Carnival case costs taxpayers £60k

Last month a judge found that South Somerset District Council (SSDC) had acted un lawfully. SSDC’s Area West Committee approved a planning application to build industrial scale sheds in the open countryside. The plans would see the sheds constructed in Kingstone Parish for local carnival clubs to work on their floats.

The decision was challenged by CPRE Somerset who claimed two councillors had a conflict of interest. The Judge agreed.

As a result the decision of the council to allow the application was judged to be unlawful.

The judge also pointed out that the advice given by SSDC’s Monitoring Officer was wrong in law.

Costs in the case have been awarded and SSDC will be required to pay both their own and CPRE’s legal costs. We understand the combined total of these costs will be £60,000.

These costs will of course ultimately be carried by South Somerset council taxpayers. When we approached SSDC about the outcome of the case and the costs that council taxpayers would now have to bear they told us: “This is a very disappointing outcome and the Council is considering its position.”

Meanwhile SSDC are going to discuss the outcome at the Area West meeting of the council on Wednesday 7 December. The meeting is to be held at the Guildhall in Chard where happily for SSDC, there are no facilities to broadcast the meeting live. Currently Area West is the only SSDC meeting which is not available as a live broadcast.

There’s a full report on the Carnival case in the 15 December Leveller.


  • What a bunch of clowns, yet many of these have managed to get jobs in the new Unitary.
    What could possibly go wrong????

  • Acting unlawfully or even dubiously (e.g. the large payoff to an anonymous individual which was authorised by “Mr” Parmley before he departed seems to be a habit in SSDC. Let us hope that the Unitary body employs professionals capable of reining in or, better still preventing, stupidities.

    • We can all live in hope but i can only see things getting worse as more areas will be more remote than before with almost all of the old crowd in power who have ignored their voting public many times before. As Neil said what could possibly go wrong????

  • £60,000 on this carnival conflict of interest case, £175,000 on auditors fees due to Lib/dem failures to provide financial information, £109,000 paid to a senior officer to cover up the Chief Executive position debacle, impossible to assess the money lost in battery parks due to information being withheld but possibly £millions, former senior officer sacked for using Council staff, fuel and recourses who stated this behaviour was endemic in SSDC, the Lib/dems have a lot to answer for, but they won’t.

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