Following today’s judgment relating to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Phase One consultation, North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis has issued the following statement:
‘I am very familiar with the processes of judicial review, having worked in this area for twenty years, and was pleased to be able to attend Court at the beginning of the month. During the hearing, the CCG were able to produce evidence which we had all been asking for since the consultation process began. It is deeply regrettable that it took legal proceedings for this to be made public, and that it was exactly this hard data that aided the CCG’s defence.
While Mr Justice Mostyn found against the four councils and the Keep the Horton General group, I was very interested to read his judgment. He was critical about the CCG’s consultation. Notably, in Paragraph 25 he states: “The conclusions I have reached thus far should not be taken to signify that I personally approve of the decision to split this consultation. It was said that the reason it was done in this way was because of the urgency of the matters covered by phase 1. But they were not urgent.”
He goes on to say in Paragraph 26: “I can well see why in the absence of hard data the claimants and the interested party would assert that as a matter of principle decisions made following phase 1 would queer the pitch when the phase 2 consultation came around…It is a mystery to me why that data was not supplied sooner.”
The judgment has simply served to reinforce my profound discomfort about the way in which the CCG ran the consultation. I have written to the Secretary of State immediately, urging him to use the powers identified by Mr Justice Mostyn, which enable him to ask the CCG to rerun the consultation.’