There is a really good blog post on this ruling that I could not hope to match but I will quote from the ruling:

“..the 1998 Act enables an interested party to inspect and copy certain documents related to the accounts of the Council. It does not create the type of general free-standing right of access to information as conferred by modern information rights legislation. Its history lies in democratic accountability, rather than the policy of transparency and openness behind the modern legislation. But in my view, as a matter of legal analysis, section 15(1) applies in this case, notwithstanding Veolia’s contention that this will lead to a breach of commercial confidentiality. … In the result Mr Dowen is entitled to inspect and copy these documents.”

(my emphasis)

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