INDEX July 30, 1987
Ratepayers lose fight against 62% increase

Ratepayers fighting to outlaw huge increases in their bills lost one legal batlle but won another yesterday.

Two High Court judges upheld the legality of a 62 per cent rise levied by Waltham Forest council which had been challenged by an action group.

The protesters were also ordered to pay costs, estimated at £100,000.

But in another hearing a woman was given leave to challenge a 65 per cent rise laid down by Ealing,

In the first case, Lord Justice Glidewell, sitting with Mr Justice Schiemann, rejected a claim that the rate decision was taken absurdly, illegally and unreasonably by the labour-controlled east London borough,

Lord Justice Glidewell said he accepted the rate, the highest in London, would be a great burden and may cause problems to future finances in the borough, but it could not be said the decision was irrational.

He said the evidence was that several councillors had voted for the rise contrary to their personal beliefs. But he doubted whether that would render the decision invalid.

He accepted that it was common for such a show of unity in all political groups.

Outside court, the action group said it would consider an appeal.

Meanwhile, residents from Ealing, west London, were cleared by the Court of Appeal yesterday to challenge the 65 per cent rate rise in their borough.

Mrs Patricia Dunstan, a property negotiator, was given leave by the judges, led by Lord Justice Gibson, to challenge the planned rate rise by the Labour-controlled borough.

The Times July 30, 1987.
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