives Cllr Nicols and Leader of the Council Cllr Jamieson left the meeting prior to the vote.

Cllr Young who is responsible for the Development Strategy says the Council have taken legal advice about the recent Planning Inspector’s decision and this advice is the Council have a case to make against it. If speculators are correct about the content of this legal information whose disclosure to the public is forbidden then it is unlikely this case is robust and will therefore fail or not be contested by Eric Pickles until after the elections in May.

Given that Cllr Young who has stated the costs of Luton Borough Council’s recent Judicial Review was around £250 000 then the people of Central Bedfordshire are likely either to face further service reductions to pay for these costs or wonder why the Conservative majority on their Council have a budget to fight expensive and unwinnable legal proceedings against their own Conservative Government.