Defending our right to know
07 May, 2020 — By John Gulliver
PAUL Tomlinson, a quietly spoken Somers Town ward councillor, may not seem the rebellious sort but he has a point when he asks why meetings between politicians, council officials, and picked residents and businesses who meet to discuss the future of the Camley Street area – a development involving hundreds of new homes and shops – should be held in private.
In this day and age of Zoom conferencing and high tech, isn’t it about time the public were invited to the meetings of the Camley Street Steering Group, he asks in a letter to the New Journal this week.
Cllr Tomlinson, aged 74, who works in a catering department in the House of Commons, has been a campaigner for the public’s right to know since his days involved in an anti-pollution campaign in Toronto in the early 1970s when he virtually single-handedly caused such an embarrassment to a city transport committee – insisting that not simply the press but also the public should be allowed to attend meetings – that officials gave in.
He had to argue with security guards to make his point but Tomlinson got his way.