One comment on “Democracy at work in Wirral

  1. Thanks for that interesting article Chris.

    This may be a little before your time as the legislation on filming public meetings came into force shortly after you were elected in 2014 (August 2014). You may therefore not have personally witnessed the battles I faced just to film public meetings!

    You only have to look at the papers for the next Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee to see that councillors are still trying to behave like that legislation change never happened.

    I will repeat earlier comment I have made, opposition councillors should be granted access to information to enable them to do their role effectively on the same terms as the administration’s councillors, it shouldn’t take a FOI request.

    If that doesn’t happen, Wirral Council is effectively behaving like a rogue state not a democracy.

    It shouldn’t take for example three years and multiple ICO decision notices to reveal what happens at a meeting about councillors’ equipment and training.

    As you can see from these partially redacted minutes which took over 3 years to be produced, the redactions were later upheld by a Tribunal decision issued around the time the OFSTED report was issued, Wirral Council are happy to spend £thousands making sure the public doesn’t know what’s going on.

    It’s also been revealed previously that FOI requests from the press or media to Wirral Council were red flagged giving effectively the press office a veto ober FOI requests.

    As to your point about democracy, having reported on Wirral Council for so many years, I’m sad to say that if democracy was functioning as it should then when thousands of Wirral residents protest or sign petitions against something that is in councillors’ hands to change then it should happen as they are there to represent the will of the people.

    Essentially by treating opposition councillors this way it gives the public the impression that the press has more power than opposition councillors do.

    Believe me in some matters the press are kept as much in the dark as you are!

    Like

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