A TROUBLED parish council has suspended services to answer requests for information about its controversial land auctions.
Holme Valley Parish Council was criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office for refusing to release information concerning the sale of plots by the council’s Holme Valley Land Charity.
Now the council has said it has had to scale down its administrative functions temporarily while it responds to Freedom of Information requests, which the ICO has ruled it must answer.
A notice posted on the council’s website said: “It should also be noted that, due to the complex nature of the FOI requests and the considerable resources to answer them, the clerk’s time will be very limited to deal with the normal everyday business of the council.
“There will therefore be delays to responses to general enquiries and correspondence, and to the following up of any resolutions of the council or its committees.
“It is hoped that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible but, in the meantime, the council apologises for any inconvenience caused by the FOI requests and the resultant office closures/administrative delays.”
The council set up Holme Valley Land Charity in 2009 having claimed ownership of 26 plots of land, mostly old stone quarries, three years earlier.
But HVPC ran into trouble when it illegally sold Swindon Knowle, a piece of common land, to a farmer in 2010.