23 May 2012

Too little monitoring.....

I've been waiting, quite patiently in my own view, for South Somerset District Council to provide me with information about complaints which have been lodged with them against the ex-Chair of Somerton Town Council, Mr Fraser-Hopewell. It came to my attention some time ago that I had been named in complaints against Mr Fraser-Hopewell and the allegations, in part, are of some sort of conspiracy between myself and Mr Fraser-Hopewell with regard to the Police investigation into possible fraud regarding the Etsome Terrace/Tin Dunny property swap.

As I understand the Freedom of Information Act, I have a right to see any documents which refer to me so its not unreasonable for me to request that South Somerset District Council provide me with the relevant documentation. But South Somerset District Council don't want to hand it over and the reason given by SSDC seems to rotate around their fears that I might ridicule those individuals who made the complaints.

In explaining their refusal to disclose the documentation, SSDC reveal that they are 'monitoring' Muck & Brass and I assume that they are doing this to locate examples of ridicule, of which this piece will certainly be one.

When you look back on events in Somerton, it is strange that SSDC seem so terribly concerned to monitor Muck & Brass for signs of ridicule yet SSDC did absolutely nothing to monitor the activities of Somerton Town Council for signs of 'abuse of public funds' or 'unlawful expenditure'. SSDC certainly knew that things in Somerton were far from normal way back in mid-2009 when Somerton's Clerk sought advice from SSDC regarding how to obstruct my access to public documents. But SSDC did nothing. No monitoring back then.

So I will just have to sit back and wait for SSDC to refuse my request for the information relating to myself and then we will go through the 'internal review' process. It would be unfair to prejudge SSDC's decision in this matter and it will be interesting to see their justification for whatever they decide. That decision will be measured against SSDC's spilling their guts to Inspector Rodney Briggs in response to his FoI about myself back in 2010.

Will sauce for the goose be sauce for the gander? Time will tell.

Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly