Saturday, 24 February 2018

The legal argument and stuff on Steve's case

#I know Steve is now wanting to get on helping residents - which he has always wanted to help over this period. However, I feel it is important to write a blog post on the legal arguments.

So first of all it is fair to say we all know how the Chief Executive has to be - I want to reiterate the phrase "as to be" - non political. That is the law! We all know that Donna Hall has taken steps to, in my opinion, not only be political but break the law over her time as CE (Chief Executive). Many times opposition members have said lets take her to court. Whilst it is easy to say I know how hard it is to get there and then win. But I always said yes she thinks she has gotten away with it but one day she will go so far that I would take action against her. This was in Steve's case! For a number of reasons I like Steve.and also it is was illegal what Donna Hall had done and she was meddling in democracy.

Steve had had some bad press and personal issues which the council had put in the press. On Friday the 8th Jan 18 they got him in a room at the Town Hall and tried to make him quit there and then - he said he wouldn't for a couple of reasons. So the Council officers, inc the head of Legal Services who is meant to be there to also be impartial and help Cllrs not try and stitch them up.

Because Steve would not resign on the day Friday 8th Jan 18 they said well we can sort your concerns out and say lets do it on the 20th February when you have all your issues resolved with the council. They agreed that would be Steve's intention.

That night the head of Legal Services sent Steve an email and confirmed their cosy deal and asked to Steve to put it out on his Facebook with what his intention were. He also said he wanted Steve to confirm that he was intending to resign on the 20th February. He did confirm that it was his intention. A normal person could see he hadn't resigned.

Later that night Steve rang me just before he posted it on his Facebook page what had happened and he was about to do. I told him not to do the FB post until we had spoken. He did it. On Monday the 8th I visited Steve and we discussed this matter and because he had some time over the weekend and spoke with me he said he wouldn't resign on the 20th February. And so the legal bit started - although we didn't realise it at that time.  Steve sent an email to the Council on Monday 8th Jan to say he wouldn't be resigning on the future date 20th Feb. The following day Donna Hall put out a notification of a vacant seat. She had just had the flipping email the night before but he she was giving two fingers to him, the law and also democracy. We had more communication with the Council and Donna and she wrote to Steve and said she had decided that he had resigned when it clearly said that he would not resign on the day. Now it is important to realise since the previous Friday when the cosy deal was in place that Steve remained on the council website and email system. The Tuesday 9th Jan when Donna acted he was immediately removed. It was clear that week that Donna was not prepared to listen and try and resolve the matter. So after discussion with Steve it was agreed that I would act on his behalf to do the Judicial Review.He would concentrate on the by election just in case.

The Sunday 14th Jan I sent Donna Hall and the Council a pre action letter - I had now put them on formal notice that if they continued they would be taken to court. It was quite clearly spelt out. I heard from one of my sources that the council just laughed it off saying Gareth can't do it. They didn't even respond.

We had to go through the court procedure inc moving the hearing from London to Manchester at the Courts request as they like it to be heard locally. We all agreed.

1st Hearing

So last week at the first hearing I had prepared all the papers and arguments for Steve so we argued that what Donna had done was illegal and should be stopped.The Council asked for it to be thrown out as I had not given them notice of my intention and acted swiftly. Mr Hon Justice kerr said that I had done that on the 14th Jan and although it may not be laid out like a lawyer would do it was quite clear and specific that they knew full well what would happen. They then tried to argue that he had resigned but the Judge said no he didn't and this hearing was to ask for permission to get an injunction to stop the By Election and get a JR meeting for Steve. The judge was damning in my opinion because he said as soon as Donna had received Steve's email that he sent on the 8th  she did not only ignore it but "accelerated" the the election process. He was impressed. He said that he would grant Steve permission for the JR Hearing as he had a very strong case against the Council. The Council's barrister said the judge could not stop the election as Donna Hall, whilst the Chief Executive of the council was acting in her role as Returning Officer role and that is separate from the council and because we named Wigan Council on the papers we served then Donna Hall would be bond by any injunction in her role as Chief Executive but not in her role as Returning Officer. To do that we needed to add Donna Hall on personally as Returning Officer. The judge was not happy and said before the hearing the council should have added Donna Hall on as an interested party if that was going to be part of their argument to not stop the by election. He was thinking of adding her there and then and getting her into his court room the following day so she would be bound by the injunction. The Council said she would not have enough time to get her own legal advice. The judge said at the end of the hearing that the Council should work me and Steve to resolve this mess. Yet another opportunity for Donna to resolve the matter. I wrote to her on the following Friday Night and said we should sort this out and if she didn't stop this then we would take her back to court the following week and stop it. I gave her till 5pm on Monday to do this and respond. She said she had taken legal advice ( we will come back to this in a bit ) and then decided that she would continue with the by election. Now over the weekend I was preparing papers to serve on Donna Hall on Tuesday to take her back into the High Court on Wednesday - the day before the by-election. I knew that I had dropped the ball a bit not adding her on the papers personally at the first hearing but then again the Judge could have added her when the \council said she was separate in her role as RO than Chief Executive. So I knew that we only had one more chance and I started to discuss the case with Piers Coleman and his team at K&L Gates over the weekend with what I was doing and if they would be interested in being instructed by Steve and to take the case on because I didn't want any slip ups. When Donna came back and said no they said to be in their offices in London the following day. Serious money now on the table and the stakes are now higher!

