Philip Grant has written to Fiona Ledden, Director of Legal and Procurement at Brent Council, regarding her refusal of a resident's Freedom of Information request about the meeting Grant had with Muhammed Butt on 'Respecting Brent's Constitution'.
Philip Grant wrote:
Philip Grant wrote:
Dear Ms Ledden,
I have just come across the attached document, a letter from you on behalf of Brent Council on 18 September 2014 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by a Mr Benazi, on the "What do they know" website.
The request concerns a copy of the notes of a meeting, which I prepared after I had met with Cllr. Muhammed Butt at the Civic Centre on 26 June 2014, notes which I wished to put in the public domain, but which I did not feel able to do for reasons explained in a "guest blog" which was posted on the "Wembley Matters" site in July 2014 LINK
I am writing to point out that the explanation you gave for not providing a copy of the notes to Mr Benazi was incorrect, for the following reasons:
The "information" (the notes) was held by Brent Council, in that Thomas Cattermole (Head of Executive and Member Services), who had been present at and taken part in the meeting, held a copy of them.
My meeting was not with Councillor Butt 'as a Councillor', but with him as Leader of Brent Council, to discuss matters involving the Council, its workings and the actions of Council Officers, and not any personal matter as a "constituent" (which I would have raised with one of my ward Councillors for Fryent Ward, if that had been the case).
The meeting took place at Councillor Butt's invitation, and not at my request.It was to discuss matters which I had raised in a letter to him (jointly with Cllrs Kansagra and Lorber) following a "Soapbox" I gave at a Brent Connects meeting in February 2014 on "Respecting Brent's Constitution", and which he had not yet dealt with. [You may remember that I sent you a copy of the letter, and of the text of my "Soapbox" on 13 February 2014, with an email headed 'Working together on Respecting Brent's Constitution', after you had confused that letter with another matter (a complaint I had made to Christine Gilbert about the actions of three senior Council Officers) in dealing with a request made to you by the then Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.]
For these reasons, I can see no justification for dismissing Mr Benazi's request, as the information would have been within that which should be supplied by Brent Council under the Freedom of Information Act. I hope that the Council will now, belatedly, comply with that FoI request. Best wishes,