Why do the Council want to censor campaigning websites? No 2

Further evidence has come to light of attempts at censorship of The Save our green belt campaigns website! I quote from an email sent by Tom Sweetman to Simon Collett and copied to Karl Battersby as evidence of attempted interference:

“From: Sweetman, Tom
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 2:03 PM
To: saveourgreenbelt ;
Cc: Battersby, Karl
Subject: RE: Joint press release

Good afternoon Simon

Karl has had an email from a lady who was expressing her thoughts on the LDF process

As part of her enquiry she said

I have read that Sheffield Council has paid Rotherham Borough Council to build more houses to cater for it’s overspill, allowing it to retain it’s own greenbelt land at the expense of ours.  This would be a despicable act and if it were true Rotherham Borough Council should be thoroughly ashamed for it’s appalling betrayal of it’s own people and I personally would never vote again.

Karl’s response was

One point I do not understand however is the reference to Rotherham being paid by Sheffield Council to house its overspill.
This is absolutely not the case, and I would be grateful if you could let me know where you got that information from so we can correct it.
The plan is about catering for Rotherham’s needs for the next 15 years, and indeed we have halved our housing requirement to reflect a local target rather than the current regional target.
The figure of 12,750 homes over the next 15 years is not an inflated figure to cater for Sheffield overspill, quite the reverse.

The lady responded

Thankyou for your reply Mr Battersby,

The information you refer to is on the Save Our Greenbelt website. I’m very pleased to hear it isn’t true, thankyou for confirming that.

You may recall that at our Town Hall meeting this was asked as a very specific question by your group. Our response was that this was not the case and this was confirmed in the minutes that were sent to you on 25th July.

I have checked the website this morning and you are still saying

The Government’s projections show that the vast majority of the internal migration into Rotherham will come from Sheffield in order to “take pressure” off Sheffield, which is projected to experience a large increase in population.

Could we please ask that this statement be removed from your website as it is incorrect

Tom Sweetman”

The plot thickens indeed! The facts were as known at the time the post was originally made. To change it now would be to try to change the past! Quite outrageous that Officers would be so presumptuous!

More later and a huge thank you to our source Simon, for this information.

7 thoughts on “Why do the Council want to censor campaigning websites? No 2

  1. I think we are in Rotherham Council-speak territory here, aren’t we:

    – firstly, we have Rotherham Council wanting to build 25,000 houses to satisfy ‘regional’ demand
    – secondly, Rotherham Council now only want to build 12,500 houses to satisfy ‘local’ demand

    Dur! now let me see, what I wonder, does “regional” mean?
    Er, let me just ponder on that one a while, well perhaps it means in the ‘region’ of Rotherham – oh yes, that must be Sheffield.

    This is classic Rotherham Council bullshine and as usual you can’t trust a word they say.


  2. Sanitising the past, now that is one aspect of Stalinism that hasn’t been seen for some time in quite such a naked fashion! Anyone else remember the regularly retouched photographs from Stalin’s time?
    Who is this Tom Sweetman anyway? Perhaps someone would like to elucidate?


    • Not that tired argument again. If you read and understood what you have read on this blog, you might have stopped trying to convince anyone that when the Council are concerned we can assume them to be open, honest or transparent, when our experience over the years, has been anything but!
      This particular story that you have commented on, at it’s heart involves the kind of duplicitous behaviour that you claim doesn’t happen!
      You may be able to read the words, but their meaning seems to elude you!


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