Any residents of Carmarthenshire wanting to know how much their council spends on shindigs such as the Chartered Institute for Public Relations PRide Cymru awards event will find that their curiosity runs into a brick wall.
Last year the Taxpayers' Alliance compiled a document based on FoI responses into the amounts spent by councils attending award ceremonies. Unsurprisingly, Carmarthenshire council refused to disclose information on the basis of Section 12, saying that it would cost too much to get the information.
Full information here: http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/awardceremonies.pdf
A simple browse on the CIPR website shows tickets to be cost £108 individually, with the possibility of a free ticket for block booking. In addition, there are annual membership fees.
Details here: http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/events-awards/pride-awards/pride-awards-dinners/cymru-wales
By the council's own admission there are 20 members of SirGarPR - granted they're not all press officers - and it would be interesting to know how many of that 20 went along. Due to section 12, we may never know.
Using cost as an excuse is a load of bollocks and would never hold water with the Information Commissioner as the information requested is simple to obtain...if proper accounts are maintained. Start from scratch make the request once you get a refusal ask for an internal review and give them 14 days to respond. A failure or refusal and go straight to the Information Commissioner. It is worth pushing because it seems that CCC have got to the stage that people just give up on them and that is a dangerous precedent to get yourself in. Spread the work out amongst a few of you and then they can't class you as a persistant complainer as they did with Mrs Breckman.
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