Two judicial reviews into care home payments have cost Pembrokeshire County Council almost £400,000 so far.

Director of Social Services, Jon Skone, told the Older Persons, Health and Well Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee that £398,935 had been paid so far, with further costs still to be paid.

He stated £205,535 had been paid relating to the first judicial review, which included the Pembrokeshire County Council legal costs and £85,000 of the applicants’.

A further £193,400 had so far been paid as part of the second judicial review process.

When asked whether the costs could have been avoided, Mr Skone said: “When your legal team advise you that you have a case to defend, it is your responsibility to do so.”

Mr Skone, who is due to step down from his role shortly, said among the important lessons learnt from the judicial reviews was “when working with partners never forget it is business. Knowing each other too well leads to informality”.

However, he added he had ‘no doubt at all’ that the council had had the right people providing them with legal advice.

Cllr Viv Stoddart asked if a decision had been made as to whether there was a case to sue the accountants RSM Tenon.

The council claims the company made an initial ‘mistake’ resulting in the first defeated case.

Mr Skone said it was still being looked into but conceded: “I simply don’t know, we will follow that up.”