Council wrongly denied FOI requests on trail

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THE information watchdog has ruled that Hampshire County Council officials broke transparency laws in their year-long fight over the controversial bridleway work.

Protesters fighting a £400,000 project on the Meon Valley Trail grew to a 2,500-strong group on Facebook, and sent a number of Freedom of Information requests to local authorities over what they claimed was unlawful handling of the project.

The Information Commissioner found after an appeal that Hampshire County Council turned down 17 requests of information from the public.

Steve Clark, the leader of the FoI protest group said: ‘Perhaps the outcome of this could be that next time they realise Hampshire County Council exists for the people of Hampshire, not for the benefit of its own employees.’

A council spokesperson said it was considering its position after the ruling.