Albanian Mafia and Cash Services

Pors Tonith made this Freedom of Information request to Westminster City Council

Waiting for an internal review by Westminster City Council of their handling of this request.

From: Pors Tonith

Dear Sir or Madam,

In FOI
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

it was intimated that the move to cashless parking was, in part,
due to the 'Albanian Mafia' stealing money from parking devices.

My questions are:

1. How much money estimated to have been stolen by the "Albanian
Mafia" annually from 2005?

2. How much did Westminster's Bullion services cost to run annually
from 2005?

3. Do councilors and Westminster Employees base decisions on
newspaper reports as a matter of course?

4. In the following document:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/19...

Just 40% of people supported cashless parking, by your own survey.
What overarching reasons were applied to make a decision to push
forward with a system that wasn't supported by statistical
evidence?

Is it Westminster Council's procedures to push through systems that
are not supported by it's customers or residents?

Yours faithfully,

Pors Tonith

Link to this

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: Pors Tonith
Address: See email address
Email: [FOI #23957 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: Re. FOI
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

1. How much money estimated to have been stolen by the "Albanian
Mafia" annually from 2005?

2. How much did Westminster's Bullion services cost to run annually
from 2005?

3. Do councilors and Westminster Employees base decisions on
newspaper reports as a matter of course?

4. In the following document:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/19...

Just 40% of people supported cashless parking, by your own survey.
What overarching reasons were applied to make a decision to push
forward with a system that wasn't supported by statistical
evidence?

Is it Westminster Council's procedures to push through systems that
are not supported by it's customers or residents?

FOI Reference Number: 4676
Target Completion Date: 30/12/2009

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

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI
Westminster City Council


Attachment FOI Response Letter Tonith FOI 4676.doc
142K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Tonith,

Please find attached our response to your request, recently submitted to
the Council under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

<<FOI Response Letter - Tonith FOI 4676.doc>>

Please accept my apologies for the slight delay in providing this response
to your request.

Yours sincerely,

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

show quoted sections

References

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

Link to this

From: Pors Tonith

Hi Tanya,

Thanks for your responses, however I'd like to clarify points 3 and
4 as you say I haven't requested specific recorded information. I
asked:

3.

[I asked] Do councilors and Westminster Employees base decisions on
newspaper reports as a matter of course?

[Your answer] This is not a request for recorded information. For
the purposes of section 1 (4) of the Act, this information is not
held by the Council and we are, therefore, unable to provide it.

Could I clarify, if councilors and WCC employees are allowed to use
newspaper reports as 'evidence' to base their decisions on, what
council process is used and what regulations (if any) apply? In
essence, are there are regulations to stop WCC officers and
councilors using unproven information on which they base policy
affecting their electorate, visitors and ratepayers?

For this specific case, you have stated that WCC did not know how
much money went missing from parking meters. If that is the case,
why did Danny Chalkley quote a specific amount and why was this
'unknown' amount allowed to influence policy and fiscal
projections? How can Mr Chalkley say his actions 'saved' ratepayers
specific amounts on money when you advise these amounts are
unknown?

4.

[I asked] What overarching reasons were applied to make a decision
to push forward with a [cashless parking] system?

The figures in support of the cashless parking system are available
on the internet, as referenced in your original request.

Additionally, a statement of decision, which is available on the
Westminster website, provides the reasons for implementing a pilot
of the cashless parking system:

Your answer doesn't give the location, on the internet, of the
statement of decision, would you be so kind as to give me the
location please?

Yours sincerely,

Pors Tonith

Link to this

From: FOI
Westminster City Council

Dear Mr Tonith,

Thank you for your email below.

Your queries under point 3 are additional to those raised in your original
request, and as a result I have logged these as a new request. You will
receive an automatic acknowledgement under a separate cover.

Under point 4 you state that I did not provide the location of the
Statement of Decision on the internet. I included a link to the relevant
web page in my response, and while this does not appear in the HTML
version of my response when published on the What do they know website, it
is included in the word version which is available for download on the
same page.

Yours sincerely,

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

show quoted sections

Link to this

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: Pors Tonith
Address: See email address
Email: [FOI #23957 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: [I asked] Do councilors and Westminster Employees
base decisions on
newspaper reports as a matter of course?

[Your answer] This is not a request for recorded information. For
the purposes of section 1 (4) of the Act, this information is not
held by the Council and we are, therefore, unable to provide it.

Could I clarify, if councilors and WCC employees are allowed to use
newspaper reports as 'evidence' to base their decisions on, what
council process is used and what regulations (if any) apply? In
essence, are there are regulations to stop WCC officers and
councilors using unproven information on which they base policy
affecting their electorate, visitors and ratepayers?

For this specific case, you have stated that WCC did not know how
much money went missing from parking meters. If that is the case,
why did Danny Chalkley quote a specific amount and why was this
'unknown' amount allowed to influence policy and fiscal
projections? How can Mr Chalkley say his actions 'saved' ratepayers
specific amounts on money when you advise these amounts are
unknown?

