Carlisle Incinerator application

Alison Mesher made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Cumbria County Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Mae'r ymateb i'r cais hwn yn hwyr iawn. Yn ôl y gyfraith, ym mhob amgylchiad, dylai Cumbria County Council fod wedi ymateb erbyn hyn. (manylion). Gallwch gwyno drwy yn gofyn am adolygiad mewnol.

Dear Cumbria County Council,

I submit the following request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and/or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The statement read out at the Cumbria County Council meeting of 9th September 2020 said that a review of Cumbria County Council’s handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application was “underway”. An email sent from the Cumbria County Council "Senior Manager – Environment and Regulatory Services" dated 14 October 2020 referred to an “external (independent) review” that is “being undertaken”.

Please provide:

1. All communications (including emails, text messages, minutes of meetings and virtual meetings, notes/recordings of telephone/video conversations and any other record of communications) between Cumbria County Council (including both officers and councillors) and the individual, company and/or organisation that has carried out (or is currently carrying out, or is expected to carry out) the review into Cumbria County Council’s handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application. If there is more than one review of Cumbria County Council’s handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application, please include all communications for all the reviews.

2. All other information held by Cumbria County Council (including internal emails) that refer to this review(s). This information should include, but not be limited to, information held concerning the remit, scope and funding of the review(s), and information held concerning the communication (and plans/discussions regarding the communication) of the review outcome(s)/report(s).

With thanks for your assistance and time,

Yours faithfully,

Alison Mesher

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

Dear Alison Mesher 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Reference: FOI-7876-2021

Thank you for your request for information regarding planning application
1/18/9012, which was received on 04/01/2021.

The council aims to provide you with the information within the statutory
timescale of 20 working days in this case the date is 01/02/2021.
Subject to the information not being exempt or containing any references
to third parties.

While we endeavour to respond to in these timescales, we want to make you
aware that responding to the current clinical priority of Covid-19 may
mean at times, we struggle to meet these timescales.

The council will, as a matter of routine make information available in
electronic format. Where it is not practical to do this information will
be provided in hard copy (paper). If information is required in
alternative formats e.g. language, audio, large print, etc., please
indicate this as soon as possible so the council can consider your
request.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 define a number of
exemptions/exceptions which may prevent information being released to you
automatically. The council will make an assessment about the application
of any exemptions/exceptions and issue you with a decision letter, which
will include details of your right to appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party the
council will consult with them prior to making a decision about the
release of information.

In accordance with the council's Charging Policy a fee may be charged for
supplying information. If a fee is payable you will be issued with a fees
notice. The applicable fee must be paid in full before the information is
processed and released. The statutory time limit for responses is
suspended until the council has received and processed your payment. If
payment is not received within three months of issuing the fees notice
your request will be closed.

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

Many thanks 

Information Governance Team
Corporate, Customer & Community | Cumbria County Council
Service Centre | Parkhouse Building | Kingmoor Business Park
| Carlisle | CA6 4SJ
 
t: 01228 221234 
[1]https://cumbria.gov.uk
 

References

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1. https://cumbria.gov.uk/

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon Alison,

 

I hope you are well.

 

Further to your below FOI Request, Cumbria County Council will be carrying
out a Public Interest Test under the EIR Legislation. Carrying out such a
test, extends the disclosure date by 20 working days – therefore the new
deadline date for the disclosure (case ref:FOI-7876-2021) will be 1^st
March 2021.

 

In the meantime if you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to
contact our Information Governance team by email or telephone 01228
221234.

 

 

FOI Request

The statement read out at the Cumbria County Council meeting of 9th
September 2020 said that a review of Cumbria County Council’s handling of
the 1/18/9012 planning application was “underway”. An email sent from the
Cumbria County Council "Senior Manager – Environment and Regulatory
Services" dated 14 October 2020 referred to an “external (independent)
review” that is “being undertaken”.

Please provide:

1. All communications (including emails, text messages, minutes of
meetings and virtual meetings, notes/recordings of telephone/video
conversations and any other record of communications) between Cumbria
County Council (including both officers and councillors) and the
individual, company and/or organisation that has carried out (or is
currently carrying out, or is expected to carry out) the review into
Cumbria County Council’s handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application.
If there is more than one review of Cumbria County Council’s handling of
the 1/18/9012 planning application, please include all communications for
all the reviews.

