Dear Monmouthshire County Council,

Would you please provide information on your policy for dealing with fallen trees obstructing Highways.

An example is the Report made on 12/5/22 see: https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/3522318

Although this is relatively recent, it does obstruct the road completely to any user without deviating onto farm land which is not safe or easy.

The tree in question is clearly a ‘hedgerow’ tree, being no doubt in excess of 200 years of age.

I would like to know, as would many other people and landowners, whose responsibility the council regard this as, is it the Highway Authority’s duty or the adjacent landowner’s responsibility to clear the highway?

Can you please advise the progress of the report of the 12/5/22, has it been inspected? Is it scheduled for the HA/HAs contractor? Has it been advised to the Landowner, and if so when?

What time is given to the (adjacent) landowner to take action? Is it routinely scheduled for re-Inspection? What action is taken to enforce if your notification is not heeded?

Yours faithfully,

Chris Marsden

MCC - Freedom of Information, Cyngor Sir Fynwy

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┌───┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │ │
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Good afternoon, │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act │ │
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│ │ │ The response to your request is as follows: (answers in │ │
│ │ │ bold) │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ I would like to know, as would many other people and │ │
│ │ │ landowners, whose responsibility the council regard this │ │
│ │ │ as, is it the Highway Authority’s duty or the adjacent │ │
│ │ │ landowner’s responsibility to clear the highway? HA/Council │ │
│ │ │ (as per page 5 of the [2]Tree Policy) │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Can you please advise the progress of the report of the │ │
│ │ │ 12/5/22, No. The site is deemed as low or no traffic and was │ │
│ │ │ unreported as an issue or obstruction. has it been │ │
│ │ │ inspected? No  │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Is it scheduled for the HA/HAs contractor? No  │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Has it been advised to the Landowner, and if so when? No │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ What time is given to the (adjacent) landowner to take │ │
│ │ │ action? The initial inspection would be to determine if │ │
│ │ │ highway or private. If deemed as adopted, trafficked, and a │ │
│ │ │ priority highway we will attend and clear to make safe then │ │
│ │ │ recharge accordingly. If private then prime responsibility │ │
│ │ │ is with land owner. Timeframe is based on access │ │
│ │ │ requirements and if it is residential and needs emergency │ │
│ │ │ access - if a green lane in a rural environment, with no │ │
│ │ │ record of daily vehicle use, then this would not be a │ │
│ │ │ priority. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Is it routinely scheduled for re-Inspection?  Not other than │ │
│ │ │ the routine annual inspection for Unclassified Green │ │
│ │ │ Lanes in accordance with our Code Of Practice for highways. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ What action is taken to enforce if your notification is not │ │
│ │ │ heeded? Will be enforced by tree officer if not an urgent │ │
│ │ │ attendance by Highways.   │ │
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Cyngor Sir Fynwy

┌───┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │ │
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Good morning, │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Further to our response sent last Friday, we have had an │ │
│ │ │ additional clarification to one of the questions. I hope you │ │
│ │ │ can accept our apologies for this and any inconvenience it │ │
│ │ │ may have caused. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Regarding question “What time is given to the (adjacent) │ │
│ │ │ landowner to take action?” │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Our original response was: │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ The initial inspection would be to determine if highway or │ │
│ │ │ private. If deemed as adopted, trafficked, and a priority │ │
│ │ │ highway we will attend and clear to make safe then recharge │ │
│ │ │ accordingly. If private then prime responsibility is with │ │
│ │ │ land owner. Timeframe is based on access requirements and if │ │
│ │ │ it is residential and needs emergency access - if a green │ │
│ │ │ lane in a rural environment, with no record of daily vehicle │ │
│ │ │ use, then this would not be a priority. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ We would like to add that this information is specified in │ │
│ │ │ the policy which was provided in our original response. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ If you are dissatisfied with the way the Council has handled │ │
│ │ │ your request for information, you can request a review by │ │
│ │ │ e-mail to [1][email address] or by │ │
│ │ │ writing to: │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Freedom of Information │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Monmouthshire County Council │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ County Hall │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │  The Rhadyr  │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Usk │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ NP15 1GA │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Any requests for an Internal Review should be made within 40 │ │
│ │ │ working days of receiving your response. More information │ │
│ │ │ can be found on our Freedom of Information web page under │ │
│ │ │ [2]Internal Reviews. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│   │ │ If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your │ │
│ │ │ request, you have a right to appeal to the Information │ │
│ │ │ Commissioner at: │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Information Commissioner’s Office │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ 2nd Floor Churchill House │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Churchill Way Cardiff  │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ CF10 2HH  │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Telephone: 0330 414 6421 / Email: [email address] │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ There is no charge for making an appeal. │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ With kind regards, │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Freedom of Information │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ Monmouthshire County Council │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │   │ │
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │  │ │
│ │ └────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │
│ │ │
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │ Please note: this is an automated email, do not reply to this │
│ │ email address. │
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│ │ [3]Login Portal | [4]News | [5]Privacy Notice │
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│ │ the Login Portal link located directly above this message. │
│ │ │
│ │ For more information, visit us at [6]www.monmouthshire.gov.uk or │
│ │ email [7][email address] │
│ │ │
│ │ You are receiving this email because you have requested a service │
│ │ or information from us and we use My Monmouthshire as a customer │
│ │ service tool to administer this request. You can withdraw your │
│ │ information at any time by de-registering. However, if you receive │
│ │ multiple services from Monmouthshire County Council such as Tip │
│ │ Bookings this will mean you will need to re-register to continue │
│ │ to receive these services. If you have paid for and receive garden │
│ │ waste collections, this will remove any contract information we │
│ │ hold against the address therefore the service will not continue. │
│ │ If you wish to continue to remove all your details, please │
│ │ [8]de-register here. You may continue to submit requests │
│ │ anonymously; however, we will be unable to feedback any updates on │
│ │ progress. │
│ │ │
│ │   │
│ │ │
│ │   │
└───┴────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

