Blackstone, minutes of meetings, you said there was none, unless I misunderstood

Sheila Oliver made this Freedom of Information request to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Not Ms Naven.

You replied before indicating there were no minutes of any meetings regarding the major Blackstone Development:-

http://democracy.stockport.gov.uk/ieList...

Perhaps I have misunderstood your reply but all I could find in what you sent me were a few duplicate agendas.

Would you please check once more to see if you can find anything written at all about this site development, which is gassing 74.4%v/v methane, and in contamination documents mysteriously sent to me after being labouriously photocopied and posted at great expense, explosion risk was mentioned as a distict possibility. It beggars belief that nothing has been committed to paper and there are no emails or minutes, or memos, or letters regarding this large development.

When I have your response clarifying this matter, I shall raise it publicly with Eric Pickles, who is advocating changes to the planning system which is enraging not only the Daily Telegraph but most people who vote. If there can't even be any transparency in Coalition Minister Andrew Stunell's own constituency by his political cohorts even before the watering down of the planning process, well, we are all doomed, doomed.

So, can you find anything at all except a few duplicate agendas regarding this presumably multi-million pound development? When I have your reply I shall draw it to the attention of Mr Pickles and the Daily Telegraph.

With very warmest best wishes

Sheila

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mrs Oliver,

 

I am writing in response to your request for information below which has
been given reference FOI 5155.

 

You have made a number of previous requests about this issue, which
specifically asked for agendas and minutes of meetings with proposed
developers. An example of such a request and our response stating that you
have already been provided with all the information we hold regarding
meetings with proposed developers is available at the link below and was
dealt with under reference FOI 4916:

 

[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

 

It would appear from your email below, where you have included a link to
an agenda for a Council meeting, that you are now asking for information
held by the Council about any meetings whatsoever. If this is the case,
please clarify this and confirm the specific information you are
requesting. Once we receive this clarification, we will respond within 20
working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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Dear FOI Officer,

That's fine. I really couldn't believe there was such a paucity of information on such an important development. This is Stockport so it was perfectly feasible that everything would be kept secret, as with the toxic waste dump school, but I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond in case I had got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

So, for a multi-million pound project there are about four almost identical meeting agendas but no outcomes.
I shall raise the matter with the Daily Telegraph. If this is what is going on in planning currently, the rules most definitely shouldn't be relaxed even further.

74.4%v/v methane and an explosion risk, yet no-one has actually discussed anything - only in Stockport could that sort of happen.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Oliver

alan m dransfield (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Mrs Oliver, I would have envisaged that the SBC would hold some records of ALL their landfill sites for the past 15/20 years??!!
You might want to ask them for copies of their records via the FOI Act.

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mrs Oliver,

 

Further to your email below (ref 5155), you do not appear to have provided
the requested clarification. Are you now withdrawing this request? If so,
please confirm this. If not, please clarify the types of meetings you are
requesting information about, as per our previous email.

 

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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Dear FOI Officer,

Well, I couldn't see any documents about the high levels of methane or CO2 being discussed with the developers.

What would be best is if I come to your premises and read the files of the top person in charge of this project - whether that is Steve Burns or someone junior to him - whatever. Knowing Mr Burns I am sure there will be custard creams.

I wanted to do this with the toxic waste dump school. I had done it in, I think, October 2005. But Andrew Webb, Director of Children and Young Peoples Services, said it would take 84 hours at £25 per hour to read and redact the files to remove all the secrets regarding this primary school before I could see the documents - plus £300 photocopying costs - request refused to me and anyone else in the World. You have made out my request to be vexatious on grounds of cost. It would have cost nothing to simply read through the documents, which is what I wanted to do. I had done that previously with the Tesco they built 20% too big and the bypass. My way of doing it would have and did cost nothing. Your way is ridiculous.

So, how about simply letting me come and read the relevant files?

I don't know, senior council officers make things expensive when there is a simple and cheap way of doing things, and then blame the council taxpayer.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Oliver

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mrs Oliver,

 

Regarding your email below (ref 5155) please clarify the information you
are requesting. Are you now asking to come to view every piece of
information the Council holds about this project? Are you asking to view
only the information held by the project manager or similar?

 

Please clarify this so we can address your request. Once we receive
clarification, we will respond within 20 working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

 

     Dear FOI Officer,

    

     Well, I couldn't see any documents about the high levels of methane

     or CO2 being discussed with the developers.

    

     What would be best is if I come to your premises and read the files

     of the top person in charge of this project - whether that is Steve

     Burns or someone junior to him - whatever. Knowing Mr Burns I am

     sure there will be custard creams.

    

     I wanted to do this with the toxic waste dump school. I had done it

     in, I think, October 2005. But Andrew Webb, Director of Children

     and Young Peoples Services, said it would take 84 hours at £25 per

     hour to read and redact the files to remove all the secrets

     regarding this primary school before I could see the documents -

     plus £300 photocopying costs - request refused to me and anyone

     else in the World. You have made out my request to be vexatious on

     grounds of cost. It would have cost nothing to simply read through

     the documents, which is what I wanted to do. I had done that

     previously with the Tesco they built 20% too big and the bypass. My

     way of doing it would have and did cost nothing. Your way is

     ridiculous.

    

     So, how about simply letting me come and read the relevant files?

    

     I don't know, senior council officers make things expensive when

     there is a simple and cheap way of doing things, and then blame the

     council taxpayer.

    

     Yours sincerely,

    

     Sheila Oliver

    

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Dear FOI Officer,

I would like to come and see something - anything about this project. I used to come and be given a massive pile of files and plough through them (I accept now that not everything is in paper copy form). Mr Andrew Webb stopped me doing that for the toxic waste dump school. At that time all the files were all in one place because I had read them a few months earlier.

It seems to me it is a simpler and cheaper way of dealing with matters - to come to your office and read through what you have. If there are deliberate concealments, these usually show up anyway.

I am having to include the allegation that I waste public money in my defamation case against senior council officers and Executive councillors, because had Mr Webb let me read the documents, there would have been no cost. Anyway, he was being econonomical with the truth, because no way would it take 84 hours for someone to read through the documents removing all the secrets for a primary school!!! Who does he think he is kidding, and I have evidence that I had already seen the documents and they were all in one place.

I intend to give the defamation damages to the parents of autistic children in the town, who are really being stitched up by this council, but that is a story for another time.

So, let me come and see what you have - quite simple. The contract is awarded now so I assume there can be no commercial confidentiality.

We are supposed to look under the bonnet of local councils and be armchair auditors. Fat chance with Stockport Council and the ueber-secretive LibDems in control. I wonder what there is to hide, I really do.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Oliver