Update on Adderbury Parish Council Judicial Reviews

It has taken a very long time for the Court system to spit out the formal rejection of our Berry Hill Road lawyer’s first Judicial Review.  Now we have copies of the two rejections, I am attaching them at the foot of this blog.  The rest is a repetition of my earlier blog.

Many of you will know that our Berry Hill Road lawyer filed two applications for Judicial Review of Adderbury Parish Council’s decisions concerning the Milton Road land and its related restrictive covenant.  I have just received notification from the Parish Council Proper Officer, Theresa Goss, that both applications have been dismissed.  The judge who considered the applications has refused them and, in a footnote to his decision, has stated his opinion that the application is “totally without merit; as well as now being wholly academic, the claim is in my judgement without any foundation at all“.

Below is a link to the judge’s decision on both Judicial Reviews.   It was always my personal view that this lawyer hoped to bully and intimidate the parish council into changing the restrictive covenant on the Milton Road land to suit the parish council minority group’s desire to abort the intentions of Cherwell District Council and the developers.  I am relieved that his tactics have not worked and I salute the courage of my fellow parish councillors in resisting this legal mumbo jumbo.

The one remaining concern is that the judge made no order for costs which means the parish council (in reality Adderbury Council Tax payers) may be unable to recover its costs from Mr Davies.  There is something wrong with our legal system if a JR application can be dismissed so comprehensively but the body complained about has to bear the costs (more than £5,000) without recourse.  Perhaps Mr Davies will be sufficiently contrite to offer the parish council its costs but I don’t suppose any of us are holding our breath.

Before Mr Davies starts scratching his quill, I make the point that I write as an individual parish councillor and am not attempting to speak for the parish council as a whole.  However, the JR decisions are public documents so I trust Mr Davies will put his quill back in its rack – unless, of course, he needs it to sign a cheque to Adderbury Parish Council for the costs of fighting his “wholly without merit” JRs.

APC JR Decisions

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The People’s Princess 20 years on

We had the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death this week. Wednesday was one of those days when I had time to read The Daily Telegraph on my tablet and I came across a piece by Philip Johnston that completely chimed with my own thoughts.  I expect most of us have that experience of like minds once in a while and it is something I greatly enjoy.  It is usually Charles Moore whose writing style I favour but Philip Johnston has completely summed up my sadness at the loss of our stiff upper lip.

Here is Philip Johnston’s article as it appeared in The Daily Telegraph.

Call me a cynic, but 20 years on, it’s time to hold

Philip Johnston

back the sea of tears

Since the death of Diana, Britain has become a nation divided by its readiness to emote publicly

It was the smell that struck me first, the cloying, sweet perfume of a million flowers trapped in a sea of Cellophane lapping at the gates of Kensington Palace. The floral shrine that sprang up in the days after the death of Diana was staggering to behold.

We took our children to see it on the Thursday after the crash in Paris, visiting early in the morning before they went to school. It was something they needed to see, a moment in history they would never forget. Nor would I, for that matter. And yet it represented an outpouring of national grief that I found distinctly perturbing and unsettling.

Twenty years ago this week, many of us discovered we lived in a country that had changed in a way we had not realised and did not particularly like. Call us curmudgeons or traditionalists or whatever; but rarely had we felt so out of kilter with our fellow citizens. To witness people weeping openly for someone they had never met and did not know was something I had not seen before, at least not on such a scale and certainly not in Britain.

Suddenly, it became a good thing to display one’s emotions publicly and proudly rather than control them. Britain in mourning at the death of Diana became the antithesis of the stiff upper-lipped, phlegmatic country which we once took pride in being. Such traits, previously considered strengths, were derided as repressed, buttoned-up and fuddy-duddy.

Evidently this was a view held by a lot of people before Aug 31 1997. But it was only in the week after the tragedy in Paris that it became so glaringly apparent. In the intervening two decades, that sense of two nations has intensified. This is just a hunch, but I suspect that people who found the response to Diana’s death mawkish were more likely than not to have voted to leave the EU. We are the sort who find the recent goings-on at the National Trust (to which we belong) mystifying and irritating. We lament the silencing of Big Ben, rarely watch reality TV shows with their whooping audiences and teary wannabe stars and would much prefer it if cricketers shook hands on scoring a century rather than hug one another.

Facebook, Twitter and the rest have become the online delivery systems for this baring of the soul.  We try to avoid public expressions of emotion, not because we don’t feel anything but because we don’t think it necessary to prove that we do. Of course, this may just be me; but I doubt it.

All the anguish and recriminations of that extraordinary week in 1997 are being revived for the 20th anniversary of the tragedy; and, again, the national chasm is opening up. A recent poll suggested that the popularity of the Prince of Wales is declining; tendentious reports have circulated that the Queen might abdicate; the question of Camilla’s title when Charles becomes king is being debated once more. The totemic power of Diana’s death to discombobulate the country seems undiminished.

