We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are E. T. Wellesley please sign in and let everyone know.

Dear Jenny Rowland c/o Camden Borough Council,

Request under the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act

This is a request under the Environment Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).
A public authority holding the requested information has a duty to communicate that information to the requester ‘as soon as possible and no later than 20 working days after the date of receipt of the request’.
Notes setting out the local council’s obligations under the EIR are set out in the Schedule attached. The Council may already be well aware of its obligations under the FOIA.
This request is for information relating to 5G and electromagnetic frequencies which is polluting the environment. Pollution is not limited to substances but often includes forms of energy (e.g. https://www.eea.europa.eu/archived/archi...).
Pollution is defined as the introduction of substances or energy into the environment, resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm living resources and ecosystems, and impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment.
Request for information:
I urge you to act in the public interest by addressing the potential cumulative harms of densification (the crowding of small cells into a limited area to enable 5G) and insisting that public safety regulatory authorities prove that such densification with 5G technology is safe and that any deployment of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and/or the Internet of Things (IoT), is regulated appropriately to ensure that the national security and the safety and privacy of the public and myself is not compromised.
Will you please communicate what plans there are to facilitate or host the introduction of 5G infrastructure and densification of 4G networks within your borough.
1. Do you have a strategy to permit and/or rent out public spaces, furniture and rooftops of council buildings to mobile phone operators and/or their contractors to install antennae with 5G capability on the streets of your borough (“5G strategy”)?
1.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives
1.2 If yes, has the public had the opportunity to read and understand your councils 5G strategy? Where was this information published?
1.3 I also request a supplementary document that includes the highest level of detail on all 5G technology that’s planned to be used and current in use in public spaces within the Ward:
(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers.
(b) Specification sheets of 5G technology.
(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays are not currently 5G, but can be 5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting?
(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards is the Council complying with for the 5G strategy and existing 5G technology. 
(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met. 
(f) I request to see any risk assessment which has been conducted by the council to comply with its obligations under the Health and Social Care Act in permitting 5G antennae to be rolled out in its borough.
(g) Please provide a map of where 5G antenna subject to rent being paid to the council have been put in the borough.
(h) Please provide a map of rooftop antennae which have been upgraded to 5G;
(i) Please provide a map of where mobile service providers have requested that antennae be upgraded to 5G.

