In the past week there have been two articles in the Western Mail about the activities of Councils across Wales. In each case Freedom of Information requests were submitted by the press, and in each case RCT did not respond.
The first was a story regarding the number of Councillors who are being pursued via the courts for non-payment of Council Tax. Half of the Councils failed to respond - including Rhondda Cynon Taff. The response amongst those who did showed that 42 Councillors had at some point failed to pay their Council Tax between 2009 and 2013.
The second article concerned "gagging orders" and reported that more than a thousand have been struck by Welsh councils in severance deals costing more than £32m. These are so-called compromise or settlement agreements contained clauses which bar former employees from challenging their exits in employment tribunals or in court, or speaking out against their employers
Rhondda Cynon Taff was the only Council who did not respond to the question. RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts asks
"What have RCT Council got to hide? Confidentiality with regard to employees names and individual details you would expect to be kept confidential, but the public have a right to know what the overall spend is.
"Every other Council in Wales was willing to give this figure out, but once again this Council surrounds itself in a shroud of mystery. Still from a Labour run Council where even elected members are refused access to detailed budget figures are it is what we have come to expect."
"These are just the latest examples, time and again figures appear in the press and RCT are amongst those who refuse to release information in to the public domain. So much for Labour's promised open and transparent approach."
The first was a story regarding the number of Councillors who are being pursued via the courts for non-payment of Council Tax.