Wednesday 17th July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

“Potto Reality Check”

November 16, 2023 Letters, Potto

A Letter to the Editor from MARTIN CLEMENTS of Teesside, who has been conducting his own enquiries into questionable assertions (i.e. false claims?) on the Potto Parish Council website.


Dear Editor,

I have been following your articles about the shenanigans at local Councils for quite some time. I wonder if you (and my fellow readers) would be interested in my tale.

I became intrigued by an apparently bizarre item 4.4 in the minutes of a Parish Council meeting at Potto, held in February 2023.

I was sufficiently concerned that in April I decided to make my own request for any information held by Potto that it was using to support this agreement.

My guess was that there wasn’t any supporting information. This would mean the agreement was unsound and quite a serious example of bad practice, especially for addressing a very serious and rare Public Interest Report.

Potto Council’s replies to me have been very unhelpful, to say the least.

So I made a complaint to the Information Commissioner (Case Reference: IC-249871-B0K5).

Potto Council still didn’t answer my request and even started to query my identity, but the Senior Case Worker knows this was a scam (I sent him a copy of my driving licence).

This ploy is used regularly by Potto Council as a tactic of delay and obstruction. I see your reporter is already on to this.

The good news is that the Senior Case Worker has told me the Commissioner is intending to exercise a power he apparently very rarely uses – writing to a Council with some ‘good practice’ advice about how to improve its unacceptable conduct. For the geeks, this is explained in Section 47 of the FOIA.

I shall be watching like a hawk to see what Potto Parish Council does next, though I expect your reporter may be ahead of me.

Yours, etc

Martin Clements


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