Notices, Bill Norman’s letter and David Dickenson takes the stand in Wirral Council v Kane and Woodley (Fernbank Farm)
Wirral Council v Kane and Woodley (case 3BI05210)
Birkenhead County Court
13th February 2014
Court Room 1
District Judge Woodburn asked people to go to page twenty-two in the bundle and either page eighteen or twenty-two with the page numbering being in the bottom right hand corner. Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council pointed out that it was in the second section. District Judge Woodburn asked one of the two defendants to read the top line. She replied “landlord notice”. He asked the two defendants if they had both received a notice? One of the defendants replied “no just myself”. District Judge Woodburn said he’d have to hear evidence over who received the notice.
Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council said that recorded delivery receipts for the notices were in the bundle. District Judge Woodburn said it would still have to be proven. He asked how long they would be waiting for the notice? Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council said that she’d ask her solicitor to pop outside and find out. District Judge Woodburn said there was no point starting before they had all the evidence. He said that Carol Kane said that she had received a copy and asked her if she’d read it?
Bill Norman’s letter
Carol Kane confirmed that she’d read it and said that the same day she had also received a letter from the Town Hall from Bill Norman, Head of Law which asked her to enter into negotiating fresh terms. District Judge Woodburn asked a further question to which Carol Kane replied with no and added that she started negotiating with David Dickenson. District Judge Woodburn said he would come back to that evidence. He referred to evidence of the delay of David Dickenson and that it was now 11.20 am, he didn’t know how long Wirral Council’s enquiries would be.
Wirral Council’s witness wasn’t David Dickinson from Dickinson’s Real Deal and not once used phrases like “cheap as chips” but instead was an asset management surveyor working for Wirral Council
Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council referred to the legal validity of the note. She said that David Dickenson was there and that she’d sent someone else out. District Judge Woodburn said “let’s hear from David Dickenson”. David Dickenson went to the witness stand and said, “I swear by Almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
District Judge Woodburn thanked him and asked for his full name. He replied “David John Dickenson” and that he was an “asset management surveyor”. District Judge Woodburn asked who he was employed by to which he responded “Wirral Council”.
Sarah O’Brien, barrister for Wirral Council referred to a section in the bundle, District Judge Woodburn asked her for the page number. She replied page twenty-five and that the next page was the witness statement. She asked David Dickenson if he had signed the four page witness statement and whether it was true. To both questions he answered “Yes”. Sarah O’Brien said she had no additional questions.
District Judge Woodburn said that Mrs Kane and Mrs Woodley now had an opportunity to put any questions to David Dickenson about the notice or what Mr. Dickinson did in relation to the notice. He said that the defendant didn’t have to stand up to do so.
Mrs Kane asked Mr. Dickinson if he was aware of the letter from Bill Norman? David Dickenson replied with a question of wasn’t the letter sent with the notice? Carol Kane answered no and pointed out that she had asked him a question. David Dickenson again responded with a question and asked Carol Kane what it referred to? Carol Kane said the letter was sent by recorded delivery and asked her to make contact with a view to negotiating final terms. She asked David Dickenson, “Did I not do this?”
David Dickenson said that he had spoken about the notice with her, however the position had changed as he’d been instructed not to agree a new lease. Carol Kane asked him to confirm that she had spoken with him twice since 2011 to which he answered “yep”. Carol Kane said she had made at least eighteen phone calls to him trying to negotiate a new lease. She referred to what was happening before 31st May.
David Dickenson replied that he’d been instructed by his manager and he was not disputing Carol Kane’s version of events. He said that they “never agreed anything”. Carol Jane asked a question about the lease? David Dickenson replied originally in 2008. Carol Kane said that in 2011 she had not heard from Wirral Council for three years about renewing the lease, however she had been told that someone would “be in touch shortly” about renewing the lease. She asked why Bill Norman had sent her that letter?
Mr. Dickenson said the letter was sent with the section 25 notice and that she was referring to a letter from Wirral Council’s legal department. District Judge Woodburn asked what page number it was? Carol Kane said it was “in that bundle”, District Judge Woodburn instructed Carol Kane to show the letter to Sarah O’Brien. District Judge Woodburn asked if the letter was in the bundle. Sarah O’Brien said that she didn’t believe it was. Carol Kane said that a lot of papers were missing, but the missing papers had been hand delivered to the Town Hall.
District Judge Woodburn asked Carol Kane what she was saying in relation to the letter. Carol Kane answered that the letter basically says that Wirral Council want to renew the lease. District Judge Woodburn said something to David Dickenson. Carol Kane asked David Dickenson why did he ignore her? He replied when the interim housing policy changed he was instructed not to agree a new lease.
Carol Kane referred to letters she had receive from Wirral Council twelve years ago. David Dickenson replied that the letters were not from him. She again referred to the letter from twelve years ago. Mrs Kane asked David Dickenson why he had ignored her phone calls up to the end of April. She said that she had had to go into hospital and wanted it finished before the 31st May, she had emailed him about the 31st May. David Dickenson replied briefly to her.
Mrs Kane said that David Dickenson had told her “not to worry” as she had had to go into hospital for radium treatment. David Dickenson repeated that no further lease had been agreed. Carol Kane said that the lease had been signed and witnessed along with a copy of public liability insurance for £410 and all this had been sent to Wirral Council. She said that she had asked for David Dickenson eighteen or nineteen times and had spoken to a Mrs Carman who had told her that papers were missing. She asked a further question to David Dickenson about renewal of the lease.
David Dickenson replied “no lease was sent out”. Carol Kane said that it was in the bundle. David Dickenson replied that this was the lease from 2008. District Judge Woodburn asked if it was from 2008? Carol Kane replied that it had been the same lease for forty years and that since the start of the original lease a hedge had grown to eighteen feet high. District Judge Woodburn said she could return to her questions to David Dickenson before he gave an opportunity for Mrs Woodley to ask questions.
Carol Kane asked David Dickenson why he didn’t answer her phone calls? He answered that he had been told not to renew the lease. She asked why he had been ignoring her since the October before? David Dickenson referred to the interim planning policy and that he had been instructed to by his manager Tony Simpson.
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