Dear West Lancashire District Council,
In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on 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.
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).
I last requested this data three months ago, and this is a request for an updated and current dataset.
I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and responding and managing these FOIs must be costly for you. Could I request that - as 71% of local authorities now do - you update and release this dataset via a dedicated page on your local authority website or on an open data service. I can recommend approaches for you to consider, and you should find that this reduces the time and cost of this request process.
This message is to acknowledge receipt of your communication. If your
request is a valid request for information under the terms of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 it will be answered promptly and within 20 working
West Lancashire Borough Council as the Data Controller take the security
of your personal data seriously. We will only use the personal
information you give us for the purposes of providing an answer to your
freedom of information request. For further information
Ref No: 2020/46
Date : 7 February 2020
Dear Mr Chait,
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information
Thank you for your email of 23 January 2020, where you requested
information in relation to Businesses in the West Lancashire area.
Please find attached information, as requested. We do not provide details
of individuals / sole traders, as this is personal information, This
information is exempt under section 40 (personal information) of the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as the information constitutes third
party data. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties
is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is
satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach
the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA),
where it would be unfair to that person/is confidential.
However, in line with the ICO decision following your earlier request of
2017/225, we have provided information in relation to properties that are
currently empty and are in receipt of an exemption or relief.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to gather accurate information from our
report generator in relation to the Actual annual rates charged (in
pounds). Although the Rateable Value has been provided.
If you have any queries concerning the information provided, please do not
hesitate to contact me.
The supply of information in response to a freedom of information request
does not confer an automatic right to re-use the information. Under UK
copyright law you can use any information supplied for the purposes of
private study and non-commercial research without requiring permission.
Similarly, information supplied can also be re-used for the purposes of
news reporting. An exception to this is photographs.
For other forms of re-use, for example publishing the information, you
would need the permission of the organisation or person who owns the
copyright. In the case of information produced by government departments
and agencies you can re-use the information under the Open Government
Licence. For information about this please see
If, however, the copyright is identified as belonging to somebody else,
you will need to apply for permission. For information about how to
obtain permission from a third party, please go to Intellectual Property
Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to 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 letter and should be addressed to: Peter Lightbown, Head of
Corporate and Customer Services.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
Freedom of Information Officer
West Lancashire Borough Council
Tel: 01695 585031
Fax: 01695 585050
West Lancashire Borough Council
52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, L39 2DF
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Notice: How we handle your data
West Lancashire Borough Council takes your privacy very seriously and will
keep your personal data secure at all times. We will only use your
personal data for the purpose for which it was provided and ensure that
it is destroyed when no longer required. For further information about
your privacy, please see our website. If you would like to discuss
your privacy in more detail, you can contact the Officer whose details are
above this notice.
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