LEEDS Council has refused to accept it must identify councillors who have been sent a court summons over unpaid council tax and is using public money to launch a legal challenge to keep their names secret.
The Information Commissioner has upheld an appeal from the Yorkshire Post and said the names of four Leeds councillors should be disclosed after the authority refused a freedom of information request.
But the council has said it won’t comply with the ruling – a manoeuvre denounced as “preposterous” and “showing a contempt towards public scrutiny and accountability” by campaign group, the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
What they didn’t want us to know about councillors who haven’t paid their Council Tax
THE Information Commissioner’s Office said it was “at a loss to understand” why Sheffield Council had initially refused to even look for information on councillors’ non-payment of Council Tax.
The authority had claimed it would be a breach of members’ privacy to locate the information after receiving a Freedom of Information request from the Yorkshire Post.
Officials made the claim despite the council already monitoring whether it has any councillors legally barred, under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act, from taking part in the annual budget meeting if they are more than two months in arrears in payments.