gazette-article-young-v-hagon

Those reading this may not know what a Freedom of Information request is.

In 1997, the Labour Party made a commitment to introduce the Freedom of Information Act in an effort to give the public “Right of Access” to information held by public authorities.

Private citizens, are able to ask a Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and many do so, far more times than me. Indeed, one Colchester resident has submitted over 40 FOI’s compared to my 8.

Cllr. Tim Young’s comments directly accusing me of wasting Officers time and mounting up a bill of “thousands of pounds” is truly staggering and unsubstantiated.

Let me put this here for you – Colchester Borough Council does not record the cost of responding to Freedom of Information requests.

So how did Cllr. Young calculate the expense at which he claims? Perhaps using a similar model to the Cambridge Model referenced in the Gazette a few weeks ago.

Continuing, Cllr. Young goes on to suggest some of the things I asked about are already publicly available. If this is the case, it surely wouldn’t have taken more than a few minutes to copy and paste the response.

The big question is why wasn’t all the information requested already publicly available?

Perhaps the Liberal Democrat/Labour run council want to hide figures and information from the general public that don’t necessarily work with their policies?

The duty of a local councillor is to serve the residents of the borough, to engage with local issues and resolve the problems residents are not able to do for themselves.

Instead we see and hear yet again, a grandstanding career politician who not only has disgraced his own party by attacking a borough resident in this way, but also those constituents that are not receiving his upmost attention whilst his focus is elsewhere; a national dispute or legally requested FOI’s for example.

One day, I may be given the honour of standing in the town as a Borough Councillor, to continue some of the great work already begun and to help create a new Colchester we can all once again be proud of.

My message to Cllr. Young is simple. Unblock me and others from Twitter, engage with the opposing views of your potential electorate and yes, give me a call anytime and I would be happy to discuss opinions with you in a sensible manner.

We are family, after all.

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