The Judge’s report ends with this REMARKABLE paragraph:
‘ This Tribunal takes the unusual and unfortunate step of commenting on the conduct of the appeal itself.
We are unanimous in our view that this appeal has taken much longer than it should have done and the reason for this seems to be the failure on the part of the public authority, the appellant, to address itself with sufficient attention to the details of what information and documents it was sup- plying to the Commissioner and ultimately also to the Tribunal.
It was not until March 2015 that a fully legible copy of the disputed information was supplied and seemed to be complete. This is, in our collective experience, wholly exceptional and the time spent dealing with what we believe to be five different sets of disputed information is simply not a good use of the Tribunal’s time nor fair, in terms of delay, to the requester.
Correspondence on behalf of the Council, rather than ensuring the Tribunal was assisted in its function, was at times discourteous and unhelpful including the statement that we had the most legible copies possible. A statement, which was clearly inaccurate as subsequently, we have been provided with perfectly legible documents.
We believe this appeal could and should have been dealt with completely at the hearing in August 2014 and the decision promulgated six months ago had the Council discharged its responsibilities properly’.
A press release is due shortly, from Save our Sidmouth.