We all know the circumstances leading to the fateful car trip in Paris and why so many people felt Diana had been hounded to her death by the Press and badly treated by her former husband and the Establishment. Many mothers, like my wife with two sons not much younger than William and Harry, felt deeply for the two princes and still do.

There was anger, partly whipped up by Tony Blair’s “People’s Princess” comments, that the Royal Family preferred not to join the national collapse into sentimentality and wanted to grieve in private. For a few days until the Queen came back from Balmoral to London, the Crown rocked.

The legacy of that week is a country in which it seems everything now must be emoted, and to look askance upon excessive sentimentalism is to evince Blimpish tendencies that are no longer to be tolerated. Anyone in public life who refuses to play along with the new post-Diana dispensation is risking their career. Expressing how they feel matters more than what they have achieved. “Just sum up your emotions as triumph or defeat (delete where applicable) happened” is now the default question of every interviewer.

Facebook, Twitter and the rest have become the online delivery systems for this baring of the soul. Their phenomenal success owes everything to the readiness of millions to talk and write about themselves incessantly in front of the entire nation. Disclosure is de rigueur; social media platforms are gigantic public therapy sessions. Again, I suspect those who felt most baffled by the response to Diana’s death are the least likely to be on Facebook or Twitter vouchsafing their innermost hopes and desires to all and sundry.

And emoting has a dark side. The Director of Public Prosecution’s recent announcement that online abuse will be treated by the police on a par with the face-to-face variety is one consequence of a world in which everyone is encouraged to sound off and the means exist to disseminate their bile easily and anonymously. If we don’t exercise any judgment over saying what we feel then don’t be surprised when people whose views we would rather not hear think they are entitled to the same latitude.

It is now said that people will suffer less from mental health problems if they express their innermost emotions, fears and concerns. But this does not have to be done publicly. Reserve and resilience are positive, not negative, characteristics. They don’t signify insensitivity but proportionality. Arguably, we have become a nation that mourns too readily. Terrible tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire warranted a visit from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; but the impact is diminished if smaller events are treated in the same way. Question Time in the Commons hardly passes without reference being made, often arbitrarily, to some ghastly incident or other. This never used to happen. We can’t trace it all to that week 20 years ago, but it is as good a starting point as any.

I am open to persuasion that the British were big blubbers in the past. By all accounts, Nelson’s funeral was a lachrymose affair; and young men wearing black armbands wept for Byron. In mid-Victorian England it was said that men cried over the death of little Nell in Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop, though Oscar Wilde remarked that you would need a heart of stone to read it without laughing. Call me an old cynic, but I’m with Oscar.

 

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Davies’s Judicial Reviews dismissed as “totally without merit”

Many of you will know that our Berry Hill Road lawyer filed two applications for Judicial Review of Adderbury Parish Council’s decisions concerning the Milton Road land and its related restrictive covenant.  I have just received notification from the Parish Council Proper Officer, Theresa Goss, that both applications have been dismissed.  The judge who considered the applications has refused them and, in a footnote to his decision, has stated his opinion that the application is “totally without merit; as well as now being wholly academic, the claim is in my judgement without any foundation at all“.

Below is a link to the judge’s decision on JR No 2.  It is clear from this that he has also dismissed JR No1 but the formal notice for JR No 1 is awaited and will be added to this blog when it is available.  It was always my personal view that this lawyer hoped to bully and intimidate the parish council into changing the restrictive covenant on the Milton Road land to suit the parish council minority group’s desire to abort the intentions of Cherwell District Council and the developers.  I am relieved that his tactics have not worked and I salute the courage of my fellow parish councillors in resisting this legal mumbo jumbo.

The one remaining concern is that the judge made no order for costs which means the parish council (in reality Adderbury Council Tax payers) may be unable to recover its costs from Mr Davies.  There is something wrong with our legal system if a JR application can be dismissed so comprehensively but the body complained about has to bear the costs (more than £5,000) without recourse.  Perhaps Mr Davies will be sufficiently contrite to offer the parish councils its costs but I don’t suppose any of us are holding our breath.

Before Mr Davies starts scratching his quill, I make the point that I write as an individual parish councillor and am not attempting to speak for the parish council as a whole.  However, the JR decision is a public document so I trust Mr Davies will put his quill back in its rack.

17_08_09 Davies JR No2 refusal

 

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Why are we paying for Channel Four?

We have much to value in our British Broadcasting Corporation so I can live with the concept of funding it through the licence fee.  I think it does its best to maintain an impartial stance on most issues although its impartiality can be hugely frustrating sometimes when it presents lunatic and, sometimes, dangerous views alongside the only logical approach in its quest for impartiality.  I think the BBC is biased in its approach to Brexit and is clearly siding with the establishment in regretting the democratic decision of the British people but I can live with that.

