Dear Councillor Driver
Postings on Your Web Blog - 30 April 2014
I am writingto you in connection with your web blog and the publication of material on that site arising from the meeting of the General PurposesCommittee last night. During the course of today (301
April 2014) you have published firstlya commentary onthe processbeing dealt with at the meeting last evening and secondly, later today you have chosen to publisha private & confidential letter written by me as the Monitoring Officer to the members of that Committeeclearly intended for their exclusiveconsideration.
I regretto say that this is not the first time I have had to write to you expressing concern about publishing private and confidential information that hascome into you possession even though you are full aware that when you became an elected member of Thanet District Councilyou undertook to comply with the Council's Code of Conduct including, (subject to a limited numberof exceptions, none of whichapply here) the requirement to keep the Council's confidential Informationprecisely that - confidential.
You were aware that the General Purpose Committee had a sensitivetask to work through in circumstances where due processand the duties owed by the Councilto its staff required the utmost confidence. Instead, by choosingto publish on your website details of the proceedings (which you only attendedfor a limited time) and by later publishing a leaked copy of my letter, you have chosen to drive a coach and horses through those principles.
As a result you have placedthe work of the GeneralPurposes Committee in jeopardy , published sensitive personal data in flagrant breachof the privacy rights of a numberof data subjects and, in my view, fatallyundermined the abilityof the Council to consider the issues raised by me.
You shouldalso be awarethat qualified privilege attaches when issuesof concern are raised internally but your conduct in publishing thesecan attract no such protection and as a result, you have placedyourself at significant personal risk of having multiple actions in defamation takenagainst you by all those named in your web-blog,If nothing else will persuadeyou to do the right thing, perhapsthe realisation that you have placed your home and personal assets at risk, will.
Cecil Street Margate
Harvey Patterson Monitoring Officer Thanet District Council P 0 Box 9