Pembrokeshire County Council criticised after decision not to publish planning application responses online

Western Telegraph: Pembrokeshire County Council has stopped publishing third party responses to planning applications online Pembrokeshire County Council has stopped publishing third party responses to planning applications online

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council has been accused of ‘going backwards’ after it stopped publishing certain planning documents online for fear of potential defamation claims.

Since January 30th, third party representations on planning applications are no longer posted online to avoid the authority publishing “defamatory material”.

But at Monday’s corporate governance committee, Councillor Paul Miller said: “There must be a better way made available to members, especially to members of the planning committee. It is a backward step to have to come in and look at a hard copy.

“If anything, my question would be why have we got a hard copy file in the first place? We should be more advanced than that.”

Director of development Steven Jones said that in the vast majority of instances, hard copy files were made available on request.

He added that IT was unable to come up with a system that allowed members to access information online without ‘publishing’ the material.

Mr Jones said: “We tried to explore more manageable ways of conveying that information, and thus far we have drawn a blank.”

Cllr Jamie Adams said that the policy allowed more face-to-face interaction between constituents and their local members.

He said: “I would like to think members of the public who find it difficult to viewthe documents themselves would engage their local member to ascertain information contained within the file.”

He added that many views were subjective and irrelevant in planning terms, and publishing them would give rise to further inaccurate or irrelevant submissions.

But Cllr Mike Stoddart said that the county council had no right to act like a ‘filter’ for people’s views.

He said: “The public has a right to pass on any concerns that they have.”

He added that such submissions would have qualified privilege under the Defamation Act.

Comments (12)

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6:45pm Sun 21 Apr 13

Gogledd says...

It just goes to show how out of touch Pembrokeshire County Council is in its approach to IT. They must think that we are in the dark ages here!. Do they not realise that in todays digital age business is transacted on line, via interactive media and emails. The fact that members of the public are asked to get their local councillor to "get it for them" is rediculous. Wake up!!.PCC and get a grip!!
It just goes to show how out of touch Pembrokeshire County Council is in its approach to IT. They must think that we are in the dark ages here!. Do they not realise that in todays digital age business is transacted on line, via interactive media and emails. The fact that members of the public are asked to get their local councillor to "get it for them" is rediculous. Wake up!!.PCC and get a grip!! Gogledd
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Sun 21 Apr 13

Welshman23 says...

Gogledd wrote:
It just goes to show how out of touch Pembrokeshire County Council is in its approach to IT. They must think that we are in the dark ages here!. Do they not realise that in todays digital age business is transacted on line, via interactive media and emails. The fact that members of the public are asked to get their local councillor to "get it for them" is rediculous. Wake up!!.PCC and get a grip!!
Spot on how can we get rid of these bunch of idiots at county hall, we need action to get rid of these group of people who are out of touch with the real world.
[quote][p][bold]Gogledd[/bold] wrote: It just goes to show how out of touch Pembrokeshire County Council is in its approach to IT. They must think that we are in the dark ages here!. Do they not realise that in todays digital age business is transacted on line, via interactive media and emails. The fact that members of the public are asked to get their local councillor to "get it for them" is rediculous. Wake up!!.PCC and get a grip!![/p][/quote]Spot on how can we get rid of these bunch of idiots at county hall, we need action to get rid of these group of people who are out of touch with the real world. Welshman23
  • Score: 0

11:02am Mon 22 Apr 13

KwikChex says...

The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.
The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'. KwikChex
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Tttoommy says...

KwikChex wrote:
The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.
That's quite correct.

Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that
[quote][p][bold]KwikChex[/bold] wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.[/p][/quote]That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that Tttoommy
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Mon 22 Apr 13

ladybench says...

Enough is enough don't you realise that to be transparent in all that transpires from planning is critical of forming a judgment.It would seem that you are hiding the truth over some of the decisions that take place.I would therefore urge the public not to accept this inane decision and to remember who was behind it when it comes to voting.
Enough is enough don't you realise that to be transparent in all that transpires from planning is critical of forming a judgment.It would seem that you are hiding the truth over some of the decisions that take place.I would therefore urge the public not to accept this inane decision and to remember who was behind it when it comes to voting. ladybench
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Mon 22 Apr 13

ladybench says...

Tttoommy wrote:
KwikChex wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.
That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that
Why is it that nobody in PCC can show this sort of commonsense or are you just devoid of it.Or more likely you've had a brain transplant.
[quote][p][bold]Tttoommy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]KwikChex[/bold] wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.[/p][/quote]That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that[/p][/quote]Why is it that nobody in PCC can show this sort of commonsense or are you just devoid of it.Or more likely you've had a brain transplant. ladybench
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Welshman23 says...

