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Market site secrecy "is angering public"
7:30pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
HEREFORDIANS are becoming increasingly angry at the secrecy surrounding a company involved in the city’s multimillion pound retail complex, a councillor has warned.
Lib Dem leader Councillor Terry James told members debating whether Hereford Futures should be more open on various matters that the authority “weaves itself a tangled web”.
“It is about perception and ours is appalling,” he warned.
“I get it regularly from the public. They perceive it that we have handed money to a private organisation which seems unaccountable and secret.
“The public is becoming very, very angry, and is going to get more angry because it is finding the council is not being open.”
Hereford Futures, which is one of the main players in the Old Livestock Market (OLM) development, was asked to attend the overview and scrutiny meeting to explain issues surrounding its governance, including the way it assesses what information should be branded confidential.
Council leader and Futures board member John Jarvis took the opportunity to take a swipe at It’s Our County chief, Coun Mark Hubbard, who faces a council probe into claims he took confidential documents from an officer’s desk without permission.
The opposition member had asked the leader how he kept up-to-date with Futures meetings after revealing he does not keep minutes in his office.
“I don’t keep them here,” said Coun Jarvis. “We’ve had a problem with security recently.
The committee agreed to recommend to cabinet that a protocal is drawn up regarding the redaction of minutes from Hereford Futures board meetings.