Archive | May, 2010

Chair of Devon Cornwall Lib Dems informs 20 year old data officer: He should not have gone to the police

5 May

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Judith Jolly <>
Date: 2010/1/16
Subject: Re: EARS Data
To: Max Harding
Cc: Kay Friend <>

Dear Max,

Thank you for your email.  I am copying my response to Kay Friend who
is Vice Chair of the Regional Executive and Chair of the Region’s
Local Parties Committee.  As Chair of the region I do not have any
part in these proceedings.  She will be in touch with you about this.
I am sure that you will understand that as a volunteer, and someone in
full time employment this may not be immediate.

I note that you have reported this to the Police.  I would be
grateful if you restricted sensitive emails to party members.

Dave Browne is secretary to the Regional Executive and is among the
most respected and experienced in the party.

As I said above, I am unable to answer the points raised in you last
three paragraphs.

The Local Party’s Committee follows the regional and federal
constitution when dealing with such issues and the policies and
procedures are all adhered to. The Regional Constitution is approved
by the Federal party. Sometimes they appear longwinded and
bureaucratic.  These can be found in the Constitution of the Party.


Judith Jolly
Chair Executive Committee
Devon & Cornwall Liberal Democrats

—– Original Message —–

From: “Max Harding”
To: <>

Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 10:17 PM
Subject: Fwd: EARS Data

Dear Mrs Jolly,

Regarding the two e-mails from Mr Browne to me, I am twenty years old
and carrying out my constitutional obligations as elected Data

His two e-mails to me are threatening.

I have reported this incident at Charles Cross police station, (on the 9th of January)

As Data Officer I have access to the online database of Plymouth
members, I can see that there is only one suspended member in
Plymouth. Mr Browne has said that the suspended member is pending
revocation, as Mr Browne is responsible for correspondance on behalf
of the South-West region Liberal Democrat party, would this imply that
a decision has already been made by the party to revoke the suspended
member’s membership before any investigation or hearing is concluded?

Has the investigation been prejudiced by Mr Brownes statement on
behalf of the party?

Is Mr Brownes conduct sanctioned by the party?


Max Harding


Lib Dem Council candidate Rebecca Trimnell appoints herself chair of the party two days after Chairman David Jolly resigns

5 May

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: [New Plymouth] Clarification
From:    “Tom Sale”
Date:    Fri, January 8, 2010 10:50 pm
To:      “” <>
         “” <>
         “” <>
Cc:      “” <>
         “” <>
Dear Dave Browne, Kay Friend & Rebecca Trimnell,

I am writing to you all as secretaries of the local and regional party following the advice from my conversation with Paul Rustad, English party administrator.

I have come across several things which I need some clarification on. As the membership development officer I have access to and am in charge of making sure the members’ details are kept up to date. I am also aware from the constitution that the local secretary is obliged to inform Cowley street by January 2nd of the composition of the executive committee.
Having recently viewed the database several things have come to my attention.

I noticed that Mr Dominic House has not been included on the executive list, although I clearly remember that he was elected as the Youth  officer without any objections. The only thing I can think of is that a member suggested that his election be subject to a further meeting. however reading through the constitution I can find no reason to base such a stipulation, especially considering that Rebbecca Trimnel was voted in as secretary while not present but without objections. If you could help clarify this situation for me it would be greatly appreciated as I have had a request from Mr House who wishes to know what the situation is.

And, as I am sure you are aware, unfortunately our chairman resigned on January 2nd. Therefore I would have expected the executive list to state that if it had not been edited that David Jolly was chairman, or if it had been updated, that the position of chairman would state vacant. However it currently states that Dr Rebecca Trimnell is chair / convener as of January 4th. Can you please clarify what this means, as well as the party policy with regard to this situation?

Thank you very much for your help, I look forward to meeting you all and working together to ensure a successful year for the city of Plymouth.

Kind regards,

Tom Sale

City of Plymouth Membership Development Officer

Second Chairman resigns over party’s refusal to investigate conduct of PPC

4 May
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: David Jolly Date: Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM
Subject: Gooddbye

“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”
Preamble to the Federal Constitution

I received the email below from the Liberal Democrats Compliance Officer just prior to Christmas.

