Perhaps you could bone up on the Home Office's "Draft Code
of Practice On the Discharge of the Functions of Public
Authorities Under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act
2000", suggesting that they may like to start introducing
good practice sooner rather than later. This, and the
Lord Chancellor's draft Code of Practice on RM under
FoI are both very helpfully available from the PRO pages at
On Thu, 7 Sep 2000 22:12:13 +0100 Leonard Mcdonald
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >From Len McDonald. Help!
> Can I consult you wearing another hat? I am, for some awful sins committed in the past, Chair of the St Helens Historical Society, and I discovered from some of our members that the St Helens Metropolitan District Council refused to allow access to most of the records it inherited in 1974 when the Metroplitan County Councils were set up in 1974.
> The new Council inherited the records of two urban district councils, half a rural district council and the old St Helens Borough Corporation, established 1868. While they are happy to allow access to the urban and rural district councils they will not allow acceess the Borough Corporation records. The answer is always that access is denied from the 1930s onwards.
> I have been fighting the current Chief Executive on this matter for some months now and keep getting fobbed with off with some of the feeblest excuses I've ever heard. At present I'm told the decision will be reviewed in the autumn. Well, it's that season now.
> I looked very hard at the Guidance on "proper arrangements" for archives which has been published on the DETR website, and it is no help at all.
> 3.1 Proper arrangements should encompass the preservation of the records, including storage and conservation; and the provision of access . . . for enabling members of the public to consult the records (subject to any restrictions) under supervision".
> I've tried embarassing the council by asking the leader of the council why the Labour Group are so reluctant to let the public see how Labour ran the old Corporation. What have they got to hide, I asked? He says they've nothing to hide, and that was when the Chief Executive suddenly got more co-operative and promised to review the situation in the autumn.
> Before I take the Council on again, can anybody give me some help in this, please ? Wigan has opened their pre-1974 records, has anybody else?
> Len McDonald
> 46 Weaver Ave
> PRESCOT, Merseyside
> Phone: 0151-426 5273
> Mobile: 07775 914796
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
University of Liverpool Library
PO Box 123
Liverpool L69 3DA
Tel: 0151 794 5675
Fax: 0151 794 5417
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