Public funding of extra-conversion Olympic Stadium enhancements

Rich Pemberton made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to London Legacy Development Corporation

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.

Dear London Legacy Development Corporation,

Please provide a list of improvements to the Olympic Stadium that are planned or being undertaken as projects or other work in addition to the conversion project and are intended to enhance the stadium for football events, and in particular to the benefit of West Ham United Football club.

For each, please include
1. The planned start/end dates for the work
2. The cost of the work (estimated if not yet completed)
3. The amount of these costs being provided by E20 or other public funds.
4. The amount of these costs being provided by West Ham United Football Club.

I am not interested in work costing less than £10,000.

For sake of clarity, I offer two examples. Karren Brady of West Ham United has recently discussed with the press (i) what she terms a "digital wrap" around the stadium (ii) football mode improvements to increase the capacity to 60,000.

Yours faithfully,

Rich Pemberton

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

Dear Mr Pemberton,

I can confirm that your request for information has been received and a response will be sent to you within 20 working days [26 May 2016].

Your reference for this request is 16041.

Yours sincerely,

Rachael

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Pemberton,

Please find attached our response to your information request ref: 16041.

Yours sincerely,

Mark

Mark Fordham on behalf of Rachael Clauson
FOI/EIR Coordinator
London Legacy Development Corporation
Level 10
1 Stratford Place, Montfichet Road
London
E20 1EJ

Email: [LLDC request email]
Website: www.QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now open. For more information please visit www.QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Rachael,

As ever, the LLDC takes the full 20 days to return even a refusal. I wish to request an internal review, but I will also be asking the Information Commissioner to take an interest given your handling of this and my previous requests.

1. I did not ask for a list of projects planned or or being undertaken by E20 alone, nor was the request specifically constrained to either the sole benefit of West Ham United or football. That improvements may benefit the stadium in other circumstances does not disqualify them from being "intended to enhance the stadium for football events".

2. In your response to 15-085 you make clear that all improvement works require the approval of E20. It is beyond imagination that the details of these works, therefore, is unknown to you.

3. I note your unequivocal statement that E20 has provided no funds towards the decoration of the seats [in West Ham United's colours] nor concourse decoration. I invite you to review the accuracy of this statement.

4. You have failed to explain why revealing the contribution of public funds to the stadium wrap as an example, is withheld under section 43(2). How many stadium wraps are there likely to be? There is a presumption for disclosure, so it is surely reasonable to expect you to fully justify how the commercial interests of E20 or a third party are prejudiced. Perhaps you are suggesting the contract for this work has yet to be finalised; I find this hard to believe given how soon West Ham move into the stadium, but if it is the case please advise when it will be and therefore when you will be able to provide an answer. This is not in my view reason to invoke 43(2) for an exemption. I suspect the answer lies more in fears E20 will be seen once again to be funding the majority of a project to the primary benefit of a private enterprise. I remind you, West Ham do not own the stadium and you are accountable to citizens for the use of public funds.

5. The LLDC has once again failed to address the question of the football mode improvements from 54,000 to 60,000 seats, and I respectfully remind you that your inadequate response to 15-085 has prompted a second internal review and a complaint to the ICO. It is widely understood that the regulations of UEFA and the Premier League constrained the maximum capacity in football mode to 54,000. Karren Brady stated explicitly that WHU were looking to expand the capacity to 60,000 - not that they were just going to use the 6,000 seats that were expected to be unusable in football mode. Are you seriously suggesting that this has not required any work whatsoever?

I am increasingly agitated by the LLDC's attitude towards your accountability to the public for the use of their funds, and the flagrant disregard you have for the FOIA and associated good practices. This response did not need the full 20 days to be sent, and once again the LLDC are using every trick in the book to delay providing information. You would think you might have learned your lesson from the public dressing down you received over the Concessionaire Agreement request.

I will be asking the Information Commissioner to take a keener interest in your responses in general on these matters. In the meantime, I presume the LLDC wishes to embrace the spirit of the FOIA and complete the internal review promptly and at the very worst within the 20 days indicated by the ICO's good practice guidance. Not the 53 days it took on a previous request of mine.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Pemberton

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

Good afternoon Mr Pemberton.

I acknowledge your request for an internal review of our response 16041.

Your reference for this review will be 16041 IR.

The response to 16041 will be reviewed, and I will also address each of your points below.

Regards

Rachael

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

Dear Mr Pemberton,

My sincerest apologies but the internal review will not be ready for release today as I had hoped. I expect the review to be complete and approved by next Friday, 8 July at the latest. All of the comments within the review are being addressed.

Yours sincerely

Rachael

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Rachael,

This really is intolerable. You are adding another 10 working days to the 20 within which you are supposed to respond, and this is not the first delay by any means.

Please provide a full explanation for the delay, as this is entirely unacceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Pemberton

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

Dear Mr Pemberton,

I really appreciate your frustration with our response time to your internal review exceeding 20 working days. I am currently waiting on information in relation to our responses to your first and fifth questions. The individual within the E20 team who knows the details for the response has been unavailable for part of our response time. I have escalated the urgency and expect to have the response to you by 8 July.

Yours sincerely

Rachael

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Rachel,

This delay is entirely unacceptable and undoubtedly intentional. I shall make a further complaint to the ICO.

In the meantime please ensure the information requested is with me within the next 2 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Pemberton

foi, London Legacy Development Corporation

10 Atodiad

Dear Mr Pemberton,

Please find attached our response to your internal review request reference: 16041 IR.

Yours sincerely

Rachael

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir