I therefore do not see the facts that Mr Mastertons submission was not shown to the Authoritys members, and that he was not permitted to attend the meeting. I therefore have no grounds on which to criticise the decision sent to Mr Masterton on 28 January 2000.The questions remain as to whether that decision should have been conveyed to Mr Masterton earlier, and whether in the meantime the Authority misled Mr Masterton as to the likely outcome, or the procedure by which it would be reached.
On the former point, I note that the matter was decided within slightly more than three months of Mr Mastertons first letter on the subject. It was dealt with throughout at a senior level in the Authority, search engine marketing and the replies to Mr Mastertons letters were almost always extremely prompt. That in itself would count for little if the decision made and conveyed in January 2000 was one that could reasonably have been expected to have been made and conveyed the previous October.
However, the case was one that the Authority might reasonably feel obliged to refer to their full membership simply to endorse their recommendation for its handling, even if they did not propose that that forum should address the substantive issues.I therefore do not criticise the Authority for the fact that a decision was not conveyed to Mr Masterton until after the full membership had met (and I note the promptness with which it was then conveyed). Did the Authority mislead Mr Masterton as to what he could expect from the meeting on 27 January 2000.
The Chief Executives letter of 22 October 1999 said that she would ensure that Mr and Mrs Mastertons case was considered by the members at a future Authority meeting.It was, even if that consideration was not of the substantive nature that Mr Masterton was seeking. However, the Chief Executives more detailed letter of 8 December 1999 said that the Authority were considering the matter as a request to reconsider their current policy position, taking into account the special circumstances of the case.