Following Cheshire West & Chester Council’s hideously misconceived “ban” on my statutory FoI and personal Data Protection querying rights, the time has come to release the opinion of Senior Counsel Hugh Tomlinson QC, who has granted his permission.
This “ban” lasted for 20 months, between October 2009 (my leaving date) and June 2011 – original www.whatdotheyknow.com request here – It took an instruction to possibly the country’s most senior privacy lawyer for the council to realise its behaviour was ultra vires and it had gotten too big for its little boots.
The “ban” flew in the face of the council’s own internal Freedom of Information and Data Protection policies (and certainly every other council’s policies up and down the country). These are always phrased to embrace accessibility, to promote openness and transparency and to speak up for the free and uninterrupted flow of information. However, the…
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