(j) Please provide information on whether the council has entered into any lease agreements with any mobile service providers for the lease of its public spaces, rooftops and street furniture for the purposes of 5G antenna, including 4G antenna which can later be upgraded to 5G frequencies.
1.4 If no, I request to know when you will be setting up an enquiry into the roll out of 5G in your borough?
2. I request the name/s of the Officer/s in charge of the 5G strategy and roll out for 5G and Smart Cities; and who their subject area expert or consultancy is, their CV and qualifications on 5G and Smart Cities.
3. Do you have a strategy for smart roads and smart signage on Public Highways and Public spaces?
3.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.
3.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of detail on: 
(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers?
(b) Specification sheets of all technology.
(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays will not be 5G, but can be 5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting etc? This should include any equipment emitting non-5G frequencies, notably 868MHz.
(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your 5G strategy and rollout comply with? Given that the UK has not auctioned 868MHz frequency, if you are using this frequency, please explain under what authority (whether or not from Ofcom) you are able to do so.
(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council or its contractor that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet. 
4. Are you planning to rollout or have rolled out LED street lighting? 
4.1 If yes, please answer these questions:
(a) When were LED street lights installed?
(b) What is the Central Management System (“CMS”), manufacturer and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system? 
(c) What type of waveform is the supply to the LED? e.g. Square wave? 
(d) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS so as to provide a dimming capability?
(e) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the system (ie. individual dimming of each streetlight)?
(f) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?
(g) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and for how long? 
(h) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the CMS and the LED streetlight system.
(i) Please provide a map of where all LED street lights in the borough are situated.
(j) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight system?
(k) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(l) Please provide a copy of the manufacturer’s brochure for the LED street lights used in the borough.
(m) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(n) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet. 
(o) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?
(p) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at daytime and night time?
(q) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED streetlights (to absorb excessive and potentially damaging blue light wavelengths)? 
(r) Are you aware of how quickly the filters themselves fail or stop providing the required filters against blue light wavelengths? If so, please provide the data.
(s) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that’s produced from LED lighting?  
(t) Have you had any complaints from residents or visitors of blue light damage to their retinas.
4.2 If you have not installed LED street lights but intend to do so, please let me know your current timing to do so and please provide the following information:
(a) What will be the CMS (Central Management System) and manufacturer and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?
(b) What type of waveform will be the supply to the LED? e.g. Square wave? 
(c) Will you be able to control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS so as to provide a dimming capability?
(d) Will you be able to control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the system system (ie. individual dimming of each streetlight)?
(e) What restrictions would you have in place for the control of the PWM?
(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and for how long? 
(g) Please provide a map of where all LED street lights in the borough will be situated.
(h) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the proposed CMS and the LED streetlight system.
(i) Who would be the company who will install the CMS LED streetlight system?
(j) What company would maintain and repair the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(k) Please provide a copy of the manufacturer’s brochure for the proposed LED street lights used in the borough.
(l) What entity and Officer would be responsible for the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(m) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have been meet. 
(n) What would be the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?
(o) What level of LED streetlight exposure would be safe for the public at daytime and night time?
(p) Are you aware of how quickly the filters themselves fail or stop providing the required filters against blue light wavelengths? If so, please provide the data.
(q) How would you address the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that will be produced from LED lighting?  
5. Where have you permitted 3G and 4G systems in public spaces and public roads? You will be receiving rent from mobile service companies for renting out public spaces, furniture and rooftops of council buildings for the installation and upkeep of antennae with 3G and 3G capability on the streets of your borough
(a) Please let me have a map of all masts in your area.
7. What is your strategy for renting out of space on some of their street furniture for use by 4G/5G small cell antennae? What planning rules will apply when MNOs wish to install their antennae in this rented space? Will residents be made aware of each application for antenna installation?
8. Obligations to your employees
(a) Have you considered the impact of the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 in relation to your employees working in public spaces with electromagnetic frequencies which will be 5G?

(b) Have you done a risk assessment for your workers?

(c) If so, can you provide this to me.

