Information Consternation!

Matthew Myatt

Still waiting for a reply.....

Eastleigh Borough Council is failing to respond to Freedom of information requests within the legal timescale according to Matthew Myatt, Eastleigh Activist and Local Human Rights Campaigner.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Public Bodies are obliged to respond within 20 days to requests for information.

Exasperated at the delay to his information request relating to costs of maintaining a cinema facility at ‘The Point’ arts centre Mr Myatt sent the following request in:

“Please can you inform me of the total number of Freedom of Information Requests that the Council has not responded to within the legally required time frame of 20 working days since the introduction of the FOI Act?”

He was surprised to receive the following response.

“51 – However some of these requests were late due to legitimate reasons”

Said Mr Myatt:  “I am shocked at the amount of time it takes OUR council to supply information to Eastleigh residents who make requests using the Freedom of Information Act.”

Since the introduction of the FOI act Mathew Myatt – best known locally for his leading role in the campaign to ‘Save Sid’ the tree the council felled to make way for the £2.4 million Point extension – has made a number of information requests to the council which revealed the losses incurred annually by the Point and the Eastleigh Music Festival.

More recent requests have shown that Eastleigh taxpayers made a £200,000 contribution to Hampshire County Council in connection with the Swan Centre extension and that the cost of producing the ’Borough News’ in partnership with the Daily Echo was costing £33,000 a year.

Is there any Information you feel the council may be holding that would be of to interest you?

Making a Freedom of Information request could not be easier thanks to the following website:

www.whatdotheyknow.com

Why not make a request and tell us how you got on!