Tim Davies, a Green Party member and open data campaigner, has been informed that GCC will not release updated costs for disposal of waste they have agreed with Urbaser Balfour Beatty, even though they have been instructed to do so, again, by the Information Commissioner.
Gloucestershire County Council have spent over £400,000 with Eversheds LLP in relation to Javelin Park since 2015, with invoices from April 2017 showing at least £200k related to the Information Tribunal appeal. They substantively lost that – yet they are just about to commit taxpayers money to another costly appeal, trying to keep information secret that a judge has already ruled is overwhelmingly in the public interest to disclose.
Mr Davies said “as a Gloucestershire resident who is going to pay for this contract, I want to see what has been agreed in my name, I want to see what value for money is being provided. It should not be a matter of trust it, should be a matter of fact”
He added “it is when information is hidden from the public that corruption can flourish. It is in GCC’s interests, residents interests and the companies working for local authorities interests to make these contracts and payments open and transparent.”
Cllr Eva Ward (Green Stroud) noted “GCC are about to waste £100,000s on lawyers. If that money was spent in the Stroud area it could have kept our well-loved children’s centre open. GCC are taking money from vulnerable children and using it to keep secret a contract they have signed in our name.”
Cllr Rachel Smith (Green, Minchinhampton) added “GCC have a habit of losing appeals to the Information Commissioner’s Office. How many more hundreds of thousands of pounds are they going to spend hiding information from their residents and taxpayers. They are taking funding from already suffering public services to bury what?”