Bechtel report re HS2

Paul Thornton made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Manchester City Council,

I note the article from the Manchester Evening News that is accessible at the following link:

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/...

The article quotes from a report commissioned by the council from engineering company Bechtel. Please provide the information contained in that report

Please note this request falls under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Dr Thornton
Re: Request for Information - Reference No:  STR / BLAGK6
Thank you for your request for information received by Manchester City
Council on 28 January 2020.
Please note that it may take up to 20 working days ( 26 February 2020) for
the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.   
If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will
be notified and kept informed. 
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Yours sincerely
Jerry Frys
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
Email:  [1][MCC request email]
Website:  [2]www.manchester.gov.uk

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Persephone Galanis, Manchester City Council

Dear Dr Thornton,

 

Re: Your request for information – Environmental Information Regulations

Thank you for your email dated 28 January 2020, which was received on 28
January 2020.

 

We are dealing with your request under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIR). 

The Council wants to be as open as possible in answering requests, and to
help people obtain the information they are looking for. 

The best way that we can help you is therefore to ask you to consider
whether you could narrow down your request, to focus on the precise
information that you are seeking. We would be grateful if you could
explain more precisely which elements of the report you are looking for,
which are not already contained in the news article referred to in your
original request.

You might also wish to refer to the Information Commissioner’s website
for assistance when considering narrowing or clarifying your request:

[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

If you are unable or unwilling to narrow down your request we will, of
course, consider it in accordance with our obligations under the EIR
however we wanted to give you an opportunity to reconsider your request
and describe more precisely the information you wish to have.

We would ask that you please provide this information to us within 5
working days (which is 12 February 2020). You may provide information in
writing, including by email or by telephone using the contact details
provided at the top of this letter.

If we do not receive a response from you by that date, we shall presume
that you do not wish to narrow your request and will proceed on the basis
of the request as set out in your correspondence dated 28 January 2020. 
We will consider your request under the EIR, but should point out that
your request may be refused on the grounds that it is manifestly
unreasonable.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Persephone Galanis
Policy Officer
City Centre Growth & Regeneration Team
Growth & Development Directorate
Manchester City Council
phone: 0161 234 3463 | internal: 33 463 | mobile: 07971 384 471
email: [2][email address]
web: [3]http://www.manchester.gov.uk
Please note: I attend university every Tuesday so there may be a delay in
responding to emails on this day

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References

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1. https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/
4. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/emaildiscla...
5. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy

Ms Persephone Galanis
Policy Officer
City Centre Growth & Regeneration Team
Growth & Development Directorate
Manchester City Council

Dear Ms Galanis,

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: STR / BLAGK6

Thankyou for your email of the 5th February 2020. I am however somewhat baffled by this initial response. I note from other contemporaneous responses to information requests sent by Manchester City Council on the whatdotheyknow.com website that the form of words that you have adopted is not a standard response. But you have provided no clarification of why you have chosen to respond in this manner in this particular case.

The response threatens an intention to withhold the information requested by claiming the engagement of EIR section 12(4)(b) (only). I can see no possible grounds for the engagement of that section in respect of this request. The information is contained in a single completed report, which should be readily located. It is likely to be available in a wholly electronic format. You may find it helpful to review the ICO guidance in this regard that is at this link

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

If it is the case that you have prejudged the request and do intend to claim the engagement of EIR12(4)(b), then you should state the full grounds for this explicitly, including your consideration of the public interest, without further delay. In such circumstances, under EIR9 obligations you should also provide me with assistance of sufficient clarity. A breakdown of the nature and scale of the components of the information would be required. Without that, I have no descriptors that would enable me to focus my request, should that be genuinely necessary.
https://ico.org.uk/media/2013834/eir-adv...

To avoid further delay and the burden of further appeals, could I suggest that, preferably, you send me the report in full by return?

Failing that, please send me a copy of the report’s own summary, the content list and the page index by return. I will consider these. If it appears appropriate, I shall provide a more focused request as soon as I am able.

Otherwise, unless and until I respond to the contrary, and without waiting for my further deliberations, you should assume that I am not willing to remove sections of the report from the scope of my request. The public interest in publication of the report in full is overwhelming given the enormous expenditure on the proposals and the importance of good rail developments in the north.

Finally, before withholding the information further you should also consider whether, as seems likely, publication is also required under The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/…) and The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/2089). National guidance in respect of those obligations is on line.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

Persephone Galanis, Manchester City Council

I am now out of the office. I will return on Wednesday 12 February 2020.
I will respond to any emails on my return. If your email is urgent, please
email [1][email address], or,
[2][email address]
Many thanks,
Persephone

--
Persephone Galanis
Policy Officer
City Centre Growth & Regeneration Team
Growth & Development Directorate
Manchester City Council
phone: 0161 234 3463 | internal: 33 463 | mobile: 07971 384 471
email: [3][email address]
web: [4]http://www.manchester.gov.uk
Please note: I attend university every Tuesday so there may be a delay in
responding to emails on this day

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/
5. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/emaildiscla...
6. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy

FOI Department
Manchester City Council,

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: STR / BLAGK6

I have received an out of office message from your colleague Persephone Galanis in response to an email just sent. This confirms that she is away until the 12th February 2020. The full exchange is on line here;

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/6...

This matter is urgent and could be progressed in her absence. I would be grateful for your assistance in expediting the correct response.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Dr Thornton
I refer to your response for clarification.
I have passed this to the relevant service to action in the absence of Ms
Galanis.
Kindest regards,

Jerry Frys

Legal Officer
Democratic Services Legal Team
Manchester City Council
Legal Services
PO Box 532 Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA

External :0161 953 8404
Internal: 48404
informationcompliance[1]@manchester.gov.uk

[2]www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Information Compliance,

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: STR / BLAGK6

I am concerned not to have received a substantive response to my email of the 6th February. I would be grateful if this could be prioritized.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

Liam Crichlow, Manchester City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton,
Please find attached a response to your request for information
(ref STR/BLAGK6). Should you encounter any issues accessing either of the
attached files, please let me know.
Kind regards
Liam Crichlow | Development Coordinator

City Centre Growth & Regeneration | Growth & Development

Manchester City Council

 

0161 234 3611| 07788978814 | [1][email address]

 

 [2]www.manchester.gov.uk | Twitter:
@ManCityCouncil | [3]www.linkedin.com/in/liamcrichlow

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/
3. http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamcrichlow
4. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/emaildiscla...
5. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy