Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywMargaret Attoh mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Long term empty properties

We're waiting for Margaret Attoh to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council,

I am looking for a list of all the long term empty properties within the councils area. Would you be able to supply me with this under the Freedom of Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal information simply the property addresses.
They do not need to be broken down into council or private, nor residential or commercial. Thanks

Yours faithfully,

Margaret Attoh (Miss)

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

This is only an automated message and confirmation that we have received
your email.

 

This mailbox is primarily used for Freedom of Information (FOI) and
Subject Access Requests (SAR’s) as well as other information requests.

 

Further information can be found at
[1]https://www.bolton.gov.uk/data-protectio...

 

Your email will be processed shortly.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak you may experience delays when
making information rights requests. Please bear with us during this
period.

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legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

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Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
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the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

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1. https://www.bolton.gov.uk/data-protectio...

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Important:- During this pandemic you may experience understandable delays
when making information requests. Please bear with us during this period.

Dear Margaret Attoh

We acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on 29 April 2021.

This request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and may take up to 20 working days to be processed (although we will
endeavour to provide the information as quickly as possible).

Please be advised that if an exemption applies to the information that you
have requested, the statutory period may be exceeded in accordance with
the provisions of the act.

Please retain the reference number RFI 008048 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many thanks

The Information Governance Team

1^st Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

 

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Margaret Attoh  

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

In response to your request for information received at this office on
29/04/2021, please see the councils response below.

You requested

I am looking for a list of all the long term empty properties within the
councils area. Would you be able to supply me with this under the Freedom
of Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal
information simply the property addresses.

They do not need to be broken down into council or private, nor
residential or commercial.

Our Response

Bolton Council has considered the above elements of your request and feels
that the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”). Section 17 of the Act
provides that when refusing a request, Bolton Council must provide a
notice which (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in
question, and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

 

To release information via FOI is to release to the public at large and is
not therefore limited disclosure to the requester only. With this in mind
we consider that the exemptions under section 31(1)(a) of the Act applies
to this information. 

 

Section 31(1)(a) provides an exemption where disclosure would, or would be
likely to harm the prevention and detection of crime. In accordance with
this the council are withholding the information requested. We are aware
that crimes perpetrated at empty properties (both commercial and
residential) include vandalism, theft, illegal occupation, criminal damage
and stripping of properties. These are always problems in urban regions
such as Bolton, but the following examples identified via a search of the
local newspaper’s website clearly reveal that drug cultivation in both
residential and commercial properties is also a very real, and ongoing,
problem in the Bolton area:

 

[1]Massive £1.5 million Great Lever cannabis farm is even bigger than
first thought | The Bolton News

 

[2]https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/190...

 

[3]https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/190...

 

[4]http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/1378...

 

In applying this exemption we have considered whether the balance of
public interest lies in releasing or withholding, and also took into
account the decision on 22^nd January 2013 of the Upper Information
Tribunal in [5]Voyias v IC and Camden Council.

 

In addition, regarding commercial property, the use of section 31(1)(a) in
this instance is further exacerbated by the current climate we find
ourselves in due to the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic and the support
being provided to Businesses through the local grant schemes on offer.
Placing this information in the public domain would be extremely useful to
those seeking to defraud the Council in fraudulently applying for the
various grants available.  Ordinarily the Council publish this information
on our website however there have been concerns raised by the
above-mentioned issues and reinforced further regarding the opportunity to
make fraudulent claims for the grants available. Release of information
under the Act cannot be viewed in the context of a limited disclosure to
the applicant, it should be considered as an applicant blind release into
the public domain.

 

As we have relied on section 31(1)(a) of the Act, we are required to carry
out a public interest test to ascertain whether the public interest in
withholding the information is greater than in releasing it. It is in the
public interest for the council to be open and transparent about our use
of the use of property within the town and the use of public funds. There
is a definite public interest in filling the empty properties in any
community, and in respect of commercial properties providing businesses
currently looking for property to operate from with information about
those empty properties that are available. In regard to residential
properties there is a public interest in providing people currently
looking for property to live in with information about those empty
properties that are available. Releasing the requested information into
the public domain could assist both of these situations. However, both of
these situations are also already served by the availability of
information from letting agencies and estate agents about empty
properties. In addition, in this situation the owners of the properties
have consented to the agents releasing their information into the public
domain in this way. Furthermore, in respect of residential property, there
is also the opportunity to apply for the Matchmaker Scheme which is on the
Council’s website via the link below you can then register as an investor
and look at the advertised empty properties which are listed online:

 

[6]https://selfserve.bolton.gov.uk/citizenp...

 

There is a definite public interest in withholding the requested
information, so as to prevent crime and criminal damage occurring at empty
properties. There is also a clear public interest in withholding to lower
the possibility of risk and distress to individuals living in the vicinity
of these properties, to avoid depreciation of the value of any other
property located around damaged properties and to prevent the increased
use of public resources such as the police and other emergency services,
all of which are consequences of criminal acts committed on or at empty
properties.

 

In addition, there is a public interest from the owners of the properties
in withholding, as these are the parties would incur costs and
inconvenience removing any unauthorised occupants, making good any damage
done to their properties and also increasing the security measures that
they have in place to protect their properties.

 

Furthermore, in the current climate there is strong public interest in the
Council prioritising its Covid19 response, especially administration of
business grants and other financial support to citizens of the town, over
the production of datasets. Disclosure of which could result in fraudulent
claims and the need to implement disproportionate steps and additional
expense to the public purse to counter an increased fraud risk. We
therefore believe that the balance of public interest clearly lies in not
disclosing the requested information for your request.

 

In accordance with the Act, this email constitutes a refusal notice for
your request.

 

In terms of Council property Bolton Council no longer have any housing
stock.  This was transferred to Bolton at Home in 2011. Therefore in
accordance with Section 1(1) of the Act this information is not held.

 

As per the Information Commissioners Office’s Freedom of Information Code
of Practice, should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal within
40 working days of this email to:

 

The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email: [7][email address]

 

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may
wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

 

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

[8]www.ico.org.uk

Tel: 0303 123 1113

 

Should you have any further queries regarding this, please contact
[9][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Governance Team

Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

 

 

 

 

 

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

Visible links
1. https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/129...
2. https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/190...
3. https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/190...
4. http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/1378...
5. http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DB...
6. https://selfserve.bolton.gov.uk/citizenp...
7. mailto:[email address]
8. http://www.ico.org.uk/
9. mailto:[email address]

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywMargaret Attoh mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.