Amount of property guardianship in your borough

The request was successful.

Dear Greenwich Borough Council,

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, please could you
provide me with the below.

I am interested in the changes over time and would like to have information if possible from 2000-present.
Ideally, please could I have the amounts and costings for the years 2000/2001, 2009/2010 and 2017/2018.

1) The number of residential buildings owned, let or managed by
your council that are currently managed under property guardianship
schemes
2) The number of guardians living in the above properties
3) The number of non-residential buildings owned, let or managed by
your council that are currently managed under property guardianship
schemes
4) The number of guardians living in the above properties
5) The number of residential buildings currently managed by
property guardianship schemes in your area of which you are aware
6) The number of guardians living in the above properties
7) The number of non-residential buildings currently managed by
property guardianship schemes in your area of which you are aware
8) The number of guardians living in the above properties
9) The addresses of these properties and the company names of the
respective property guardianship schemes.
10) How much money has been paid by the council to property guardianship companies (or how much property guardianship companies have paid to the council if it is the other way around)
11) Why the council decided to use property guardianship companies.

Thank you very much for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Isabelle Ward

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Ward

Freedom of Information request: FOI-14948

Thank you for your request dated 14 May 2018

Your request will be answered by 12 June 2018

If you have any queries about this request, please contact me, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Jago
Head of Corporate Services
Corporate Services
Directorate of Central Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich

 020 8921 5044
 Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW
 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Ward

Freedom of Information request: FOI-14948

Thank you for your request dated 14 May 2018

Our response is as follows:

I am interested in the changes over time and would like to have information if possible from 2000-present.
Ideally, please could I have the amounts and costings for the years 2000/2001, 2009/2010 and 2017/2018.

For the years 2000-01 and 2009-10 for all questions are not applicable, as this preceded the use of guardians by the Royal Borough and we have no records of whether private companies or individuals are or were using guardian providers.

The first use of property guardians by the Royal Borough of Greenwich was in 2010-11 and we have provided information from this date onwards.

1) The number of residential buildings owned, let or managed by your council that are currently managed under property guardianship schemes

54

2) The number of guardians living in the above properties

81

3) The number of non-residential buildings owned, let or managed by your council that are currently managed under property guardianship schemes

2

4) The number of guardians living in the above properties

4

5) The number of residential buildings currently managed by property guardianship schemes in your area of which you are aware

The Council do not hold this information

6) The number of guardians living in the above properties

The Council do not hold this information.

7) The number of non-residential buildings currently managed by property guardianship schemes in your area of which you are aware

The Council do not hold this information

8) The number of guardians living in the above properties

The Council do not hold this information

9) The addresses of these properties and the company names of the respective property guardianship schemes.

The company name of the property guardianship scheme is Global Guardians Management Ltd.
I can confirm that the Council holds the addresses of properties occupied by property guardians within the borough.

However, this information is exempt under section 31(1)(a) of the Act. Information is exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice “The prevention or detection of crime”.

We consider that by putting this information into the public domain it is likely to increase the level of break-ins and metal thefts from empty properties in the Borough. This could also lead to an increase in criminal activity as well as endangering the safety of council tenants and residents who reside in neighbouring properties.

Section 31(1)(a) is a qualified exemption and we have considered the public interest test in accordance with section 2(1)(b) of the Act.

“In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the public authority holds the information”.

We have considered all the factors in favour of disclosure and they are:-

• Placing the requested information would assist the general public interest in openness, an important aspect of which includes increasing public debate concerning empty properties.

• There is a public interest in public authorities being accountable and transparent. It would assist the general public in understanding how the Council uses its resources it decision in relation to its Housing Stock.

The factors that weigh in favour of maintaining the exemption are:-

• That disclosure of this information into the public domain could increase the likelihood of break-ins to the Council’s housing stock and other properties within the Borough.

If this happened, it is likely that the residents in close proximity could be under threat because a crime had been committed close to them. We expect residents to feel secure in their homes.

10) How much money has been paid by the council to property guardianship companies (or how much property guardianship companies have paid to the council if it is the other way around)

All the relationships that the Royal Borough has entered into with Property Guardian providers has been on a nil-fee basis, so no money has been paid by the Council to property guardianship companies. The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been in receipt of a Revenue Stream of £2,500pcm since October 2013

11) Why the council decided to use property guardianship companies.

In order to prevent crime and safeguard the properties.

If you have any queries about this correspondence, please contact me, quoting the reference number above.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you can ask for an Internal Review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original request. If you wish to do this, please contact us, setting out why you are dissatisfied.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Internal Review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Internal Review procedure provided by the Council. You can contact the ICO by emailing [email address], or by post at Customer Contact, Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Jago
Head of Corporate Services
Corporate Services
Directorate of Central Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich

 020 8921 5044
 Room 20 Basement The Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6PW
 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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