Tttoommy wrote:
KwikChex wrote:
The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.
That's quite correct.

Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that
I thought if you paid peanuts you got monkeys in county hall it's the opposite pay top dollar and you get monkeys all the people in PCC are not fit for purpose.
[quote][p][bold]Tttoommy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]KwikChex[/bold] wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.[/p][/quote]That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that[/p][/quote]I thought if you paid peanuts you got monkeys in county hall it's the opposite pay top dollar and you get monkeys all the people in PCC are not fit for purpose. Welshman23
  • Score: 0

10:04pm Mon 22 Apr 13

quentin says...

Labour brought in the Freedom of Information Act, and then did their best to limit it's use. The present coalition under David Cameron sees the act as a nuisance because they only want us to know what they think we should know. So Pembrokeshire CC is only following the pattern of all governments, local and national, who "filter" information to serve their own ends. That's the way it has always been and human nature being what it is, that's the way it will always be.
Labour brought in the Freedom of Information Act, and then did their best to limit it's use. The present coalition under David Cameron sees the act as a nuisance because they only want us to know what they think we should know. So Pembrokeshire CC is only following the pattern of all governments, local and national, who "filter" information to serve their own ends. That's the way it has always been and human nature being what it is, that's the way it will always be. quentin
  • Score: 0

9:37am Tue 23 Apr 13

Tttoommy says...

quentin wrote:
Labour brought in the Freedom of Information Act, and then did their best to limit it's use. The present coalition under David Cameron sees the act as a nuisance because they only want us to know what they think we should know. So Pembrokeshire CC is only following the pattern of all governments, local and national, who "filter" information to serve their own ends. That's the way it has always been and human nature being what it is, that's the way it will always be.
that's sorry to say a dreadful attitude. "they" will get away with murder so no point in doing nuffin - is that it?
[quote][p][bold]quentin[/bold] wrote: Labour brought in the Freedom of Information Act, and then did their best to limit it's use. The present coalition under David Cameron sees the act as a nuisance because they only want us to know what they think we should know. So Pembrokeshire CC is only following the pattern of all governments, local and national, who "filter" information to serve their own ends. That's the way it has always been and human nature being what it is, that's the way it will always be.[/p][/quote]that's sorry to say a dreadful attitude. "they" will get away with murder so no point in doing nuffin - is that it? Tttoommy
  • Score: 0

11:27am Tue 23 Apr 13

quentin says...

Certainly wrong practices need to be opposed, but it is naive to think,as many seem to think, that a change of personnel in County Hall, (or Westminster) will put things right. As Lord Acton once said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Better to work with what we've got. As they say, "Better the devil you know......
Certainly wrong practices need to be opposed, but it is naive to think,as many seem to think, that a change of personnel in County Hall, (or Westminster) will put things right. As Lord Acton once said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Better to work with what we've got. As they say, "Better the devil you know...... quentin
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Tue 23 Apr 13

timerousbeastie says...

Welshman23 wrote:
Tttoommy wrote:
KwikChex wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.
That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that
I thought if you paid peanuts you got monkeys in county hall it's the opposite pay top dollar and you get monkeys all the people in PCC are not fit for purpose.
Welshman23

Do you really mean that ALL people in PCC are "not fit for purpose"? If you really genuinely think this, what is your evidence to support your potentially libellous assertion?
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tttoommy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]KwikChex[/bold] wrote: The issue seem to be that they have been advised that they may be sued directly if they publish any comments that prove to be inaccurate and potentially defamatory. It would certainly be a shame if they withdrew the transparency of the feedback and also extremely inefficient. They should be able to continue with the online transparency by making it part of a resource that makes it clear that the content is entirely third party and not their own opinion. Then, if a person or business wishes to challenge the veracity of any content, the Council can evaluate and either allow the comments to remain published if they do not consider them defamatory or remove if they feel they may be. As long as a publisher of third party online content is following the process and acting diligently, liability for the original posting of content will then remain with the author, not 'distributor'.[/p][/quote]That's quite correct. Every time we dare complain about people being paid obscene amounts of dosh we get the usual "pay the most/get the best" mantra - YET how can all those great brains not realise that[/p][/quote]I thought if you paid peanuts you got monkeys in county hall it's the opposite pay top dollar and you get monkeys all the people in PCC are not fit for purpose.[/p][/quote]Welshman23 Do you really mean that ALL people in PCC are "not fit for purpose"? If you really genuinely think this, what is your evidence to support your potentially libellous assertion? timerousbeastie
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Wed 24 Apr 13

Get a grip says...

Look other council manage to publish these letters so why not this bunch of fools?
Look other council manage to publish these letters so why not this bunch of fools? Get a grip
  • Score: 0

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