Fringe Box



Letter: More Openness Could Lower Council’s FoI Bill

Published on: 20 Nov, 2016
Updated on: 20 Nov, 2016

Freedom of Information ActFrom Jim Allen

In response to the article: Council Admits ‘Scope For Improvement’ In Their Handling of FoI Requests.

The Guildford Borough Council (GBC) report, on its Freedom of Information (FoI) request performance makes no mention that a little open governance would save many of these FoI requests being made and thereby reduce the council’s running costs.

My request for information related to surveys I witnessed being conducted at the road junction of Clay Lane and the A3.  I was effectively told to “mind your own business,” despite the probable impact on the Burpham Neighbourhood Plan area) and the wider consideration of Clay Lane and Gosden Hill planning and the Slyfield link road fiasco.

This matter went to the lower tribunal of the data commissioner. The result was that redacted information was released some 15 months later which disclosed a slip road was being considered by GBC at Clay Lane but after much deliberation, and some considerable expense, the idea was dropped.

It would have been much simpler to say 15 months ago: “We have considered this option but after 10 minutes of rational thought on traffic patterns, it was decided it was not a practical option.” Something I had been saying for a number of years due to my observation of traffic patterns.

Honesty and openness, in respect of matters which are as plain as a pike staff, could save the council 90% of its FoI bill and bring a new found ‘respect’ for the council

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Responses to Letter: More Openness Could Lower Council’s FoI Bill

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Jim Allen should know by now that this council does not do openness.

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