MTP [Margate Town Partnership] funding

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Thanet District Council

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

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group

Dear Thanet District Council,

We, from 15 groups** ie Residents' Associations, business groups and other community organisations, are writing to request information about your funding of the following organisations or projects. Specifically, we would like to know

MTP [Margate Town Partnership]
1. What is the relationship between MTP and TDC?
2. What is the relationship between MTP and Margate Renewal Partnership?
3. Has any money from TDC funds been given to the MTP since 1 January 2005? If so, how much was given in each of the 5 financial years ending on 31 March 2010? Will you please also report:
i. What were the conditions under which the money was given and have the recipients of the money complied with those conditions?
ii. How has that compliance been verified by council officers?
iii. What action has been taken, or is to be taken, if the recipients have not complied with the conditions of the funding?

Our preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.

Many public authorities release their contracts with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public’s interest. The public have an interest in knowing the terms of contracts and grants awarded by public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then we would like to know the following:
• When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
• All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed.
• The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

We ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements. They go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. We would also point to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: ‘Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.’

Finally, within the law of confidence there is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.

We would be grateful if you could confirm, in writing, that you have received this request, and we look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Regards

Cliftonville & Margate Future's Group

** Arlington House Residents' Association, Cliftonville Partnership, Cliftonville Residents Assoc, DAAG, Dalby Sq Project, Dane Valley Woods, Godwin Rd, GRASS, Grotto Hill, Hawley Square, Margate Civic Society, Old Town Action Group, Senior Citizens’ Forum, SRAAG, St Paul’s Community Centre

Kerrie Nichol, Thanet District Council

Ref No:18655 / 1385545

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your communication of 23/06/2010 requesting information regarding the funding and management of Margate Town Partnership.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Kerrie Nichol
Information Request Assessor

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Helan Wing, Thanet District Council

Ref No: 18655 / 1385545

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your communication received on 23/06/2010 09:23:23 where you requested the following information:

MTP [Margate Town Partnership]

1. What is the relationship between MTP and TDC?

2. What is the relationship between MTP and Margate Renewal Partnership?

3. Has any money from TDC funds been given to the MTP since 1January 2005? If so, how much was given in each of the 5 financial years ending on 31 March 2010? Will you please also report:

i. What were the conditions under which the money was given and have the recipients of the money complied with those conditions?

ii. How has that compliance been verified by council officers?

iii. What action has been taken, or is to be taken, if the recipients have not complied with the conditions of the funding?

The information you requested is as follows:

Margate Town Partnership

1. Thanet District Council is a funding partner of Margate Town Partnership.

2. Thanet District Council is represented on the Board by Derek Harding (Programme Director of Margate Renewal Partnership) as a co-opted, non voting member.

3. The Council has supported MTP through three grant awards: A) an annual grant to support the delivery of the annual events programme; B). SSCF grant in 2007/8; C) an ERDF and East Kent Partnership grant in 2007/08.

3A). The annual grant has been given since 2005 broken down as:

2005/6 £0
2006/7 £20k
2007/8 £35k
2008/9 £38k
2009/10 £30k

The council’s grant is covered by a Service Level Agreement.

ii) Annual reports submitted by MTP.

iii) The annual grant is subject to submission and approval of an annual plan.

3B) Margate Town Partnership successfully bid for SSCF funds in 2007 and 2008. The SSCF Board was a partnership forum established to drive forward the SSCF Programme in Margate Central and Cliftonville West. TDC is the accountable body over-seeing the use of this fund. The SSCF Board included statutory and voluntary and community sector members, including local residents, who appraised all projects and a voting procedure, decided which bids were successful based upon working towards SSCF objectives. All projects were fully evaluated and MTP achieved well-beyond all required outcomes. The MTP Coordinator was a SSCF Board member representing local businesses from Margate Central, but was required to declare an interest in any projects which MTP would have a connection with and was not permitted to vote on MTP projects.

