Council fail in Supreme Court action

South Lanarkshire Council HQ, Hamilton
South Lanarkshire Council HQ, Hamilton

EVERY taxpayer in Clydesdale will have to stump up a share of a six-figure legal bill following a failed council court action.

As forecast in last week’s Gazette, South Lanakshire Council has had its case to stop equal pay campaigners seeing its confidential records on the issue thrown out by the Supreme Court in London.

With the defeat, the judges awarded costs against the council, meaning the already cash-strapped local authority will have to find what it claims will be around £100,000 for the legal bill; campaigners estimate the cost at double that.

While bad news for council taxpayers, the ruling will be a boost to the estimated 200 Clydesdale women taking part in a class action, claiming they are owed thousands in back pay because the council ran a policy contrary to equal pay laws.

The campaigners took the council’s refusal to see internal documents to the Information Commissioner for Scotland, Rosemary Agnew, who ruled in their favour; the council then mounted an expensive appeal against her ruling to the Supreme Court in London.

This week it defended that decision and claimed its legal advice was that it would win.

The council still defended its decision to contest the Commissioner’s ruling.

For more on this story pick up a copy of the Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.