Dear Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council,

Apologies for yet another FOI. If you were a more open and transparent organisation I wouldn't have to do this.

Please provide me with the following:

1) Amount paid - expressed in pounds and pence - by Asons to the Council for Chelsea sale of Claremont Street.
2) Amount paid - expressed in pounds and pence - by the council to Asons solicitors for the repurchase of the Clarance Street site in 2016
3) Amount paid - expressed in pounds and pence - by the current Clarance Street land owner to the council for the purchase of Clarance Street site for the Skoda development
4) Amount spent - in pounds and pence - by the Council on anything relating to the Clarance Street site (maintained, security, legal costs, building costs etc) Since repurchase of the land from Asons.
5) Amount spent on the site currently occupied by the Wayne Walkers store on Bradshawgate and date that the sale was finalised. Please also state If any Compulsory Purchase Orders were used and if so when these were issued.

6) please provide me the total cost to the council of all FOIs received between January 1st 2016 and Jan 1st 2017.

Yours faithfully,

Kevin Walsh

Corporate Information Unit, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear Mr Walsh

I acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on 27/01/2017 00:00:00

This request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and may take up to 20 working days to be processed (although we will
endeavour to provide the information as quickly as possible).

Please be advised that if an exemption applies to the information that you
have requested, the statutory period may be exceeded in accordance with
the provisions of the act.

If a charge is applicable to your request, we will advise you of this in
due course.

Please retain the reference number RFI 8808 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many Thanks

Freedom of Information Team

This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations. This footnote also confirms that
this e-mail message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses
currently known to Bolton Council. However, the recipient is responsible
for virus-checking before opening this message and any attachment. Unless
expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this message are
those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect the views
of Bolton Council. http://www.bolton.gov.uk

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Walsh

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for your request for information held by Bolton Council received
at this office on 27^th January 2017.

 

You requested:

 

1) Amount paid - expressed in pounds and pence - by Asons to the Council
for Chelsea sale of Claremont Street.

Unfortunately from your recent correspondence we are unable to identify
the information you have requested above and we require some further
details from you in order to progress your request. In particular, you
mention both “Claremont Street” which we can find no records for.

Furthermore, you also talk of a “Chelsea sale”. Could you please describe
what exactly you mean by this as this is not a term that we are familiar
with.

 

Should you have any queries or require any further advice or assistance in
making your request, please contact [1][email address]

 

If no clarification is received within three months of the date of this
letter, we will assume that you have decided not to pursue this request
for information and we will close the request.

 

2) Amount paid - expressed in pounds and pence - by the council to Asons
solicitors for the repurchase of the Clarance Street site in 2016

Bolton Council has considered this part of your request and feels that the
information you requested is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).  Section 17 of the Act provides that
when refusing a request, Bolton Council must provide a notice which (a)
states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question, and (c) states
(if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

 

In this case, we consider that the exemption under section 21(1) of the
Act applies.  Section 21(1) provides an exemption where the information is
reasonably accessible by other means.

 

Details of land sales are available by application to the Land Registry
and we ordinarily consider that the exemption under Section 21 of the Act
is applied to this information.

 

The Land Registry website can be accessed using the following link:

[2]http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/

 

In accordance with the Act, this email constitutes a Refusal Notice for
this part of your request.

 

3) Amount paid  - expressed in pounds and pence - by the current Clarance
Street land owner to the council for the purchase of Clarance Street site
for the Skoda development

This is information not held as the land is still within the ownership of
the Council as a sale is not yet finalised. Once the sale is completed the
information will be available from the Land Registry via the above link

 

4) Amount spent - in pounds and pence - by the Council on anything
relating to the Clarance Street site (maintained, security, legal costs,
building costs etc) Since repurchase of the land from Asons.

No expense incurred.

 

5) Amount spent on the site currently occupied by the Wayne Walkers store
on Bradshawgate and date that the sale was finalised. Please also state If
any Compulsory Purchase Orders were used and if so when these were issued.

The sale was completed on the 31/1/17 and no Compulsory Purchase Order was
used.

 

With regards to the amount paid Bolton Council has considered this part of
your request and feels that the information you requested is exempt from
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).  Section
17 of the Act provides that when refusing a request, Bolton Council must
provide a notice which (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption
in question, and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why
the exemption applies.

 

In this case, we consider that the exemption under section 21(1) of the
Act applies.  Section 21(1) provides an exemption where the information is
reasonably accessible by other means.

 

Details of land sales are available by application to the Land Registry
and we ordinarily consider that the exemption under Section 21 of the Act
is applied to this information.

 

The Land Registry website can be accessed using the following link:

[3]http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/

 

In accordance with the Act, this email constitutes a Refusal Notice for
this part of your request.

 

6) please provide me the total cost to the council of all FOIs received
between January 1st 2016 and Jan 1st 2017.

Under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, any person
making a request for information to a public authority is entitled to be
informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information
of the description specified in the request, and if that is the case, to
have that information communicated to them.

 

With regard to the above information this is not held by Bolton Council.

 

The relevant guidance from The Information Commissioner’s Office states:

 

The FOIA and the EIR apply to information held by public authorities. They
do not have to create new information to respond to requests. A public
authority is not creating new information where:

 

• it presents information it holds in the form of a list or schedule;

• compiling an answer to a request involves simple manual manipulation of
information held in files; or,

• it extracts information from an electronic database by searching it in
the form of a query.

 

Section 11 FOIA requires a public authority to provide information in the
manner requested if this is reasonably practicable.

 

If extracting the information relevant to the request requires a high
level of skill and judgement, this would amount to creating new
information not already held.

 

In compiling information from records that need to be examined manually,
the complexity of the calculation is a factor to take into account when
considering whether information is held.

 

Whilst co-ordinating a response to a Freedom of Information request is led
by the Corporate Information Unit a large proportion of the work is
undertaken across other Departments and Services within the Authority with
which the information sits. The task of locating and retrieving this may
be carried out by multiple members of staff on varying grades. We cannot
quantify an exact total cost of replying to requests as we do not record
the member of staff by grade and time spent on the request.

 

We are therefore of the opinion that this is information not held and if
we were to try and provide an answer we would actually be creating new
(and potentially inaccurate) information because we don’t hold information
in the format that is being asked for. This could require a degree of
judgement and manual intervention that goes beyond something you could
describe as simple, and would therefore fall outside of the ICO guidance.

 

 

Should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal to:

The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email:  [4][email address]

 

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may
wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

[5]www.ico.gov.uk

Tel: 01625 545700, Fax: 01625 524510

 

Should you have any queries, please contact [6][email address]

 

Yours sincerely,

 

The Corporate Information Unit

[7][email address]

[8]www.bolton.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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