The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

A Town Clerk at Whitchurch Town Council has been prosecuted for intentionally blocking records with the intent to prevent disclosure.

An individual had made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the council for an audio recording of a council meeting. The requester was advised that the recording had been deleted in line with council policy.

Nicola Young of Whitchurch, Shropshire had been aware of the FOI request and had deleted the recording some days later.

Ms Young appeared before Crewe Magistrates’ Court and admitted to the offence of blocking records with the intention of preventing disclosure, in breach of s77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. She was fined £400, ordered to pay costs of £1,493 and a victim surcharge of £40.