Carmarthenshire council ‘respects the freedom of the press’
12:00pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council does everything in its power to respect the freedom of the press, according to a secret meeting of authority bigwigs.
The news came after chief executive Mark James refused councillors permission to discuss the council’s dealings with the press following Guardian claims it had been blacklisted by the authority.
The revelation that all public notices and advertising had been withdrawn from the Guardian following an editorial criticising the council’s now notorious September Sainsbury’s statement led to calls for an open discussion in County Hall’s main chamber under the watchful eye of the public and press.
However, Mr James rejected the motion and ordered that the issue be handled in private by a group made up of council deputy leader Pam Palmer, assistant chief executive Chris Burns, head of democratic services Colin Davies and press manager Debbie Williams.
In the 25-minute behind-closed doors meeting, Mrs Williams told the group that the authority “made every effort to have a good working relationship with the press,” issuing around 1,500 press releases and dealing with an average 4,000 media enquiries each year.
The meeting resolved “there was no further action that the council could take in respecting the freedom of the press”.