The Bolton News has won a landmark ruling that the local council must release the name of a councillor who didn’t pay their council tax on time.
It’s the culmination of a 3 year battle by the paper and reporter Dale Haslam, to get Bolton Council to release the name. In 2013, a Freedom of Information request revealed that 2 councillors, one Labour and one Conservative, had been summoned to court, because of late council tax payment.
The Conservative councillor, Mudasir Dean, admitted he was one of them and released an apology.
However, the Labour councillor, who was summoned on two separate occasions, has yet to be identified.
Today, Upper Tribunal Judge, Kate Marcus QC has allowed an appeal against an earlier tribunal ruling, which means that the council must release the name of the Labour councillor within 35 days.
The council has the right to appeal, but it appears that this is unlikely.
“We are disappointed that the Upper Tribunal has not upheld previous decisions by the Information Commissioner and the First Tier Tribunal. “These two independent bodies both supported the council’s original decision to withhold private information about an individual,” said a spokesperson for the Council.