Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Legal challenge to Taste Cumbria food festival thrown out of court

A man's legal challenge to a Cumbrian food festival has been thrown out by a High Court judge.

Taste Cumbria photo
Taste Cumbria takes place in September

Christopher Lasper, of Limetree Crescent, Cockermouth, brought the challenge against Taste Cumbria, an annual event held in the town which focuses on the county’s produce.

He wrote to Allerdale council in October saying the event was unlawful due to terms of the market licence, with the threat of legal action.

Unhappy with a response from the authority, he went on to start proceedings for a judicial review.

But this has been thrown out by judges at Manchester High Court.

Mr Lasper has also been denied permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesman for the borough council said: “We hope this latest High Court decision will now put an end to this long-running and unnecessary dispute which has involved many hours of staff time and lengthy legal processes.

“Taste Cumbria is a huge success story for west Cumbria and last year brought an estimated 20,000 visitors here and generated £1.9m for the local economy. We hope the festival, which is a fantastic showcase for the area, can now go ahead unimpeded.”

Mr Lasper has made several other legal challenges against the festival in the past.

In 2011 an attempt to challenge Cumbria County Council’s right to close a street for the event was thrown out.

In addition, Mr Lasper was also told he could not issue legal proceedings without permission from a judge because the cost of “unmeritous litigation” was met by the taxpayer.

Taste Cumbria has taken place in Cockermouth every year since 2010.

It has attracted a number of celebrity chefs, including the Hairy Bikers and James Martin.

The organisers are also involved in year-round activities to promote local food, ranging from public relations to political lobbying.

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