On Council Transparency

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Question to WLBC “Can you please let me know a) how many WLBC staff have been made redundant in the past 2 months, and b) how many were voluntary and what were the payments made to each individual volunteer?

Answer from WLBC “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST : REDUNDANCIES : COUNCIL STAFFING – REF: 2020/522. Further to your freedom of information request regarding staff redundancies at WLBC, we are unable to provide these details as your information request is exempt under section 40 and section 14 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you have any queries concerning my response please do not hesitate to contact me. My full contact details are shown below. If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter.

Response to WLBC “Thank you for your reply. Would you be kind enough to explain precisely which part, or parts, of my request are exempt under Section 40 and Section 14 (1) of FoI Act 2000? West Lancashire Borough Council itself publicly announces redundancies, such as those recently of the former Chief Executive, the former Borough Solicitor, and the former Director of Planning. Is that procedure normal under the WLBC version of FoI Act 2000 for its own use, whereas my request might have a different interpretation?

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“I suggest it is necessary for there to be an internal review of your decision and response, in view of my request being merely for the number of staff, how many were voluntary, and the payments made. I did not and do not require names, but I do require that West Lancashire Borough Council is transparent, according to its commitment to the public”.

WLBC Website “Open data in the public sector is about increasing transparency and sharing the information we hold with the wider community. The Local Government Transparency Code places requirements on local authorities to publish information in order to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision-making process and help shape public services”.

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