Reporter barred from meeting

Hereford Times reporter Ian Morris was turned away from a council meeting even though he had been invited by a councillor to attend.

The meeting was about the critical issue of flooding problems, but when Morris turned up he was told it was a “training session” and was not permitted to attend.

Councillor Stuart Thomas had invited Morris along and was apologetic after being asked to turn him away.

The leader of the council, Roger Phillips, described the invitation to the media as “unfortunate”. He said Councillor Thomas was reminded that it was not a public meeting and the press should not have been invited.

He added: “As a council we are committed to working with the media and, wherever possible, we open meetings to local reporters. There are occasions when confidential items on agendas have to be discussed without the press and public there.”

The Hereford Times has been a key player over the last two years in bringing flood problems to the attention of the Government.

Editor Liz Griffin said: “The council has pledged its commitment to open government. There are mighty issues facing this county at the moment and our readers, as council tax-payers and electors, are entitled to know how decisions are made and on what they are based.”

By Sarah Lagan

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