LEDBURY town councillors met behind closed doors on Monday evening to discuss the outcome of the recent judicial review, brought by Cllr Liz Harvey against the town council.

The agenda reveals that publication of the judge’s report is imminent, in that a press release is being prepared and the town council’s solicitors are set to be instructed to deal with financial matters relating to the court case.

It has been widely reported in the media in the past that whoever comes out on the wrong side of the judgement could potentially end up facing a legal bill as high as £140,000 which, in the case of the town council, could come from the public purse, or possibly from insurance.

The discussions were considered confidential and exempt, with both members of the press and the public excluded from that part of the meeting, which took place in the town council offices.

And councillors were warned that the utmost secrecy was still required, because the judgement by Justice Sara Cockerill was still in draft form and any breach of confidentiality could be viewed as Contempt of Court.

The agenda, published online, states: “The information shall neither be disclosed not discussed outside the meeting as the judgement is in draft and will not be handed down by the judge for a few days yet.”

The agenda also reveals that councillors were asked to vote on financial matters relating to the case, as yet not made public.

The agenda states that councillors will be asked “to authorise solicitors to negotiate financial matters on behalf of the council”.

What these financial matters are was not specified on the agenda.

Councillors were also asked to “consider and approve the draft press release for issue when the final judgement is made.”

The judicial review was heard by Justice Cockerill in April 17, in Cardiff.

The town council has issued no statement since concerning the judicial review.

But there has been a statement on the Crowd Justice crowd-funding site from the former town councillor, Richard Hadley, who set up the crowd-funding drive on behalf of Cllr Harvey.

Mr Hadley wrote, on April 18: “Yesterday we had our day in court. We are content that our legal team gave a good account of our case and we are hopeful that we shall not have to wait long to receive Mrs Justice Cockerill's judgement.

“Whichever way the judgement goes, this will be an important clarification of the law as regards the proper process by which councillors may be held to account concerning their behaviour.”

So far, £5,050 has been pledged by 80 supporters towards a stated target of £30,000, to help cover Cllr Harvey’s legal costs, if necessary.

The judicial review looked into the processes followed by Ledbury Town Council in finding two town councillors, Cllr Liz Harvey and Cllr Andrew Harrison, guilty of bullying staff.

Cllr Harvey, but not Cllr Harrison, launched a legal process last year, against Ledbury Town Council.

The town council procedures that found Cllr Harvey and Cllr Andrew Harrison guilty of bullying staff were under employment law; but a separate Code of Conduct investigation, by Herefordshire Council found that neither Cllrs Harvey and Harrison had been in breach of the Code, which covers how councillors must treat others.

Ledbury Town Council did not oppose the granting of permission for the judicial review