2nd Hearing

The second hearing the judge was not happy and said he was going to sort this mess out and hear the injunction application and and also the Judicial Review. The Council argued that when he used the word resignation on his first email on the 8th Jan that was it, but the judge said if you look at the sentence it says it was his intention. The council realised they were going to lose the argument that he had not resigned so they tried to stop the injunction. They claimed that because 2 people had sign the requisition then the election had to go ahead.  The judge disregarded that saying that if he and another person went a signed a requisition and delivered it to their returning officer then the they would have to call an election even though there was no vacant seat which then brought it back to the Donna Hall who never had any power to call the election in the first place and RO can only take and accept 2 signatures if there is a valid seat.

The Council then argued that the election should go ahead and then if Mr Jones didn't win then we would have to go to court and then have a hearing to remove that person first and then we would have to go back again and have a Judicial Review to put Steve back in. I thought that was what the council would say and that would create more court time and waste more money. The Judge said the election petition was not valid because like he keeps saying there was never a seat vacant in the first place. and therefore if there was a court hearing to remove that person then it would be wrong because there was never a seat.

He said that Donna had not taken legal advice after  I sent the email on the Friday before - her barrister said that was not true as she had consulted Wigan council's head of Legal services on the matter but she hadn't taken independent advice. So we can all see who Donna is going to try and sack for this?  As I have said Donna should have seeked outside counsel advice but she refused to do it. All this mess was her doing for one reason she wasn't going to let the opposition stop her and she was going to win and ignore us and it took the extraordinary and highly serious steps of gong to the high court twice.

So we know the legal reasons for the win for Steve but also you can see it always leads back to one person actions - Donna Hall's and for that reason she should be sacked.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Wow what just happened ??

So after last weeks hearing where Steve Jones took the council to the High Court and won the right to have a Judicial Review. For many this means very little but for those that know a little they will know that they are incredibly hard to achieve. We won that but we failed to get the injunction to stop the election on a legal technicality. To you and me it was the fact that Donna Hall wasn’t in the court room and had she been there I have absolutely no doubt that it would have been stopped by Hon Justice Kerr there and then.

So after that hearing Steve asked me can we relook at this? Absolutely. The issue was we took Wigan Council to the High Court. I believed, and I will say I as it was me that completed the forms and thought this, that because Donna Hall was the Chief Executive and created this mess that would be fine. However, what had happened in the previous court hearing was that the Council barrister argued that Donna Hall was acting as a returning Officer – a position that Wigan Council gave her – but it is a stand alone position. For that reason she had to be named personally on the legal papers and not just have Wigan Council name on there.

So back at it I went to work the case and what happened and what needed to happen and how we moved forward. I had previously been discussing the case with the highly respected solicitor Piers Coleman and those talked continued throughout the weekend day and night.

They had some ideas of what I believed on the case and we talked about me and Steve going back to Court for another injunction but this time putting Donna Hall’s name on there so we could get what we should have gotten a few days before.

On Monday the firm that Pier’s worked for K&L Gates agreed to meet us on Tuesday. Because train tickets were so expensive we decided to drive. I woke up at 2.30am and picked Steve up at 4am and off we set to London.  

