MORE than £114,000 of taxpayers' money was spent on trying to overturn a legal ruling preventing the council's property manager from billing leaseholders for repair works, it has emerged.

A response to a request made by leaseholder Mick McGough under the Freedom of Information act reveals that £114,652 was spent on fees including £3,445 on solicitors, £4,500 on junior counsel and £9,000 on a Queen's Counsel.

The news comes in a week when the council announced it was launching a probe into the fiasco, which has cost taxpayers' millions of pounds in total.

Ascham Homes had billed hundreds of leaseholders up to £32,000 for works carried out under the Government's Decent Homes programme without properly consulting them.

Four legal rulings have gone in favour of the leaseholders.

Ascham Homes had considered pressing for a judicial review of the decision, which would have cost more taxpayers' money, but gave up the fight instead.

The repairs will instead be paid for out of a £5m council contingency fund and the authority has said it is confident it will meet its Decent Homes targets.

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