HC Deb 25 June 1976 vol 913 cc434-5W
Mr. Cryer

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to place the burden on local authorities to justify withholding information.

Mr. John Silkin

I have no present plans to propose an amendment to the law which already places certain requirements on local authorities regarding the availability of information and documents to local government electors and Press. Councils should regard the statutory provisions as setting only the minimum standard and should take positive action to ensure the maximum degree of openness in the conduct of their business. I am satisfied that local authorities in general are acting responsibly, but if my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind perhaps he will write to me.