Police and Crime Commissioner at this evening’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (6.30pm, Knowle)

Heated debate is inevitable this evening at Knowle. The final Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S) meeting of 2014 will be handling red-hot issues, notably that of the Business TAFF rearing its head once again, much to the Chief Executive’s apparent displeasure. Whether the CEO will be present, and how O&S Chair Cllr Tim Wood handles the meeting, will be significant. Both seem at risk of having their fingers burnt…

See our latest posts, e.g. http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/11/12/mark-williams-on-unfortunate-circumstances-arising-from-g-brown-case/
and http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/11/12/eda-intense-disquiet-with-chief-executives-letter-to-councillors/

For this evening’s agenda, go to http://new.eastdevon.gov.uk/media/476265/131114-os-agenda-combined.pdf

Mark Williams defies the Electoral Commission

Mark Williams as EDDC’s Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has recently refused to answer questions from the public about the conduct of local elections on the grounds that EROs are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
An email received today by East Devon Alliance, from Adrian Green of the Electoral Commission, makes it clear that Mr Williams’ refusal defies the Commission’s strong advice.
Adrian Green referred to a recent statement by Electoral Commission Chair, Jenny Watson, to a Parliamentary Committee, that EROs “should respond as if they were subject to the Freedom of Information Act. I confess I don’t really understand why they are not……….but we just advise them to act as if they were.”
Mr Green concluded “We…….continue to advise parliament that we see no reason why FOI requirements should not apply to electoral officers.”
The more naïve among us might wonder how local bureaucrats can get away with ignoring national regulatory bodies, but anyone who has had dealings with the toothless Local Government Ombudsman won’t be surprised.