SCHEDULE

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
The Regulations do this in two ways:
public authorities must make environmental information available proactively;
members of the public are entitled to request environmental information from public authorities.
The Regulations cover any recorded information held by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Environmental information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, police forces and universities. The Regulations also cover some other bodies that do public work that affects the environment. For simplicity, all organisations subject to the Regulations are referred to as ‘public authorities’ in this guide.
The Regulations apply only to the environmental information held by public authorities.
What are the Environmental Information Regulations for?
The Regulations are derived from European law. They implement the European Council Directive 2003/4/CE on public access to environmental information (the EC Directive) in the UK. The principle behind the law is that giving the public access to environmental information will encourage greater awareness of issues that affect the environment. Greater awareness helps increase public participation in decision-making; it makes public bodies more accountable and transparent and it builds public confidence and trust in them.
The source of the EC Directive is an international agreement called the ‘Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’. It was adopted in Aarhus, Denmark on 25 June 1998 and is known as ‘the Aarhus Convention’. Part of the Aarhus Convention says what its signatories must do to provide access to environmental information. The European Union and the United Kingdom have signed the Convention.
Article 1 of the Aarhus Convention states:
“In order to contribute to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being, each party shall guarantee the rights of access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice on environmental matters in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.”
What are the main principles behind the Environmental Information Regulations?
The Regulations give people a right of access to information about the activities of public authorities that relate to or affect the environment, unless there is good reason for them not to have the information. This is sometimes referred to as a presumption in favour of disclosure.
This means that:
everybody has a right to access environmental information. Disclosure of information should be the default – in other words, information should be kept private only when there is a good reason and the Regulations allow it;
an applicant (requester) does not need to give a reason for wanting the information. On the contrary, you must justify refusing them information;
you must treat all requests for information equally;
you should treat any information you release under the Regulations as if it were being released to the world at large.
This does not prevent you voluntarily giving information to people outside the provisions of the Regulations.
When is information covered by the Environmental Information Regulations?
The Regulations will cover any recorded information you hold that falls within the definition of ‘environmental information’. It is not limited to official documents or information you create – it can cover, for example, drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV recordings.
Unlike the Freedom of Information Act, the Regulations do not explicitly exclude information that you hold solely on behalf of another person or body. The Regulations say that any information that is in your possession that you have produced or received is considered to be ‘held’.
However, our view is that information is in your possession only if you hold it to any extent for your own purposes. For the purposes of the Regulations, information you merely store for someone else would not be considered as being held, for example, information stored on a work computer or email account solely on behalf of a trade union or an MP or councillor. Similarly, we would not consider information a member of the staff produces for their own personal use to be produced or received by you, even if it is on your organisation’s premises or computer systems. For example, if a member of staff uses the public authority’s email system to send a personal, non-work related email, it will not be considered as held for the purposes of the Regulations.
For the purposes of the Regulations, you are still considered to hold environmental information that another person holds on your behalf. For example, where you subcontract public services to an external company, that company may then hold environmental information on your behalf, depending on the type of information and your contract with them. If you receive an information request, some of the information the external company holds may be covered by the Regulations. The company does not have to answer any requests for information it receives, but it would be good practice for them to forward the requests to you. The same applies where you receive services under a contract, for example, if you consult external solicitors.
What are our obligations under the Environmental Information Regulations?
You have two main obligations under the Regulations. You must:
make environmental information available proactively, using easily accessible electronic means whenever possible; and
respond to requests for environmental information.
In addition to these legal obligations, there are two codes of practice that recommend good practice for complying with the Regulations.
The code of practice on the discharge of the obligations of public authorities under EIR (the EIR code of practice) sets out good practice recommendations for you to follow in meeting your obligations under the Regulations. It sets out the situations when you should give advice and assistance to requesters, guidelines on making information available proactively, and considerations that may affect your relationships with other public bodies or third parties.
The section 46 code of practice covers good records management practice and the obligations of public authorities under the Public Records Act. This is relevant to the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act.
These codes of practice are not directly legally binding, but failure to follow them may be relevant when deciding whether an organisation has complied with the Regulations. For example, if you follow the steps set out under part III of the EIR code of practice about advice and assistance, it is likely that you will comply with your obligations under Regulation 9.

Yours faithfully,

E. T. Wellesley

FOI, Camden Borough Council

Dear Mr/Ms Wellesley.

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000, ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION      REGULATIONS 2004
– FOI13462.

 

Thank you for your request dated 04-11-19. We are dealing with it under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIRs).  

 

You will receive a response by 03-12-19 which is 20 working days (from the
day after the request is received) as defined by the Act and EIRs. 

 

Please check your spam folder in case our response may arrive there.

 

If we need to ask you to clarify your request we will contact you.  If we
do ask for clarification and you don’t provide it your request will lapse
so please read carefully any correspondence we send you about your
request.

 

We will provide information electronically where possible.  If you need an
alternative format eg large print etc please let me know. 

 

There may be a fee payable for this information.  We will let you know if
this is the case and explain how to pay it and what your options are.

 

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me at the email
address above.

 

We do not give our consent for any names and contact details provided in
this response to be sent marketing material. Any such use will be reported
to the ICO as a breach of General Data Protection Regulations and the
Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

 

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner’s
Office at [1]www.ico.org.uk , telephone 0303 123 1113, Email: 
[2][email address].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Kieran Heneghan  
Information & Records Management Officer

Law and Governance

Corporate Services

London Borough of Camden

Telephone:    020 7974 4022
Web:              [3]camden.gov.uk

10
5 Pancras Square
London N1C 4AG

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

From: E. T. Wellesley <[FOI #617568 email]>
Sent: 04 November 2019 21:20
To: FOI <[Camden Borough Council request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - 5G Safety?

