Sunday, February 21, 2010

Freedom of Information and Hunts DC

I've made a couple of requests for Freedom of Information for specific documents which HDC deems secret. I wasn't asking for personal information nor was I asking for a mass of information. All I was asking for were documents which are secret because this Conservative run District Council believes in secrecy over commercial decisions. These deals are being done in our name and we have to pay if they go wrong.

What I wanted to know about was the decisions over Open Air Swimming Pool and South Street Toilets. So I asked for certain documents listed in the decisions but held back. In each instance I was denied the document outright. So I then appealed and suddenly I get the following redacted documents.

Options on selling South Street.
Swimming Pool Report.

What I don't understand is why I didn't get these redacted documents to start with? I feel Conservative run HDC is using Freedom of Information to deny Freedom of Information. It seems to me the policy is deny the document first rather than taking a proper decision. Then rely on the appeal to sort it out. This is wrong.

When I hear David Cameron proposing the next Conservative government will be open and transparent. When I hear George Osbourne say: “This policy will help us to cut government spending, root out waste and empower the public – and bring in a new age of transparency and accountability.” I wonder whether this has filtered down to the Conservatives at HDC.

rednek says: How can we have a new age of transparency and accountability when HDC carries on redacting documents? Secret decisions are wrong. Advice to the Council and Cabinet should always be open and not secret. Otherwise transparency and accountability are just words which this Council will try to get round.

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