What reasonable adjustments were agreed for a First-tier Tribunal hearing in a PIP (Personal Independent Payment) appeal and why was an urgent hearing granted in a case that started in 2019?

What reasonable adjustments were agreed for a First-tier Tribunal hearing in a PIP (Personal Independent Payment) appeal and why was an urgent hearing granted in a case that started in 2019?

What reasonable adjustments were agreed for a First-tier Tribunal hearing in a PIP (Personal Independent Payment) appeal and why was an urgent hearing granted in a case that started in 2019??

                                                

Birkenhead County Court entrance 5th October 2018 which was the venue for the First-tier Tribunal hearing (Social Entitlement Chamber)
Birkenhead County Court entrance which was the venue for the First-tier Tribunal hearing (Social Entitlement Chamber)

By John Brace – Appellant
and
Leonora Brace – Appellant’s Representative

First publication date: Saturday 1st January 2022, 21:37 (GMT).

Regular readers of this blog will know that I previously published a piece about a First-tier Tribunal hearing on the 14th December 2021 in Birkenhead involving an appeal of a PIP (Personal Independence Payment) mandatory reconsideration decision by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions made in 2019.

At the time I wrote a very short piece, but as now a couple of weeks has passed, I wanted to provide more detail.
Continue reading “What reasonable adjustments were agreed for a First-tier Tribunal hearing in a PIP (Personal Independent Payment) appeal and why was an urgent hearing granted in a case that started in 2019?”

First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) PIP Appeal adjourned for second time

First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) PIP Appeal adjourned for second time

First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) PIP Appeal adjourned for second time

                                               

Birkenhead County Court entrance 5th October 2018 which was the venue for the First-tier Tribunal hearing (Social Entitlement Chamber)
Birkenhead County Court entrance which was the venue for the First-tier Tribunal hearing (Social Entitlement Chamber)

By John Brace – Appellant
and
Leonora Brace – Appellant’s Representative

First publication date: Friday 17th December 2021, 17:31 (GMT).

Due to the ongoing nature of this matter comments have been disabled.

A report on the previous hearing on 28th February 2020, that was previously published on this blog can be read here.

Appellant: Mr John Brace represented by Mrs Leonora Brace
Respondent: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) represented by a Presenting Officer
Case number: SC062/19/01113
Location: 76 Hamilton St, Birkenhead CH41 5EN (ground floor)
Mode of hearing: Hybrid (face to face/phone)
Date and time of hearing: Tuesday 14th December 2021, 10.00 am
Type: First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber)

The weather was foggy and cold.

There were a number of timed parking bays outside the Court building in Hamilton Street, Birkenhead near the start of the disabled access ramp. With a Blue Badge you can park there for 3 hours.
Continue reading “First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) PIP Appeal adjourned for second time”

Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) lost First-tier Tribunal (SEC) appeal (of decision not to pay Universal Credit) because of DWP’s inability to provide crucial communication from the DWP to the Claimant

Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) lost First-tier Tribunal (SEC) appeal (of decision not to pay Universal Credit) because of DWP’s inability to provide crucial communication from the DWP to the Claimant

Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) lost First-tier Tribunal (SEC) appeal (of decision not to pay Universal Credit) because of DWP’s inability to provide crucial communication from the DWP to the Claimant

                                                   

By John Brace (Editor)
and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)

First publication date: 19th November 2021, 17:00 (GMT).

This is a report of a judicial hearing I virtually observed (with the aid of automatic captions) on Thursday 18th November 2021 in the Sutton Social Security and Child Support (“Sutton SSCS”) region. The mode of hearing was Cloud Video Platform (“CVP”).

It was heard before a single First-tier Tribunal Judge (“FTTJ”) who was FTTJ Harrington.
Continue reading “Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) lost First-tier Tribunal (SEC) appeal (of decision not to pay Universal Credit) because of DWP’s inability to provide crucial communication from the DWP to the Claimant”

Will a planning appeal over the Saughall Massie fire station fail due to incorrect legal advice to councillors?

Will a planning appeal over the Saughall Massie fire station fail due to incorrect legal advice to councillors?

                                                         

Originally this bundle was going to be published in a different way, but instead it will be published as an exclusive in serial form on this blog.

I’d better start by declaring an interest as the Appellant in First-tier Tribunal case EA/2016/0054, which is about an Environmental Information Regulations 2004 request for the estimates of capital costs involving a new fire station first at Greasby, then at Saughall Massie and the sale of fire stations at Upton and West Kirby.

Despite the bundle being 480 pages in total, there are hundreds of pages missing from it (such as the transcripts of the public meetings involved, communications between the 2nd Respondent (MFRA) and the 1st Respondent (ICO) etc).

Continue reading “Will a planning appeal over the Saughall Massie fire station fail due to incorrect legal advice to councillors?”

£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

£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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