As I believe children’s education is more important than golf courses I am going to whistle blow the following information. On December 27 I revealed East Riding Schools – Debt Crisis Looms.
On Saturday 24 December all ERYC Councillors received the Draft Revenue Budget 2017 -18 and Financial Plan 2017-18 to 2020-21 report. The report is confidential until the Cabinet agenda for 31 January is published.
In the public interest I am whistle blowing the report as I believe children’s education is more important than golf courses. On page 84 the report states
Children’s Education Before Golf Courses
I believe ERYC must sell their golf courses to prevent East Riding schools going into debt by an estimated £2,832,000 within the next financial year.
On 6 November 2016 I requested information of any golf courses owned by ERYC to include the names and financial value of each one.
I was informed
“I would advise that the Council currently owns three golf courses, all of which are leased out and are named as follows:
- Bridlington Links Golf Course
- Bridlington Belvedere Golf Course
- Flamborough Head Golf Course (part only).
With regard to their financial value, I would advise that this is commercially sensitive and confidential information which I am not in a position to disclose.”
I then explained legislation to the officer
““Section 100F Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) (the Act) provides that any document which is in the possession or under the control of a principal council being a non-metropolitan county, a district or a London borough council (and which by virtue of s.100J of the Act has a very wide meaning beyond that) and contains material relating to any business to be transacted at a meeting of the council or a committee or sub-committee of the council shall be open to inspection by any member of the council.”
With all due respect, by withholding the financial value from me, you are acting unlawfully.”
Mathew Buckley, Head of Legal and Democratic Services
As I had quoted legislation at this stage it was passed to Mathew Buckley he stated
“Our stance at the current time is that the information you have asked for does not relate to any business that is currently before the Council or a committee of the Council. Therefore S100F does not apply.
The question is not as simple as you simply stating that you require it for your elected role. In order to provide you with the information pursuant to S100F we have to be satisfied that the information relates to any business that is currently before the Council or a Committee of the Council. As far as we are concerned it does not. That is the reason that you are being refused access to the information.”
I have email Mathew stating I require this inform for the budget briefing on Monday 9 January 2017.