Bexley council’s answer to a Freedom of Information request about the cost of persecuting the Grootendorsts was provided by a new contributor. The unedited questions and answers were…
Q1. The financial cost of the investigation in to the allegedly untidy garden of Bexley resident Rita (and Pieter) Grootendorst up to the commencement of legal proceedings.
A1 This is covered in the costs below.
Q2. The financial cost of the legal proceedings for the above including the cost of hiring external lawyers.
A2. The Council's in-house Legal Service acted on the appeal proceedings and instructed a Barrister to advise and represent the Council at the trial of the appeal. The Council's Legal Services spent 60 hours and 18 minutes on the matter. The "with on-cost" hourly rate of the Senior Solicitor acting was £54.25 - over 50 hours 48 minutes. The balance of the time spent was by a Solicitor at the rate of £38.30 per hour and by administrative staff.
Counsel's fees were £3,750.00 before VAT.
…and I calculated that to be £3,119.75 plus the barrister’s fee of £4,500. All the letter writing and spying sorties by John Waring and others over two years cost nothing apparently.
Rita Grootendorst is a founder member of the Sidcup Community Group and unknown to me the SCG had asked the same question and have published the answer on their website. This time it is £3,952.60. Which figure is correct? Almost certainly neither of them.