A major issue was Freedom of Information. The First-Tier Tribunal was scathing about WLBC and its supposed logic. The Tribunal provided a tutorial about it. That was in May 2019.
Paragraph 58. “Fifth, we are troubled by the logic of the Council’s case, which it does not shrink from expressing in plain language, that the door must now be closed on any further request for information related to flooding risk in and around Burscough. That logic runs counter to the entire spirit of the freedom of information legislation.
“It seeks to deprive Mr Rattray and, by extension, other concerned individuals who might be seen as associated with him, apparently forever, of an important constitutional right to seek information in order to hold a public body to account on a matter of obvious public significance.
“In addition, it ignores the point already made (see our second ground above) that the subject-matter of Mr Rattray’s concerns is not an historic, cut-and-dried event but a phenomenon which recurs with notable frequency, the causes of which, and possible solutions for which, are prone to change as time passes and circumstances, in particular those that bear on the capacity of existing waste water management systems to cope with increasing demand, evolve”.
It’s reasonable now to challenge WLBC about any decision it takes that denies, or has denied, the public right to information. Being declared vexatious is “counter to the entire spirit of the freedom of information legislation”. I for one will consider seeking a change of the WLBC decision that I am vexatious about the Beacon Park Golf Course.
This borough council chooses to deny full transparency, be it planning, contracts, leisure services to name just a few. Hopefully a newly elected WLBC with independent members holding the balance of power will invoke Paragraph 52 above.