Information Management Team
Westminster City Council
By email only
64 Victoria Street
0207 641 3921
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.
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
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
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
On 10 December 2018 you requested an Internal Review on the following grounds
“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
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,
, 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.
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
(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.
(a)in respect of which the applicant is to be informed under subsection (1)(a),
(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.
(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
Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 54 57 45
Fax: 01625 524510
Should you have any queries, please contact me at the address above.
Information Management Team