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SALFORD FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CONTINUED
 

Star Date: 24 July 2009

No Freedom of Info IN Salford! Part 2

"the tactics were completely orchestrated to withhold information…"

Salford City Council is supposed to release information under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days. But when Paul Brodie, of residents' group Vertical Villages, asked for info in the ongoing battle against the Council's plan to re-locate the city's Youth Offending Service, it finally arrived after 45 days – a full two days after the decision to rubber stamp the re-location was made!


There's been petitions, formal complaints and outrage in the community at Salford City Council's plans to re-locate the city's Youth Offending Service (YOS) from its current home at Encombe Place to the old Salix housing office in Greengate.

So Paul Brodie first put his Freedom of Information request into Salford Council on 15th May this year, asking for crime statistics in the area, and any evidence of links between YOS and crime in the area. The request was acknowledged on the 20th May, and he got a further letter on 15th June apologising for the delay and telling him to expect a response by June 22nd.

On 22nd June Paul got another letter, yet again apologising for the delay and stating that a `third party' was being consulted. It added that `we are taking your request seriously' and hoped to respond by 29th June.

It was the 17th July when Paul finally got his information, two days after the decision to move the YOS was ratified by the full council.

"The whole thing was a farce" says Paul "I originally thought that I was dealing with pure incompetence. But realised that their errors, delays and tactics were completely orchestrated to withhold information, not only from the public, but also from other decision making councillors.

"This strategy inevitably swung the decision in their favour" he adds "Are all FOI requests tampered with by Council Departments in order to push through the Council's own agenda and ignore the very real objections by the voting tax-payers?"

As well as Freedom of Information requests being delayed or fobbed off via a battery of clauses in the Act, Salford Council has a history of complaints `going missing' and a website search engine that makes it virtually impossible to search for any meaningful information. See this article – and particularly the comments!

satnav2000 wrote
at 06:52:55 on 21 February 2010
There seems to be to many cases I am seeing were the council and especially it’s off shoot organisations. Which some have even ruling councillors on as members That it seems by this Salford Star article again have refused to give out to the Salford people and it public Information. of minuets of meetings. That is also strangely also not available in full on the public domain web sites for Salford people to look up and read and scrutinize Information I now even asked for by Salford organisations. And might I add also asked for even under the freedom of information act. And have been refused to be given the information requested And simply tolled (That such the information you have asked for is commercially Sensitive information) But to how to and simply why Why one must ask?? I have also noted of late a lot of other Salford people, as in this article in the Salford Star are also thinking this is happening moor and moor of late in Salford Which is deeply concerning and I for one will voice this in the up and coming election with a completely change in my vote from the party I have supported all my life in Salford, The rights of freedom and also the freedom of information act, is extremely important. It is there to help one get to Truthful information in to the public domain. so the public can scrutinize And in not letting it be hidden or stifled by people / company’s or Party’s And feel it is not being adhered to in a democratic and fit for purposes Way in Salford Why is this happening moor and moor recently One simply must ask??? A Salford resident with a vote
 
Sheila Oliver wrote
at 19:25:24 on 09 August 2009
Stockport Council do this too. If you ask for information that might embarrass or incriminate the Council, they initially delay, delay, delay and then ban the questioner for being vexatious. Thank goodness for the hardworking but overworked Information Commission.
 
The Village Pitchfork wrote
at 06:56:23 on 26 July 2009
"Governments that respect the will of their people, and govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than Governments that do not. Democracy is about more than just holding elections, it's about what happens between elections. Too many bad decisions condemn citizens to poverty." (Barrack Obama, July, 2009)
 
Dominic wrote
at 06:48:00 on 25 July 2009
Freedom Is In Peril Defend It With All Your MIGHT !
 
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