William Eichler 10 February 2016

Transgender couple wins damages after council publishes libellous material

Transgender couple wins damages after council publishes libellous material image

A transgender couple who were subjected to a campaign of harassment have won damages from the council after defamatory comments were published on its website.

According to The Telegraph, the women, who live in a rural village outside Southampton, have had their property repeatedly targeted by vandals who, on one occasion, caused £12,000 worth of damage.

The couple installed CCTV cameras but were then told by Test Valley Borough Council that they must apply for retrospective planning permission after the council received letters from neighbours objecting to the cameras.

The council published many of the letters on its website, which included claims concerning young children playing outside and in neighbouring gardens.

One of the letters was so libellous that the council paid the women £5,000 in damages after they took the authority to court.

One of the women told The Telegraph: ‘The abuse had just escalated. It’s been awful. All we want is to live a quiet life.

‘We have had stink bombs thrown at our car, paint and condoms thrown, our garage door dented with pellet bullets, cars parked in such a way that it is impossible to get into our car… the police say they can’t do anything as there is no evidence it’s a hate crime but it’s pretty obvious why this is happening.

‘We are both transgender. That is really the only difference between us and other people. Our solicitor described it as a witch hunt.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘The council inadvertently published a third party letter on its website which contained libellous content relating to a planning application.’

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Corporate Director

Ceredigion County Council
£97,294 - £104,086
We are looking to recruit an ambitious and truly transformational leader to support the delivery of modernised and sustainable services to... Penmorfa, Porthmadog
Recuriter: Ceredigion County Council

Street Works Co-ordinator

Lincolnshire County Council
£21,153 - £23,791
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Community Co-ordinator (Health inequalities)

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc.
The successful candidate will have evidenced experience of working in a community environment. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Homelessness Prevention and Relief Officer

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
You must have an understanding of homelessness legislation, and an ability to learn legislation quickly with training, coupled with... Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue