A campaigner fighting Barnet Council’s multi-million pound outsourcing scheme has been granted more taxpayer funding to continue her legal battle.

Maria Nash, 68, launched a High Court judicial review into the local authority’s One Barnet scheme on the grounds the council failed to properly consult residents.

Following a three-day hearing in March, which cost the taxpayer more than £500,000, a judge on Monday delivered his verdict that her application was out of time.

But yesterday, former holistic therapist Ms Nash was granted legal aid to launch an appeal against the decision.

She said: “The judge, in his wisdom, has created a great opportunity for me to be able to take it to appeal. I’m very appreciative to the legal services for allowing me legal aid.”

Justice Nicholas Underhill, who oversaw the judicial review, agreed with Ms Nash’s point that the authority failed to consult its residents but threw the application out on the technical point of time.

Legal challenges to the decisions of statutory bodies must be brought within three months of the decision being taken.

Ms Nash’s appeal will contest the verdict that her application for judicial review was brought outside that time frame.

Asked if the appeal is a worthwhile use of taxpayers’ money, Ms Nash said: “This is even more important than the initial judicial review. It will provide an opportunity to put down in law a framework on what constitutes ‘out of time’.

“If there was no consultation then how could the residents of Barnet know when to start a legal appeal against it?”

Barnet Council said it did not wish to comment on the decision to grant legal aid to Ms Nash but repeated the earlier comments from council leader Richard Cornelius that she should “carefully consider” an appeal that will incur more costs to the taxpayer.