Now, having compared its contents and messages against the preamble to the constitution and taking into account the actions of some members of the local party, past and present, I formed a view.

Based on that view I terminated my Party Membership today at 12:00.
Please remove my contact details from any Liberal Democrats communication medium whether it is electronic or paper based immediately on receipt of this email.


— On Thu, 10/12/09, David Alworthy> wrote:

> From: David Alworthy>
> Subject: Re: City of Plymouth
> To: David Jolly
> Cc:,
> Date: Thursday, 10 December, 2009, 18:36
> David
> Thanks for the reminder and sorry for the delay in replying
> its been a
> hectic week for local party problems I’m afraid.
> I can confirm that at the moment it is not my intention to
> proceed with
> any further action against anybody else in Plymouth Local
> Party despite
> the evidence in my possession.
> This is based our conversation on Monday that it is your
> intention as
> Chair to ensure that all future activity by the Local Party
> is directed
> at getting your two PPC’s Judy Evens and Stuart Bonar the
> best results at
> the General Election.
> However I will also confirm that it is my intention to keep
> the matters I
> am currently aware of on file and  that if there is no
> improvement in the
> behaviour of the Plymouth Executive Committee as
> individuals and
> collectively then further action under the relevant
> constitutional
> clauses may well be initiated.
> Thanks again for ringing on Monday and I hope you are
> successful in your
> attempts to move things forward.
> David
> David Allworthy
> Head of Compliance and Constitutional Support
> Liberal Democrats
> 4 Cowley Street
> London
> SW1P 3NB
> 020 7227 1339
> Information in this email is confidential and may be
> privileged. It is
> intended for the addressee only.
> If you have received it in error, please notify the sender
> immediately
> and delete it from your system.
> You should not otherwise copy it, retransmit, nor use or
> disclose its
> contents. Unless explicitly stated,
> details in this message do not reflect the opinion of the
> Liberal
> Democrats.
> Thank you for your cooperation.

1st Plymouth Chairman resigns over conduct of PPC Judy Evans, Evans threatens to destroy data

4 May

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Steve Barton <>
Date: Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM
Subject: Re: City of Plymouth EARS
To: judy evans
Cc: David Jolly , Judith Jolly , Dave Browne , Steve Turner , Rebecca Trimnell , Christina Maccullie , Liz Barton , Steven Clarke , Richard Lawrie , Stuart Bonar
Dear Judy,
Many thanks for your reply timed at 1544 hrs on 24th August.
It grieves me that you have failed to answer most of the points raised in my email timed at 1213 of the same date.
1)  You have never acknowledged our thanks to you for helping with the funds to obtain EARS, despite two emails thanking you.
2)  You have admitted that Mr Campbell had access to EARS, despite NOT being a member of the Liberal Democrat Party.
3)  That you have failed to acknowledge point 2, after having received advice from Dave Browne, who clearly states that no-one who is not a party member should have access to the data contained within EARS, other than to threaten to destroy the data which is clearly needed by Rebecca’s team for the forthcoming by-election.
4)  You have not answered our concerns regarding the Party membership of Andy Campbell, and whether he is eligible to become a member of the Plymouth Party.
5)  You fail to answer the point in which you object to our choice of EARS Officer.
6)  You fail to respond to our request to have EARS passed to an Executive member.
7)  You also request that I reply to your email with an apology.
In view of points 1 – 7, I feel that your requested apology is beyond comprehension.
Another concern of mine, is that you announced to the Executive at the last meeting, that you admitted that you “Deliberately failed to mention to the Selection Panel that you will be away for three weeks in February/March 2010 as a Ship’s Doctor, with Fred Olsen Line, and unavailable to our Party for Constituency work”.
When I was first approached to help re-build the City of Plymouth Liberal Democrat Party, I was asked, quite rightly, “What is in it for you?”.
I responded that I don’t have an ego, nor do I have any political aspirations.  I just wanted to be a part of an organisation which had my ideals and values, and I wanted to work hard to raise our local profile, and to build links with other Constituencies nearby, in order that we could move forwards as a united party.  This is why I have copied the Chair of South West Devon into this response.
At the recent Executive meeting, you commented that you intend to work alone, running your own campaign, with your own staff.  This is a decision which I respect.
However, your actions thus far have involved many negative and destructive comments to several Executive members, to which I see two possible outcomes:
1)  You are de-selected as a PPC, as you clearly have your own agenda/ego, and disregard  requests which are made of you by the Executive.   You also kept your period of unavailability hidden from the Selection Panel, which may have been prejudicial to other candidates in the selection process.   or,
2)  That I stand down as Chair, as after eighteen months of turmoil and re-building, I feel that I have not  got the enthusiasm or strength to tackle up to eight months of negative correspondence and confrontation with you.
It is with that in mind, and with great sadness, that I am tendering my resignation as both Chair and an Executive Member.
I feel proud to have built a local Party of which the Liberal Democrat Party can be proud, however I am not prepared to work with someone who feels that they have to ‘dictate’ to a democratic party, and not address any concerns which continue to be raised.
Steve Barton
City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats
P Please consider the environment and consider – Do you need to print this message, or attachment?
On 24 Aug 2009, at 15:44, judy evans wrote:
Dear Steve,
 I am appalled at the tone of your e mail and wish that you had made sure you were fully conversant with all the facts before writing such a letter to me.
This all began when one of the exec called me at 0530 on Saturday. He told me he was worried that I was breaking the law by using the EARS data.
AS A RESULT OF THIS, AND THIS ONLY I offered to destroy the data, that I had worked on all evening for Becci.-  this was the printed data,  by which I was supposed to have broken the law, NEVER the main discs.
 Then Dave Jolly became involved, and after a few more e mails, Dave Browne, who sorted out very clearly that  I was not breaking the law, and had every right to the data.
I still have the sheets which I have printed out for Becci and am meeting her this afternoon to give them to her and offer her my help in her campaign.
It is absolutely outrageous that you would suggest that I would do anything to undermine her, or any of the party who are trying to fight an election.
I hope you will be able to go and back and find out the facts, and apologise to me.

