EDM 671 – 5 December 2022
DR ANDREW LOWNIE FRHistS AND THE MOUNTBATTEN DIARIES
[This EDM has been signed by 7 MPs.]That this House welcomes the fact that three days after Early Day Motion 338 on the Mountbatten Diaries was published in July 2021, almost all of the material withheld from public access began to be disclosed online; notes that this was the direct result of a six-year campaign by the accomplished biographer, Andrew Lownie, with the support of the Information Commissioner’s Office; deplores the fact that, in order to achieve this result, Dr Lownie had to accumulate legal costs approaching half-a-million pounds on account of protracted Cabinet Office resistance to the release of material almost all of which was known to be innocuous; notes that the Mountbatten Diaries had been purchased from the Broadlands Archive with public money and that very large further sums were spent by the Cabinet Office and Southampton University on their legal fight against disclosure; views it as oppressive and reprehensible that a distinguished historian should face severe financial loss under such circumstances; and consequently calls on the Cabinet Office to reimburse the legal costs which its unnecessary obstructiveness caused him to incur.
EDM 611 – 23 November 2022
INTIMIDATION AT COMMUNITY, PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS
[This EDM has been signed by 26 MPs.]That this House expresses its support and appreciation for local community, parish and town councils which are the first tier of local government in England and Wales and play a vital role in our communities; notes with concern that whilst the vast majority of local councils are well run, there remain behavioural issues in a small minority of councils and by members of the public which involve bullying, intimidation and harassment of both councillors and their staff, as confirmed through a dedicated Civility and Respect project led by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), One Voice Wales (OVW), county associations of local councils, and also highlighted by the Association of Local Council Clerks (ALCC); further notes with concern this is leading to councillors and staff leaving the sector and is creating difficulties in recruiting to those roles; and calls on the Government to re-visit its response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life report on local government ethical standards and introduce the report’s recommendations in full including tougher sanctions such as suspension for poorly behaving councillors.