Could you be persuaded there is a legitimate interest, and it is in the public interest, or any value to the public or any section of the public, for Folkestone & Hythe District Council (F&HDC) to disclose the names and training courses which sixteen Cllrs may or may not have attended, since becoming a Councillor in the May elections.
The F&HDC 16 have refused to give their consent, to allow you to know what course they may or may not have attended.
Is there a legitimate interest that could override the Cllrs consent ?
Would the public interest be served by the release of the information?
Is there any value to the public or any section of the public to know the courses the F&HDC 16 may or may not have attended?
These courses have been paid for by public money. External consultants have been procured using public money to undertake some of the training courses. Other courses have been procured internally, as such, a cost would be apportioned to that departments budget costs who gave the course, which is also public money.
The F&HDC 16 include 11 Tories, 2 Labour 1 Green, 1 UKIP and 1 independent Councillors. We believe it is in the public interest to know if they have undertaken such courses as:
Cllrs do not have to undertake any DBS check (criminal record check), yet deal with vulnerable adults in the course of their work from time to time. They also meet constituents on a one-to-one basis.
Under former Council Leader, Robert Bliss, he tried and failed to make DBS checks mandatory for Cllrs. He received stern opposition from elected Cllrs and the Council. One does wonder why Cllrs and the Council were so reticent, are still reticent.
Surely, the F&HDC 16 who have elected not to give their consent to disclose what training they may or may not have undertaken don’t have anything to hide. Or do they?
Below are the F&HDC 16 who have elected not to disclose what Council courses they may or may not have undertaken. Eleven are Conservatives, two are Labour, One is UKIP, One is Green and One is Independent.
The fourteen Cllrs who have elected to disclose what courses they have attended are set out in the chart below. All fourteen Cllrs gave their consent to disclose what course they have attended, since becoming a Cllr in the May elections. Four are Labour Cllrs, two Lib Dems, two Tories and five Green.
The two red dots in the chart in the second row down, denote data protection and access induction. The red dot in the first column, total attendees box, denotes Cllrs who have attended at least one course.
The F&HDC 16 who have refused to give their consent have used their right under Article 4(1) of the General Data Protection Regulations (personal data). The Council have also stated:
We consider that to release the withheld information would be in breach of GDPR’s Article 5(1)(a), “processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’). The withheld data is considered to be the personal data of a 3rd party (The Cllrs)
The Council go onto say:
the Council has determined that it would be in breach of GDPR’s Article 6(1)(a) (consent) to disclose the withheld data, …