2. All other information held by Cumbria County Council (including
internal emails) that refer to this review(s). This information should
include, but not be limited to, information held concerning the remit,
scope and funding of the review(s), and information held concerning the
communication (and plans/discussions regarding the communication) of the
review outcome(s)/report(s).

 

Kind regards,

 

Keely Nicholson

Information Governance and Complaints Officer

Complaints, Information Governance & Registration |

Service Centre | Corporate Customer and Community Directorate |

Cumbria County Council | Parkhouse Building | Kingmoor Business Park |
Carlisle | CA6 4SJ

Tel: 01228 221234 Email: [1][email address]

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Information Governance,
Dear Cumbria County Council,

In your assessment of the public interest, please consider these strong local, regional and national public interest reasons for disclosure:

The planning application concerns a controversial incinerator of local and regional relevance and public interest. Increased air pollution is harmful to public health and the incinerator is to be located not far from where many people live, where children attend school and where many people work. There is a local public interest because the planning application may result in significant quantities of waste being transported into Cumbria for incineration. There is wider public interest because, if the incinerator is built, there are reasons to believe it will add to over-capacity of incineration in the UK, harm recycling and contribute significant quantities of damaging greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

There was much opposition to the proposal locally and the County Council received a large number of objections to the planning application. Local people voiced concerns that Cumbria County Council was not giving adequate attention to their comments and objections regarding the planning application. Problems have been reported by residents regarding Cumbria County Council's handling of the planning application and Cumbria County Council have admitted "errors". Unexplained and uncorrected errors have damaged residents' trust in Cumbria County Council's planning process. Local opposition continues and there is much interest in the County Council's handling of the planning application and the "errors". The incinerator and the council's handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application have received local press coverage. Carlisle City Council have voted unanimously to oppose the incinerator. In an email dated 14 October 2020, the promise by the County Council Senior Manager for Environment and Regulatory Services of a future meeting with interested residents to give an update on the review indicates Cumbria County Council's recognition of public interest in the review.

Disclosure of information is essential for transparency and accountability. Without disclosure, public confidence in public processes can be harmed. It is therefore in the public interest that the information requested concerning the review be disclosed so that the public can have confidence in the review process. A refusal to disclose the information relating to the review can be expected to further damage public trust in the County Council, the planning process, local government and the democatic process. Disclosure of information will promote public understanding, encourage good decision-making by public bodies and help ensure public bodies carry out their statutory duties within their legal powers, uphold standards of integrity, ensure justice and fair treatment for all and protect the environment.

The public should be able to expect lessons to be learnt and better decisions to be made in the future. Without disclosure and an adequate review process, there will be little confidence that errors will not be repeated.

There is also considerable public interest in disclosure so that consideration can be given to the best way to correct the "errors" in the council's handling of the 1/18/9012 planning application. It is in the public interest for errors to be corrected and mistakes rectified wherever possible.

Further delays to the release of information risks further damage to public trust and will delay attempts to restore public trust. It is in the public interest that unnecessary delays in the processing of this request be avoided.

The damage to trust that has occurred over the County Council's handling of 1/18/9012 has harmed the relationship between the public and the County Council. It is in the public interest for there to be reconciliation but reconciliation will be hindered, and may be impossible, if information remains undisclosed.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to Cumbria County Council's response.

Yours sincerely,

Alison Mesher

Dear Information Governance,

Dear Cumbria County Council,

I sent my information request on 4 January 2021. Cumbria County Council extended the deadline for responding to 40 working days in order to carry out a public interest test. That deadline has now expired. Please provide the requested information without further delay.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Alison Mesher

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

Hello Alison,

Sincere apologies for the delayed response.

Unfortunately this has ran over the deadline and I can only express our apologies. We are at the point of the final review/approval stage before we then come back with a response to your request. We endeavour to have the response to as soon as possible. Again sincere apologies, please let me reassure you we are actively reviewing and chasing completion.

