Why do some Westminster Conservative councillors enjoy free parking?

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Sir or Madam,

In your response to FOI request number 3645 dated 23rd April 2009 and titled "City Council's official parking permits usage", you advised that the following councillors held a free parking permit:-

Councillor Barrow
Councillor Richardson
Cllr Connell
Cllr Roe
Cllr Chalkley
Cllr Moss
Cllr Astaire
Cllr Burbridge
Cllr Lewis
Cllr Davis
Cllr Roberts
Cllr Warner
Cllr Nemeth
Cllr Flight
Cllr Brahams
Cllr Havery
Cllr Floru
Cllr Hampson
Cllr Hyams
Cllr Prendergast
Cllr Marshall
Cllr Lee Rowely
Cllr Mustaq Qureshi
Cllr Nicola Aiken
Cllr Duncan Sandys
Cllr Barrie Taylor
Cllr Angela Harvey
Cllr Mark Page
Cllr Ian Adams
Cllr Alan Bradley
Cllr Lindsey Hall
Cllr Blois
Cllr Keen
Cllr Tabari
Sir Simon Milton - up to the date of his resignation in September.

The same FOI request was subsequently put in to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBK&C) and Camden Borough Council, both of which are Central London councils, in the same position as Westminster City Council.

Both the RBK&C and Camden Borough Council advised in their response to their respective FOI request that NONE of their councillors holds a free parking permit in their own borough.

Would you therefore please explain and justify, with reasons, why Westminster City Council grants a free parking permit to the above named councillors in its borough, while other Central London councils don't offer a similar benefit to their councillors. Why don't the above named Westminster councillors pay for their parking and have a taste of their own medicine, like councillors from other Central London councils do?

I believe that should have I sent an e-mail to the City Council's parking department asking the above questions, my e-mail would have been ignored, hence this FOI request.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jones

Westminster City Council

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: Mr Jones
Address: see email address
Email: [FOI #13276 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: In your response to FOI request number 3645 dated 23rd
April 2009 and titled "City Council's official parking permits usage", you
advised that the following councillors held a free parking permit:-

Councillor Barrow Councillor Richardson Cllr Connell Cllr Roe Cllr
Chalkley Cllr Moss Cllr Astaire Cllr Burbridge Cllr Lewis Cllr Davis Cllr
Roberts Cllr Warner Cllr Nemeth Cllr Flight Cllr Brahams Cllr Havery Cllr
Floru Cllr Hampson Cllr Hyams Cllr Prendergast Cllr Marshall Cllr Lee
Rowely Cllr Mustaq Qureshi Cllr Nicola Aiken Cllr Duncan Sandys Cllr
Barrie Taylor Cllr Angela Harvey Cllr Mark Page Cllr Ian Adams Cllr Alan
Bradley Cllr Lindsey Hall Cllr Blois Cllr Keen Cllr Tabari Sir Simon
Milton - up to the date of his resignation in September.

The same FOI request was subsequently put in to the Royal Borough of
Kensington & Chelsea (RBK&C) and Camden Borough Council, both of which
are Central London councils, in the same position as Westminster City
Council. Both the RBK&C and Camden Borough Council advised in their
response to their respective FOI request that NONE of their councillors
holds a free parking permit in their own borough. Would you therefore
please explain and justify, with reasons, why Westminster City Council
grants a free parking permit to the above named councillors in its
borough, while other Central London councils don't offer a similar benefit
to their councillors. Why don't the above named Westminster councillors
pay for their parking and have a taste of their own medicine, like
councillors from other Central London councils do?

FOI Reference Number: 3933
Target Completion Date: 13/07/2009

Please do not reply to this email.
This is an automatic response to your request, and replies to this message
will not be actioned.

If you need to contact Westminster City Council regarding your request,
please contact:

mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
Tel:020 7641 3921

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sir or Madam,

A response to this FOI request is now overdue. The Council is in breach of the Information Act 2000 and if no response is received within 7 working days, I will report the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jones

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Why do some Westminster Conservative councillors enjoy free parking?'.

