ARGYLL and Bute Council has been doubly reported to the Scottish Information Commissioner for its refusal to give information on the costs of four senior officers’ complaints about independent Dunoon councillor Mike Breslin.

Locals Alan Stewart and Angus Files both appealed to the Commissioner following the council’s refusal to give information about the costs of the action against Breslin. The council said there were “no costs”.

Yet officers spent hours compiling the 100-page complaint against Breslin alleging 15 breaches of the local government code of conduct. Breslin was cleared of 14 of the 15 allegations and was censured over an email that was not actually sent to any of the four complainants.

Bizarrely, it is the recipient of that email – head of governance Charles Reppke, who gave evidence to the Standards Commission on the complaints – who has carried out a supposedly objective review of the council’s refusal to comply with a Freedom of Information request by Files.

Reppkie told him: “I am content that the response was appropriate in that the information requested was information ‘not held’ by the council.”

Files told The National: “In a democracy truth and diligence should reign supreme but Councillor Breslin was castigated as a troublemaker.

He has been treated worse than a criminal for the ‘crime’ of only wishing to comment on matters and tell the electorate the truth concerning Argyll issues.”

After requesting a review of the decision not to give him information on the Breslin case, Stewart had not heard from the Council within the statutory 20 working days.

He told The National: “I had no response from the council so have gone directly to the information commissioner.

“Why is it that Argyll and Bute council are so reluctant to be open and honest with the electorate? In this day and age it is appalling that we should have to appeal to a third party to get access to information on how our council operates.”

There was no reply from Argyll and Bute Council yesterday.