OPINION: A way out for Cambridgeshire County Council to release audit report

Voice of the Fens

Voice of the Fens - Credit: Archant

An open letter to Gillian Beasley, chief executive, Cambridgeshire County Council.  

Dear Gillian,  

May I invite you to consider an alternative strategy in respect of the ‘Mazars report’ into farmgate (which is actually your own auditors’ report since Mazars only crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s).  

You don’t trust the media with it do you? Perhaps a solution could be for you to invite specialist media lawyers to consider it.  

They know – because they test it every day – public interest. They consider contempt, possible libel claims, and apply excruciatingly detailed analysis. 

Above all they help maintain trust and confidence in open democracy whilst deploying absolute fair play in what newspapers can publish.  

Maybe, though, what you fear more than public interest is public scrutiny of private matters. 

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However, the circumstances of farmgate are not private. They strike at the core of public trust and accountability.  

So rather than rely on legal advice to suit your needs, maybe it is time to consider those of the people the council serves.  

Kind regards 

John Elworthy