The Town Hall Rich List of Opaque Councils

April 07, 2009 3:33 PM

Eye From our Town Hall Rich List you’ll find a number of councils who didn’t comply fully with the Freedom of Information requests we sent them.  You’ll see from the report here that on pages 135-137 we’ve listed the councils who obstructed our requests or just flatly refused to give the information plenty of other councils revealed. These councils don’t seem to realise that our Freedom of Information requests aren’t optional, they are a formal request for information under the Freedom of Information Act that they are legally obliged to answer.


Needless to say, we’ll be pursuing each of these cases formally, but we also intend to harness people power to get this rump of secretive authorities to reveal the facts about how taxpayers’ money is spent. You can find below a list of all the councils with the council leader’s (or directly elected Mayor) contact details.  Email them to ask them to become more transparent and stop hiding from us information we have a legal and moral (seeing as we pay their wages) right to know. We’ve already had evidence today that this approach does work – the Leader of Torridge council was shocked by the fact we named and shamed his authority as one of those which had been opaque, and as a result he has got in touch and promised to investigate and release the information. He seems to share the TPA’s belief in transparency (and indeed he has frozen council tax this year) but his council’s officers have decided to be untransparent – perhaps there are others on this list in a similar situation, and your email can persuade them to intervene and make their authority more transparent. Even if some of these council leaders don’t believe in transparent public spending, your email will put them on the spot and remind them that they have a duty to answer to taxpayers.


Here are their contact details:


Bath and North East Somerset – Cllr Francine Haeberling (Francine_Haeberling@bathnes.gov.uk)


Bromley – Cllr Stephen Carr (stephen.carr@bromley.gov.uk)


Broxbourne – Cllr Ken Ayling (ken.ayling@ntlworld.com)


Camden – Cllr Keith Moffitt (keith.moffitt@camden.gov.uk)


Chelmsford – Cllr Roy Whitehead (r.whitehead@chelmsford.gov.uk)


Chester – Contact the leader of Cheshire West and Chester Cllr Mike Jones (mike.jones@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk)


Chester-le-Street – Contact the leader of Durham County Council Cllr Simon Henig (simon.henig@durham.gov.uk)


Enfield – Cllr Michael Rye (michael.rye@enfield.gov.uk)


Essex – Cllr Lord Hanningfield (Lord.Hanningfield@essexcc.gov.uk)


Hampshire – Cllr Ken Thornber (ken.thornber@hants.gov.uk)


Kettering – Cllr James Hakewill (jimhakewill@kettering.gov.uk)


Lewisham – Mayor Sir Steve Bullock (steve.bullock@lewisham.gov.uk)


Liverpool – Cllr Warren Bradley (warren.bradley@liverpool.gov.uk)


Richmondshire – Cllr Melva Steckles (cllr.m.steckles@richmondshire.gov.uk)


Runnymede - Cllr John Furey (cllr.john.furey@runnymede.gov.uk)


Shepway – Cllr Robert Bliss (http://www.shepway.gov.uk/webapp/eforms/contact-us.php?to=robert.bliss&subject=Email-via-web-site&intro=contacting-Cllr-Bliss.)


Southwark – Cllr Nick Stanton (nicholas.stanton@southwark.gov.uk)


Sunderland – Cllr Paul Watson (cllr.paul.watson@sunderland.gov.uk)


Thanet – Cllr Sandy Ezekiel (cllr-sandy.ezekiel@thanet.gov.uk)


The Vale of Glamorgan – Cllr Gordon Kemp (GCKemp@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk)


Torridge – Council leader is now ordering full disclosure


Wansbeck – Contact the leader of Northumberland Council Cllr Jeff Reid (Jeff.Reid@northumberland.gov.uk)


Worcestershire – Cllr Dr. George Lord (glord@worcestershire.gov.uk)

Eye From our Town Hall Rich List you’ll find a number of councils who didn’t comply fully with the Freedom of Information requests we sent them.  You’ll see from the report here that on pages 135-137 we’ve listed the councils who obstructed our requests or just flatly refused to give the information plenty of other councils revealed. These councils don’t seem to realise that our Freedom of Information requests aren’t optional, they are a formal request for information under the Freedom of Information Act that they are legally obliged to answer.


Needless to say, we’ll be pursuing each of these cases formally, but we also intend to harness people power to get this rump of secretive authorities to reveal the facts about how taxpayers’ money is spent. You can find below a list of all the councils with the council leader’s (or directly elected Mayor) contact details.  Email them to ask them to become more transparent and stop hiding from us information we have a legal and moral (seeing as we pay their wages) right to know. We’ve already had evidence today that this approach does work – the Leader of Torridge council was shocked by the fact we named and shamed his authority as one of those which had been opaque, and as a result he has got in touch and promised to investigate and release the information. He seems to share the TPA’s belief in transparency (and indeed he has frozen council tax this year) but his council’s officers have decided to be untransparent – perhaps there are others on this list in a similar situation, and your email can persuade them to intervene and make their authority more transparent. Even if some of these council leaders don’t believe in transparent public spending, your email will put them on the spot and remind them that they have a duty to answer to taxpayers.


Here are their contact details:


Bath and North East Somerset – Cllr Francine Haeberling (Francine_Haeberling@bathnes.gov.uk)


Bromley – Cllr Stephen Carr (stephen.carr@bromley.gov.uk)


Broxbourne – Cllr Ken Ayling (ken.ayling@ntlworld.com)


Camden – Cllr Keith Moffitt (keith.moffitt@camden.gov.uk)


Chelmsford – Cllr Roy Whitehead (r.whitehead@chelmsford.gov.uk)


Chester – Contact the leader of Cheshire West and Chester Cllr Mike Jones (mike.jones@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk)


Chester-le-Street – Contact the leader of Durham County Council Cllr Simon Henig (simon.henig@durham.gov.uk)


Enfield – Cllr Michael Rye (michael.rye@enfield.gov.uk)


Essex – Cllr Lord Hanningfield (Lord.Hanningfield@essexcc.gov.uk)


Hampshire – Cllr Ken Thornber (ken.thornber@hants.gov.uk)


Kettering – Cllr James Hakewill (jimhakewill@kettering.gov.uk)


Lewisham – Mayor Sir Steve Bullock (steve.bullock@lewisham.gov.uk)


Liverpool – Cllr Warren Bradley (warren.bradley@liverpool.gov.uk)


Richmondshire – Cllr Melva Steckles (cllr.m.steckles@richmondshire.gov.uk)


Runnymede - Cllr John Furey (cllr.john.furey@runnymede.gov.uk)


Shepway – Cllr Robert Bliss (http://www.shepway.gov.uk/webapp/eforms/contact-us.php?to=robert.bliss&subject=Email-via-web-site&intro=contacting-Cllr-Bliss.)


Southwark – Cllr Nick Stanton (nicholas.stanton@southwark.gov.uk)


Sunderland – Cllr Paul Watson (cllr.paul.watson@sunderland.gov.uk)


Thanet – Cllr Sandy Ezekiel (cllr-sandy.ezekiel@thanet.gov.uk)


The Vale of Glamorgan – Cllr Gordon Kemp (GCKemp@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk)


Torridge – Council leader is now ordering full disclosure


Wansbeck – Contact the leader of Northumberland Council Cllr Jeff Reid (Jeff.Reid@northumberland.gov.uk)


Worcestershire – Cllr Dr. George Lord (glord@worcestershire.gov.uk)

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