Redaction Reports

What do you know about the facts behind the Jacobs Report, other than it has been the cause of much kicking and screaming from LCC and WLBC because of the amazing efforts of the Burscough Flooding Group and its supporters to bring it to the public eye.

Transparency and working with the public are not part of the daily working culture of some officers, which raises issues about ensuring the public is aware of accepted practices. It also appears that Borough Councillors may have had closer engagements with LCC than were helpful to residents, you know them, the “flooded of Burscough!”. It’s been described as councillor engagement “being more a member of the establishment than being an advocate on behalf of residents and the flooding issues in Burscough”.

Some local councils practice the art of “redaction” which is the censoring or obscuring of part of a text for legal or security purposes, the process of editing text for publication, or making sure what was left after the redaction would be virtually useless. There is a story today which brings the practice to light.

TPA Victory! Council boss resigns after damning report

“Taxpayers Alliance Supporters may recall the case of Karen Whelan, chief executive at Surrey Heath Borough Council. She made it into this year’s Town Hall Rich List with remuneration of £197,000. Part of this pay package included a colossal and unwarranted pay rise of £46,000 which came to light last summer. Appearing on local television and radio we called for an investigation – the subsequent report has recently been released to the public.

“Ms Whelan resigned a week ahead of publication and it’s obvious why she did. The report found that payments made to her were “unlawful” and “unprecedented”. Although heavily redacted, the report details that in addition to her bumper pay rise, she billed the taxpayer for stays at luxury 5-star hotels in Manchester and London to the tune of more than £1,000. The page below is redacted!

“The report and Ms Whelan’s resignation is a significant victory for taxpayers. Accountability in local government is vital and we hope other councils will take heed from these findings. We are not going to stand for such a disgraceful use of public money. Any public servant who fails to meet the high standards expected of them should be given their P45”. Read it, below, and wonder how and why these things go on!

https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/council/REPORT%20OF%20THE%20INDEPENDENT%20INVESTIGATION%20with%20redactions.pdf

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