In an e mail to me just before the Shiptonthorpe monthly parish council meeting last week chairman Victor Lambert said:

“For your information please note that prior to May 2023 it was the practice of Shiptonthorpe Parish Council to delete email accounts and content when a Councillor left office so some records are very limited with only one remaining councillor with extensive historical records. It is also the intention of the current Council to change this practice and we remain concerned why the former council adopted this policy.”

During Thursdays meeting the chairman said that the policy of deleting former councillors e mail accounts was ‘unbelievable’.

Stand in clerk Gordon Scaife explained to the chairman that:

“The previous policy was correct. Parish councils are not allowed to retain former councillors’ data. All former councillors e mail accounts and any data such as declarations of interest must be deleted.”

If a councillor does not delete their own e mail account then the clerk will normally do it.

Hopefully the new council now understands why the former council adopted this policy. They were abiding by the law. Former councillors have the right under GDPR to be forgotten.

Comment: I suspect that many of the current councillors thought that the Parish Clerk was being difficult or obstructive when she told them she couldn’t provide certain information they requested. It would seem that on this particular occasion she was right not to give the new councillors access to previous councillors data. If she had either she or they might be in trouble with the information commissioner.

Former Chairman Robert Ducker was also correct when he explained that the new councillors couldn’t appoint a new chairman before their first meeting when the first item on the agenda would be the appoinment of a chairman. Until then the former chairman was still the chairman because there had been no formal meeting to replace him. From evidence I have seen Cllr David Gough seems to have difficulty grasping this concept.

The new councillors really do need some training.

It’ll be interesting to see if they allow Gordon Scaife to officiate again as he interjected 7 times. (On each occassion the information was relevant, helpful and added value to the discussion). Cllr David Gough has previously been highly critcal of interuptions from the Parsh Clerk but on Thursday such interuptions seemed to be welcomed by the chairman.

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