QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF MATTHEW PROUD|
|BUCKINGHAM PUBWATCH SCHEME|
|MR TONY DISTON|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Stephen Walsh (instructed by Poppleston Allen) appeared on
behalf of the Interested Party
The Defendant did not appear and was not represented
Crown Copyright ©
"My Lords, on both the issues to which I have referred I have reached the same conclusion for much the same reasons as my noble and learned friends, Lord Mance and Lord Neuberger. To express in summary terms my reason for so concluding, Southern Cross is a company carrying on a socially useful business for profit. It is neither a charity nor a philanthropist. It enters into private law contracts with the residents in its care homes and with the local authorities with whom it does business. It receives no public funding, enjoys no special statutory powers, and is at liberty to accept or reject residents as it chooses (subject, of course, to anti-discrimination legislation which affects everyone who offers a service to the public) and to charge whatever fees in its commercial judgment it thinks suitable. It is operating in a commercial market with commercial competitors."
It seems to me that it is appropriate to apply the same views to individual licensees operating public houses in the area of Buckingham, or indeed anywhere else.
"whether, as a result of the deployment of full argument and documentary evidence by both sides [which has occurred here, in my submission] at the hearing of a contested application, the unsuccessful claimant has had, in effect, the advantage of an early substantive hearing of the claim."