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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Licencing Board - too drunk to take notes?

The decision in IX MacIver -v- CnES was released and makes scary and magnificently false reading.

And I speak as a former member of the Licencing Board.

The fact that no notes are (apparently) taken is a shocking breach of the Law Society Guidance which dictates that notes of all advice should be taken and retained at all times.  This includes - as previous disciplinary matters have concluded - that solicitors should always keep notes of the advice given.

Perhaps that is the next way forward.

Whilst everything the Council may have written is true, given the number of legal challenges and disputes there have been over licences being granted, I always assumed that every decision and all advice was properly documented.  The times I supported an opinion to the Court was always accurate, as far as I was concerned, but I did assume that there was some kind of record to substantiate what was said.

In future, Board members might want to insist that their discussion are accurately recorded in a contemporaneous record so that they do not expose themselves to potential liability, nor the legal services manager to action by their regulatory body.

Indeed, having been party to some exceptionally clear advice to the Board that was then duly ignored, appealed and the Board decision defeated, I assumed that the appeal documents and reports of the debates and discussion were always written up from contemporaneous notes

Is there any other Licencing Board that doesn't keep contemporaneous notes?


Anonymous said...

It would not be the first time that CnES has blatantly lied when responding to a FOI request.
It's a farce.

Anonymous said...

These fine upstanding public servants work for us you know. So why should we expect that when they are making decisions which are of such public interest that they make note of any advice afforded them, as their decisions will always be correct and in the public interest, taken without prejudice and open to public scrutiny.

On the other hand it just goes to show the continued arrogance of these public servants who decide what they want irrespective of what is right or wrong, legal or not and woe betide anyone who has the temerity to question their decision making processes as all that info will surely be swept under the carpet.

What a sham!

Anonymous said...

No notes taken ? At All ?

No emails ?

No jottings ?

I don't believe them.

But if it is true, should the Law Society's attention not be brought to the matter formally ?

Dr Evadne said...

He may have already tried this approach but: can Iain X ask (under the FOI) for copies of all e-mails and correspondence sent and received by licensing board members over the last year, or whatever time span would be relevant? That should do the trick. They may not have used the words 'golf' and 'club' and gone for something not so obvious like 'flog' and 'bluc'. Its a thought

Or can we assume that a lot of deleting and shredding has taken place?

Anonymous said...

Legal Team? Bah humbug - shysters more like.

Anonymous said...

Dr Evadne

I fear that that would be too broad and might be regarded as a 'fishing expedition' by the Information Commissioner.

You'll recall that the Act requires some precision about the 'information requested' rather than simply the means of transmission. I don't think, myself, that the IC would support the type of request you suggest.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make??

Do you need a bunch of emails to prove that the Licencing committee are not acting as they should?? I can't say I'm a great fan of these FOI's.

Let the court case run its course, certain Councilors have marked their own card on this one, I for one won't forget.

The Golf Club will get their license - eventually. The Councilors have showed their true colours, intelligence and integrity. We could have continued voting for these goons for years to come, now we know where their real interests lie. Every cloud has a silver lining as they say.

Anonymous said...

So, two experienced and senior solicitors give important technical advice to a high-profile licensing case and neither of them bother to check any background information, make any notes on how the law is developing or double-check their advice with the Chief Executive (who is also a lawyer).

Either this pair are geniuses (in which case their talents are clearly wasted) or they are careless beyond words at the accuracy of their advice and too arrogant to be bothered to write it all down.

And sorry, how much are we paying them? If they can't give legal advice that can be written down and relied upon, what's the point in having them at all?

Anonymous said...

Благодарность за материалы! :)

Anonymous said...

they lied, church going council liers, we know, they know and their God knows.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is missed.

They could have told certain members of the licencing committee anything - it was falling on deaf ears. Taking notes when dealing with these closed minded individuals is probably a waste of ink and would not have changed the current situation in any way.

The council have publicly stated that the licencing committee were advised and they ignored that advise, don't get sidetracked into blaming lawyers here - certain members of the licencing committee are incompetent and biased to such a degree they should resign.

Foot-loose said...

"... too drunk to take notes?". Nae, too sober to know NOT to take notes. Evidence, my friend, don't you see? Better without. Notes (if they existed) may come back to haunt them. Less accountability without. Who said what to whom? Does it really matter? Licence will be granted.

Anonymous said...

11.37am Is that you, Malky Blur?