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Hereford Times wins secrecy battle over meetings

Controversial training sessions for Herefordshire Council members are to be opened up to the Hereford Times.

After previous confusion, which resulted in a reporter being asked to leave a meeting, council leader Roger Phillips has now said he is happy for the media to attend – and has provided a full schedule of training events for councillors.

The pledge came after Hereford Times reporter Ian Morris was asked to leave a meeting to discuss county flood defences.

Coun Phillips said: “We’re happy for representatives from the local media to attend these sessions – although there will be times when confidential and sensitive information will be discussed and we will rely on the integrity of the media representative to handle this in the appropriate manner.”

Hereford Times editor Liz Griffin (right) welcomed the news.

She said: “I’m delighted that this assurance has been given by Councillor Phillips.

“We will monitor the lists of development sessions as they are supplied to us and, if we believe our readers would want to know what happens at them, we will report them with our customary fairness and accuracy.

“We are often privy to confidential and sensitive information from many sources and our judgements on what and how to publish are made within our own editorial codes of conduct.

“We don’t think councillors should have anything to fear from open reporting of their deliberations.”

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