Subject: City of Plymouth EARS
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 12:13:06 +0100
CC:; David Jolly
Dear Judy,

As you know I have been away for three of the last four weeks, although I have managed to keep up to date with the exchange of emails, and others which have been forwarded to me to enable me to keep abreast of developments.
We as an Executive have thanked you for your generosity in helping to obtain EARS.
I am very much saddened to read comments in your emails, in which you clearly feel EARS should be kept and used by your ‘paid assistant’, and used as a tool against us.  I refer to the comments made in your email dated 22nd August to David Jolly, which featured the following comment ‘I have the much wanted canvas cards for Becci in my possession and they will be valuable to her in the next few days, but of course I can destroy them if that is what people want.’.  Rebecca, as you know is standing in Ham, on 3rd September, and we as a Party are working hard to gain support for her.  The possession of Data which could help her, and the threat to dispose of it, is not the behavior I would expect from a PPC.  Having gone through the selection process myself, I do not consider these actions to be appropriate.
In your opening comments, of the same email, you also make the following comments – ‘ I refer you back to your own minutes again! I made it clear that I intended to have Andy Campbell as my campaign EARS officer. He is a lapsed member of the Plymouth branch, and previous council candidate. Perhaps he left for the same reasons as others!  ‘. 
We have worked tirelessly to bring the Plymouth Party to it’s current position, with the assistance of Region, and have received favourable comments.  I am not entirely sure what you are implying in this statement regarding his leaving, although I am hoping that it is to our benefit.
Your first comment in the text states that as per David’s Minutes, you would like Andy Campbell as your EARS Officer.
In the same minutes, David clearly points out that no-one outside of the Liberal Democrat Party should have access to the data.  As you state in your email, Mr Campbell is a lapsed member, so until such time as he is a member, he should not have had any access to the data.  It is my understanding that whether he joins locally, or on-line, Cowley Street take the subscriptions anyway, returning a portion to us.  As he has access to the data, I suggest he joins at the earliest, although I believe membership of a Party is on the basis that you either live or work within the Constituency.  I believe he does neither, unless you can state otherwise.
We, as a Party, already have a nominated EARS Officer, although he currently holds another post.  This for us is quite simple, as we have already chosen a new EARS Officer.  It seems that you are not happy with this choice, yet will not tell us why.  Subject to Andy Campbell being a member, we have no objection to his continued support to you, although we will not accept him as our EARS Officer.  Our Executive will not have someone unknown to us as  an Officer of this Party.
Twelve months ago, we had only two active people, and in my position as Chair, along with David Jolly, we have built a full Executive, and have empowered others in their roles to become an active and valued member of the Executive.  Your support to their efforts would be appreciated, as we hope to support you in representing us.
We would appreciate it if you could therefore pass the EARS discs to an Executive member, in order that we may continue to build the Plymouth Party into a Party of which we can all be proud.
Steve Barton
City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats
P Please consider the environment and consider – Do you need to print this message, or attachment?

