Byelaw breaches: FoI request

HAVING read over recent weeks that Rother District Council has been considering introducing byelaws to either prevent or restrict fishing from the beach for several miles in the district and also prevent or restrict bait digging I do wish, before considering such action, the council would put its own house in order.

Over the consultation period I have seen numerous offences committed against existing byelaws, none of which the council appear to enforce, so why consider even more laws which, more importantly, ignore existing national legislation.

On May 15 I hand-delivered a letter to the town hall requesting - under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 - the number of complaints made to the council in 2009, 2010 and 2011 relating to the danger, annoyance or obstruction, etc, caused by beach anglers or bait diggers.

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The Act gives the council 20 working days in which to reply unless the issue is complicated or time-consuming. If the council has had no complaints or not recorded them, it should say so within the time limit.

Allowing for weekends and Bank Holidays, this means the council was legally bound to respond by June 13, but at the time of writing - June 27 - I have received nothing: not even the politeness of an acknowledgement.

Perhaps, to put the matter right, Rother’s legal services department may care to prosecute itself, as I am not the only one who has failed to receive an FoI reply.


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