Kind regards,

Keely Nicholson
Information Governance and Complaints Officer
Complaints, Information Governance & Registration |
Service Centre | Corporate Customer and Community Directorate |
Cumbria County Council | Parkhouse Building | Kingmoor Business Park | Carlisle | CA6 4SJ
Tel: 01228 221234 Email: [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

8 Atodiad

Dear Alison Mesher 

Freedom of Information Act 2000, Reference: FOI-7876-2021

Please see attached for a response to your request for information.

Many thanks 

Information Governance Team
Corporate, Customer & Community | Cumbria County Council
Service Centre | Parkhouse Building | Kingmoor Business Park
| Carlisle | CA6 4SJ
 
t: 01228 221234 
[1]https://cumbria.gov.uk
 

References

Visible links
1. https://cumbria.gov.uk/

Dear Cumbria County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Cumbria County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Carlisle Incinerator application'.

1. The Freedom of Information response says:
The link below will also take you to the agenda and minutes for meeting with Full Council and Statement from Cllr Tibble, Thursday 19th November, 2020 10.00 am
http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/ieLi...

However the minutes of the meeting (obtained by following the link above) showed apologies for absence were received from Mrs C Tibble. Please explain or correct this apparent inconsistency in the Cumbria County Council information response.

2. The disclosure of the names of individuals is not sought, but, where information is not disclosed to protect the name of an individual, the Council must still disclose as much information as possible, including the existence of such information, and, for each redaction, state the reason for the redaction. Please review Cumbria County Council's response and provide any such missing information.

3. Some emails, such as the email dated 14 December 2020, show the domain names that the email was from and to and copied to. However, there are other emails (dated 24 September 2020, 25 September 2020 and two emails dated 23 December 2020) where the domain name has also been redacted. This information is important to understand who wrote the email and the intended audience(s) of the emails. Since including the domain names does not identify individuals, please supply the domain names in all email correspondence.

4. In its consideration of this information request, on 1 February 2021, Cumbria County Council announced it would be carrying out a Public Interest Test under the EIR legislation. Since Cumbria County Council considered this request under EIR legislation, please disclose the information requested under EIR legislation and state any relevant exemptions that apply under EIR legislation.

5. Please supply attachments to the emails. For example:
The attachment to the email dated 8 December 2020 described in that email as "an example of an interview schedule for a remotely delivered planning peer review".
The scope of the review as sent [redacted]@local.gov.uk on 8 December 2020.
6. A series of emails have been disclosed from 9 October 2020 through to 23 October 2020 with the subject 'RE: the 6 month "wall"'. Presumably there was an initial email with the subject "the 6 month wall". Please supply this original email and all subsequent replies.

7. The email of 9 October 2020 states "Thanks again for sending the note through below" but the note below has not been included in Cumbria County Council's information response. Please ensure that all the content of all relevant emails including attachments have been included.

8. The request included information held concerning the communication (and plans/discussions regarding the communication) of the review outcome(s)/report(s). The response to the information request contains little information concerning the communication of the review outcome(s)/report(s). Please confirm that no further applicable information is held by Cumbria County Council or provide all the relevant information.

9. The request included information held concerning the remit and scope of the review(s). No record of communications with [redacted]@local.gov.uk containing the draft scope of the review appear to have been included but the emails disclosed show that [redacted]@local.gov.uk has received the scope document because it was sent back to Cumbria County Council as an attachment to the email on 8 December 2020. Please provide all the communications with [redacted]@local.gov.uk (including attachments) relating to the review and any responses to these emails.

10. The request included information held concerning the funding of the review. Whilst Cumbria County Council's information response includes communications with [redacted]@local.gov.uk about the costs of the review, no other information internal to Cumbria County Council about costs of the review have been included. This could mean that the author of the email of 14 December 2020 has the authority to sign off £10-£12k without there being any other record of this financial commitment, or it may be that the internal information relating to this funding approval has not been included in Cumbria County Council's information response. Please include this information if it is held in any form, or state that Cumbria County Council does not hold the information.