Kay Friend, Chair of the Local Parties Committee suspends the Plymouth Liberal Democrat Party

4 May

Regional Party letter suspension letter

Devon and Cornwall Liberal Democrats

Dr Rebecca Trimnell, Acting Chairman?, City of Plymouth Local Party
Dear Dr. Trimnell

I am writing to notify you that the Devon & Cornwall Regional Liberal Democrat Party is exercising their right to suspend the City of Plymouth Local Party under Rule 6.7 of the Regional Constitution 2009 for the following reasons:

1) Two Chairmen in succession have resigned.
2) The Vice Chair is suspended while an investigation is carried out.
3) The Data Officer is suspended an investigation is carried out into his conduct.
4) The Treasurer is threatening: “to make formal complaints regarding more than one party members with a view to getting them either expelled or excluded from holding office”.)
5) Two members of the Executive have made formal complaints to the police regarding various party matters.
6) All the above has led to a local paper planning to publish a story this week along the lines; “Plymouth Lib Dems implode”.
Whilst the suspension is in place the affairs of the Plymouth Local Party will be conducted by the Regional Party in accordance with the powers and responsibilities detailed in 6.9 of the Regional Constitution. The PPCs should lodge a campaign plan with the Local Parties Committee and this will form the basis of the agreed activities that the Plymouth Party can carry out without requiring further authority from the Regional Executive. The finances of the Plymouth Party come under the control of the Regional Treasurer (other signatories to be agreed).
I enclose a copy of the Regional Constitution for your information.
Please contact me if you have further questions
Yours sincerely

Kay Friend, Chair of the Local Parties Committee
Cc: Mr Richard Lawrie Treasurer, Plymouth Party, Dr Judy Evans, Stuart Bonar
Judith Jolly Regional Chairman, Dave Browne Regional Secretary, Steve Kenny Regional Treasurer, David Allworthy Head of Compliance and Constitutional Support


21 year old Membership Officer makes a personal appeal to Nick Clegg and is ignored

4 May

21 year old Membership Officer makes a personal appeal to Nick Clegg and is ignored

From: (s) Thomas Sale
Sent: 15 January 2010 21:51
Subject: FAO Nick Clegg care of constituency officer manager

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am the membership development officer for the Plymouth local party, and I would
greatly appreciate it if you could ensure that Mr. Clegg receives my email with the
attached letters. I am very concerned at what is happening within my constituency
and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Thomas Sale
Membership Officer, City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats


Dear Mr. Clegg,

My name is Thomas Sale, I am 21 years old and am the current Membership Development Officer for the Plymouth City Liberal Democrats. I joined the party in November after meeting with a group of people who were annoyed by the current state of politics, and the lack of accountability to the general public.

Having attended the AGM I was shocked to learn that there has been a complete lack of financial records for the year 2007. This was brought up at the AGM as many members wanted to have clarification as to what had happened. Once I was elected into the executive, I then saw several emails that had been sent from the previous chairman who had resigned over data issues.

Having read the party’s constitution I am aware that it is the duty of the Treasurer to keep accurate accounts for 6 years and to let the electoral commission have access to these, It is also the role of Data Officer to ensure that the personal data that the party has access to is not being misused.