A response to this FOI request is now overdue. The Council is in breach of the Information Act 2000 and if no response is received within 7 working days, I will report the matter to the Information Commissioner.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jones

Customer Relations, Westminster City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jones

Please find attached your Freedom of Information response 3933.

Kind Regards

Andy Daly

Customer Relations Officer

<<FOI3933 Jones ABD.doc>>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Why do some Westminster Conservative councillors enjoy free parking?'.

Your response is unacceptable and doesn't make any sense.

The question set is "would you please explain and justify, with reasons, why Westminster City Council grants a free parking permit to councillors in its borough, while other Central London councils don't offer a similar benefit to their councillors".

In your response to FOI number 3645 (titled "City Council’s official parking permits usage"), you advised that Conservative councillors enjoy the benefit of free parking. Here is the link to this FOI request:-

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ci...

Although this facility has of course been given to them behind the back of the public, it's a fact, so please don't deny it by running around the houses and saying that "Councillors can apply for all zones permits for use when they are undertaking official duties as Councillors", which implies that they are required to pay for their all zones permit when they're not, and we all know that from your response to FOI number 3645 above. So, as initially requested in this FOI, please provide your reasons as to why the Councillors named in your response to FOI number 3645 enjoy free parking in all zones of Westminster, when Councillors of other Central London councils don't.

Also, as you say that Westminster Councillors "are required to obtain residents parking permits, if they require them, which are paid for", please explain why these Councillors would do, given that they have a free Westminster-wide parking permit. I wonder why you refuse to answer FOI request number 4006 (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...), as you state here that these Councillors "are required to obtain residents parking permits". So why do you say in FOI request number 4006 that this information is private and confidential, since you are happy to divulge it here? I believe that's because none of these councillors have a paid for parking permit, as they don't require one, given that they have a free official Westminster-wide parking permit. Please confirm this.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jones

FOI, Westminster City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jones,

I am emailing you with regard to your request for an internal review of
your Freedom of Information Request 3933.

Please find our response attached.

Kindest regards,

Tanya Holden
Data Protection & FOI Officer
Knowledge and Information Management
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London, NW8 8EA
Tel: 0207 641 6451
Fax: 0207 641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
[1]www.westminster.gov.uk

<<FOI Corporate Response - Jones.doc>>

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. file://www.westminster.gov.uk

Dear T Holden,

Thank you for your latest response with regards to my FOI request number 3933. At last I have received an answer that makes more sense than as usual, after so many weeks of waiting time that have made the Council be in breach of Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am glad to hear that you have recruited additional staff to answer FOI requests, as the number of FOI requests to Westminster City Council have increased dramatically in the past few months. This, in my opinion, clearly shows how unhappy the public are with your Council's policies, otherwise they would not be putting in so many FOI requests to find out what is happening.

Anyway, before I can finally close this FOI request, I have one more question that remains unanswered. I do agree with you that under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, personal details cannot be disclosed, and I perfectly accept this. However, section 40 does not exempt you from advising the number of Conservative councillors that did have a paid for residents' parking permit as at 30th June 2009. Please note that I am not asking for any personal details such as names, surnames, personal addresses etc, which would be unacceptable under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I am only asking for a number of Conservative councillors who had a paid for residents' parking permit as at 30th June 2009. The answer to this is simple and only requires a number, including "zero" if applicable. If you go on again to say that you cannot provide this information under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please quote the specific part of section 40 that you are referring to in your answer.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Jones

Gadawodd BorisKarloff anodiad ()

In case this helps, the following is relevant. Most other LA's do not split their boundaries into 'zones' - Westminster does in order to let people park close to their place of residence.
I think that Westminster Cllrs who own a car will have bought a permit for the zone where they live like everyone else. In addition they'll be issued a permit which enables them to park in resident bays in other zones when they're on Council business which their resident permit wouldn't otherwise allow

Holden, Tanya, Westminster City Council

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for this response.

