Minutes of meetings with Unions

Michael Edwards made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
Please provide me with the minutes of the meetings held with the trade unions, Head of Service,Human resources and Housing and Community safety on these dates listed below;

1/10/2013
17/20/2013
23/10/2013
4/11/2013
11/11/2013
18/11/2013
9/12/2013
13/1/2014
24/1/2014
28/1/2014
10/2/2014
10/3/2014
All these dates were provided by Lorna White, Personal Assistant to Joe Blott,Strategic Director in his absence.
Yours faithfully,

Michael Edwards

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Edwards,

Thank you for your request for information below. 

 

I consider that the information you have requested is exempt  information
under Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, in that
disclosure of the information would inhibit the free and frank provision
of advice or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of
deliberation (Section 36 (2) (b) (i) and (ii).  I have had regard, as the
qualified person to the guidance issued by the Information Commissioners
Office (ICO),  “Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs “
Version 2.

 

As the qualified person, I am required to take a view as to whether, in my
reasonable opinion, the free and frank provision of advice or the free and
frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation would be
inhibited; if such advice or exchange of views were to be disclosed to a
member of the public.

I consider, in my reasonable opinion, that the disclosure of the minutes
of the meetings requested would inhibit the free and frank provision of
similar  discussions in the future and have a “chilling effect” on such
discussions.  Paragraph 47 of the ICO Guidance provides “ The chilling
effect argument is that disclosure of discussions would inhibit free and
frank discussions in the future and that the loss of frankness and candour
would damage the quality of advice and deliberation  and lead to poorer
decision making.”

 

It is my view that disclosure of these minutes would make attendees at
meetings such as these less likely to engage in discussion, whether oral
or written, as part of the deliberation process.  Section 36 is not an
absolute exemption and is subject to the public interest test.

 

I have weighed up Public Interest Factors and concluded that those in
favour of disclosure are:-

Public interest in the promotion of  transparency and accountability in
relation to the activities of public authorities.

 

Public Interest Factors in favour of maintaining the exemption are:-

Reduction of the ‘chilling effect’ when matters of particular importance 
are being discussed

Reduces the likelihood of inhibition of future discussion in respect of
such issues

 

I therefore consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

You have the right to ask for an internal review in respect of this
refusal of your request for information. This should be addressed to:
Records and Information Manager ,Legal Services, Town Hall, Brighton
Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED, [1][Wirral Borough Council request email]

If you are dissatisfied with the result of your internal review, you also
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address
is;The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours Sincerely and sent on behalf of,

 Surjit Tour

 

 Head of Legal & Member Services and Monitoring Officer

Wirral Council

Town Hall

Brighton Street

Wallasey

Wirral

CH44 8ED

 

[3][email address]

  

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