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> Information Tribunal orders NTC to Publish Cracks Reports, NTC orderd to publish hydrogeological reports by 2 May
Simon Kirby
post Apr 16 2015, 04:55 PM
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Linky

The Information Tribunal has ruled that the public have a right to see the hydrogeological reports and NTC have been given until the 2nd of May to publish them.

After all the public talk about not being able to publish because of a "confidentiality agreement" the Council didn't even argue that point with the Information Tribunal and instead assert litigation privilege in the reports. However, the Tribunal agreed with the appeal and found that the reports were not legally privileged, but went further and said that even if they had been the public interests would still have been string enough to override any objection to publication.

It should never have taken this much effort to see the reports - and the Council might yet ask leave to appeal the judgment which will delay publication until after the election - but point is the Council should have been open about the reports from the off, and then there would have been much less cynicism about the sense of pursuing the claim. As it is it'll be interesting to see if the reports do indeed support a four and a half year dispute.

Attached File  cracks_judgment.pdf ( 440.57K ) Number of downloads: 39


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Andy Capp
post Apr 16 2015, 07:35 PM
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Update: I see that the tribunal seem to believe in the existence of a CA, so I will have to accept that for the time being.

OK, I had better not quote the document, but it pretty much shreds the council's case against publication. In my view it implies legal 'confusion' or perhaps council mismanagement, even 'chicanery'. All opinion of course as I find the text hard going.

At the end of it all, you really have to question the council's strategy. The evidence is that the council have sought legal advice to prevent publication rather then whether to publish.
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Turin Machine
post Apr 16 2015, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Apr 16 2015, 08:35 PM) *
Update: I see that the tribunal seem to believe in the existence of a CA, so I will have to accept that for the time being.

OK, I had better not quote the document, but it pretty much shred's the council's case again publication. In my view, it implies legal 'confusion' or perhaps council mismanagement, even 'chicanery'. All opinion of course as I find the text hard going.

At the end of it all, you really have to question the council's strategy. The evidence is that the council have sought legal advice to prevent publication rather then whether to publish.


Oooh, Petra's gonna be so mad when she gets back after the school hols! laugh.gif


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On the edge
post Apr 17 2015, 06:03 AM
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Now map this against all the public pronouncements. There is something very clearly wrong with NTC. And still both the incumbent parties claim we have no money to do anything in our district. Yet again, our local policy of secrecy and 'we know best' falls flat on its face. Just incredible!


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Andy Capp
post Apr 17 2015, 08:18 AM
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From the evidence above, we have a 'rotten parish'.
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Berkshirelad
post Apr 17 2015, 08:14 PM
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i've been doorstepped by a candidate for election to NTC.

Didn't seem too impressed when I said that it should be abolished....
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NWNREADER
post Apr 17 2015, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (Berkshirelad @ Apr 17 2015, 09:14 PM) *
i've been doorstepped by a candidate for election to NTC.

Didn't seem too impressed when I said that it should be abolished....


I hope the candidate wasn't Simon Kirby!!
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Simon Kirby
post Apr 17 2015, 08:34 PM
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QUOTE (Berkshirelad @ Apr 17 2015, 09:14 PM) *
i've been doorstepped by a candidate for election to NTC.

Didn't seem too impressed when I said that it should be abolished....

I think it would be a very good thing to abolish it. WBC could run the parks and cemetery and a few other useful bits and bobs much better than NTC, the allotments could be allowed to self-managed like many larger councils do, and the rest could just not be done at all. The only losers would be the local party politicos who like the idea of being civic dignitaries.

A good parish council is small and approachable, well connected with the community which it supports and empowers. NTC is inept and arrogant, and it's difficult getting it back on-track when it's so thoroughly rotten.


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On the edge
post Apr 17 2015, 09:36 PM
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I couldn't agree more and to think I was one of those who thought the Charter Trustee arrangement was opaque, not fair or democratic governance. How wrong can you be!
It's failed and I can't see how the current arrangements would produce any difference. I'd also agree that this is primarily down to party politics.


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Andy Capp
post Apr 17 2015, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Apr 17 2015, 10:36 PM) *
I couldn't agree more and to think I was one of those who thought the Charter Trustee arrangement was opaque, not fair or democratic governance. How wrong can you be!
It's failed and I can't see how the current arrangements would produce any difference. I'd also agree that this is primarily down to party politics.

