Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 8795

Solicitor Letters

Request

Please would you supply me with the following information in any recorded form:

How many Brentwood Council / Essex County Council official solicitors letters or emails (or other forms of communication) have been sent to Brentwood residents, to warn them from criticising Brentwood Borough Council? I.e. to 'gag' them / cover a matter up.

How many have been sent to other recipients, newspapers, or people living outside Brentwood for example?

What matters / local issues or projects were these in connection with?

Bearing in mind we have free speech in the UK, and the local council and MP say they are very keen on transparency. Also that the council is supposed to serve the interests of the local community, not gag or threaten them when they criticise.

Why were these letters sent? Regarding particular wording used in criticism of the council? What else?

What wording is deemed unacceptable? What forms of criticism are deemed unacceptable?

Any relevant documents to indicate trends and practises would be gratefully received.

Response

How many Brentwood Council / Essex County Council official solicitors letters or emails (or other forms of communication) have been sent to Brentwood residents, to warn them from criticising Brentwood Borough Council? I.e. to 'gag' them / cover a matter up.

Brentwood Borough Council can only respond to Brentwood Council matters, in regard to Essex County Council the FOI request should be submitted to that Council.

As far as we are aware Brentwood Borough Council has sent no legal letters to residents to, “gag them / cover a matter up as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed

No date range is specified, the requester should be approached to clarify whether she/he has a period in mind otherwise the cost of search back may be significant.

Brentwood Borough Council has sent no letters to residents to, “gag them / cover up.

How many have been sent to other recipients, newspapers, or people living outside Brentwood for example?

Again date range, but since September 2013 no letters issued to “gag them / cover a matter up” as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed

What matters / local issues or projects were these in connection with?

No letters issued to “gag them / cover a matter up” as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed


Bearing in mind we have free speech in the UK, and the local council and MP say they are very keen on transparency. Also that the council is supposed to serve the interests of the local community, not gag or threaten them when they criticise.

Is this a question / request or just a statement ?


Why were these letters sent? Regarding particular wording used in criticism of the council? What else?

No letters issued to “gag them / cover a matter up” as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed


What wording is deemed unacceptable? What forms of criticism are deemed unacceptable?

No letters issued to “gag them / cover a matter up” as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed


Any relevant documents to indicate trends and practises would be gratefully received.

No letters issued to “gag them / cover a matter up” as this is not something the authority would do - it will of course consider taking action where officers are defamed.