Approval by SCC for Amey operations prior to 7am to remove "tactical components" (tree branches overextending private property)

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Sheffield City Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

Thank you for your response (if late), regarding the internal review of my FOI request as follows - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you will appreciate, your response raises further questions that require answering in order to clarify and resolve the facts of the matter.

Please provide any and all recorded information related in any way to discussions and communications between members, officers, Amey and any other contractors involved with “pruning” that commenced prior to 7.00 am.

In the link above you refer to a press release in “late Nov 2017”, please provide any and all recorded information related to this press release, this would include any communications and discussions, etc. related to the generation of this press release. Please note, I have searched for such a press release and have not found one, I would appreciate details and confirmation of its existence.

Please provide all recorded information and communications relied upon and/or associated in anyway with your search and the generation of both your initial response and subsequent internal review of the FOI request quoted above.

Please provide SCC’s technical definition of the term ‘pruning’ as used in your response to me above. It would seem odd that trees listed for felling should need ‘pruning’. For your reference South Yorkshire Police’s ‘1st Silver Command planning meeting’ which was attended and briefed by Sheffield City Council and Amey together with other ‘partners’, specifically refer to these legally questionable operations prior to 7am as removing “tactical components” rather than “pruning”.

Did Sheffield City Council ever seek to confirm with Amey whether ‘oversail permission’ should be sought when operating above private property?

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Buxton

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr. Buxton,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information relating to discussions
related to tree pruning and information about a November 2017 press
release which we received on 21/10/19.

 

This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request, and will be
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act.  The reference number for
your request can be found above.

 

The Freedom of Information Act states that we must respond to you within
20 working days, therefore, you should expect to hear a response from us
by 18/11/19.

 

In the meantime, if you have any queries please, contact us at the email
address below.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sheffield City Council

PO Box 1283

Sheffield, S1 1UJ

Email: [1][Sheffield City Council request email]

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

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Dear FOI,

This Information request is now overdue, please could you update me.

Many thanks,
Mr. Buxton

Dear FOI,
An answer to this information request was due on the 18th November and as such is considerably overdue.
Please could you update me as to its status.

In anticitation of a full, coherent and transparent response.
Yours sincerely,

Mr. Buxton

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr. Buxton,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information relating to discussions
about tree pruning and information about a November 2017 press release,
which we received on 21/10/2019. We apologise for missing the deadline to
respond.

 

Please find below Sheffield City Council’s (SCC) response to your request:

 

(1) Please provide any and all recorded information related in any way to
discussions and communications between members, officers, Amey and any
other contractors involved with “pruning” that commenced prior to 7.00 am.

 

SCC does not hold any recorded information specific to the question. There
are emails supplied in response to question (2) that led to the production
of a press release announcing the change to working earlier than 7:00am
that have connection to the issue.

 

(2) In the link
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

you refer to a press release in “late Nov 2017”, please provide any and
all recorded information related to this press release, this would include
any communications and discussions, etc. related to the generation of this
press release. Please note, I have searched for such a press release and
have not found one, I would appreciate details and confirmation of its
existence.

 

Please find attached the file labelled “Response to Question 2” in
relation to the preparation of a press release issued by SCC announcing
the change to working hours. We cannot guarantee that the press release
we’ve supplied was the final version but it is most likely. The attached
article from the Yorkshire Post on the 12th December 2017 refers to the
press release (highlighted in yellow).

 

We are withholding one email thread from 27 November 2017 under Regulation
12(4)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 – disclosure of
internal communications. The public interest in disclosing the information
is that it promotes openness and transparency. The public interest in
withholding the information is that officers should have a “safe space” in
which to discuss ideas freely. On balance, we believe that it is in the
public interest not to disclose the email.

 

We have redacted personal data, which is exempt information under
Regulation 13(1) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

(3) Please provide all recorded information and communications relied upon
and/or associated  in anyway with your search and the generation of both
your initial response and subsequent internal review of the FOI request
quoted above.

 

Please see attached “Response to Question 3” emails relating to draft
preparation work in relation to FOI 1109 and 669. We have redacted
personal data, which is exempt information under Regulation 13(1) of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

(4) Please provide SCC’s technical definition of the term ‘pruning’ as
used in your response to me above. It would seem odd that trees listed for
felling should need ‘pruning’. For your reference South Yorkshire Police’s
‘1st Silver Command planning meeting’ which was attended and briefed by
Sheffield City Council and  Amey together with other ‘partners’,
specifically refer to these legally questionable operations prior to 7am
as removing “tactical components” rather than “pruning”.

 

We do not hold a recorded definition of pruning. However, we regard
pruning to be the removal of unwanted branches.

 

(5) Did Sheffield City Council ever seek to confirm with Amey whether
‘oversail permission’ should be sought when operating above private
property?

The Streets Ahead contract is for Amey to deliver and not for SCC to
instruct them on how to deliver it. The council did obtain its own legal
advice about whether 'oversail permission’ was required and shared this
with Amey.

 

If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your
request, you are entitled to have this reviewed.  You can ask for an
internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing
[2][Sheffield City Council request email].  Internal review requests should be submitted
within 40 working days from the date of this response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you
can contact the Information Commissioners Office. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 0303
123 1113, or for further details see their website [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

Kind Regards,

 

Sheffield City Council

PO Box 1283

Sheffield, S1 1UJ

Email: [4][Sheffield City Council request email]

P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response, all be it considerably overdue and in contravention of applicable legislation.

Unfortunately I note that you've forgotten to attach any of the files to which you refer, please could you supply me with these on 2nd December.

Thank you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Buxton

FOI, Sheffield City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Buxton,

I apologise that the attachments were not included in the original response. Please find them now attached.

Kind regards
Holly

Holly McCready
Access to Information Officer
Information Management Team
Business Change and Information Solutions (BCIS)
Resources Portfolio, Sheffield City Council
Email: [email address]
Postal Address: Sheffield City Council, PO Box 1283, Sheffield S1 1UJ

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for providing the overdue files I finally received on 2nd December in response to the FOI request I submitted on 21st October.

Please could you specify which exemption you have invoked to justify the redaction of the entire email from Cllr Lodge to Paul Billington et al, dated 29th November 2017, reference 'Reassurance from SCC'?

Please also explain your justification in redacting the names of some council officers from the emails provided whilst other officers remain visible.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Buxton

Dear FOI,

Please respond to the email I sent on 9th December 2019. I have quoted it below for your easy reference. -

"Thank you for providing the overdue files I finally received on 2nd December in response to the FOI request I submitted on 21st October.

Please could you specify which exemption you have invoked to justify the redaction of the entire email from Cllr Lodge to Paul Billington et al, dated 29th November 2017, reference 'Reassurance from SCC'?

Please also explain your justification in redacting the names of some council officers from the emails provided whilst other officers remain visible."

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Buxton