Billing Authority Reference for Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data

Gavin Chait made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Stoke on Trent City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Code
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)

You provided this data to us originally in response to a FOI request (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...), but there are severe data quality issues with the billing authority reference numbers in those data.

We use this reference in order to link your data to that from the master list at the Valuations Office Agency.

In terms of matching, 82% of the data match but, obviously, we would appreciate it if we could have a 100% match.

By way of example, here is a sample of non-matching references from your most recent data release, and the 'official' billing authority reference from the VOA:

Local Authority Billing Ref <------> VAO Billing Ref
20428003401074 <------> 20428003471077
40151010290823 <------>
80568062700119 <------> 80568062790011

Some bear only a passing resemblance to the VOA reference, and some are absent entirely.

We have assessed this by going back through the postcode for a sample set of properties and then selecting the correct address from the VOA list. This is impractical in general terms and would be solved if you are able to use the VOA’s original references.

Please could you correct these, or advise us how we should be reconciling your data to that of the VOA.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Chait

 

Your request for information ref. SOT53320

 

Thank you for your email requesting information about business rates.

 

Under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act we do not have to
provide information if it is already reasonably accessible to you.  The
information that you have requested is now available on our website via
the following link –

 

[1]http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/content/busi...

 

Please note that some of the business rates data is exempt under section
40 of the Act and has not been published on our website.  We have removed
the names and addresses of sole traders where it appears that the address
is a personal one rather than a business one.  Where the address is
clearly a business address, eg. Unit 1, XXX Industrial Estate, both the
name and the address have been provided.

 

In view of the concerns highlighted in your email relating to the quality
of the data provided previously, if you continue to experience similar
problems with the website data please do let us know so that we can look
at resolving them for you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent 

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [2][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

 

Stoke-on-Trent has been awarded the prestigious status of 2016 European
City of Sport. Join in sporting celebrations at
www.stoke.gov.uk/cityofsport #CityOfSpor...

It’s ‘Click and Easy’ to manage your Council Tax and Business Rates
securely online – anywhere, anytime. Sign up for an Online Account now at
www.stoke.gov.uk/counciltax and www.stoke.gov.uk/businessrates

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/content/busi...
2. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Chait

 

Your request for information ref. SOT55814

 

Thank you for your request for information about business rates.  Your
request was received by the Information Rights Team on 07 November 2016. 
This is being dealt with under the terms of the appropriate Information
Rights legislation.

 

In some circumstances we may charge for information.  If there is a charge
we will let you know, as you will have to pay it before we deal with your
request.

 

Some information does not have to be released under this legislation.  We
will check the information you have asked for and send you as much as
possible.  If another person or organisation is named in the information,
we may have to ask their opinion before we decide what we can give you.

 

You should expect to receive a response to your request on or before 05
December 2016 in line with the legislation's 20 working day statutory
deadline.

 

For your information we may publish the response to your request on our
City Council's website, which can be found at the following address:
[1]www.stoke.gov.uk.

 

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

Floor 2 Civic Centre Glebe Street

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH

City of Stoke-on-Trent 

t 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

e [2][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

 

 

 

 
 

Stoke-on-Trent is bidding to become the UK City of Culture for 2021. Help
us win, find out more and get behind the bid at [3]www.sot2021.com
#sot2021

Stoke-on-Trent has been awarded the prestigious status of 2016 European
City of Sport. Join in sporting celebrations at
www.stoke.gov.uk/cityofsport #CityOfSpor...

It’s ‘Click and Easy’ to manage your Council Tax and Business Rates
securely online – anywhere, anytime. Sign up for an Online Account now at
www.stoke.gov.uk/counciltax and www.stoke.gov.uk/businessrates

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
3. http://www.sot2021.com/

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Chait

 

Your request for information ref SOT55814 about business rates.

 

Business rates information is now available on our website via the
following link -

 

[1]http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/content/busi...

 

This information will be updated on our website every quarter year.  Your
request therefore engages section 22 of the Act and information for the
time period you have specified will not be provided.

 

Section 22(1)(a)&(b) (information intended for future publication) states
that information is exempt if it is held by the public authority with a
view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some
future date (whether determined or not); or the information was already
held with a view to such publication at the time when the request for
information was made.

 

If you do not have access to the Internet you may be able to use
facilities at your local library.  If you require a paper copy of the
information please contact us.  There is normally a charge of 10p per page
for paper copies.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to: Information Rights Manager, Customer Feedback and
Information Rights Team, Corporate Services, Stoke-on-Trent City Council,
Floor 2, Civic Centre, Glebe Street, ST4 1HH, or email
[2][Stoke on Trent City Council request email].

 

If, after contacting us, you are not content with the outcome, you may ask
the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Before doing this, please
see the following link for guidance from the Information Commissioner
relating to how to use your information rights responsibly and
effectively, to enable you to gain the best outcome from the process -
[3]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public.

 

Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have already used our internal review procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, tel: 0303 123
1113 or you can visit their website at [4]www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Rights Team

 

Information Rights

City of Stoke-on-Trent

Floor 2  Civic Centre  Glebe Street  Stoke-on-Trent  ST4 1HH

T: 01782 232853, 01782 233020, 01782 233732, 01782 235965

E: [5][Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

 

Request

 

Dear Stoke on Trent City Council,

 

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, could you please
provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business
(non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and
including the following fields:

 

- Billing Authority Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA
database reference)

- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)

- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)

- Occupied / Vacant

- Date of Occupation / Vacancy

- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)

 

If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status,
please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property
may be receiving.

 

Please provide this as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel
file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence.

 

We last requested this data more than six months ago, and this is a
request for an updated and current dataset.

 

I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and we intend to update
this national series every six months. Could we request that - as more
than 30% of local authorities already do - you update and release this
dataset via a dedicated page on your local authority website or on an open
data service. You should find that this reduces the time and cost of this
request process.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Gavin Chait

 

 
 

Stoke-on-Trent is bidding to become the UK City of Culture for 2021. Help
us win, find out more and get behind the bid at [6]www.sot2021.com
#sot2021

Stoke-on-Trent has been awarded the prestigious status of 2016 European
City of Sport. Join in sporting celebrations at
www.stoke.gov.uk/cityofsport #CityOfSpor...

It’s ‘Click and Easy’ to manage your Council Tax and Business Rates
securely online – anywhere, anytime. Sign up for an Online Account now at
www.stoke.gov.uk/counciltax and www.stoke.gov.uk/businessrates

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/content/busi...
2. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
3. http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
5. mailto:[Stoke on Trent City Council request email]
6. http://www.sot2021.com/

Dear FOI,

Thank you for the link, however your data are presented in non-machine-accessible PDF format. Please could you provide us with CSV files so that we are able to use the data?

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

FOI, Stoke on Trent City Council

Dear Mr Chait

Thank you for your email. If you could please provide a private email address we will be happy to send the Excel spreadsheets to you.

Kind regards

Information Rights Team

City of Stoke-on-Trent
Policy and Performance Service | City Director’s Office
Civic Centre Glebe Street Stoke-on-Trent ST4 1HH
Phone: 01782 232853, 233020, 233732, 235965
Email: [Stoke on Trent City Council request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI,

Please send to [email address].

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

Gadawodd Gareth Elton anodiad ()

Why do they insist on sending this to a personal e-mail when FOI is treated as public disclosure?

Gadawodd Gavin Chait anodiad ()

@Gareth no idea, especially as the data are public already, just not machine readable...

Gadawodd Gareth Elton anodiad ()

I've been using a pdf -> excel converter for Stoke's data for some time, just think it's bizarre for them to ask for a personal e-mail address for this!