Dear Sutton Borough Council,
In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on excluding personal data, 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 Property 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.
Let me state this clearly: I recognise that you ordinarily refuse to release these data. For the last two years I have been pursuing refusals before the Information Commissioner. To date, I have received fifteen decisions in my favour:
FS50628943 vs Cornwall Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50628978 vs London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681246 vs London Borough of Camden; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681250 vs London Borough of Greenwich; citing Section 31(1)(a) and Section 38(1)(b);
FS50681266 vs Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681283 vs Westminster City Council who cited Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681292 vs London Borough of Wandsworth; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681297 vs Knowsley Metropolitan Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a), 40(2), and 41;
FS50681322 vs West Berkshire Council; citing Section 31(1)(d);
FS50681326 vs Vale of Glamorgan; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681332 vs Doncaster Metropolitan Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681336 vs Sheffield City Council; citing Section 31(1)(a), 31(1)(d), and 41;
FS50685343 vs London Borough of Ealing; citing Section 31(1)(a), 31(1)(d), and 31(2);
FS50685350 vs Liverpool City Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50685375 vs West Lancashire Borough Council; citing 31(1)(a);
In each of these decisions, the Commissioner either dismissed the application of the exemptions cited, or declared that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.
92% of local authorities now publish commercial vacancy data. 65% publish these as regular updates to their authority websites or open data services.
I am determined to secure 100% publication and your continued refusal wastes both your and my time and money. Any delay or refusal on your part will be referred to ICO for a decision.
Please provide these data as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence (meaning reuse for any and all purposes, including commercial).
Dear Mr Chait
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST - REF NO -
F12227 (please quote in correspondence)
I acknowledge your request for information dated 23rd April 2018.
Your request is being considered and, if it is held, you will receive the
information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as
defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information
not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.
If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font
size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large
print, etc. then please let us know.
For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may
prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an
assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the
information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the
case, including your rights of appeal.
If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.
A fee may be payable for this information. This will be considered and
you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must be
paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day
time limit is suspended until receipt of the payment.
Please be advised that in line with London Borough of Sutton's commitment
to transparency, in due course an anonymous copy of your request and our
response may be published on our website.
FOI Admin Officer
London Borough of Sutton
Dear Gavin Chait
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST - REF NO F12227
A full listing of Business Rate accounts is available on our website at;
If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled you
have the right to ask for an internal review. Please notify us in writing
as soon as possible with the grounds upon which you feel the appeal is
justified to : [Sutton Borough Council request email] or by post to Customer Care and
Improvement Team, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1EA.
We aim to respond to you within 20 working days of receiving your request.
If it is going to take longer we will let you know.
Should you still be dissatisfied with the outcome you have the right to
refer to the Information Commissioner: Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF www.ico.org.uk
Computer Support Officer
London Borough of Sutton,
St Nicholas Way,
Tel: +44 (020) 8770 6942
web site: www.sutton.gov.uk
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