Combustible cladding

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Sir/ Madam

Could you please release to me under the FOI Act the following information (as far as you hold it) about high rise residential buildings snd publicly owned buildings in your borough with ACM cladding systems that are unlikely to met current building regulations and which have het to be completely remediated post Grenfell.

A
1. The number of private high rise residential buildings affected in your borough
2. The names and addresses of the buildings
3. The name of their owner
4. Any estimate of the cost of the works to the buildings (per building or in total)
5. Any information about the number of households or the number of people affected

B
1. The number of social high rise residential buildings affected in your borough
2. The names and addresses of the buildings
3. The name of their owner
4. Any estimate of the cost of the works to the buildings (per building or in total)
5. Any information about the number of households or the number of people affected

C
1. The number of public buildings (eg hospitals)affected in your borough
2. The names and addresses of the buildings
3. The name of their owner
4. Any estimate of the cost of the works to the buildings (per building or in total)
5. Any information about the number of households or the number of people affected

Yours faithfully,

Robert Booth
Social affairs correspondent
The Guardian
020 33532319

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Mr Booth

Freedom of Information request: FOI-23678

Thank you for your request dated 18 January 2019

Your request will be answered by 15 February 2019

If you have any queries about this request, please contact me, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Jago
Head of Corporate Services
Corporate Services
Directorate of Central Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich

020 8921 5044
 Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW
www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Mr Booth

 

Freedom of Information request FOI 23678

Thank you for your request dated 18^th January 2019.  Our response is as
follows:

1.     The number of private high rise residential buildings affected in
your borough

29 buildings

2.     The names and addresses of the buildings

See below

3.     The name of their owner

See below

 

In accordance with the advice of the MHCLG, the Council believe that there
are public safety risks associated with releasing information, such as
comprehensive lists that allow buildings and their owners to be easily
identified.  The Council have therefore taken the approach that it is
appropriate to withhold information that could lead to the identification
of affected buildings.

Section 40(2) Personal Information

 

The addresses of the privately-owned residential tower blocks are being
withheld under Section 40 (2) personal information.  The withheld
information is the personal data of a data subject. The Council believes
that disclosure of the information would not be in the reasonable
expectations of the data subjects. Consequently, the Council is satisfied
that it is appropriate to withhold the full details of the addresses on
the basis of section 40(2) of the FOIA.

 

The Council asserts that in line with the public safety risks associated
with releasing the information Section 31 (1) (a) - prevention of crime
and Section 38 – health and safety exemptions apply.

 

Section 31(1) (a) – Prevention of Crime

 

The details of the buildings and their owners failing to meet standards is
withheld under section 31(1) (a) – prevention of crime. 

 

Section 31(1) (a) of FOIA states that:

 

“Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice-

 

(a)      the prevention or detection of crime,”

 

Section 31(1) (a) of the FOIA states that information is exempt from
disclosure if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the
prevention or detection of crime. 

Disclosure of the information withheld under section 31(1) (a) would be
likely to prejudice the prevention of crime.  The Council considers that
the publication of the requested information would be an invitation to the
dishonest.    The Council asserts that disclosure of the properties would
place the properties at a higher risk of burglary, fires, vandalism and
other criminal activity.  As a result, it considers section 31(1) (a) of
the FOIA applies. 

 

The exemption is a qualified exemption which means that where the
exemption is engaged a public interest test must be carried out to
determine whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

 

Public interest in favour of disclosing the information

 

•         The Council accepts that this information would be of interest
to the
public.

•         The Council acknowledges there is a public interest in overall
accountability and transparency and in the disclosure of information which
enables members of the public to scrutinise more clearly buildings.

 

Public interest in favour of maintaining the exemption

 

•         The disclosure of the property details and the layout would
provide those intent on committing crime an easy way to identify them. 
Disclosure under the FOI Act is considered to be to the whole world.  If
the information were to be disclosed details of the properties could be
used by individuals with criminal intent.

•         The Council believes that there is a strong public interest in
avoiding the likely prejudice to the prevention of crime.  It is in the
public interest to protect property and to avoid the considerable expense
that would be incurred dealing with crime associated with the properties.

•         There is a public interest in preventing the distress that is
caused to the victims of crime.  The Council expects that residents who
live in the properties would have a reasonable expectation of feeling
secure in their own homes. 

 

It is the Council’s view that the public interest is best served by
maintaining the exemption. The Council therefore concludes that the public
interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosure.

 

Section 38 – Health and Safety

 

Section 38 provides an exemption in relation to information which, if
disclosed would or would be likely to endanger the health or safety of an
individual.

 

38 (1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to—

 

(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or

(b) endanger the safety of any individual.

 

The Council has cited this exemption because it considers that individuals
could be at risk if the properties details were to be released.  Whilst
there can be no absolute certainty that the release of the relevant
information would put the individuals who live at the properties at risk,
there is sufficient evidence to lead the Council to conclude that there is
a real possibility of it. The Council is satisfied that the section 38
exemption is engaged in relation to the residents who live in the
properties, as the release of this information could endanger the health
and safety of those involved.

 

As Section 38 is a qualified exemption, the Council is obliged to consider
the public interest test:

 

 

Public Interest in favour of disclosure

 

There are general arguments in favour of disclosure, in relation to
promoting transparency and accountability of public authorities, which we
have noted in relation to this information.

 

Public Interest in favour of maintaining the exception

 

The public interest arguments are as detailed above in respect of the
section 31 exemption.

 

The release of the information, in the Council’s opinion, certainly would
put at risk the personal safety of residents who live in the properties
and expose them to being targets of crime, fires or worse.  In all the
circumstances of the case, the Council considers that, given the real risk
to the health and safety of residents the public interest is, on balance,
better served by maintaining the exemption so as to withhold the
information in question.    

 

4.     Any estimate of the cost of the works to the buildings (per
building or in total)

The Council does not hold this information as this would be for the
building owner to make an estimate.

5.     Any information about the number of households or the number of
people affected

The Council does not hold this information and would be for the building
owner/responsible person to provide an accurate figure for this.

 

 

If you have any queries about this correspondence, please contact me,
quoting the reference number above.

 

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you can ask
for an Internal Review.  Internal review requests should be submitted
within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original
request.  If you wish to do this, please contact us, setting out why you
are dissatisfied.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Internal Review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. 
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
Internal Review procedure provided by the Council. You can contact the ICO
by emailing [1][email address], or by post at Customer Contact,
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
SK9 5AF.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jackie Jago

Head of Corporate Services

Corporate Services

Directorate of Central Services

Royal Borough of Greenwich

 

020 8921 5044

Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW

www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

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