Sunday, 13 November 2011

Public Gallery nonsense now with the Ombudsman...and FoI news

As I mentioned on Wednesday, fellow blogger @Towy71 has steadfastly refused to sign the Council's bizarre filming 'undertaking' and has been refused entry to public meetings. I have had to ditch my self- respect and sign the damn thing to report on council meetings. As you can see from his blogpost (Shame on you Carmarthenshire) he has now reported the matter to the Ombudsman. He shouldn't have had to do this - he, I, and others, have repeatedly asked councillors, Assembly members, Members of Parliament etc to challenge the ridiculous (and downright dangerous) measures restricting access to public meetings, including the undertaking. Either no one has any clout, no one cares, or no one is getting anywhere with it all - I don't know - please correct me if I am wrong and I will be pleased to report any attempts to challenge the restrictions on this blog.

Back to Freedom of Information requests and another response is delayed - this time it's my request for Credit Card spending details, it should have been answered by last Friday, they will resond 'as soon as possible'. Whenever that will be.
My latest request comes from the revelation that Carmarthenshire Council have spent £100,000 on private detectives over three years, it therefore relates to the Regulation of Investgatory Powers Act (RIPA) and the request can be viewed here;
They of course have 20 working days to respond.

Before I go, a reminder that the Petitions Committee meets tomorrow at the Senedd to 'revisit' my filming and spending petitions. Carl Sargeant has declared his intention to encourage councils to allow members of the public to film - I hope the committee go further and insist that councils allow it, and, with regards to both issues, maybe they've had a look at Monmouthshire. Pointless looking at Carmarthenshire.
Whatever the outcome I shall be waiting for my invitation from Carmarthenshire Council as they encourage me to film their next meeting. They will also be able to tear up the undertaking and ditch the entry ritual...won't they?
Carl Sargeant to 'encourage' councils to allow filming

Oh, and it looks like Carmarthenshire Council should be 'twinned' with Barnet Council, I think they'd get on well.

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