When we got there was a simple Wow. It is probably too long of a take to put in this blog post but we stayed working with them all day and left their offices at 5.30pm when we finally knew that we had a day in court the following day back in Manchester. We had to get back to the car which took an hour across London via the tube and walking and we got back home at 10.30pm,

After a very long day we got back in Court for 10.15am for the hearing at 11am.

The Hearing

It became very clear to me that the Judge was not impressed that he had this case in front of him and I knew he was going to be ripping into someone. The legal arguments went back and forth very quickly because the Council said if they lost they would be going to London to get an urgent appeal in. The judge was OK with this – if that was what either side wanted but he got things moving quickly. He basically said to the Barristers don’t tell me something that you have written as I have read them over night.

We had not only applied for the Injunction but for him to listen to the Judicial Review at the same time and to wrap it all up. He agreed but the council didn’t like this. It became apparent that he was going to agree with us on the JR and that Steve never had resigned. Both me and Steve picked this up from the beginning because as soon as he walked in and started talking he was addressing Steve as Cllr Jones.  So now that had been resolved what to do with the election? I know the courts do not and I really do mean do not like getting involved with elections. The council’s barrister had said this and tried to use this as their argument but the judge said he could because it was an exceptional case and he was reluctant, but it was a mess that had been created by Donna Hall’s own doing. Discussions went back and forth people that had voted via postal votes would have to be destroyed but then Steve’s barrister said well what about all the people that voted for him 2016 what about their democracy and votes?

So he said that because he had decided the by election should never have been called he said there really was only one thing to do – cancel the By election. What a result!
At the point Steve’s barrister applied for cost against the council – another word for them to pick the bill up for everything as they had been at fault. The answer was yes and for a number of reason including that I had written to Donna Hall last Friday after the last hearing to say call the election off or you will lose and get a big bill. She had been warned as I put her on immediate noticed. She wrote back to me on Monday night and said No. That was the trigger me and Steve had waited for and we knew we would go to London the following morning.
Now since Steve had emailed her back on Monday 8th January about his intention changing and then the following day Donna Hall ordered the election. Big mistake! I wrote to her and the council saying to stop this before it goes any further. They pretty much dared to try and get them in court and they always ignored every warning – which there were many. These warnings were highlighted throughout the hearings and she ignored them all.

The judge had said yesterday said that Donna Hall should never have called the election and she never had the power to do so. Also that even when I warned her and told her to stop she ignored it and carried on. All these actions plus many others have left the tax payers with a bill that is huge. She is on over £200,000 and I believe that she should be sacked immediately with no golden hand shake pay off. If the Labour Leader Cllr Peter Smith sticks by her then he is condoning her actions and even to his very day the Council and Donna are claiming the judge got it wrong and Steve resigned. 1 judge said in his opinion he did not and then another said he definitely didn’t. I know Steve is getting back to helping residents but also Donna Hall needs to give him a personal and public apology now!
This is just a small amount of detail on the whole case but hopefully it shows you some of what has gone on and what should happen in my opinion now. There is a lot more and maybe in future posts I will cover them.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Wigan Council informed of possible Court Action before Thursday


I am writing this Blog post because after yesterday's massive hearing to grant Steve Jones a Judicial Review.

After speaking with Steve today and also taking our own legal advice today we have now put Wigan Council on formal notice that should they not cancel the By Election by the end of Business on Monday (5pm) then we will considering going back to the High Court and asking for an injunction again to stop the By Election.

Some of you may be saying why? There are a few reason for this - the first one is that the only reason why we were not granted an injunction yesterday was because Donna Hall was not in the Court so let's resolve that matter. The judge was nearly minded anyway to ask her to appear the following day ( today Friday 16th February 2018 ).

However, we have taken our own legal advice with a top leading law firm in London today and they have pointed out a very important point that needs to be considered before Thursday we believe,

Hopefully Donna Hall - who we have written to this evening - along with the head of Legal Services and their Barrister Mr Peter Oldham QC will discuss the matter between them and cancel the by election by the end of business on Monday. That is not only just for us but for all the other candidates and more importantly the electorate.

I write this blog post to address why we may do this next week and also because Wigan Council said we didn't really tell them last time that we were going to take them to court. By emailing them all this evening and also putting it on the blog they cannot say they and others have not been informed.

