FOI: Using the letters page to get some answers

It’s a dilemma many journalists have faced: What to do when 20 working days have passed since you submitted your FOI request and there’s no sign of life from the local council/health trust/police force.

Bryan Hubble of Bexhill-on-Sea knew what to do: he decided to name and shame the council in the local paper, the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer:

A week, later, on the same letters page, Mr Hubble was present again, this time revealing how the letter the previous week had prompted a response:

Proof of the enduring power of the letters page? Maybe? Proof that it’s worth mentioning, even in  a small article, that an organisation is being secretive? Maybe.

Worth keeping an eye on the letters page of the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer to find out what happens when Mr Hubble actually gets answers and not just an apology? Probably.

One comment

  1. Bexhill is East Sussex as I recall, I asked Mr Hammond Chief Executive of West Sussex County Council for information a couple of years ago, nothing happened apart from an e-mail from him saying therere was no information to release.
    – WHAT ? no paperwork at all regarding changes to historical land and footpaths? They used to issue loads of paperwork when it was decided to trim the grass!
    Mr Hammond has moved on, no idea why, the council kept it quiet, a good “leaving package” and he walked into a senior NHS managers job

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