FOI Reference Number: 4848
Target Completion Date: 05/02/2010

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

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI
Westminster City Council


Attachment FOI Response Letter Tonith FOI 4848.doc
135K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Tonith,

Thank you for your recent request to the Council submitted under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please find our response attached.

<<FOI Response Letter - Tonith FOI 4848.doc>>

Yours sincerely,

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

show quoted sections

References

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

Link to this

From: Pors Tonith

Dear Tanya,

I can't take that answer I'm afraid, in this document :

http://www3.westminster.gov.uk/newcsu/Ca...

Section 1 (Background), paragraph 2 clearly states that:

"Since 2004, the theft of cash from equipment has increased to a
significant level primarily in relation to Parking Meters where the
estimated weekly loss due to theft in the latter part of 2006 rose
as high as Ł100K per week. The recent introduction of new locks for
Parking Meters has abated this loss, but possibly only temporarily
as there is already evidence of thieves attempting to
reverse-manufacture keys for the new locks from an increasing
number of stolen heads. Hence the need remains to replace Parking
Meters with alternative secure equipment or cashless technologies
as soon as possible."

And Section 2 (Proposal), paragraph 1 ststes:

"The need to replace the remaining meter stock is becoming more
urgent, with the significant increase in theft and probable
increase in compromise of newly installed locks. Driving towards
the reduction/elimination of cash on the street seems the logical
approach as it reduces the potential for theft, lowers maintenance
and cash collection costs and seems acceptable with our customers.
Simply replacing meters with Pay & Display machines that still
accept cash is likely to only create a greater target for theft on
these types of machines instead."

And section 5 (Financial Implications), paragraph 1 states:

"The saving from reduced theft from meters – the business case
assumes a reduction in theft of Ł25k per week. This is a lot less
than the level experienced in 2006/07 and has been reduced by the
assessed savings that can be achieved simply through improved meter
lock security (without the required investment in cashless
parking). If it is assumed that by merely changing the meter locks
the impact on theft is greater then the saving from moving to
cashless reduces accordingly. If the cashless saving were reduced
to, say Ł15k per week then the payback on the cashless investment
stretches to 7 years."

The document also refers to:

1. Cabinet Member Report for development trial of new Pay & Display
Equipment

* Decision 8th December 2005 – “Parking Equipment Supply Contract –
Tender Evaluation Result”.

2. Cabinet Member Report for approval of Pay By Phone Pilot

* Decision 3rd August 2006 – “Worksmart - Cashless Parking Pilot
Schemes”.

3. Cabinet Member Report for approval of Motorcycle Parking
Strategy

* Decision 8th January 2007 – “Motorcycle Parking Strategy”

Am I to understand that all these documents, direct quotes of cash
savings due to theft, tender exercises, business cases, estimated
theft rates and performance measures are built on nothing tangible
at all?

Please, specifics are mentioned above so may we have the evidence
that these decisions affecting the public were made on?

Yours sincerely,

Pors Tonith

Link to this

From: FOI
Westminster City Council

Dear Mr Tonith

Thank you for your recent email to the Council in which you expressed dissatisfaction with our response. I am treating this as a request for an internal review and aim to respond to you within 10 working days.

Should you have any queries, please contact me at the address above

Yours sincerely

Catherine Preston
Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London
NW8 8EA
Tel: 020 7641 3332
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Pors Tonith

Dear Westminster City Council,

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 'Albanian Mafia and Cash
Services'.

Internal Review requested and received by WCC as below:

FOI
Westminster City Council

24 February 2010

Dear Mr Tonith

Thank you for your recent email to the Council in which you
expressed dissatisfaction with our response. I am treating this as
a request for an internal review and aim to respond to you within
10 working days.

Should you have any queries, please contact me at the address above

Yours sincerely

Catherine Preston
Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London
NW8 8EA
Tel: 020 7641 3332
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]

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

Yours faithfully,

Pors Tonith

Link to this

From: FOI
Westminster City Council


Attachment Response to Request for Internal Review Tonith FOI 4848.doc
146K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Tonith

Please find attached the council's response to your recent email. As this was expressing dissatisfaction with our response, I have treated this as a request for internal review

Yours sincerely

Catherine Preston
Knowledge and Information Management Team
Information Services
Westminster City Council
101 Orchardson Street
London
NW8 8EA
Tel: 020 7641 3332
Fax: 020 7641 2872
Email: [Westminster City Council request email]

show quoted sections

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Westminster City Council only:

Follow this request

There is 1 person following this request

Offensive? Unsuitable?

Requests for personal information and vexatious requests are not considered valid for FOI purposes (read more).

If you believe this request is not suitable, you can report it for attention by the site administrators

Report this request

Act on what you've learnt

Similar requests

More similar requests

Event history details

Are you the owner of any commercial copyright on this page?