At this stage we cannot say anything further on the matter until we know what the actions of the Returning Officer and Chief Executive Donna Hall on Monday.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

David Vs Goliath and David Won

Today was the case were Cllr Steve Jones went to the High court and asked a Judge to allow him to apply for a Judicial Review. Also at the same meeting he asked for the Bryn By Election.

The hearing should have lasted just 30 minutes however it went on all day. During the day We argued that Cllr Steve Jones has said he was going to resign in the future, ie about 8 weeks away. He did this whilst suffering a massive spike in his depression. After time to get over that and get a massive wave of support from residents he informed the council that he would not be resigning in the future. Wigan Council went bad and said well we are saying you have resigned and called a by election, effectively sacking him as an elected member.

Wigan Council always said we were wrong with how we were interrupting a number of laws including the Local Government Act 1972. We contested that and I sent the head of Legal Services a letter just days after the matter arose and said lets try and sort this out and don't call a By-Election. They ignored me. In that letter on the 14th I warned them that if they did not respond then we would take them to court.

So today Wigan council must have known they were going to lose as their tried on so many points to get the Mr Justice Tim Kerr to throw the application out. The judge responded to this by saying that I had written to them on the 14th January and not only did they carry on the election they accelerated the process and now the Council are trying to hide behind the fact people have started voted. So the Judge as said he will not stop the by election HOWEVER he has granted permission for Steve Jones to have a judicial review and if he had to rule on it today he would find in favour of Steve Jones - affectingly telling Wigan Council he is still a Cllr.

Wigan Council said that the judge couldn't stop the election because Donna Hall was acting not as a Chief Executive but as a Returning officer which is a separate position to her role as Chief Executive and we were claiming against Wigan Council. After thought and discussion the judge said that Donna Hall should come to court and because the time was so close to the By election he would not order her before then as it was to close but would want her there on the judicial review. I really wouldn't want to be Donna Hall facing this High court Judge.

At the end the judge said that the election should not have been started and or stopped earlier.He said that Wigan council choose to spend the £10,000 so far on this by-election knowing that it was coming to court. They choose to ignore the high court application. I guess they did this at their peril because the Judge said a council and returning Officer should only ever advertise when a vacancy has come available and in the case of Steve Jones in his opinion he hadn't resign. He came to that conclusion after reading all the emails and dates to and from Steve Jones and Wigan Council and myself. He said that I a lay person on the street , if they read them, they would agree that Steve Jones never resigned. See us common folks views do matter.

The barrister who Wigan Council was a very highly respected Barrister from Kings Chambers in London and the judge said his judgement was not against his effects to try and stop this but it was because in effect Wigan Council were in the wrong and should have responded to my email on the 14th January.

So what now? The by-election goes ahead and Steve Jones will continue to fight that and if he wins then he wins. If someone else wins then Steve can then go for a Judicial Review and probably win ( well he would have won today) and then whoever had won would not be the official Cllr because the judgement would rule that Steve never resigned.

The judge left it saying that Donna Hall should write immediately to all candidates and inform them of this judgement. In my it means I Donna hall write to you but I am saying if you win and your name is not Steve Jones then you will be ruled out as a Cllr because Steve Jones has a right to a Judicial Review whereby he has a very high success rate of winning saying he never actually resigned in the first place therefore there should never have been an election. That confirms to us that this by-election has been called illegally.

Steve Jones wants to say a massive thank you to all those how has supported him and like the judge says the people who voted him in in 2016 should not be denied their Cllr.

There will be communication between myself and Steve with the Barrister for Wigan Council and Wigan Council and hopefully collectively we can resolve this mess.

Donna Hall must seriously  consider her position and if she doesn't quit now be sacked because now her position has become untenable! Her illegal actions ( in my view) have now cost Wigan Taxpayers about £100,000. She is on £200,000 plus a year take some of the money back of her!

At the end the barrister for Wigan Council tried to get permission to appeal the judges judgement. The judge said  no because they had very little success of winning.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Justice will be heard

As many know that follow politics in Wigan and or read this blog I have been helping Steve Jones on getting a judicial review on whether what Wigan Council did was legal or not.

It has been a steep learning curve and a lot of hard work however I can confirm that Mr Justice Kerr has now invited all parties to a hearing on Thursday Morning and to hear, as an urgent item, an injunction on Bryn By Election.

