Legislative question

Duncan Willows made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to St Mary's University, Twickenham

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Yn disgwyl am adolygiad mewnol gan St Mary's University, Twickenham o'u triniaeth o'r cais hwn.

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

On or around the 5th October can you please tell me if any student asked student services this following question? (a) and whether the students questions has been answered; (b) and what was the answer to the students question?

I note in St Mary's Student Charter at number 3 of the Coronavirus supplement that St Mary's state:
St Mary's, University will:
Ensure that you are informed of any regulatory changes that affect the operation of any of our spaces or services.

https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/policies/stude...

On the back of the Student Charter can you please explain to me what section 5, subsection (3) & (4) (a) (i) means of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, and whether this statutory instrument applies also to St Mary's University? And if not, why not?
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020...

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Willows

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of St Mary's University, Twickenham's handling of my FOI request 'Legislative question'.

Is it true that St Mary's University are refusing to answer this FOI request because you know that all along a response to this FOI will bring doubt about the legitimacy of St Mary's University charging students for accomodation upto the 8th April which they were told to vacate prior to the 23rd March coronavirus lockdown?

It is true isn't it; that the Universities Minister,Michelle Donelan told St Mary's University by letter;

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

'Students in residence halls in England'
"The majority of students in this country live away from home and while many students will
already have travelled home, I know those who have not are concerned about what they should do now.
The Government’s advice is that students remaining at university in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel".

And St Mary's University advised students they should go home wherever they can do so safely prior to the 23rd March coronavirus lockdown with the Interim Vice Chairman, Dave Hartnett in his YouTube broadcast on the 24th March (that St Mary's University has now made private for reasons only known to St Mary's University) reaffirmed.

Steven Carter has passed me a copy of that YouTube broadcast here:
https://youtu.be/ziNtu4WBT_s

It's also true to say that St Mary’s University knew that the Governments advice that the Office for Students (OfS) told St Mary's University (page 2) was:

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/med...

"In the period before ‘lockdown’, which started on
23 March 2020, the government advised students
to return to their out-of-term homes if possible"

In summary, it's true to say that St Mary's University advised students to go home to their main residence prior to the 23rd March 2020 (Coronavirus lockdown 1).

It's also true to say that St Mary’s University knew that students who hadn't returned home prior to the 23rd March were advised by the Government:

"that students who hadn't left their University halls of residence by this date were to stay where they are and not attempt to travel?"

Upto 598 students who left their accomodation prior to the 23rd March were charged accommodation fees upto the 8th April 2020 - Can you please provide the legal justification for this?

It is known that you have legal advice on this, as I've messaged Steven Carter through the whatdotheyknow.com website and spoken with him.

As a matter of public interest:
Can you publish this legal advice/opinion stating why St Mary's University have a lawful right to charge students for accomodation fees upto the 8th April 2020 when both the government and St Mary’s University instructed students to go home prior to the 23rd March 2020 (lockdown 1)?

I am also aware from Steve Carter that the ICO have instructed you to answer his FOI requests and I claim that mine is also a matter of public interest and should be answered immediately.

What is equality baffling is this FOI to Emma Kegan on the WDTK website you state:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

"Halls of residence are not covered by the legislation"

It would seem that there is a fair amount of obfuscation going on with your public body and this is why the FOI act is so important.

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

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Willows

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of St Mary's University, Twickenham's handling of my FOI request 'Legislative question'.

This is the unanswered request:

Can you please comply with the FOIA act?

As a matter of public interest:
Can you publish this legal advice/opinion stating why St Mary's University have a lawful right to charge students for accomodation fees upto the 8th April 2020 when both the government and St Mary’s University instructed students to go home prior to the 23rd March 2020 (lockdown 1)?

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

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Willows

Dear St Mary's University, Twickenham,

I have made an internal review and that has been ignored by you and provide an explanation why I want this information which has also been ignored by you.

I suspect that you have no intention of answering my information request?

The Cabinet Office state that 6.1 of the coronavirus regulations restricted student travel just like everyone else in the country.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

So I have a genuine request for you to answer how students could leave their accommodation on the 8th April when you charged them up to?

Your University told students to vacate their rooms in a 24th March YouTube message.

Do you agree that you are not answering my request because it would expose the fact that you unfairly and allegedly unlawfully charged students for accomodation that they were told not to use?

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Willows