11. The email of 8 December 2020 refers to "the meeting last week". No prior emails or notes of phone calls/video meetings or any other communications have been provided regarding this meeting. No minutes of the meeting have been provided. Please include all relevant communications or state that Cumbria County Council does not hold this information.

12. The email of 29 October 2020 refers to "my PA [redacted]; and [redacted] PA [redacted] who will be able to link with you in terms of our diaries". Please supply any emails or other records of communications between the PAs relating to the review and the communications with the individual, company and/or organisation carrying out (or to carry out) the review.

13. Cumbria County Council's response contains no meeting agenda nor minutes of the meeting referred to in the email of 8 December 2020. Please include the agenda, minutes and any other notes from that meeting that Cumbria County Council may hold or state that Cumbria County Council does not hold this information.

14. The email of 23 December 2020 indicates a review start date of 15th March was accepted. No communications about the rescheduling of this review have been included. Please include these, and any other missing communications with [redacted]@local.gov.uk or state no such information is held or provide reasons under EIR legislation why they have not been included in the response.

15. The email dated 19 October 2020 appears to include a link titled "online" in the text assumed to provide full information on the Peer Review approach. Please supply this link.

16. Since the request included "all other information held by Cumbria County Council (including internal emails) that refer to this review(s)", any correspondence with third parties referring to the review should also be included. Please include such correspondence or state that no such information is held.

17. The document "Officers Action table Verus pre meeting 1 10 20 Redacted" states:
[redacted] advised that the review is to be kept separate from the internal Capability/Disciplinary process taking place

The information request asked for all the communications for all the reviews into Cumbria County Council's handling of 1/18/9012. If the internal Capability/Disciplinary process relates to the handling of 1/8/9012, please supply the information requested.

18. Point 4 of the email dated 25 September 2020 indicates "contact with Verus/progress on the development". Please include any data concerning this contact with Verus that refers to the review(s) or state that no data is held.

19. Cumbria County Council's response shows few emails that reference the review(s). It seems surprising that such an important issue has resulted in so little communication. This suggests almost no records of communication between senior management, councillors, council committees, officers seeking to arrange/implement/communicate the review, PAs seeking to arrange/implement/communicate the review and members of the public who may have enquired about the review or been informed about the review. Please confirm that Cumbria County Council holds no other communications referring to the review(s) or provide all the requested information.

Yours faithfully,

Alison Mesher

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Alison Mesher

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

Dear Alison Mesher 

Freedom of Information Act 2000, Internal Review Acknowledgement
Reference: FOI-7876-2021

Following the disclosure that we sent to you on 26/04/2021 in response to
your request about planning application 1/18/9012.

As you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled your
request will now be considered through the Council's internal review
process. The internal review will be carried out by Ged Kirkpatrick,
Complaints & Information Governance Officer.

The internal review stage is an opportunity to consider the request
afresh. The disclosure made by the council will be considered, in the
light of all the relevant information.

Following the internal review the Council aims to respond within 20
working days. If for any reason we are unable to meet that time frame we
will let you know.

If you are not satisfied with the council's internal review you have the
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner (contact details provided
below):

First Contact Team
Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
E-mail: [email address]
[1]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint

If you have any queries please contact us.

Many thanks 

Information Governance Team
Corporate, Customer & Community | Cumbria County Council
Service Centre | Parkhouse Building | Kingmoor Business Park
| Carlisle | CA6 4SJ
 
t: 01228 221234 
[2]https://cumbria.gov.uk
 

References

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1. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint
2. https://cumbria.gov.uk/

Dear Information Governance,
More than 20 working days have elapsed since my internal review request. Please provide the missing information without further delay.

Thank you.

Alison Mesher

Yours sincerely,

Alison Mesher

Information Governance, Cumbria County Council

Dear Ms Mesher,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in issuing a response to your internal review request.

Unfortunately, we are still reviewing the information and will provide an response at the earliest opportunity.

Kind regards,

Ged

Ged Kirkpatrick
Information Governance & Complaints Officer
Corporate, Customer and Community Services - Cumbria County Council
Parkhouse, Kingmoor Business Park, Baron Way, CA6 4SJ

t: 01228 221234
www.cumbria.gov.uk

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