Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Section 31)

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Middlesbrough 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 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.

We recognise that you ordinarily refuse to release these data in terms of Regulation 31(1)(a). In November 2016, we appealed this class of refusal - specifically as it relates to this request - to the Information Commissioner’s Office and they issued a Decision Notice (FS50628943 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak..., and FS50628978 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...) on 28 February 2017 finding that “it is not correct to withhold this information under Regulation 31(1)(a)”, and that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.

Note that these Decision Notices supersede Voyias v Information Commissioner and London Borough of Camden Council (EA/2011/0007) and Decision Notice FS50538789 (related to Stoke on Trent Council).

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.

I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and we intend to update this national series every three 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

foi, Middlesbrough Council

1 Atodiad

 

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Dear Mr Chait

 

REF NO: 011007

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry, received on 30/03/2017, in relation
to Business Rates.  I can confirm that your enquiry is receiving attention
and a response will be provided within 20 working days following receipt
of your enquiry as allowed under the Freedom of Information Act
legislation.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me direct on (01642) 729696/729698 or
email [2][Middlesbrough Council request email] should you require any further advice or
assistance with this or any other matter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dillon Newton

Information Governance Assistant

Middlesbrough Council

Democratic Services

Organisation and Governance

PO Box 503

Town Hall

Middlesbrough

TS1 9FX

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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2. mailto:[Middlesbrough Council request email]

foi, Middlesbrough Council

1 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Chait

 

REF NO: 011007  

 

I am writing to confirm that Middlesbrough Council has now completed its
search for the information you requested on 30 March 2017.  Please accept
my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

 

In your request you asked for the following information:

 

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 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)

 

Response: Following the ICO decision please find attached the requested
information in the attached excel spreadsheet. 

 

Please note that the “Actual annual rates charged” is not information
held. Annual rates is often different to the billed charge because of
changes and the periods of liabilities involved, and it is not a value
that can be reported using the Council’s business rates system
functionality or its reporting tool. Therefore, in order to be as helpful
as possible I have included Current RV in the data as a proxy/substitute.

 

Information relating to individuals i.e. sole traders has been withheld
under Section 40 (2) (Personal information) of the Act.  Section 40 (2)
applies where disclosure of third party personal information would breach
any of the Data Protection principles. The Council has a legal requirement
under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) to process personal data fairly
and lawfully. The Council considers that releasing third party personal
information would be unfair and as such a disclosure that would breach
Principle One of the DPA.

 

If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact me direct on (01642) 729696/729698 or email
[1][Middlesbrough Council request email]. Please remember to quote the reference number
shown above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled you may ask
for an internal review within 40 days of receipt of the response. You
should write to:-

Sylvia Reynolds,
Members & Statutory Services Manager,
P.O. Box 503,
Ground Floor,
Town Hall,
Middlesbrough,
TS1 9FX

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for an
independent review. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: -

Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire,
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

 

Steph Robson

Information & Compliance Officer

 

Finance, Governance & Support

Democratic Services

P.O. Box 503
Ground Floor
Town Hall
Middlesbrough
TS1 9FX

Tel. 01642 729696

 

Email: [2][Middlesbrough Council request email]

 

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company names, and logos are the property of Middlesbrough Council, or of
their respective owners. Reproduction, alterations, modification,
distribution, or re-publication in any format, without prior written
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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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1. mailto:[Middlesbrough Council request email]
2. mailto:[Middlesbrough Council request email]