Rasen Mayor remains tight-lipped over court case

Market Rasen town centre on market day.
Market Rasen town centre on market day.

A judicial review into Market Rasen Town Council’s decision to evict a market trader has failed to go ahead.

Market Rasen mayor John Matthews last week told the Rasen Mail the case would be heard by a judge at Leeds High Court on Thursday (September 15).

It’s still with the legal people. I’m in their hands

Coun John Matthews

His comments came after the Rasen Mail questioned him on details surrounding the dispute.

But now Coun Matthews has said the case did not go to court last week - and that the issue had still not yet been settled out of court.

He said: “It’s still with the legal people.

“I’m in their hands.

“It didn’t go to court.”

Coun Matthews said he did not yet know whether or not the case would ever reach the court hearing stage.

He said: “[It will] hopefully not [go to court] but I don’t know.”

So, according to Coun Matthews, there is still a chance the the case will be heard by a judge for a judicial review.

But he would not be drawn on any further details about the dispute.

Back in April, Jennie North and Bryan Spittlehouse - who run the town’s North’s fruit and veg stall - announced they were taking the council to court over its decision to evict their business from the Market Place.

The town council claims the traders had repeatedly broken rules and had been sent several disciplinary letters, dating back to 2012, for ‘moving council property’, opening the market without ‘correct authorisation’ and ‘unacceptable behaviour’.

The traders were served with an eviction notice in January this year, asking them to vacate Market Place by April 8.

About 2,500 people then signed a petition against the move, and the traders said they were left ‘baffled’ by the decision.

North’s fruit and veg stall has served the town since 1958. Mrs North’s parents started the stall and her brother took over in 

Mr Spittlehouse and Mrs North have run the stall for about 10 years.

The eviction has now been put on hold, which means the stall is still trading in the town.

A judicial review means a judge will hear a case and make a decision on the lawfulness of action taken by a public body, such as a council.

The Rasen Mail has been unable to contact Mrs North or Mr Spittlehouse.