Branding consultants charge town council £2.5k for FOI related work

By newtown.wales

4 months ago

News Politics

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Newtown brand consultants, Heavenly, have charged the town council at least £2.5k in response to information requested by residents through the Freedom of Information Act.

Town Councillors will be shocked to learn that branding consultancy firm, Heavenly, who was appointed by the town council last year to work on a new brand for Newtown, have charged the town council an additional £2,500 due to extra work resulting from a Freedom of Information request which asked to see a confidential paper.

The Freedom of Information request, which was submitted to the town council, asked to see a confidential paper which was approved by the town council earlier this year. The paper outlined the work which Heavenly had done, select an appropriate option and recommended that they move to the next stage.

In a report to councillors from the town clerk, it has been revealed that the Freedom of Information request was declined on the grounds of a 'premature release into the public domain' of the branding paper could 'jeopardise' the branding launch. The town clerk confirmed that he was asked to review the decision to decline.

On review it was decided that the town clerk should release the paper in a controlled way 'rather than risk further prolonged used of council resources', presumably fighting against the request.

The report goes on to conclude that discussions with Heavenly suggested that it might be better to instead hold controlled briefings with the requester and others and then release the confidential paper after the briefings had taken place. These value of these briefings were £2,500.

So far the town council has paid Heavenly at least £24,000 for it's work on branding the town, with still no timescales on when it could launch.

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