Melbourn Parish Council awaiting judge’s decision on redaction before publishing grievance report

Publishing the grievance report was discussed by Melbourn Parish Council yesterday evening.

Publishing the grievance report was discussed by Melbourn Parish Council yesterday evening. - Credit: Archant

A grievance report into Melbourn Parish Council’s conduct still hasn’t been published – as the authority awaits a further redaction to be approved by a judge.

The grievance report arose after a complaint was lodged against former parish council chairman Bob Tulloch last year.

The situation saw a number of members resign in quick succession, over matters related to the authority’s conduct.

The decision has been made by tribunal Judge Chris Hughes for the council to disclose the report with the redaction of all the names of those not on the council or directly involved in the matter.

The council has said another redaction – not disclosed – needs to be made, and is awaiting the decision after putting it to the judge.

At the meeting, held at the Melbourn Community Hub yesterday evening, chair Julie Norman said: “Back in early 2016 the parish council as it was then voted not to accept the grievance report, members of public made FOIs over the summer the parish council received letters from solicitors saying legal action could be taken if the report was published.

“It then went to the Information Commissioners Office, and when council began meeting again in October 2016, I think it’s fair to say at the time the majority of people thought the ICO would tell the parish council to publish the report, but in the end the ICO decided not to.

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“A member of the public appealed that decision and the upshot of this is that the report can now be published.

“Certain names will need to be redacted – for everyone who was not a councillor, the clerk or the complainant.

“One further redaction needs to be made, and because this is a legal process permission has had to be sought by a tribunal judge.

“For tonight what we will be asking is whether councillors agree that the report is published with redactions you have seen, but with that other redaction as well.”

The vote was passed with 12 in favour and two abstentions. The meeting also heard that the parish council will publish the report in the form it was submitted to the council, and will publish the substituted decision notice – which covers why the ICO had made the decision they did and why the appeal to publish it has been successful.