Legal Powers

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Whitehaven Town Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Whitehaven Town Council,

1. Can you please provide information as to the legislative authority you rely on to spend tax payers money on something to foster good relations world wide? (Councillor O'Kane giving gifts to Americans). I am not aware of any such power and if you cannot identify any legal power then that expenditure was unlawful.

2. If you consider that there is a power then please provide the information Councillors relied on to show that there has been a direct benefit to us residents through this expenditure. Your minutes fail to provide any evidence of any such alleged benefit or that Councillors ever considered a benefit

3. If you are able to satisfy 2 above then can you provide information that the Town Council relied on to ensure that the direct benefit accruing to its area, from this expenditure, was commensurate with the expenditure incurred. What were the benefits to Whitehaven?

4. Please provide such information as you may have that the Town Council can defeat any challenge under s.16 Audit Commission Act 1998 over this expenditure

5. If your Council relies on s137 then can you please provide information on the factors the Council actually considered when reaching its decision that it was not exceeding its s137 financial limit. Again the minutes and discussion at Council indicated that Councillors never considered these issues - contrary to law

Please note that it is unlawful for a Parish Council to fund persons outside of the UK in the absence of well being powers which you do not have. Your minutes reveal that no Councillors ever considered any of the above matters and which suggests unlawful expenditure and a failure of legal guidance.

Yours faithfully,

Roger Probert

Whitehaven Town Council

Dear Mr Probert

This request which has been logged as WTC009 is being placed on hold pending receipt of your identification . Please note that if no identification is received in 20 days the request will be withdrawn.

No further correspondence will be entered into unless or until this information is received.

Yours sincerely

Marlene Jewell
Town Clerk

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Dear Whitehaven Town Council,

I do not believe that you are entitled to refuse a FOI request on this basis. Please provide the information requested

Yours sincerely,

Roger Probert

Roger Probert left an annotation ()

I see that the Town Council still refuses to deal with FOI's unless it is from someone within their personal knowledge. Is there anyone out there who is well known to the WTC who they will have to provide answers to, unless it can find some legal reason not to do so, who can also ask these questions?

jayne laine left an annotation ()

Roger

The Town Council claims that it relied on s111 of the Local Government Act 1972 which, on advice I have received is not really a power to reimburse money. It is a power to authorise some action that was calculated to facilitate, or was conducive or incidental to, the discharge of a Town Council function. Thus the question has to be asked “what Town Council function was Councillor O’Kane performing when on holiday for the wedding of his son?” If there was no Town Council function being discharged by him there cannot lawfully be any reimbursement of money expended by him using s111 of the Local Government Act 1972 as the power to do so.

In the Bideford Town Council case (prayers at a meeting) the Judge indicated that the use of section 111: “also requires an objective standard or test”. It is consequently “. . .not a question of whether the Council reasonably considers that the particular act of Councillor O'Kane would facilitate or be conducive to or incidental to the discharge of some Town Council function it is a question as to whether it actually did so facilitate etc. The Town Council cannot point to any actual Town Council function that Councillor O'Kane was undertaking whilst on holiday for his son's wedding.

Still its only Tax payer's money

Jayne

jayne laine left an annotation ()

Perhaps the clerk could give me the answers you are looking for?

Roger Probert left an annotation ()

Thank you for that insight. I can perhaps see now why the Town Council was reluctant to post an answer on this public site.

All Parish Councils should know what legal power they use to spend money and should be confident that their decision is a correct one. I am assuming then that the Town Council then so unsure of its legal footing that it declines to answer.

So much for democracy!

Roger

Dear Whitehaven Town Council,

It appears that I now have an answer. If that is correct I can see why you did not wish to respond to my enquiry. Is this reticence on the part of the Town Council due to a lack of confidence in your action? I don't anticipate that I will receive a reply but so be it.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Probert

Mike left an annotation ()

Hello cwdc56768.