What I find increasingly infuriating is the public subsidy for Channel Four with its obvious left-wing bias.  Why is Channel Four allowed to operate with public funding but in a way

John Snow

that is so obviously politically biased?  You only need to watch for a short while any evening to realise that the producers have selected their interviewees on the basis of representing a left-wing view;  they have then discussed their position with them and it is obvious that the questions they put on air are to support the left-of-centre position of the contributors.  If the public subsidy of Channel Four is to continue, why should a similar sum not be paid to the Daily Telegraph and/or the Daily Mail?

 

 

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National trust has lost our trust

I resigned my membership of the National Trust when they took against hunting.  The recent fiasco concerning gay pride has not changed my mind.  Apparently, the National Trust is insisting that its guides at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk wear the Gay Pride rainbow badge when on duty.  They have been told they will not be allowed to work with the public if they refuse.  This is part of the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride programme which started when the Trust “outed” Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, a country squire who bequeathed Felbrigg Hall, his ancestral home near Cromer, to the Trust when he died in 1969.  Godchildren of the poet and historian demanded to know why the organisation had decided to make a film narrated by Stephen Fry which revealed that this “intensely private” man was gay.

 

Some Trust volunteers have apparently refused to wear the flag motif in protest at the Trust’s decision to “out” the late Mr Ketton-Cremer and it is also reported that members of the Trust are resigning in protest at this absurd and intrusive political correctness.  I hope a lot more members quit this organisation that has clearly lost its way.

I don’t mind what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home and I have no  problem with those friends and acquaintances who acknowledge their homosexuality or lesbianism.  However, I am with Mr Ketton-Cremer and I value the right to privacy greatly.  I think a person’s sexual preference should be a private and personal choice and I object strongly to the aggressive publicity promoted by the so-called “LGBT community”.  I always remember Tatchell climbing into the pulpit during a church service and interrupting the then Archbishop of Canterbury and I thought this was a disgrace.

So, well done to those NT guides who are protesting and to those members who are quitting. A shame for the NT which has a wonderful main purpose but the solution lies in the hands of the NT Chief Executive and trustees to get on with looking after historical grand properties and to avoid stupid political correctness.

 

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To all readers of the Campaign to Save Adderbury

The following is the contents of a leaflet pinned up around Adderbury.  I cannot provide the original but this is a faithful reproduction.

Congratulations to the author for their wit and integrity!

To all readers of the Campaign to Save Adderbury

Having followed this website for the last year or so, I was wondering if there was any interest in my fellow readers getting together to discuss the major issues and hold some workshops.

I would like to suggest that the following items be considered for inclusion:

  • What is the best “tin foil” to use when making hats to prevent Diane Bratt exercising her mind control over us?  Also, what is the best design to use eg is a beanie better than a Peter Pan design?
  • How much help can we give the editor of the web site in proving that the Adderbury Parish Council was complicit in the assassination of JFK and that the moon landings were faked?
  • How to convince most of the village that putting anything as common as Football near Horn Hill Road residents is utter madness?  Think of those poor councillors residents of Horn Hill and how they would suffer.

Please post our views and ideas on http://www.saveadderbury.co.uk to make us all help make Adderbury a better place.

 

 

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Adderbury to win literary recognition?

There is exciting news for at least one individual with literary ambitions in Adderbury.  There are rumours circulating that a certain Adderbury web site is to be listed for the Man Booker Prize.  This is a prestigious international award for outstanding works of fiction.  The winner receives a prize of £50,000 and runners-up receive £2,500 each.

Yes – you guessed it – the potential recipient has to be Save Adderbury for a work of fiction so outrageous and ridiculous as to be quite unbelievable if it were not in print here in North Oxfordshire.  One problem for the author might be his unwillingness to admit who he is but I guess the prospect of a £50,000 prize might persuade him to come from behind his veil of anonymity!

Of course, there could be a further problem because it does seem quite clear that he has several co-authors and he may well have to share the rewards of his prize with several close neighbours on the other side of the village.  If so, you can bet there will be quite a party in Horn Hill Road although the invitation list may be rather selective!

However, there may also be other good news for our Save Adderbury author.  A further rumour says that several scandal mags are keen to offer him a contract.   The Sun, The MirrorDaily Mail and Express are always keen to attract writers able to create scandalous headlines with no connection to reality providing they can increase circulation so our anonymous web site author from Lester Close may well be looking at a profitable future.

Before our lawyer in Berry Hill Road starts sharpening his quill pen, let me make it quite clear that I blog as an individual and not as a member of Adderbury Parish Council.  He is the author of five complaints to Cherwell District Council, one of which ran to 668 pages and must make him an author with the tenacity of JK Rowling whose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ran to a similar length although I doubt it has quite the literary merit of Rowling or the gripping intensity!

 

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