2007
SSCF provided £14,620 and MTP provided match funding of £6,350 for a project to provide art work to fill empty shop fronts in Margate High Street and the Old Town. A consultation by Dane Court students for the Margate Town Partnership identified the appearance of the retail area as an issue and suggested this as a solution to create a more attractive shopping environment. The art work was created by professional artists or community groups lead by an artist. The project was delivered in partnership with Creative Events Consultancy of the University of Kent. This concept was taken over by Thanet District Council under the Council’s ‘Windows of Opportunity’ scheme.

SSCF funded £75,455 and MTP provided match funding of £41,889 towards Late and Live shows. This provided a mobile stage with lighting equipment, gazebos, and banners that were purchased to support the events organised by Margate Town Partnership. This included the Late and Live concept of weekly entertainment and community events in the Old Town in Margate. This project is sustained by MTP with the mobile stage retained by MTP being available for hire to other community groups, with Thanet Leisure Force setting up the stage and taking it down as they have appropriate insurance. MTP continue to organise events.

2008
SSCF provided a grant of £31,760.27 for an MTP Co-ordinator from 2008/09 to 2009/10, towards which MTP provided £15,100 match funding. The coordinator was funded to continue to support local businesses and to further develop the end of holiday season events to increase footfall and visitor numbers to the town. This project cost included an administrative assistant to support the MTP co-ordinator, keep the website up to date and to produce the monthly MTP newsletter.

Each project / grant was covered by a Service Level Agreement and quarterly monitoring undertaken. MTP achieved well beyond all required outcomes.

A full audit was undertaken by the SSCF Finance / Audit Manager for each project.

The grant conditions have been complied with.

3C). ERDF and East Kent Partnership funding towards the Late and Live programme in 2007/08 totalling £31,400 (including a contribution towards the mobile stage, community piano and gazebos/market stalls). ERDF and East Kent Partnership funding towards Decorative Lighting in 2007 totalling £10,000. £3,000 towards Windows of Opportunity of ERDF. £1,145 towards costs relating to fund raising and website development from the MRP administrative budget.

The grants were covered by two separate agreements.

The grant agreements set out the conditions and terms including monitoring requirements, milestones and outputs.

The grant conditions have been complied with. The Decorative Lighting scheme is temporarily non-operational due to an electrical supply problem. Investigations are on going to resolve this problem.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Information Request Assessor, Thanet District Council, P O Box 9 Cecil Street, Margate Kent CT9 1XZ, or send an email to [email address].

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Yours faithfully,

Helan Wing
Business Support Manager

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Helan Wing, Thanet District Council

Ref No: 18639 / 1384265

Dear Ms Castellino

Thank you for your communication received on 23/06/2010 11:22:23 where you requested the following information:

12-15 Cliff Terrace, Margate

1. Has any money from [FUNDING ORGANISATION] funds been given to any owners / developers of this building since 2005 and, if so:

1. What is the total amount of the money given?

2. What were the conditions under which the money was given and have the recipients of the money complied with those conditions?

2. How has that compliance been verified by council officers?

3. What action has been taken, or is to be taken, if the recipients have not complied with the conditions of the funding?

4. Is the building occupied or empty?

5. Does the building have sign-off in terms of building regulations and planning?

6. What was the result of the official complaint from the TDC conservation officer, Nick Dermott, regarding the decision to grant planning permission - Listed Building Application: L/TH/07/1527 http://margatearchitecture.blogspot.com/...

The information you requested is as follows:

1 No funding has been given to any owners / developers of this building since 2005.

1. NA

2. NA

2. NA

3. NA

4. The Council does not hold this information.

5. Planning Consent granted 12 October 2007, subject to conditions.
Listed Building Consent granted 18 December 2007, subject to conditions.
Building Control Full Plans Consent granted 09 July 2008 – no completion notice yet issued.

The Council does not hold this information.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Information Request Assessor, Thanet District Council, P O Box 9 Cecil Street, Margate Kent CT9 1XZ, or send an email to [email address].

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Helan Wing
Business Support Manager

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir