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Corby to appeal negligence verdict

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Corby Borough Council is to appeal against the High Court ruling that it was negligent in the redevelopment of the former steel works in the town.

Councillors who backed a return to the courts are also seeking mediation with the families who blame the council for birth defects in children.

The decision by 21 of the borough council’s 29 members to adopt the recommendation of the “twin-track approach” was taken after an emotionally-fuelled meeting.

The council’s chief executive, Chris Mallender, said there were strong grounds for appeal against the judgment but they wanted to continue to liaise with the families.

Mr Mallender said: “The council has to balance this issue against its rights and duties to the wider population and to council taxpayers.

“In reaching the decision to appeal, we have taken advice from our legal team who believe there are serious and significant flaws in the judgment which must be reviewed.”

Mr Mallender said the cost of the appeal would run into six figures but it would be worth it as the council could recover some costs if it won.

The council has to balance this issue against its rights and duties to the wider population and to council taxpayers

Chris Mallender, Corby BC

“The judge took a very one-sided view and loaded the case against the council,” he told the BBC after the meeting. “There were huge contradictions and inconsistencies.”

Mr Mallender acknowledged that Corby BC had made mistakes after the 680-acre British Steel works was closed in 1980 following which the buildings were demolished with waste removed to a nearby quarry.

But he insisted it had not been proved that any negligence caused the deformaties in the 16 children at the centre of the case.

Corby BC Press release in full

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