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Complainant Name:
Mr Roger Mitchinson

Clauses Noted: 1, 2, 3

Publication: The Spectator

Complaint:

Mr Roger Mitchinson complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article which referred to a planning consultation event he attended as an employee of the local council was inaccurate and misleading in addition to intruding into his privacy.

Resolution:

While the magazine did not accept any breach of the Code, the complaint was resolved when PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter, in the magazine and online (appended to the original article):

Sir: I would like to clarify several aspects of the consultation and planning processes referred to in Alexander Waugh's piece (‘Housing Estates Are Killing Our Countryside', 20th March). The article referred to a planning application for new housing in Milverton, Somerset, where I work as a Council Officer. Mr Waugh criticised the plans as well as a local consultation event about the development and the Equalities Monitoring Form distributed at that event.

I would like to make clear that I was not responsible for the drawing up of proposals for either the housing development or the Equalities Form issued by the Taunton Deane Council. I strongly objected to being identified in the article which, I felt, was offensive at times and seemed to single me out. Members of my local community criticised me following its publication.

The event was also attended by the Council's Press Officer who is permitted to deal with the press and the Manager responsible for delivering the plan.

Date Published: 02/11/2010



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