We put in two applications to the Royal Courts and one was for a Judicial Review and the other was to suspend/ cancel the by election until after the Judicial Review has been heard. On Thursday it is the later which Mr Justiice Kerr will be considering.

Given the importance of this case it is monumental for us to get to this point in itself and if we win on Thursday the Judge May if he agrees with us wil. suspend the By Election until after the Judicial Revuew has been heard.

Steve is very happy that his case is going to be heard and we want justice for Steve and this illegal by election to be stopped. Steve will be continuing to campaigning until we know for sure that the by election.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Labour want equality but don't want it for white men

OK so before the PC looney left start shouting racist etc read the damn post.

So it wasn't that long ago - well a couple of weeks when the Looney Left Labour Party said white people had to pay for a conference they were holding. In the end the correct authorities and said this discriminated against white people by charging them more. So after that you would have thought they would have learnt their lesson - o no.

Now as you can see from the poster they are want equality for all - good so far until you read the poster and then realise that actually white men cannot attend. So the Labour Party don't care about White men do they not? This is just the type of looney left PC barmby brigade that drives hatred and divides people and groups. How on earth do they think white men would respond to their views that they didn't care for them? They didn't want them? Do they think they should just slope off tail between their legs? No they should stand up to this kind of discrimination and fight back. And this is what this blog post is doing fighting back for true equality.

It was also not long ago a part of the Labour Party Students in Liverpool what the Queen killed.  At that tweet I said they should be thrown into the tower and locked up and this is yet another example of why Labour should be nowhere near power they have dangerous views that are so communist it is untrue.

I wonder if a a party held a white men conference what the Labour Party would say? O they would be up in arms shouting racists and we hate women. The truth is the conference should be open to everyone. White men I would imagine in the main care about equality too so why can't they go?

I will ask the Labour lot why they hate white men so much and see what their answer is. I bet we don't get one. But the Labour party are hypocrites - why do I say this the party has 2 white men running it - Jeremy Corbyn and McDonald guy. The Deputy Leader is another White male. So come on Labour Party where is this so called equality now?  Typical do as I say not as I do party!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Looney Left taking over and forcing Political Correctness on us all

The world is an every changing place. Some for the good and some for the bad. One thing that is high on peoples talking point is the political correctness world and how it is going mad.

I have read two stories of where lollipop men have high five children as they cross the road. On of them, a 77 year old man who has done the job for over 2 decades quit and the other gentleman said if they sack me that is up to the council.

Whilst we have to me on our guard for people that may groom kids and want to do them harm I am sure these 2 gentleman wouldn't. The children - in the main - are with their parents and also there parents are around for those that are not. It has been showed on TVthe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge high fiv'ing children so why this now? The world is going mad.

On another note I have seen a number of online people complaining that they do not get paid enough from their work place or the wages are unfair. The bottom line for me is that at the beginning you are offered a salary if this is OK then you accept if it is not you try and negotiate a better one if you do - excellent - if not you choose what you want to do. If you are not getting paid enough look round for another job and employer and grow. If a company is not paying enough then the retention would h=be high and then their cost of recruitment goes up so they may as well pay more. It is almost like people think they are entitled to something in this day and age for some reason. A quick buck. If the Looney left get their way then what will happen is what happened a few years ago and the jobs will go and companies will outsource.

On the other end of the pay spectrum the Chief Executives get too much and given what I have just said then some may try and question this but for example the Chief Executive of Wigan Council gets paid over £200,000, which is way more than the Prime Minister, and yet front line staff are being forced to take pay freezes. This element to me seems unfair. How can this wage be justified? It can't!

People are so weary of speaking their minds these days they are scared of getting sued or labelled and the individuality that we all are should be celebrated and not forced to think the same and do the same. They call North Korea for this but this is what they are trying to do with us. I thought we had freedom of speech in this country but this is going less and less and the looney Left are trying to force silence on us.

Grid Girls have been removed from F1 because it could create the wrong impression and been seen as abuse of them. So what have they replaced them with kids. So some idiots think we can't show young females that want to do it but it is OK to shove in their place. Idiots. PC gone bad!

If you say anything about immigration well you will be banged a racist whether you have genuine concerns or not. If someone wants to speak their view then t=let them. Then the people listening can see if they agree or not.

I hope the decent hard working people of this country fight back and shove the PC brigade back in their little box.