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Lancashire council bosses reject calls for public 'email' enquiry
12:47pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
LANCASHIRE county councillors rejected calls by Tory group leader Geoff Driver to hold a public inquiry into the accessing of members’ email accounts.
Blackburn MP Jack Straw previously called for an investigation into council officers’ decision to access Mr Driver’s emails without his permission, and Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley, condemned the move as ‘the sort of thing the Soviet Union did’.
At a full council meeting on Thursday, Coun Driver raised concerns that proper procedures had not been followed, and inadequate records kept of approval to access members’ accounts.
He said: “We receive all sorts of communications from people we represent.”
But his calls were rejected with Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens voting against the proposal he put forward.
Great Harwood councillor Gareth Molineux, who has experience of working in the IT industry, said it was standard practice for employees’ email accounts to be monitored.
He pointed out that council emails came with a disclaimer which said: “Lancashire County Council reserves the right to monitor incoming and outgoing emails.”
Council leader Jenny Mein opposed Coun Driver’s call for an inquiry, and said council officers had been justified in examining the emails as part of an ‘extremely serious’ investigation.
She said: “You have heard the terms and conditions, you have signed up to use the system. I have nothing hide – have you?”
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