As regards the question at the end of your email below: this does not
appear to have been included in your original request so I have
therefore logged it as a separate request, and you will receive an
automatic notification of the new FOI number.

Kindest regards,

Tanya Holden
Data Protection & FOI Officer
Knowledge and Information Management
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London, NW8 8EA
Tel: 0207 641 6451
Fax: 0207 641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]
www.westminster.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Westminster City Council

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: Mr Jones
Address: See email address
Email: [FOI #13276 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: In addition to FOI 3933:
I have one
more question that remains unanswered. I do agree with you that
under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, personal
details cannot be disclosed, and I perfectly accept this. However,
section 40 does not exempt you from advising the number of
Conservative councillors that did have a paid for residents'
parking permit as at 30th June 2009. Please note that I am not
asking for any personal details such as names, surnames, personal
addresses etc, which would be unacceptable under section 40 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, I am only asking for a number of
Conservative councillors who had a paid for residents' parking
permit as at 30th June 2009. The answer to this is simple and only
requires a number, including "zero" if applicable. If you go on
again to say that you cannot provide this information under section
40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please quote the
specific part of section 40 that you are referring to in your
answer.

FOI Reference Number: 4148
Target Completion Date: 25/08/2009

Please do not reply to this email.
This is an automatic response to your request, and replies to this message
will not be actioned.

If you need to contact Westminster City Council regarding your request,
please contact:

mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
Tel:020 7641 3921

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Samantha Wade anodiad ()

Westminster say:

"If a councillor applied for a resident parking permit it would be in a private capacity and any information held about them in relation to residents parking permits would constitute personal data and, therefore, be exempt from disclosure under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000."

But the question is not specific to a person, it is asking the question, how many WCC councilors purchase a residents permit. It's not requesting personal data at all, merely, how many of those have a paid permit.

If it were asked "How many residential parking permits are sold in Westminster?" then asked, "How many of those resident permit holders were male and how many were female?" Would the answer be personal?

Customer Relations, Westminster City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jones <<FOI4148 Jones ABD.doc>>

Please find the attched response.

Yours sincerely,

A Daly

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Blue anodiad ()

There are 31 Conservative Councillors who have a free council parking permit, but only 13 have also purchased a residents permit.

Less than half, makes you sick doesn't it!

FOI/4148
The total number of Conservative Councillors with residents' permits is 13.

Here are the names of the Conservative Councillors that hold an official free parking
permit (see FOI http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ci... ).

Councillor Barrow
Councillor Richardson
Cllr Connell
Cllr Roe
Cllr Chalkley
Cllr Moss
Cllr Astaire
Cllr Burbridge
Cllr Lewis
Cllr Davis
Cllr Roberts
Cllr Warner
Cllr Nemeth
Cllr Flight
Cllr Brahams
Cllr Havery
Cllr Floru
Cllr Hampson
Cllr Hyams
Cllr Prendergast
Cllr Marshall
Cllr Lee Rowely
Cllr Nicola Aiken
Cllr Duncan Sandys
Cllr Angela Harvey
Cllr Mark Page
Cllr Ian Adams
Cllr Alan Bradley
Cllr Lindsey Hall
Cllr Blois
Cllr Keen

Dear Mr Daly,

So per the Council's response to FOI 3645, there are 31 Conservative Councillors who hold a free parking permit in the borough of Westminster, and only 13 of them have purchased a resident's parking permit. This is less than half of them, which demonstrates that a significant proportion of Conservative Councillors take advantage of their free parking permit to carry out their professional duties for personal use, without public knowledge until now. In the absence of this FOI request, such information would not have been disclosed.

I hope that this FOI request will make the large number of Conservative Councillors, who make personal use of their free parking permit granted for work purposes, realise that they don't currently comply with their duties as residents.

I will submit a similar Freedom of Information request in a few months time to find out whether some action has been taken, as I find it totally unacceptable that a large number of Conservative Councillors make personal use of the free parking permit granted to them for work purposes. These individuals are not exempt from the parking regulations, in their private capacity.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Jones