Unfortunately our newly elected chairman has also resigned, on 2nd Jan. Since then our Data Officer, Max Harding who is 20 years old, has followed up the allegations made by the previous chairman. Unfortunately he has been responded to with emails from the regional secretary, Dave Browne, as well as other officers with very aggressive toned emails. The result of which is that they are threatening to suspend him, I do not understand why officers who are supposed to try to make sure the party complies with legal practice would respond in such a manner.

The AGM also elected Dominic House, 19 years old, a Youth secretary subject to a meeting with the executive. The response to this has been to suggest a “stringent interview” process. I am not sure of the reasoning behind this stringency.

Finally David Browne has threatened that the local party will be shut down in light of the current situation. I do not know what he is referring to by the current situation, all I am aware of is Max’s request for data disks to be returned. Therefore I am asking for your help and advice, clearly there are investigations that need to be made regarding missing accounts and potential data misuse. The regional party do not appear interested in pursuing this, and would rather shut down the party.

I believe in democracy and I think it is only right that our members have the chance to be represented by someone that they voted for. I also believe in transparency and honesty. Therefore I am asking you whether there is anything that can be done to prevent our local democracy from been shut down, and that any breaches of duty are investigated.


Tom Sale

Membership Development Officer, City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats


I have included the draft minutes of the AGM, and am happy to provide you with any other information that you find relevant.

Information Commissioner is concerned over the security of voters data for which the Plymouth Liberal Democrats are data controller for

4 May

The Information Commissioner concerned over the Security of the Personal Data of the people of Plymouth.

The DATA concerned is the names address, phone numbers, voting history, and voting preferences of the people of Plymouth contained in the EARS software and database

” your complaint does raise concerns over the security of personal data for which the City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats are the data controller for. This is because it appears they do not hold or have access to the personal information which is in the possession of the PPC for which they are responsible for. The seventh data protection principle says that “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.”

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF T. 0303 123 1113 F. 01625 524510

Information Commissioner’s Office 22nd April 2010

Case Reference Number ENQ0292957

‘ Thank you for your further correspondence concerning the processing of the personal information by a prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC).

Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you, our office is currently dealing with large volumes of work. This has meant that we have been unable to deal with incoming correspondence as promptly as we would like.

As I understand it, you are concerned that the PPC for the Liberal Democrat party is unlawfully holding personal data that the City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats is the data controller of. You maintain that the PPC has ignored your requests for the data to be returned.

I should perhaps explain that the data controller is defined in part I s.l of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) as, “A person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed”.

Section 4(4) of the DPA further states that: “It shall be the duty of a data controller to comply with the Data Protection Act Principles in relation to all personal data with respect to which he is the data controller” A data controller must be a ‘legal person’, i.e. a legal entity. This term not only comprises individuals but also organisations such as companies and other unincorporated bodies of persons and is the entity responsible for the processing of personal data in a given situation. There is often confusion about the term data controller, and it is frequently assumed that the data controller is the person at an organisation who has responsibility for dealing with the DPA. This is not the case as it is the ‘legal entity’ of the organisation itself which is classed as the data controller for the purposes of the DPA. In summary a data controller is the legal entity which literally ‘controls’ (that is: decides on the uses and purposes of) personal data.

The DPA has eight principles of’good information handling’. These give people specific rights in relation to their personal information and put certain obligations on those organisations that are responsible for processing it. From the information you have provided it appears the PPC is not the data controller for the data, they also appear to be acting as an individual in relation to the processing of the data. If this is the case, they will not be required to comply with the data protection principles. Concerns would be raised if the PPC had obtained the data through deceit or without the knowledge of the data controller. However I understand from your initial correspondence that it is “normal practice for candidates to have access and use of this sensitive data…”

I should explain that your complaint does raise concerns over the security of personal data for which the City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats are the data controler for. This is because it appears they do not hold or have access to the personal information which is in the possession of the PPC for which they are responsible for. The seventh data protection principle says that “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.”

Finally, I should explain that the recovery of personal data is not a data protection issue. In this case I would recommend seeking legal advice on retrieving the personal data.

hope you understand the reasons for my view. If we can be of any further assistance please contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113. You may also find some useful information on our website at

Yours sincerely Joylon Stone Case Officer DP Case Reception Unit