http://CouncillorA couple of months ago we asked – under Freedom of Information rules – for an update on the activities of City of York Councillors.
The previous year the Council had published a list indicating the number of issues registered for action by each Councillor.
As we reported in May, we were amazed when the Council refused to provide the update “because the information might influence the result of the election”.
At the time we said that the work-rate of elected representatives was one thing that electors might reasonably expect to know before casting their ballots although in this case no of the Councillros involved were seeking election.
Our request was turned done so we referred the issue to the Information Commissioners Office (IOC).
Now the updated list has been provided (in response to a separate FOI request lodged after 8th June).
As an aid to transparency, we publish the information here (left).
It is for individual Councillors to explain to their electors how they do their jobs, so we will not comment on individuals.
However, there remains an important issue of transparency so we will seek a ruling from the ICO on whether the York Council was right to refuse the information request in the way that it did.
Legislation on, so called, “purdah” periods has hitherto been regarded as restricting local authorities from publishing biased information which might influence voting patterns.
In the past it has not applied to individual items of correspondence where only factual information was sought.
We will let you know when we have a response.
NB. The Council also publishes a list indicating the attendance record of Councillors at meetings. Click here. Some representatives are only managing to a 60% attendance record