THE SUPREME COURT has ruled that a consultation carried out by
Haringey Council before a decision to reduce council-tax benefit,
All five judges agreed that the council should have set out
alternative methods of absorbing a shortfall in government funding.
In doing so, they agreed with the Revd Paul Nicolson, a retired
priest, who is also challenging the decision by the council to
impose a £125 order for costs on everyone summoned to a
magistrates' court for not paying council tax (News,
He wrote several responses to the consultation of 2012, opposing
the council's proposal to make households exempt from council tax
pay 20 per cent of the tax. He argued that other councils had found
other ways of meeting the shortfall created by central government
The Supreme Court agreed that his protest against the council's
decision to go ahead with the proposal had been "well-directed".
The judges did not, however, direct the council to carry out a
The priest described the judgment as a "powerful win" that left
the council "free to re-consult".