After two years of probing, the final cost of the “forgot to nail the writ to the mast” saga has finally been made public.
It now emerges that the secretive Liberal Democrat & Labour Coalition that runs the Council cost the Borough Taxpayers £138,000 by omitting to nail a writ to a boat mast.
In its capacity as the Harbour Master, we understand that the Council had granted a licence to moor a boat at the Hythe Quay. Following a dispute in 2017 about payments between the Council and the boat owner, the Council tried to terminate the agreement. The Council went to court and obtained a possession order for the boat.
However, as every schoolboy knows, international marine law requires a marine writ to be “nailed to the mast, or otherwise served by securely affixing a sealed copy of the writ to the mast or some other conspicuous part of the ship’s superstructure”.
In the absence of the writ nailed to the mast, sources tell us that the Council unlawfully executed the possession order and had the boat moved, resulting in the owner claiming significant legal damages.
On hearing what had happened, the judge gave a ruling in court, ordering the Council to pay for on-land accommodation for the crew until the matter was resolved because the boat was deemed uninhabitable following the Council’s unlawful action.
The final cost for hotel accommodation and legal fees since 2017 is now revealed as a £138,000 loss to the Borough coffers.
Conservatives believe in obeying the law, whether on land or at sea.