PROBLEMS with council Freedom of Information requests, as featured in The Press, are worrying.

Too often the council has been late replying or not replied and has not respected many residents by denying information sought.

I met with the relevant officers who highlighted more recent improvement in performance and I hope the council has learned the lesson of information wrongly withheld.

It seems FOIs numbers will only increase. I wish this was due to increased political interest, but in reality it’s due to increasing cynicism about Labour secrecy.

The recent ‘answers’ to questions at full council were again farcical and the excellent minute-takers must have to hold their breath as they describe them as ‘answers’ rather than merely “incoherent political point-scoring from Labour”.

The council must up its game on dealing with FOIs, for which it seems they have a plan.

However, we should strive for a day when no one needs to submit an FOI and that means a council which engages with queries at the outset, with as much information as possible ordinarily being public.

Cllr Chris Steward, Conservative group leader, City of York Council.