Policy on releasing information to the public – a Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council – WhatDoTheyKnow

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Image kindly by P Hummings

Madwblog made two Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests on 20th February 2016 in a letter to Cllr Bird, leader of Walsall Council:

Is it Council policy for the Leader of Council to use Social Media, such as the personal Facebook page of an unelected representative, in order to communicate with the electorate?’

And

‘I wonder if you could explain why the decision to put the barriers on Northfields Way, Clayhanger, in is not recorded on any public documents on the council’s website?’

What Do They Know? is the website which handles FOI requests. It is an open site and all requests are made public.

The returning (delayed) answer to both requests was:

‘…after consulting with the relevant service areas I can confirm that this
information is not held by the council. It is therefore exempt from
disclosure under section 1 of the Freedom of Information act.’

As this is not a satisfactory answer, madwblog has requested an internal review as this is next step in the procedure.

‘Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, I am not satisfied with the answer. Does this mean that Walsall Council does not have a social media policy?

I should like to seek an internal review of my request: “Is it Council policy for the Leader of Council
to use Social Media, such as the personal Facebook page of an unelected
representative, in order to communicate with the electorate”’

And

‘Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council’s handling of my FOI request ‘Policy on sharing planning information decisions with the public’.

I do not accept that the Council does not have a policy on sharing planning information decisions with the public.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p…

Yours faithfully,’

Madwblog has also filed another FOI request ‘Does Walsall Council have a social media policy for employees and representatives of Walsall Council including Councillors and those seeking to be elected as such?’

Again, I shall await a reply.

Source: Policy on releasing information to the public – a Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council – WhatDoTheyKnow

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