ALL UK JOURNALISTS ought to be up in arms at the internal panel instituted by the Tory government to review the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation – particularly so because on the panel is a senior civil servant, Jack Straw and Michael Howard and no journalists whatever.
Let me give you by illustration a request I made to Vale of the White Horse Council in what was a marginal seat. You can find the link here. After two months of incompetence, the folk are still unable to answer the very simple question. I am sure that councils don’t want to be bothered with requests like this.
Now, the thing is that we all know councils are hard pressed, but the fact is the Vale of the White Horse Council seemed to lose some postal votes just before the last general election. And after several months, it is still unable to answer the basic question – why? ♠
WE HAD an urgent message from Oxford City Council after we filed an FOI request to them yesterday about tomorrow’s general election. The reply to our questions are detailed below. I’ll address an ROI to the Vale of White Horse council. ♥
From: THOMAS Jeremy J.
Oxford City Council
6 May 2015
Dear Mr. Magee,
Given the substance of your request, I will respond immediately and personally. I am the Returning Officer (RO) for the Oxford East constituency.
I am not the RO for the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency. The RO for that constituency is David Buckle who is the Chief Executive of the Vale of White Horse Council. The issuing of postal votes for that constituency was undertaken by that Council and the issuing of postal votes was not therefore ‘ outsourced’ by me to them. It was and is their responsibility.
What has happened in the last few days is that I have agreed to assist them by re-issuing postal votes on their behalf from the Town Hall in Oxford. As I write this, I can tell you that we re-issued approximately 150 on their behalf. Replacement packs may be requested up to 5pm tomorrow and completed packs should be returned to the RO at the Vale ( or any polling station in the constituency) by close of poll at 10pm tomorrow.
I hope that assists. If you have a complaint then you need to direct that to the RO at the Vale.
Jeremy Thomas | Head of Law and Governance | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance |
St. Aldate’s Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | DX 4309 OXFORD 1 | Email: [email address] | 01865 252224