A kind Leighton Buzzard businessman has set up an online fundraising page to help a “selfless” community activist who challenged the town council.
Matt Brown, 30, owner of Espresso-Head, has set up a Go Fund Me page that has already surpassed its aim to raise £100 for Victoria Harvey, who took Leighton-Linslade Town Council to court.
During the High Court proceedings, Ms Harvey had argued that the town council did not properly consult market traders about plans to change fees and that its decision was unfair, but lost the case on February 15.
In the wake of the £20,000 worth of legal costs she faces, Matt has set up a page to show support for Victoria, and the current total (at the time the LBO went to press) stands at £140.
Matt said: “Victoria is a regular at my shop and obviously I’m quite active in the local town within the Shopwatch community.
“The market has been dwindling in size in recent months and Victoria stepped in. She took it upon herself to argue the point and to try and better the town.
“A lot of people were following that very closely and she had a lot of support behind her.I don’t think I met anybody who disagreed with what she was doing. I’m hoping the money raised will help with a few bits and bobs and repairs around her house.”
At the Royal Courts of Justice, Judge Marc Dight confirmed that whilst the town council did not have a duty to consult, the consultation process it had undertaken with market traders on amendments to pitch fees, inclusive of the award of discounts for length of market service, was thorough, measured and appropriate.
However, Matt added: “Victoria always seems to bounce back regardless and focusses on the next thing she will try and help with.”
Victoria said: “I was really prepared to risk everything for the sake of the market, but it is so kind that people are being really helpful. I am touched and incredibly grateful to anyone who has donated.
“I’m just touched, really really touched that Matt is doing this for me. It will make a huge difference to my life.”