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Internal emails, are they for the eyes of parish councillors only

0 votes
Hello, One councillor has been passing on parish council email about a contentious project to his neighbours.

The clerk has asked for all emails from parish clerk/parish councillors to be kept internally.

Is he correct?

Thank you
by (1.2k points)

1 Answer

0 votes

If you mean is the clerk correct - no he isn’t. 

If the information is properly categorised as confidential on the basis of financial / contractural / personal data then it may attract a protective caveat. 

General opinion / discussion is very rarely “confidential”

A Cllr engaging local residents in the discussion / decision process....  What ever next? An outbreak of genuine democracy?  That’ll never catch on. 

The clerk needs to be reminded of their role in the system. 

by (6.3k points)
Thanks letsbehonest
So he can tell residents (especially as no one can meet properly athe moment especially vulnerable residents) about ongoing issues without being told off by the chair or clerk?
It’s a matter of degree or opinion. I would take the view that a primary role of a Cllr is to interact with the electors. What appears to often be lost in practice is that councils serve the electors and clerks serve Cllr’s.
If information properly as “classified” then it shouldn’t be shared.
Just because something may be “sensitive” does not necessarily make it confidential.
If it would be released under FoI it ain’t confidential and no matter what the clerk thinks, he has no place to be attempting to stifle openness and accountability.
I thank you. Personally I think other than extremely sensitive information(which this is not) a councillor has a duty (especially at the moment) to disperse information from other councillors and their opinions. Freedom, Openness and Transparency  otherwise residents may become suspicios would htey not?
There’s personal data, there’s financial and contractual matters - apart from that, pretty much everything else is open season.
I’ve said before, I experienced a clerk trying to proclaim that failure to conduct routine legionella testing should be with held from public.
You have to ‘listen’ to the ‘advice’ of a proper officer - listening is entirely different to believing and adopting ):0)
Thanks again, clear now.
Regards
Richard

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