Yorkshire Ambulance Service face £850,000 bill for Hillsborough disaster inquests costs

Hillsborough disaster

Hillsborough disaster

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Yorkshire Ambulance Service is expecting to spend around £850,000 on legal costs relating to the Hillsborough inquests this year, it has been revealed.

A meeting of the trust’s board at The Source, Meadowhall, heard details of the service’s estimated costs for representing itself at the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in 1989.

But it is not yet clear who will foot the bill for the legal costs, although the service is setting money aside in preparation.

The service is hoping some of its costs will be covered by the Government.

Alex Crickmar, interim executive director of finance and performance, said: “It is with the Department of Health to make a decision about funding from a national perspective. We have raised the issue numerous times.

“We are accruing income against the costs.”

He said a decision on what proportion of the costs will be paid by the ambulance service for 2014/15 is not likely to be made until close to the end of the current financial year.

Trust chairman Della Cannings said she has asked Sheffield MP and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to get clarification on the situation.

The figure represents the amount due to be spent on the inquests in the current financial year up until April.

The hearings are expected to run into 2016.

The inquests have been taking place in Warrington and are being heard by Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Goldring.

They have been hearing evidence on the response of both South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service - now part of the wider Yorkshire Ambulance Service - and South Yorkshire Police on the day of the tragedy.

The inquests, which started in March last year, had been expected to run for around 12 months. But they are now not due to be completed until early 2016.

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