In this instance, it seems a matter of poor governance as much anything else. There are some quite embarrassing statements in the judgement. It really does look like the council were desperate to conceal something. I suppose the council felt quite confident on the back of the court case where Simon's complaint was thrown-out on a technicality, so they might not have seen this coming.

On the face of it, they seem to have received poor advice, or, they are guilty of poor decision making.


Subject to an appeal of course.


It is a big shame that the Newbury Weekly News don't seem to find the story of any interest. Someone had their purse nicked in broad daylight, apparently.
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Cognosco
post Apr 18 2015, 09:42 AM
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When the history of all this is reviewed the question must be asked just what has been gained or lost through this farce?

Just some of the lost:

The precept payer has lost, nothing unusual there, a fair wedge of cash.
Precept payers have lost all thoughts that they have an open and transparent Council who are elected to serve them.
Any slight credibility or belief that NTC serves any useful purpose now has been lost. Apart from the purpose of allowing a few members of the "Club" the reason to be able to dress up and feel that they are more important than the rest of the precept payers.
Precept payers have lost what would appear to be a decent and open Councillor, Ruwan, who has resigned because of the deceitful way our Council has been managed.
A Precept payer has been vilified and made to endure years of abuse and made to lose a, to him, priceless allotment plot and all for just trying to hold a deceitful and mismanaged Council to account and bring their mismanagement to public awareness.

Just some of the gains:

It has opened the public eyes to the fact that it is possible for local politics to be just as corrupt as the national.
There is no purpose whatever in the small Town Council, and it is possible to cut out the cost in this economic climate.
It proves openness and transparency does not exist at present in our Town Council and the same as at national level they will try and cover up with a vengeance when in the wrong.
It makes it important to question just why it appears there has been very little real investigative journalism carried out by our, supposed, free local presses over the last few years? cool.gif


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gel
post Apr 18 2015, 03:56 PM
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Transparency sad.gif

Perhaps the Gov't Minister that has criticised this Sussex Council (re transparency), should
cast his eye over Newbury Toy Council?
http://www.bexhillobserver.net/news/local/...ation-1-6657960

Wasn't LibDem HO investigating too?
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On the edge
post Apr 18 2015, 04:41 PM
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Yes, it is quite an eye opener; this little Council with no real responsibility has squittered away £100k when it's much bigger and rather more critical brother WBC can't even afford to do its statutory duties properly.

This isn't the first incident as you rightly point out. We should also add in the debacle of the 'cafe in the park' - a design that needed costly rework because whoever briefed the architect left out key environmental facts - like the site is in a flood plain. Then, the design left out basic, easily understood EA requirements. What happens? The Council choose to blame the EA!! Competence; wot us?

And whilst all this is going on, the Conservative opposition have been loud and vocal in their protest haven't they? Hello, hello anyone at home....

Why?


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Simon Kirby
post Apr 18 2015, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Apr 18 2015, 05:41 PM) *
Yes, it is quite an eye opener; this little Council with no real responsibility has squittered away £100k when it's much bigger and rather more critical brother WBC can't even afford to do its statutory duties properly.

This isn't the first incident as you rightly point out. We should also add in the debacle of the 'cafe in the park' - a design that needed costly rework because whoever briefed the architect left out key environmental facts - like the site is in a flood plain. Then, the design left out basic, easily understood EA requirements. What happens? The Council choose to blame the EA!! Competence; wot us?

And whilst all this is going on, the Conservative opposition have been loud and vocal in their protest haven't they? Hello, hello anyone at home....

Why?

I couldn't agree more OtE. The Lib Dem administration is rotten, but the Tories are just as responsible and neither challenged the secrecy and ineptitude.


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Petra
post Apr 20 2015, 06:15 PM
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Dear all,

I disagree with The Information Tribunal ruling that the public has a right to see the hydrogeological reports. Such reports could be used as litigation. Then there is the insurance angle as well. I see the trouble here is that those that will read the report donít have the intelligence to comprehend what they would have before them. I donít know if anybody noticed the letter in the NWN where a Councillor said the public wouldnít understand the report. He is right, they woundnít. This report could create a world wind of stupidity and misunderstanding. Hopefully the council will use its top lawyers to fight to keep this away from the community.

We give people all sorts of rights and all this does is to create havoc and instability. That is why we have PMs and Councillors to work on behalf of those that canít grasp the finer points of such complex reports. If they disagree then they will act appropriately on your behalf. We donít allow monkeyís dictating to the Zoo keeper so therefore should we allow the ignorant to do the job that professionals have been trained to do?

