A reminder of what ABC isn’t telling us

Abc

And since we seem to be focusing on Ashford Borough Council this week let me introduce a small scrap of information about this wonderful local authority to remind you exactly what the Wye electorate aren’t being told about its discussions with Imperial College over Wye Park. You can find the original here in the letter from ABC’s head of legal and democratic services (boy do they rub it in) attempting to justify the failure to release these documents under a Freedom of Information request.

Terry Mortimer’s decision to keep these documents secret is justified in the usual boilerplate text local government legal bosses use to back up such actions… the inhibition of free and frank discussion, prejudicing the effective conduct of public affairs, the discussion of tentative proposals for example. Though the real reason, as we now all know, is that Imperial just doesn’t want this stuff made public.

And what sort of stuff are we being denied? They include…

  • Three plans of Wye (though Wye Park is only an idea, not a plan)
  • Key messages (in other words spin for the numpties also known as the Wye public)
  • Project Alchemy Timetable (Alchemy being Wye Park’s original name). Wouldn’t it be nice to see how far that has been blown off course these last nine months?
  • A memo from December about the public meeting in Wye on January 9 (why would a document concerning a public meeting need to be kept secret, you ask?)
  • And two e-mails about meetings with a mysterious individual or company simply called ‘A’.

Welcome to democracy in 21st century Ashford…

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About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
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