Council Still Refusing To Reveal Information On Statement

The Town Hall

The Town Hall

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has again refused to explain who gave authority for a mysterious apology to be made in a Policy and Resources meeting last May.

At the time, councillors appeared to be unclear about who had authorised the statement, appearing to apologise for comments that had allegedly upset an employee during a public debate the previous July.

It later emerged that a staff member had been offered cash compensation for the remark after going to a mainland employment tribunal. The Council has never publicly stated who the aggrieved employee was, what was said to upset them or who said it.

Back in May last year, Radio Scilly asked the Council to reveal who had authorised the apology, since it had been given in a public session of the Council. We said we didn’t want to know personal details of the incident itself or the people involved, simply the process by which the apology had been authorised.

They refused, saying the information was personal and referring us to Cornwall Council’s legal department.

In February, the Information Commissioner ruled that the Council did not follow proper procedure and should reveal whether it holds the information and either release it or issue a valid refusal notice.

Failure to comply could have found the Council in contempt of court.

The Council have now written back to say that they’re still refusing to release the information as it refers to an employment issue for an individual officer and formed part of a legally binding agreement.

The Council felt that in such a small community, any reference to any part of the process could identify persons connected with the statement, contravening the Data Protection Act.

They added that revealing the information is not in the public interest.