£761.50 of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application in Saughall Massie Fire Station information request case rejected by First-tier Tribunal

£761.50 of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application rejected in Saughall Massie fire station information request case by First-tier Tribunal

Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX (the venue for First-Tier Tribunal case EA/2016/0033)

£761.50 of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application rejected in Saughall Massie Fire Station information request case by First-tier Tribunal

Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX (the venue for First-Tier Tribunal case EA/2016/0033)
Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX (the venue for First-Tier Tribunal case EA/2016/0033)

Well, I finally got the costs decision from the First-tier Tribunal today in which I was the Appellant.

This continues from an earlier blog post about the hearing which ended with the Tribunal, MFRA, ICO and myself agreeing that I should receive the information.

Merseyside’s Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application of £1,212 has been rejected by the Tribunal. Although the decision also refers confusingly to a total amount of their costs application of £1192.23.

Two out of the three Tribunal Members (although it doesn’t specify which two) don’t think I acted unreasonably in the period 4th August 2016 to 22nd August 2016. This means £224.66 of MFRA’s costs application is rejected by a majority decision of the Tribunal of 2:1.

Of the remaining £967.57, a further £467.57 is rejected.

This leaves £500.

Basically the argument about the £500 is this.

In late August 2016 following a request from the Tribunal, I stated to MFRA that if they were to provide me with the 4 A4 pages requested, I would be happy for the case to be ended by consent order.

MFRA chose not to end the case this way (although I did receive the 4 A4 pages from ICO on the 14th October 2016). I was sent an altered version of the 4 pages from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority about 48 hours before the hearing.

Therefore because MFRA had legal costs from 22nd August 2016 to 23rd September 2016 this is what the application is about.

However in the decision the Panel admit that they agreed to MFRA’s costs application at the hearing before they had actually read the bundle for the hearing.

Indeed the fact they hadn’t read the bundle for the hearing before making decisions on costs is recorded in the reasons for the decision itself. Is it reasonable to expect the judiciary to read the papers before reaching a decision?

In fact the wording of the decision implies the panel members were put to great inconvenience by having to read the bundle and travel to the hearing itself!

There are legal arguments I could make as to why this £500 costs award shouldn’t have been made in the first place, but I will not reveal those until the matter is settled.

I feel pretty confident that the £500 will be overturned on appeal and I intend to appeal it within the time limit for doing so. Certainly the majority (£761.50) of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application has already been rejected.

I notice that somebody has put the wrong case number on the decision which shows the Tribunal’s ongoing flair for accuracy!

In my view there are errors of fact in the decision, but I have to bear in mind this costs application from an organisation that stated it wished to have the legal power to charge people for making FOI and EIR requests.

It’s managed to achieve that now with a costs order for £500, although estimates of the legal costs for First-tier Tribunal cases are usually at around £10,000 for the public body involved.

The bit in the decision about a decision being made on the papers, I don’t remember being made at the hearing (although I will check my notes). In my view a hearing might have avoided some of the misunderstandings that have obviously arisen.

I’ve asked the Tribunal to reissue the costs decision with the correct case number (EA⁄2016⁄0054 rather than EA⁄2016⁄0117).

Does anyone wish me to include a copy of the decision in this blog post?

Tomorrow evening Wirral Council’s Planning Committee will be making a decision on the Saughall Massie fire station planning application.

There are matters that came out during the Tribunal which I will publish on this blog that as they relate to the expenditure of a total of £8.4 million of public money I’m staggered that the Tribunal would write in its decision, that the First-tier Tribunal case “has involved costs to the public quite disproportionate to its significance or the matters in issue.”

Clearly the significance of the issue (in my eyes) is that MFRA told untruths to the public during its consultation to get the answers it wanted and refused to tell the public it had put aside £300,000 to pay Wirral Council for the land at first Greasby, then Saughall Massie.

Those untruths in the consultation have now formed part of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s planning application.

Indeed there are some that would argue that the invoices for £153,250.61 of work before planning permission is obtained have involved costs to the public too!

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

6 thoughts on “£761.50 of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s costs application in Saughall Massie Fire Station information request case rejected by First-tier Tribunal”

  1. G’day John

    How very dare they expect costs.

    The law John is such an ass, just look at that donkey “Sir Git”.

    It is a cosy little club John as evidenced in “Highbrow’s” mates case last week.

    The defendant had a barista “Highbrow’s” mate didn’t and despite “Highbrow” tearing their stuck up his own backside barista’s summing up to shreds and tatters the club won.

    Another appeal.

    Sorry to hijack your blog again with Wirral “Funny” Bizz, hey Joey Blowey you hairy arsed wombat that is scared of your boss, or is that the government?

    John the list of the BIG recipients is full of dodgy dealings and that is only their Ltd Company mates, just imagine if you got the sole traders and partnerships and others like The Spotty Blue Teapot and that furniture shop etc etc etc



    Someone complimented me today John on my stamina regarding these scum bags.

    I’m only just warming to this task John five and a half years later.

    Lest they forget.

    1. I could comment in detail about the First-tier Tribunal costs as I haven’t put an appeal in yet, but I don’t want to tip anyone off as to what that appeal will be.

      Anyway reducing it by £761.50 is an initial step in the right direction.

      I’ve read through the BIG list, it would be better if the amounts were there too? What was the minimum and maximum amount they could get as a BIG grant?

  2. G’day John

    I don’t have the exact amounts so don’t quote me but being Limited Companies you would expect them to be about £20,000.00-£30,000.00 each.

    The amount doesn’t really matter John it all stinks like a fart in “Sir Gits” little office.



    “Highbrow” has the facts and data bases that they never wanted to see for their investigations.

    They knew all along about the dirty filthy games they played “they” even had the “Football Shirt”.

  3. Dear oh dear John

    I bet they are disappointed that “Cra*apple” the Thicker than the Chair, Chair of the Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Committee on that date 8 October 2014 when senior officers lied their little socks off said publicly not to come back.

    They must want to find out exactly which of the dirty filthy scum bag acts that we are now all over.

    Who told the biggest porkies that night?

    Who did the criminal stuff?

    Oh “Crappers” me old mate we’ll be back.

    Pity you won’t be there.

    Although they have found a muppet that doesn’t understand accounting either in the shape of the welsh **** leprechaun “The Pretend Friend” to take your chair as Chair but they must of had to extend it for his big fat lazy allowance claiming good for nothing posterior.



    What John is the definition of a criminal organisation?

    1. The quick answer to the definition of a criminal organisation is more than one individual working together with the common goal of criminal activity.

      However chances of Wirral Council, a councillor or an employee ending up in a criminal court explaining what they’ve done is next to nothing. In part because of the nine Peelian principles (see below):

      1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

      2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

      3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

      4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

      5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

      6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

      7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

      8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary, of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

      9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

  4. G’day John

    Woke up to one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen since I saw Donald win in the great USA.

    Their ex-local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Councillor speaks out at the rising number of stolen street signs in Wallasey

    Check out the photo John you will cackle like a coven of down trodden tory women.

    Why would she assume that position?

    Is it the normal one so she can talk face to face to Little Brain Jeff?

    Is she praying she gets her allowance in time for Chrissie?

    Did she hear dog poo is good for her ageing wrinkled knees.



    Or is that the cctv of her just after she had knocked off the sign?

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