Allow the professionals, whom you elected, to comprehend what is beyond you.

Yours,
Petra
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Turin Machine
post Apr 20 2015, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (Petra @ Apr 20 2015, 07:15 PM) *
Dear all,

I disagree with The Information Tribunal ruling that the public has a right to see the hydrogeological reports. Such reports could be used as litigation. Then there is the insurance angle as well. I see the trouble here is that those that will read the report donít have the intelligence to comprehend what they would have before them. I donít know if anybody noticed the letter in the NWN where a Councillor said the public wouldnít understand the report. He is right, they woundnít. This report could create a world wind of stupidity and misunderstanding. Hopefully the council will use its top lawyers to fight to keep this away from the community.

We give people all sorts of rights and all this does is to create havoc and instability. That is why we have PMs and Councillors to work on behalf of those that canít grasp the finer points of such complex reports. If they disagree then they will act appropriately on your behalf. We donít allow monkeyís dictating to the Zoo keeper so therefore should we allow the ignorant to do the job that professionals have been trained to do?

Allow the professionals, whom you elected, to comprehend what is beyond you.

Yours,
Petra


Enjoy the school holidays love?


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Andy Capp
post Apr 20 2015, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE (Petra @ Apr 20 2015, 07:15 PM) *
Dear all,

I disagree with The Information Tribunal ruling that the public has a right to see the hydrogeological reports. Such reports could be used as litigation. Then there is the insurance angle as well. I see the trouble here is that those that will read the report donít have the intelligence to comprehend what they would have before them. I donít know if anybody noticed the letter in the NWN where a Councillor said the public wouldnít understand the report. He is right, they woundnít. This report could create a world wind of stupidity and misunderstanding. Hopefully the council will use its top lawyers to fight to keep this away from the community.

We give people all sorts of rights and all this does is to create havoc and instability. That is why we have PMs and Councillors to work on behalf of those that canít grasp the finer points of such complex reports. If they disagree then they will act appropriately on your behalf. We donít allow monkeyís dictating to the Zoo keeper so therefore should we allow the ignorant to do the job that professionals have been trained to do?

Allow the professionals, whom you elected, to comprehend what is beyond you.

Yours,
Petra

It is clear you haven't read and understood the ruling yourself as you will see you are wrong on a number of accounts.

It was professionals that ruled against the council's argument, and if you read the ruling you will see inconsistencies with the council's position. The Information Tribunal decided unanimously that the council didn't have any reason to deny the information and the potential litigation argument was declared invalid.

I doubt there is not one councillor that has a better grasp of the hydrogeological report than any member of the parish, after all, councillors are 'normal people' like the rest of us. Just because a handful of people voted for them doesn't make them any more qualified to interpret the results than anyone else.
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Cognosco
post Apr 20 2015, 07:17 PM
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Petra

"That is why we have PMs and Councillors to work on behalf of those that canít grasp the finer points of such complex reports"

Well you have just shot yourself in the foot again then eh? rolleyes.gif

It is clear from your statement that you don't understand that Councillors are only amateurs.
Especially the mob we have at the moment who are unable to comprehend even the simplest contracts etc.
Still perhaps they will be contacting you shortly to seek your professional advice on how to avoid having to publish the report that will prove both local authorities may have been totally negligent, yet again, and cost precept payers a fair wedge of money eh? rolleyes.gif

Perhaps you would be so kind as to inform us ignorant plebs who to vote for in the upcoming elections as it is probably beyond our comprehension to get it right whilst you are available? rolleyes.gif


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Simon Kirby
post Apr 20 2015, 07:35 PM
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I understand from Charlie Farrow that at the Town Meeting a few weeks ago Cllr Tony Stretton said that it was only he and JSH who had actually seen the hydrogeological reports.

It's one of the many questionable features of CrackGate that the Councillors didn't insist on being able to study the reports and convince themselves that the Council's course of action was appropriate. The Council would appear to be as secretive with its elected councillors as it is with us tax-paying schlobs.


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Andy Capp
post Apr 20 2015, 07:38 PM
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Here's the rub: "...it is very hard to understand how a report dependent on the provision of data by a prospective defendant subject to a confidentiality agreement precluding publication of those data could have been intended for use in litigation at all, let alone litigation against the beneficiary of the agreement."
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