Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 17:57 UK

Council to discuss defects ruling

Child's deformed hands
Eighteen children were born with deformities to their hands and feet

A council in Northamptonshire is to hold a public meeting to "decide its response" to a High Court ruling over birth defects.

Corby Borough Council was found to be negligent in its clean-up of former steel works in the town, which may have led to birth defects in 16 children.

The children's families won a long-running legal battle to sue the council at the High Court last Wednesday.

The council said it will hold a meeting on 18 August.

A spokesman said it will be held at the Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel in Corby, to enable as many people as possible to attend.

The High Court found in favour of 16, out of 18 families, who claimed their children were born with defects caused by exposure to toxic waste from the former steel works.

Deformities to hands and feet were due to mothers being exposed to a "soup of toxic materials" between 1985 and 1999, the court was told.

The council was found negligent over the work to reclaim the land where the steel plant was sited.

It said it was "disappointed" at the ruling, maintaining that there had been no link between the birth defects and the reclamation work.

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