HEREFORDSHIRE Council has no HFL board papers despite councillors and the council’s former chief executive attending HFL Board meetings - and the council committing nearly £3m in funding to the company.
That confirmation comes in papers prepared for the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Monday (March 10).
The council says that as none of its serving officers are director HFL it is “difficult to give a definitive answer” as to why HFL board papers were not in its possession.
However, the council says that any councillor who attended an HFL Board meeting will have done so “in their capacity as a director of the company” and not as a councillor.
In the event, the council says, that members they held any HFL papers, they will not have been held in their capacity as a councillor.
In January this year, the overview and scrutiny committee considered a report relating to the Freedom of Information (FoI) act and arm’s length companies.
Members were told that FoI did not apply to HFL as an arm’s length company despite the extent of the council’s funding of the company.
Instead, the council says, the company’s creation, redevelopment remit, and subsequent activity had been considered in a series of reports to Cabinet.
The council maintains that where the performance of any council service, whether delivered in house, or through a third party such as HFL, is of interest to the public, or is causing concern, it can be “monitored and assured” by overview & scrutiny.