References

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Dear Monmouthshire County Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Monmouthshire County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Fallen tree obstruction policy'.
1) the reply is very difficult to read. You mention sections in bold. I don’t see any in bold. If WDTK does not cater for bold, can you use some other method capitals or ** at start/end please.
There are many vertical lines and extra spaces, such that printing sections is very wasteful and is very difficult to follow. (If you believe this to be a function of my browser, please advise, and I apologise)

2) I understand from your reply you have done nothing and intend to do nothing. This is not acceptable. A road can not be obstructed because it is not used. (This is settled Law) it is a circular argument, the RoW or highways network would fall apart if this was so. It’s obstructed so cant be used so we won’t remove the obstruction...... so it can’t be used. Repeat.

3) Is the tree on private land? It is hedgerow, so presumably it is the adjacent “landowner’s responsibility to fence against the highway”. If so, all you have to do is write to the landowner. Then take enforcement action if not dealt with in the time you specify.

4) You have DUTY not just a power to remove obstructions.

5) As this is a Maintainable Street on the LoS it encompasses a footpath and no doubt higher rights. It affects ANY use as a footpath. Therefore am I correct to believe Highway Act s130 does apply?

Your tree policy states on p6
“The county council receive enquiries, reports and complaints about trees in both public and private ownership. If a report is received identifying a dangerous tree, the county council will first establish on whose land the tree is growing. **Monmouthshire County Council can only confirm if the council owns the land** or if a Tree Preservation Order has been made on a privately-owned tree; beyond this, the county council cannot advise on trees in private ownership. Where the tree is confirmed as owned by the county council, it will arrange an inspection and follow the inspector’s recommendations for management work.
Where a privately-owned tree is identified as posing a risk to public users of highways and open spaces **or it is impeding access to a public right of way or highway, the county council can serve a notice on the landowner to carry out tree work to make the tree safe or clear access.** ”

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

Yours faithfully,

Chris Marsden

MCC - Freedom of Information, Cyngor Sir Fynwy

Thank you for your email. This email is confirmation of receipt.  

  

The Freedom of Information inbox is monitored Monday to Friday, with the
exception of Bank Holidays. Freedom of Information requests will be
registered on our system the working day after we receive it. We will
process all other correspondence as soon as we are able. 

  

  

Online Form 

We also have an [1]online form which automates the processing of your
request. This will register you on our system and you will receive updates
about your request via email. 

  

Help yourself 

We publish some of our common requests on our [2]Disclosure Log. On there
you will find: 

·        Public Health Burials (cemeteries) 

·        Fly tipping 

·        Noise complaints 

and more.  

  

Alternatively, it may be worth checking previous Freedom of Information
requests submitted via [3]What Do They Know. 

  

How we handle your data
When you submit your Freedom of Information Request, we record your data
for the purposes of processing your request. This is held on our ‘My
Monmouthshire’ customer information system. Please see our [4]Privacy
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Diolch am eich e-bost. Mae’r e-bost yma yn cadarnhau ein bod wedi derbyn
eich e-bost chi.   

  

Mae’r mewnflwch Rhyddid Gwybodaeth yma yn cael ei fonitro rhwng dydd Llun
a dydd Gwener, ac eithrio ar Ŵyl y Banc. Bydd ceisiadau  Rhyddid
Gwybodaeth yn cael eu cofrestru ar ein system y diwrnod ar ôl i ni eu
derbyn. Byddwn yn prosesu pob gohebiaeth arall cyn gynted ag y medrwn.   

