OPINION: ‘The smell of ‘dictatorship’ is wafting from our city council offices’

Portsmouth civic offices
Portsmouth civic offices
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Why, in a democracy that defines itself by being open and transparent, Portsmouth City Council opposition have to resort to Freedom of Information requests to gain information? This is another step by the administration (especially the leader of the council) to control not only the information but the people whom she serves and the council she administers.

The opposition, whichever their persuasion, have a duty to question and challenge the ruling administration.

They also have a right to all information including confidential items.

To quote Cllr Donna Jones: ‘When this administration was formed, we promised to be the most open and transparent in the history of this city and we kept that promise.’

It is already apparent this requires improvement, not just in this article but in many issues people face across the city where to seek answers faces a wall of silence.

All information should be made available to the council opposition and to the public alike.

The leader goes on: ‘We have been working with other parties that behave responsibly - regrettably that does not include the Liberal Democrats.’

So Cllr Jones is now telling the electorate that they were wrong if they voted for this party and in turn not responsible people for doing so.

Cllr Jones is now dictating who can and who can’t have information when requested.

Isn’t that dictatorship?

The opposition should be holding the ruling administration accountable for their actions; after all, that’s why we voted Liberal Democrat.

* This letter was submitted to The News by Jeanette Smith of Paignton Avenue, Portsmouth