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SALFORD STAR MARY BURNS AWARDS 2009
 

MARY BURNS AWARDS
DAY 14

THE `UNCLE JOE STALIN AWARD FOR OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT'

Another fantastic year for open government – NOT!!!

Where do we start? Where do we end? Secret discussions and decisions taking place under the cloak of `Public Exclusion' and `Commercial Confidentiality'…Minutes missing all over the place from board papers of public organisations…Freedom of Information requests binned via a zillion get out clauses…

Contenders for this MARY included the Charlestown and Lower Kersal New Deal for Communities…the University of Salford…Partners In Salford…Homes and Community Agency…etc…But in the end, there could be only one winner…

Ladies and Gentlemen. THE `UNCLE JOE STALIN AWARD FOR OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT'…goes to…

Please do a drum roll and click here…


 

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

Yes, Salford Council is really making this award its own, winning this prestigious MARY for the second time.

To list its closed government achievements over the past 12 months would take pages and pages but here's some highlights…

* Salford City Council is supposed to release information under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days. In July we reported how 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!

* Towards the end of May this year, a request under the Freedom of Information Act that Salford Council `supply the number of liability orders for non-payment of Council Tax where the outstanding balance was less than £10', was rejected because "it would take in excess of 18 hours to establish whether or not any such information is held. In excess of 1000 records @ 10 minutes per record, would need to be interrogated, in order to answer your question…" While others councils responded without a problem, for Salford, "the costing issues are a smoke screen to cover an embarrassing secret…" according to the person who put in the request.

* The Salford Star is still waiting for the exact costings for Salford Council's LIFE magazine despite Freedom of Information requests. The latest excuse is that they don't know! We asked for this farce to be taken to an internal review two months ago – and still no response!

Ladies and Gentlemen. This MARY is richly deserved. So put on your cloaks and daggers, turn out the lights, lock the doors, burn the files and wax your moustaches for the undisputed champions of the untransparent…

THE `UNCLE JOE STALIN AWARD FOR OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT' goes to…

SALFORD CITY COUNC-I-I-I-L-L-L-L

Applause…

If anyone from the Council would like to make an open speech please fill in the Comments box below

 


 

 

 

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