  

  

Ffurflen Ar-lein 

Mae [6]ffurflen ar-lein gennym hefyd sydd yn awtomeiddio’r broses o
brosesu eich cais. Bydd hyn yn eich cofrestru chi ar ein system a byddwch
yn derbyn diweddariadau am eich cais drwy gyfrwng e-bost.   

  

Helpu’ch hunan 

Rydym yn cyhoeddi rhai o’n ceisiadau mwyaf cyffredin ar ein [7]Cofnod
Datgeliadau. Yno, byddwch yn dod o hyd i wybodaeth am: 

·        Claddedigaethau Iechyd Cyhoeddus (mynwentydd) 

·        Tipio anghyfreithlon 

·        Cwynion am sŵn  

A mwy.  

  

Fel arall, efallai ei fod yn werth gwirio’r Ceisiadau Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
sydd eisoes wedi eu cyflwyno drwy gyfrwng [8]What Do They Know. 

  

Sut ydym yn trin eich data
Pan eich bod yn cyflwyno eich Cais Rhyddid Gwybodaeth, rydym yn cofnodi
eich data er mwyn medru prosesu eich cais. Mae hyn yn cael ei gadw ar ein
system gwybodaeth cwsmeriaid ‘Fy Sir Fynwy’. Ewch i’n [9]Polisi
Preifatrwydd a’n [10]Gwefan Cwcis am wybodaeth bellach.  

 

Mae’r neges e-bost yma a’r ffeiliau a anfonir gyda hi yn gyfrinachol ac
fe’i bwriedir ar gyfer yr unigolyn neu gorff y’u cyfeiriwyd atynt yn unig.
Gall gynnwys gwybodaeth freintiedig a chyfrinachol ac os nad chi yw’r
derbynnydd bwriadedig, rhaid i chi beidio copïo, dosbarthu neu gymryd
unrhyw gamau yn seiliedig arni. Os cawsoch y neges e-bost yma drwy
gamgymeriad hysbyswch ni cyn gynted ag sydd modd os gwelwch yn dda drwy
ffonio 01633 644644. Cafodd y neges e-bost yma sgan firws gan Microsoft
Exchange Online Protection . Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn
Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl
eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi. Gwybodaeth
preifatrwydd: Os ydych wedi gofyn am wasanaeth neu wybodaeth gennym,
byddwn yn cofnodi eich data ar gyfer dibenion prosesu a chaiff hyn ei gadw
yn ein system gwybodaeth cwsmeriaid Fy Sir Fynwy. I gael gwybodaeth
preifatrwydd, cyfeiriwch at y dudalen Gwefan a Chwcis ar ein gwefan -
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/cy/eich.... This email
and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for
the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. It may
contain privileged and confidential information and if you are not the
intended recipient, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in
reliance on it. If you have received this email in error, please notify us
as soon as possible by telephone on 01633 644644. This email has been
virus scanned by Microsoft Exchange Online Protection. The Council
welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will respond to
you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to
a delay. Privacy Information: If you have a requested a service from us,
your data will be processed via our customer services management system
called ‘My Monmouthshire’. For privacy information, please refer to the
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MCC - Freedom of Information, Cyngor Sir Fynwy

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Marsden,

I write further to your request to an Internal Review regarding EIR 13980664.

Regarding your first comment - that sounds like the way in which WDTK renders our emails. It may be the formatting we use from our system. We frequently see this type of formatting and unfortunately we have no control over it. I will however ask WDTK if they can investigate for us, so we understand why it behaves in that way. I will also make sure that in future, we differentiate our responses in a different way, other than in bold type, as you suggested. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

Your comments at points 2 to 5 have been passed to our Senior Information Officer for an Internal Review. She will be in touch with you directly in due course. In the meantime, I have attached our Internal Review guidance for your perusal.

With kind regards

Lorna

Freedom of Information
Cyngor Sir Fynwy / Monmouthshire County Council
Ebost / Email: [email address]
Gwefan / Website: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/home/fr...

See our Privacy Notice: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/your-pr...

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear MCC - Freedom of Information,

Thank you for this. It certainly is extremely difficult to follow the relevant information, so it does need addressing in some way. The ICO would be challenged to follow if any request was to be referred.

Other replies from other organisations do not seem to have that problem, but WDTK might be able to strip out extra symbols, or allow bold or colour.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Marsden

MCC - Freedom of Information, Cyngor Sir Fynwy

Dear Mr Marsden

 

I can undertake an Internal Review of a Freedom of information request
under one of the following grounds -

 

•             request for a review of a decision to withhold information

•             complaint about the handling of a request for information

•             complaint about the Council’s publication scheme

 

You are also entitled to complain to the council if:

 

•             it is believed that the application was not dealt with
within the 20 working day time limit

•             we have not confirmed whether the information is held or not

•             all the information requested is not received by you

•             a reason for the request being refused is not received

•             it is felt that exemptions have been wrongly applied

•             it is felt that a fee has been wrongly applied

 

Your points 2-5 relate to legislation and policy rather than the way in
which the information was provided to you under the FOI legislation. For
that reason I'm unable to undertake an Internal Review under FOI
legislation, and  will ask that you continue under our complaints
procedure instead. Complaints can be made by emailing our Customer
Relations team on [1][email address].

