SAVING COMMUNITY SPACES SAVES COMMUNITY LIVES
Since 29th January 2018 Medway Council have lead a directive to close Deangate Ridge Golf Course. On 6th February 2018 the Cabinet voted to close the course on 31st March 2018. The Labour Party along with over 3800 people who had signed a petition to Save Deangate ‘Called In’ this decision. On 12th March 2018 an Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Medway Council met to review this decision. The committee were informed of numerous breaches in the decision making process and supporting documentation that had formed the council’s decisions. These included:
Breach of Adminstrative Law for lack of options analysis – R (Medway Council) v Secretary of State for Transport  EWHC 2516 (Admin)
Breaches of Requirements to publish information in advance of meetings Local Government Act 1972 – R (Joicey) v Northumberland CC 35. R (Joicey) v Northumberland CC  EWHC 3657.
Breach of HMRC Business development Guidelines,
Breach of CIPFA Good Governance,
Breach of Cabinet Office Principles for Consultation
Breach of Council Constitution – Core Principle B:B1, B3, Part 4 of Leader and Cabinet Rules (2.3)
Breach of the Councils Code of Corporate Governance
The public were denied consultation and Medway chose to ONLY CONSIDER 2 OPTIONS – To continue to run the course at a loss or to close.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER OPTIONS as we pointed out to the Council.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the Cabinet should reconsider their decision.
On 28th March 2018 Cabinet reconvened and regardless of the overwhelming public support and on-going breaches in governance and public and administrative law chose to CLOSE DEANGATE RIDGE on 14th April 2018.
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT A GOLF COURSE – We wish to develop deangate as a leading sports, recreation and well being site under a Localism Act Right to Challenge Expression of Interest submitted to Medway Council on 23rd March 2018.
THIS IS ABOUT GOVERNANCE AND LEGAL COMPLIANCE – We can not allow Medway Council to dictate how they make decisions.
We now have no choice but to commence a legal challenge to ensure that Medway Council are compliant in all future decision making processes.
This will initially be in 3 Stages:
1) A Solicitor will write a Pre-Action letter to Medway Council giving them 48 hours to postpone closure and to enter into discussions with the Deangate Community Partnership to ensure that the Localism Act Right to Challenge Expression of Interest is considered whilst the business is operational.
2) If Medway are not willing to reconsider a Solicitor and Barrister will apply for a Judicial Review Case.
3) If a case can be brought, we will apply to the Judge for an Interim Injunction to keep Deangate open until either Medway Council have considered our Bid or reviewed other options for operating the site. It will be hugely detrimental to any future operators of the site should it be closed on 14th April 2018.
To complete these first stages of Action we need approximately £10,000 plus VAT.
We have pledges to date of over £6,000 and would be most grateful if you would help us to meet this target.
If we have to go to Full Judicial Review (which can take up to 18 months) we will need to raise a further £30,000 plus VAT via various funding routes including crowd funding.