Friday, October 10, 2008

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the power to literally anyone to request information (with limitations) from public authorities and there is an obligation for authorities to respond within 20 working days.

Today I submitted an FOI request to the county council to discover what communication took place between the council and the applicant in the course of assessing the traffic implications for the CB1 station area redevelopment plan.

The traffic assessment is supposed to be an analysis by the transport authority, the county council, of a planning application being put before the planning authority, the city council. It seems that in this case the county's consultants, Atkins, were working with the developer to ensure that the plan would be acceptable.

Coleridge Conservatives are concerned that this relationship might render the traffic impact analysis insufficiently independent. We hope that the FOI response, when it comes, will shed light on the extent of interworking.

The progress of my FOI request can be tracked on the excellent WhatDoTheyKnow? website - one of the many really useful open source tools from mySociety for improving democratic scrutiny and empowerment.

1 comment:

Francis Irving said...

Wow! You got a huge amount of information back. I look forward to your blog post saying what you learnt from it.