 

Of course if you think I've misunderstood and you are able to demonstrate
a failure in the FOI process please contact me and I'm happy to chat it
through with you and take further clarification. My contact details are
below -

 

Kind regards                                                    
                Cofion gorau  

 

Siân
Hayward                                                                  
Siân Hayward

Head of Information Security and Technology          Pennaeth Diogelwch
Gwybodaeth a Thechnoleg

Monmouthshire County Council                                  Cyngor Sir
Fynwy 

Tel 07971 893998                                             
             Ffon: 07971 893998 

Email:[email address] 
         Ebost: [2][email address]

 

 

 

 

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Monmouthshire County
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Fallen tree obstruction policy'.

 

1) the reply is very difficult to read. You mention sections in bold. I
don’t see any in bold. If WDTK does not cater for bold, can you use some
other method capitals or  ** at start/end please.

 

There are many vertical lines and extra spaces, such that printing
sections is very wasteful and is very difficult to follow. (If you believe
this to be a function of my browser, please advise, and I apologise)

 

 

2) I understand from your reply you have done nothing and intend to do
nothing. This is not acceptable. A road can not be obstructed because it
is not used. (This is settled Law) it is a circular argument, the RoW or
highways network would fall apart if this was so. It’s obstructed so cant
be used so we won’t remove the obstruction...... so it can’t be used.
Repeat.

 

 

3) Is the tree on private land? It is hedgerow, so presumably it is the
adjacent “landowner’s responsibility to fence against the highway”. If so,
all you have to do is write to the landowner. Then take enforcement action
if not dealt with in the time you specify.

 

 

4) You have DUTY not just a power to remove obstructions.

 

 

5) As this is a Maintainable Street on the LoS it encompasses a footpath
and no doubt higher rights. It affects ANY use as a footpath. Therefore am
I correct to believe Highway Act s130 does apply?

 

 

Your tree policy states on p6

 

“The county council receive enquiries, reports and complaints about trees
in both public and private ownership. If a report is received identifying
a dangerous tree, the county council will first establish on whose land
the tree is growing.  **Monmouthshire County Council can only confirm if
the council owns the land**  or if a Tree Preservation Order has been made
on a privately-owned tree; beyond this, the county council cannot advise
on trees in private ownership. Where the tree is confirmed as owned by the
county council, it will arrange an inspection and follow the inspector’s
recommendations for management work.

 

Where a privately-owned tree is identified as posing a risk to public
users of highways and open spaces **or it is impeding access to a public
right of way or highway, the county council can serve a notice on the
landowner to carry out tree work to make the tree safe or clear access.**

 

 

Mae’r neges e-bost yma a’r ffeiliau a anfonir gyda hi yn gyfrinachol ac
fe’i bwriedir ar gyfer yr unigolyn neu gorff y’u cyfeiriwyd atynt yn unig.
Gall gynnwys gwybodaeth freintiedig a chyfrinachol ac os nad chi yw’r
derbynnydd bwriadedig, rhaid i chi beidio copïo, dosbarthu neu gymryd
unrhyw gamau yn seiliedig arni. Os cawsoch y neges e-bost yma drwy
gamgymeriad hysbyswch ni cyn gynted ag sydd modd os gwelwch yn dda drwy
ffonio 01633 644644. Cafodd y neges e-bost yma sgan firws gan Microsoft
Exchange Online Protection . Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn
Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl
eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi. Gwybodaeth
preifatrwydd: Os ydych wedi gofyn am wasanaeth neu wybodaeth gennym,
byddwn yn cofnodi eich data ar gyfer dibenion prosesu a chaiff hyn ei gadw
yn ein system gwybodaeth cwsmeriaid Fy Sir Fynwy. I gael gwybodaeth
preifatrwydd, cyfeiriwch at y dudalen Gwefan a Chwcis ar ein gwefan -
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/cy/eich.... This email
and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for
the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. It may
contain privileged and confidential information and if you are not the
intended recipient, you must not copy, distribute or take any action in
reliance on it. If you have received this email in error, please notify us
as soon as possible by telephone on 01633 644644. This email has been
virus scanned by Microsoft Exchange Online Protection. The Council
welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will respond to
you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to
a delay. Privacy Information: If you have a requested a service from us,
your data will be processed via our customer services management system
called ‘My Monmouthshire’. For privacy information, please refer to the
Website & Cookies page on our website -
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/your-pr....

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]