‘It would be funny if it weren’t tragic’ - councillors not allowed to see all of key flooding document as storm hits

By Forester Reporter   |   Reporter   |
Monday 28th February 2022 12:00 pm
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Cllr Alan Preest.

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The Forest district councillor in charge of environment policy has revealed that he is not allowed to see all of a key document on the response to flooding.

Among the information withheld from Cllr Sid Phelps – and other district councillors – is contact details for the council itself.

The issue of contact information in the Lydney Rapid Response Plan was raised by Cllr Alan Preest (Con, Lydney East)

Speaking at a full council meeting on Thursday – less than 24 hours before Storm Eunice hit – Cllr Phelps (Green, Lydbrook) said: “It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.

I’ve got no fewer than nine pages of redacted information here which includes redacted information about Forest of Dean District Council addresses.

“I feel as elected members we should be trusted and we should be able to help in these times of crisis.

“The names OK – but the addresses. I’ve got the maps and the addresses could be found.

“I’d like to echo the plea of Cllr Preest and ask officers to reconsider the data protection and ask if the Data Protection Act is really written to prevent elected members best serving their residents because it almost feels like we are not being trusted here whereas officers are.”

Cllr Preest praised the preparations being made for the storm as the meeting was held.

He said: “We need to respect the confidentiality and integrity of local members and their knowledge.

“I’ve got an unredacted copy along with the Lydney Plan going back to when it was enacted in 2015.

We should send a message that elected members need this information.”

No response was given to the question at the meeting.

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