Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Presumption against openness

If anyone was wondering whether, after the long summer break and executive holidays in the sun, or even after Eric Pickles' recent  pronouncements on town hall transparency, Carmarthenshire Council would throw open it's locked doors, rip up the unlawful undertakings and generally welcome the public with open arms, they'd be disappointed.

A friend contacted the council today and was told by Mr Edgecombe, the councils senior solicitor, that the legislation only applied to England and that the Welsh Government had no intention of introducing anything of the sort here.

Ok, I know the legislation only applies to England, and so it seems the Welsh Government has no intention of upsetting the sensitivities of our more secretive Councils by requiring them to adopt a 'presumption in favour of openness' or, amongst other frightening intrusive measures, 'new legal rights for citizen reporters'. Pity.

So, unless I am accompanied by an argumentative Eric Pickles to tomorrows full council meeting, it looks like the ridiculous restrictions will continue.....perhaps our Welsh minister, Carl Sargeant would like to accompany me instead?

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