Shaftesbury Town Councillors Are Costing Ratepayers Money With FOI Requests To Their Own Council

Staff at Shaftesbury Town Council are dealing with frequent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from town councillors.

Last Tuesday’s General Management meeting heard that these formal enquiries take staff away from other duties and they are ratcheting up costs for the ratepayer.

Town clerk Claire Commons could not reveal the names of the councillors because of GDPR, but she confirmed that there are more than one. In one request, a councillor asked for a list of all the Zoom meetings the council had recorded. It’s unclear whether the councillors asked these questions of town hall staff before launching the formal process.

Now 71% of the annual £10,000 legal and professional services budget for the year has been spent since April. And it needs to last until April 2022. Claire says it could be ‘tight’.