Access all accounts

ITV West has accessed and copied the accounts it requested from Bristol City Council after the broadcaster was forced to take the local authority to the High Court last month for initially refusing to disclose the documents, writes Wale Azeez.

The broadcaster had to postpone the production of an episode of its investigative current affairs programme Barely Serious, after Bristol council refused it access to the accounts last autumn, during the threeweek period in which local authorities are compelled by statute to open their books to public scrutiny.

Producer Margaret Vrublevskis sent a reporter to the council premises to take copies of the five A4-size Lever-Arch files containing all the financial information the broadcaster demanded last September.

It was researching business transactions between the authority and Bristol landlord and former council employee Martin Thomas.

“The reporter was allowed to copy whatever she wanted,” Vrublevskis told Press Gazette. “Now we want to go again this autumn to get last year’s accounts. When we do a piece on this guy, which we will probably do in the next series, then we will have two years’ worth of accounts, and it’ll make for a better piece.”

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