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And The Fight Goes On


Some of you may be aware of the battle between the Council and Wharfebanks ( A wholly owned subsidiary of Samuel Smith’s brewery) regarding the closure of the Bernardo’s footpath, walkway…

There is currently a hearing taking place at the Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster to discuss the future of this walkway, whether it is in fact a public right of way or whether it should remain closed.

I attended the meeting this morning (which is expected to last 3 weeks – 10am til 5pm Monday to Friday daily). On the whole the meeting looked as though it was quite busy except for the noticeable shortage of Riverside School parents and past regular users of the Viaduct Walk area.

So far the Judge overseeing the hearing has pointed out that the copies of documentation provided by Wharfebanks legal team was incomplete in some places and lacking photographs, this was also true for the documentation provided to the Council representatives.

Apparently there have been 13 summonses issued for people to attend the hearing and give evidence. These people were summonsed by the Wharfebanks legal team which I for one am quite confused about… it appears that the judge may be a little confused too as he has asked several questions which Wharfebanks have not properly answered yet. When the judge asked if all of the witnesses would be giving evidence the reply from Wharfebanks was “They’re coming”, to which the judge replied “who is coming and in what capacity?”.

Wharfebanks then apologized for any upset caused by issuing the summonses and stated that some of the people summonsed won’t need to appear and give evidence. The judge stated that if one witness was called to give evidence then all 13 would be required to give evidence as the summonses were issued in advance of the judge. The Wharfebanks team reiterated that they would only require 2 or 3 people’s testimony to which the judge replied “All or None will testify”, buy this point the 13 names had been read out and several names had been classed as “didn’t need to attend” whilst other names were listed as required to attend. The judge (again) asked “in what capacity the witnesses would be attending”, he was again told that theses people “will be coming”.

Over the course of 45 minutes plus, the term “They will be coming” was used so many times that nobody seemed to know what was going on as I think the statement “all will give evidence or none will give evidence” completely escapes the comprehension of the Wharfebanks legal team.

The meeting was then adjourned in order for the Wharfebanks team to provide proper copies of the documentation including photographs to the judge and Council. They were also instructed to contact 2 of their witnesses to confirm whether they will be attending to give evidence or not.

I for one am still quite baffled by this blatant disregard for proper procedure and can only assume that this was a play for time rather than an insight into the next three weeks…


Just remember though – these are only my observations and opinions :-)



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