 

Dear Jenny Rowland c/o Camden Borough Council,

Request under the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of
Information Act

This is a request under the Environment Information Regulations 2004 and
the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).
A public authority holding the requested information has a duty to
communicate that information to the requester ‘as soon as possible and no
later than 20 working days after the date of receipt of the request’.
Notes setting out the local council’s obligations under the EIR are set
out in the Schedule attached. The Council may already be well aware of its
obligations under the FOIA.
This request is for information relating to 5G and electromagnetic
frequencies which is polluting the environment. Pollution is not limited
to substances but often includes forms of energy (e.g.
[4]https://www.eea.europa.eu/archived/archi...).
Pollution is defined as the introduction of substances or energy into the
environment, resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to
endanger human health, harm living resources and ecosystems, and impair or
interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment.
Request for information:
I urge you to act in the public interest by addressing the potential
cumulative harms of densification (the crowding of small cells into a
limited area to enable 5G) and insisting that public safety regulatory
authorities prove that such densification with 5G technology is safe and
that any deployment of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and/or the
Internet of Things (IoT), is regulated appropriately to ensure that the
national security and the safety and privacy of the public and myself is
not compromised.
Will you please communicate what plans there are to facilitate or host the
introduction of 5G infrastructure and densification of 4G networks within
your borough.
1. Do you have a strategy to permit and/or rent out public spaces,
furniture and rooftops of council buildings to mobile phone operators
and/or their contractors to install antennae with 5G capability on the
streets of your borough (“5G strategy”)?
1.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its
objectives
1.2 If yes, has the public had the opportunity to read and understand your
councils 5G strategy? Where was this information published?
1.3 I also request a supplementary document that includes the highest
level of detail on all 5G technology that’s planned to be used and current
in use in public spaces within the Ward:
(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity
officers.
(b) Specification sheets of 5G technology.
(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays are not currently 5G, but can be
5G enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades
or retrofitting?
(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards is the Council
complying with for the 5G strategy and existing 5G technology. 
(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been met. 
(f) I request to see any risk assessment which has been conducted by the
council to comply with its obligations under the Health and Social Care
Act in permitting 5G antennae to be rolled out in its borough.
(g) Please provide a map of where 5G antenna subject to rent being paid to
the council have been put in the borough.
(h) Please provide a map of rooftop antennae which have been upgraded to
5G;
(i) Please provide a map of where mobile service providers have requested
that antennae be upgraded to 5G.

