Beer fisherman fights on for justice

PUBLISHED: 19:08 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:49 18 June 2010

A JUDICIAL review is almost the last resort for a Beer fisherman who has been refused a fishing concession by East Devon District Council. Brian Sanderson, of Park Road, says he is completely mentally exhausted from the three year battle he has undert

A JUDICIAL review is almost the "last resort" for a Beer fisherman who has been refused a fishing concession by East Devon District Council.

Brian Sanderson, of Park Road, says he is "completely mentally exhausted" from the three year battle he has undertaken with the council to fight for the concession on Seaton beach.

Mr Sanderson, who has been a fisherman for over 30 years, was refused the application earlier this year and despite appealing against the decision he was told at the end of February it was refused and he had no further right of appeal.

Now Mr Sanderson has reapplied for the concession and a judicial review is on the cards because, according to his lawyer, there has been a "challengeable delay" by the council.

He said: "I'm no hero at all but somebody has got to stand up and say what's right and what is not right. This council can not call itself democratic because it is autocratic."

Although the council was found guilty of maladministration in relation to the same application in 2007, and they issued a full apology, Mr Sanderson feels the council has "put every obstacle" in his way from returning to work.

He added: "I have been fighting now for three years to get something that they were found guilty of and they said they would apologise. Is this an apology?"

A frustrated and tired Mr Sanderson met with MP Hugo Swire earlier this month in his Exmouth surgery and the politician has now become involved in the struggle.

Mr Sanderson believes in the time he has been off work he has lost around £60,000 and the £10,000 compensation he was awarded by the council in 2007 is not "adequate".

He says since submitting a new application the council has refused to give him a date for decision which he believes is another "delay tactic".

He said: "It must've cost them tens of thousands of pounds of ratepayers' money. All I want to know is why?"

An EDDC spokesperson said: "I can confirm that Mr Sanderson has resubmitted an application for a concession to run passenger boat trips from Seaton beach, and this is currently being dealt with by council officers.

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