Interested

REF: Article in the North Somerset Times dated December 10 2008 Meet us or shut up request . I was clerk to Backwell Parish Council for 13 years but was unfairly dismissed in 2007. The council settled

REF: Article in the North Somerset Times dated December 10 2008 'Meet us or shut up request'.

I was clerk to Backwell Parish Council for 13 years but was unfairly dismissed in 2007.

The council settled out of court and I am unable to disclose the amount.

I am still interested in projects in Backwell, Nailsea, etc.


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I access meeting papers from most councils via websites. Backwell Parish Council does not have this facility as the agendas are only on noticeboards. "Section 19 of the FOI Act places a duty on every public authority to adopt and maintain a publication scheme, and then to publish information in accordance with its scheme. Information on a publication scheme should be readily available and there should be no delay in it being made available to the applicant."

To comply with the FOI Act, I routinely displayed agendas, minutes, etc, on noticeboards, at the library and by request to the public by email or post.

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The public could visit the office to view the public file, take copies or photograph documents.

My observations on the article are if Backwell Parish Council complied with its publication scheme then FOI requests would drop significantly.

The parish council has a legal duty to publish certain documents which must be readily accessible to a person requiring them.

The council is able to charge for photocopying and postage, so it is not costing the parish unnecessary money.

The documents I request are in the council's publication scheme and should be readily available; therefore, there is no serious disruption to the council's day-to-day business.

I strongly refute any suggestion that I have a personal vendetta against either the clerk or the councillors.

I just have a genuine interest in the affairs of the village and enjoy reading the agendas and minutes.

Backwell Parish Council's vice chairman Bob Taylor quizzed me at the last meeting and wanted to know why I was still attending meetings and requesting documents.

I offered to explain but he declined my invitation.

MAUREEN SAGE - Eastway Square, Nailsea

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