(j) Please provide information on whether the council has entered into any
lease agreements with any mobile service providers for the lease of its
public spaces, rooftops and street furniture for the purposes of 5G
antenna, including 4G antenna which can later be upgraded to 5G
frequencies.
1.4 If no, I request to know when you will be setting up an enquiry into
the roll out of 5G in your borough?
2. I request the name/s of the Officer/s in charge of the 5G strategy and
roll out for 5G and Smart Cities; and who their subject area expert or
consultancy is, their CV and qualifications on 5G and Smart Cities.
3. Do you have a strategy for smart roads and smart signage on Public
Highways and Public spaces?
3.1 If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its
objectives in PPTX, Word, PDF or picture format.
3.2 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of
detail on: 
(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity
officers?
(b) Specification sheets of all technology.
(c) What technology e.g. units and arrays will not be 5G, but can be 5G
enabled e.g. with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or
retrofitting etc? This should include any equipment emitting non-5G
frequencies, notably 868MHz.
(d) What UK, EU and International safety standards does your 5G strategy
and rollout comply with? Given that the UK has not auctioned 868MHz
frequency, if you are using this frequency, please explain under what
authority (whether or not from Ofcom) you are able to do so.
(e) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council or its contractor
that confirms that UK, EU and International safety standards for workers
and the public have been meet. 
4. Are you planning to rollout or have rolled out LED street lighting? 
4.1 If yes, please answer these questions:
(a) When were LED street lights installed?
(b) What is the Central Management System (“CMS”), manufacturer and
specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light
system? 
(c) What type of waveform is the supply to the LED? e.g. Square wave? 
(d) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight
system using the CMS so as to provide a dimming capability?
(e) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the
system (ie. individual dimming of each streetlight)?
(f) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?
(g) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for
the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and
for how long? 
(h) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for
the CMS and the LED streetlight system.
(i) Please provide a map of where all LED street lights in the borough are
situated.
(j) Who is the company who is or has installed the CMS LED streetlight
system?
(k) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(l) Please provide a copy of the manufacturer’s brochure for the LED
street lights used in the borough.
(m) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for
the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(n) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet. 
(o) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public
and workers during the LED streetlights operation?
(p) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at
daytime and night time?
(q) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED
streetlights (to absorb excessive and potentially damaging blue light
wavelengths)? 
(r) Are you aware of how quickly the filters themselves fail or stop
providing the required filters against blue light wavelengths? If so,
please provide the data.
(s) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human
and Animal cells that’s produced from LED lighting?  
(t) Have you had any complaints from residents or visitors of blue light
damage to their retinas.
4.2 If you have not installed LED street lights but intend to do so,
please let me know your current timing to do so and please provide the
following information:
(a) What will be the CMS (Central Management System) and manufacturer and
specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?
(b) What type of waveform will be the supply to the LED? e.g. Square
wave? 
(c) Will you be able to control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the
streetlight system using the CMS so as to provide a dimming capability?
(d) Will you be able to control the PWM of each streetlight that’s
connected to the system system (ie. individual dimming of each
streetlight)?
(e) What restrictions would you have in place for the control of the PWM?
(f) What is the UK, EU and International safety limit (low and high) for
the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to and
for how long? 
(g) Please provide a map of where all LED street lights in the borough
will be situated.
(h) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for
the proposed CMS and the LED streetlight system.
(i) Who would be the company who will install the CMS LED streetlight
system?
(j) What company would maintain and repair the CMS and LED streetlight
system?
(k) Please provide a copy of the manufacturer’s brochure for the proposed
LED street lights used in the borough.
(l) What entity and Officer would be responsible for the safety standards
for the CMS and LED streetlight system?
(m) I request proof e.g. a certificate from the Council that confirms that
UK, EU and International safety standards for workers and the public have
been meet. 
(n) What would be the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the
public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?
(o) What level of LED streetlight exposure would be safe for the public at
daytime and night time?
(p) Are you aware of how quickly the filters themselves fail or stop
providing the required filters against blue light wavelengths? If so,
please provide the data.
(q) How would you address the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and
Animal cells that will be produced from LED lighting?  
5. Where have you permitted 3G and 4G systems in public spaces and public
roads? You will be receiving rent from mobile service companies for
renting out public spaces, furniture and rooftops of council buildings for
the installation and upkeep of antennae with 3G and 3G capability on the
streets of your borough
(a) Please let me have a map of all masts in your area.
7. What is your strategy for renting out of space on some of their street
furniture for use by 4G/5G small cell antennae? What planning rules will
apply when MNOs wish to install their antennae in this rented space? Will
residents be made aware of each application for antenna installation?
8. Obligations to your employees
(a) Have you considered the impact of the Control of Electromagnetic
Fields at Work Regulations 2016 in relation to your employees working in
public spaces with electromagnetic frequencies which will be 5G?

(b) Have you done a risk assessment for your workers?

(c) If so, can you provide this to me.

