This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Judgment: Westminster Council Loses Appeal Against Noise Abatement Notice'.


 
Mrs Carrabino
Information Management Team 
Westminster City Council 
By email only
64 Victoria Street 
London 
SW1E 6QP
Telephone 0207 641 3921
Email xxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xx 
 
 
 
 
Our ref: 8541868
Your ref: 
Date: 21 June 2019
 
 
Dear Mrs Carrabino
 
Re: Request for Internal Review – 8541868  
 
Thank you for your correspondence dated 10 December 2018 regarding the 
response to your recent request to the Council (8541868).
 
In your correspondence you expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of your 
Freedom of Information Request, disputing the council’s response that the requested 
information is not held.
 
Internal Review Procedure
 
I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with our handling of your requests and I have 
investigated your complaint in accordance with the Section 45 Code of Practice.
 
Should you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you are entitled to 
contact the Information Commissioner under Section 50 of the Freedom of 
Information Act 2000. The contact details are provided at the end of this letter.
 
Response
 
Background 
On 10 November 2018 the council received your original request for the following:
Could you please forward to me the judgment handed down in Westminster 
Magistrates' Court in June 2018 in which the judge found against Westminster 
Council. 
The judge upheld an appeal against a noise abatement notice for an alleged 
statutory nuisance created by the playing of 'loud amplified music and speech' 
at a domestic property. The Council lost its case in Court for several reasons 
including: 
i) not having noise recordings; and 
ii) the requirements of the notice were unreasonable in that they interfered with 


the Appellant's right to family and private life. 
On 14 November 2018 the council responded, setting out that it does not hold the 
information.
On 10 December 2018 you requested an Internal Review on the following grounds 
(quoted verbatim): 
“The information requested must be in the Council's possession as it would 
have been sent to the Council directly from the Court. Furthermore, the 
document should be very easy to find as it is a recent case and a very 
distinctive one.”
 

Internal Review
 
The purpose of an Internal Review is to investigate the handling of a request in 
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. As your complaint disputes 
that the information is not held, this Internal Review will focus on section 1 of the Act, 
as set out under the Advice & Assistance section of this letter.
Under section 1(1) of the Act, a public authority is required to confirm if it holds 
requested information, and if so communicate it subject to any exemptions which 
apply in respect of it.
Under section 1(4) the information that is to be communicated is that which is held, 
i.e. recorded, by the public authority at the time of the request.
This Internal Review can confirm that, under section 1(4) of the Act, the council does 
not hold the “judgment handed down in Westminster Magistrates' Court in June 2018 
in which the judge found against Westminster Council.”
 
This review can confirm that the information held by the council in this regard is a 
summary of the judgement, provided to the council by a lawyer in conjunction with 
legal advice based on the court findings. However, as this information comprises 
information in relation to legal rights and remedies it therefore attracts the exemption 
at section 42 of the Act, Legal Professional Privilege.
Although section 42 is a qualified exemption, there is an inherent strong public 
interest in maintaining the exemption due to the importance of the need to protect 
Legal Professional Privilege. This is because it provides a safe space necessary for 
the continued administration of justice. It is not considered that any countervailing 
considerations apply in this instance whereby the public interest in disclosure would 
outweigh the inherent public interest in maintaining the exemption. 
The above notwithstanding, however, the council does not hold the requested 
information, i.e. the judgement document as described in the original request and the 
email of 10 December 2018.
Consequently, this review finds that although information in relation to the subject 
matter is held by the council, it comprises legal advice and therefore the exemption 
at section 42 of the Act is engaged. However, the requested information, i.e. the 
judgement itself, is not held, as communicated in the council’s response of 14 
November 2018 in line with section 1(4) of the Act.

Complaint outcome: your complaint in this regard is not upheld.
 
Advice & Assistance
 
In the course of this Internal Review I have made reference to the following 
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 
 
• (1)Any person making a request for information to a public authority is 
entitled— 
(a)to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information 
of the description specified in the request, and 
(b)if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.
 
• (4)The information— 
(a)in respect of which the applicant is to be informed under subsection (1)(a), 
or 
(b)which is to be communicated under subsection (1)(b), 
is  the  information  in  question  held  at  the  time  when  the  request  is  received, 
except  that  account  may  be  taken  of  any  amendment  or  deletion  made 
between that time and the time when the information is to be communicated 
under  subsection  (1)(b),  being  an  amendment  or  deletion  that  would  have 
been made regardless of the receipt of the request. 
• 42 (1)Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege or, 
in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal 
proceedings is exempt information.
This completes the internal review into the handling of your Freedom of Information 
Request under the Council's complaints procedure. Should you be dissatisfied with 
our response, you are entitled to contact the Information Commissioner under 
Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. For your reference, I have 
provided the contact details below: 
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 54 57 45
Fax: 01625 524510
Web:  www.ico.org.uk
 
Should you have any queries, please contact me at the address above.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Information Management Team