The management of trees growing on council-owned sites where the Council no longer maintains those trees.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Bristol City Council.

Mark Clifford Durham Ashdown

Dear Bristol City Council,

I have been advised that Bristol City Council (the Council) no longer maintains or manages trees growing on some sites owned by it. Is this correct?

If it is, please provide the following information:
1. Does the Council retain the ownership of the trees on these sites?
2. If it no longer retains ownership, who does?
3. Does the Council still retain liability for any damage caused by trees on these sites?
4. If it no longer retains liability, who does?
5. Are these sites available for tree planting by the public through sponsorship schemes such as TreeBristol or through tree-planting initiatives such as One Tree Per Child or the Urban Tree Challenge Fund?
8. Who makes decisions about the planting, maintenance or felling of trees on these sites?
9. If it is not the Council, is the decision maker obliged to consult the Council before proceeding to maintain or fell a tree, whether or not the tree is growing in a Conservation area, or is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or is the subject of a planning application?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Clifford Durham Ashdown

Bristol City Council

 
Dear Mark Clifford Durham Ashdown
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 20
September 2019.
 
We are dealing with your request and we aim to send a response by 18
October 2019.
 
If you have any further queries about your request please contact
[1][email address].
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Customer Relations Team
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.
 
Bristol City Council
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1 Atodiad

 
Dear Mark
 
My apologies for the delay, we have a new system in place for responding
to FOI's and EIR's.
 
In my previous response I may have not have been clear as possible. To
answer even the short version (3 questions) would involve checking all of
the leases that the council property team has around whether tenant or
landlord is responsible for the trees on site. If even one part of an EIR
is "manifestly unreasonable", I can refuse the request. This is why I
previously issued the response below:
 
Bristol City Council may hold the information requested, however we are
refusing this request on the following grounds:

 

Regulation 12(4)(b): Manifestly unreasonable

 

Regulation 12(4)(b) of the EIR allows public authorities to refuse a
request for information that is manifestly unreasonable and where the cost
or burden of dealing with the request would be too great.

The previous response I gave identified that over 300 property leases
would need to be reviewed to answer either parts of your request (The
class of person or body now responsible for maintaining trees on these
categories of site). This would take an officer up to 1 hour per lease at
an estimated cost of £7500 to the Authority.

Based on the above, we consider that responding to your request would be a
significant burden on the council and therefore Regulation 12(4)(b)
applies.

 

 

Public Interest Test

 

All exceptions under EIR are subject to a public interest test which means
that consideration must be given to whether the public interest favouring
disclosure is greater than the public interest in maintaining the
exemption. Public interest means what is in the best interests of the
wider public not what is of interest to the public. We have weighed up the
benefits to the public of releasing the information against the factors
for not releasing it. On balance we find that complying with your request
would place a substantial and disproportionate burden on the council's
resources and therefore the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest for disclosure.

 

Narrowing your request

 

Regulation 9(1) of the EIR requires public authorities to provide advice
and assistance to requesters. You may therefore wish to consider narrowing
the scope of your request by choosing the information which is most
important to you, [for example by limiting the number of parts of your
request.]

 

Please note that any reformulated request we receive will be treated as a
new request and we cannot guarantee that any relevant exceptions under the
EIR 2004 will not apply to a revised request.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Tim Brandram
Trees and Allotments Manager
 
 
 
 
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.
 
Bristol City Council
This email contains proprietary confidential information some or all of
which may be legally privileged and/or subject to the provisions of
privacy legislation. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are
not the intended recipient, an addressing or transmission error has
misdirected this e-mail; you must not use, disclose, copy, print or
disseminate the information contained within this e-mail. Please notify
the author immediately by replying to this email. Any views expressed in
this email are those of the individual sender, except where the sender
specifically states these to be the views of Bristol City Council.
 
This email has been scanned for all viruses and all reasonable precautions
have been taken to ensure that no viruses are present. Bristol City
Council cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from
the use of this email or attachments.

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Council services: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/service
Latest council news: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ournews
Consultations: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/consult