SCHEDULE

[5]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to
environmental information held by public authorities.
The Regulations do this in two ways:
public authorities must make environmental information available
proactively;
members of the public are entitled to request environmental information
from public authorities.
The Regulations cover any recorded information held by public authorities
in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Environmental information held by
Scottish public authorities is covered by the Environmental Information
(Scotland) Regulations 2004.
Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the
NHS, police forces and universities. The Regulations also cover some other
bodies that do public work that affects the environment. For simplicity,
all organisations subject to the Regulations are referred to as ‘public
authorities’ in this guide.
The Regulations apply only to the environmental information held by public
authorities.
What are the Environmental Information Regulations for?
The Regulations are derived from European law. They implement the European
Council Directive 2003/4/CE on public access to environmental information
(the EC Directive) in the UK. The principle behind the law is that giving
the public access to environmental information will encourage greater
awareness of issues that affect the environment. Greater awareness helps
increase public participation in decision-making; it makes public bodies
more accountable and transparent and it builds public confidence and trust
in them.
The source of the EC Directive is an international agreement called the
‘Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in
Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’. It was
adopted in Aarhus, Denmark on 25 June 1998 and is known as ‘the Aarhus
Convention’. Part of the Aarhus Convention says what its signatories must
do to provide access to environmental information. The European Union and
the United Kingdom have signed the Convention.
Article 1 of the Aarhus Convention states:
“In order to contribute to the protection of the right of every person of
present and future generations to live in an environment adequate to his
or her health and well-being, each party shall guarantee the rights of
access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access
to justice on environmental matters in accordance with the provisions of
this Convention.”
What are the main principles behind the Environmental Information
Regulations?
The Regulations give people a right of access to information about the
activities of public authorities that relate to or affect the environment,
unless there is good reason for them not to have the information. This is
sometimes referred to as a presumption in favour of disclosure.
This means that:
everybody has a right to access environmental information. Disclosure of
information should be the default – in other words, information should be
kept private only when there is a good reason and the Regulations allow
it;
an applicant (requester) does not need to give a reason for wanting the
information. On the contrary, you must justify refusing them information;
you must treat all requests for information equally;
you should treat any information you release under the Regulations as if
it were being released to the world at large.
This does not prevent you voluntarily giving information to people outside
the provisions of the Regulations.
When is information covered by the Environmental Information Regulations?
The Regulations will cover any recorded information you hold that falls
within the definition of ‘environmental information’. It is not limited to
official documents or information you create – it can cover, for example,
drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV
recordings.
Unlike the Freedom of Information Act, the Regulations do not explicitly
exclude information that you hold solely on behalf of another person or
body. The Regulations say that any information that is in your possession
that you have produced or received is considered to be ‘held’.
However, our view is that information is in your possession only if you
hold it to any extent for your own purposes. For the purposes of the
Regulations, information you merely store for someone else would not be
considered as being held, for example, information stored on a work
computer or email account solely on behalf of a trade union or an MP or
councillor. Similarly, we would not consider information a member of the
staff produces for their own personal use to be produced or received by
you, even if it is on your organisation’s premises or computer systems.
For example, if a member of staff uses the public authority’s email system
to send a personal, non-work related email, it will not be considered as
held for the purposes of the Regulations.
For the purposes of the Regulations, you are still considered to hold
environmental information that another person holds on your behalf. For
example, where you subcontract public services to an external company,
that company may then hold environmental information on your behalf,
depending on the type of information and your contract with them. If you
receive an information request, some of the information the external
company holds may be covered by the Regulations. The company does not have
to answer any requests for information it receives, but it would be good
practice for them to forward the requests to you. The same applies where
you receive services under a contract, for example, if you consult
external solicitors.
What are our obligations under the Environmental Information Regulations?
You have two main obligations under the Regulations. You must:
make environmental information available proactively, using easily
accessible electronic means whenever possible; and
respond to requests for environmental information.
In addition to these legal obligations, there are two codes of practice
that recommend good practice for complying with the Regulations.
The code of practice on the discharge of the obligations of public
authorities under EIR (the EIR code of practice) sets out good practice
recommendations for you to follow in meeting your obligations under the
Regulations. It sets out the situations when you should give advice and
assistance to requesters, guidelines on making information available
proactively, and considerations that may affect your relationships with
other public bodies or third parties.
The section 46 code of practice covers good records management practice
and the obligations of public authorities under the Public Records Act.
This is relevant to the Environmental Information Regulations and the
Freedom of Information Act.
These codes of practice are not directly legally binding, but failure to
follow them may be relevant when deciding whether an organisation has
complied with the Regulations. For example, if you follow the steps set
out under part III of the EIR code of practice about advice and
assistance, it is likely that you will comply with your obligations under
Regulation 9.

Yours faithfully,

E. T. Wellesley

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show quoted sections

Williams, Peter, Camden Borough Council

1 Attachment

Date:  25 November 2019

 

Ref:    FOI13462

 

Dear Mr/Ms Wellesley

 

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 - INFORMATION REQUEST

 

Thank you for your recent Environmental Information Regulations  request. 
The response to your request is attached. 

 

We publish our responses on our Open Data Portal, you can see your
response and others back to August 2017 [1]here. 

 

Thank you for your interest in Camden council

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Peter Williams
Information and Records Management Officer
Law and Governance
Corporate Services
London Borough of Camden

Telephone:   020 7974 7857
Mobile:          07917041035
Web:             [2]camden.gov.uk

5th Floor
5PS
5 Pancras Square
London N1C 4AG

   

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

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References

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