Briefing notes provided to senior councillors on Fernbank Farm

Ian Lewis made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please provide a copy of the briefing note provided to senior councillors by directors on the issues surrounding the eviction of the tenants of Fernbank Farm. I understand the briefing note was not classified as 'Exempt' or marked as such when provided.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Lewis

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Can you please advise when a response to this request will be provided?

Yours faithfully,

Ian Lewis

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please advise when this request will be answered....

Yours faithfully,

Ian Lewis

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon

Thank you for your request for information which has been facilitated
under Environmental Information Regulations 2004 legislation (EIR); the
Council apologises for the delay in responding to you.  Additional
information on Environmental Information is provided at the link below.



The Council is unable to disclose the information you have requested and
has relied on the exception contained within regulation 12 (4)(e) –
Internal Communications.

 The information in question is an internal communication which was
prepared after internal deliberation and decision making had taken place.
The Council needs to be able to rely on having a “private thinking space”
in order for officers and/or members to deliberate and exchange views on
issues of the day.

This exception requires me to consider the Public Interest Test and I have
weighed up the factors for and against disclosure and these are below:-


  Public interest factors in favour of maintaining the exception


o Disclosure would restrict the free and frank exchanges of views.
o Disclosure would stifle deliberation and could lead to poorer decision
o Disclosure would have a potential detrimental effect on future
internal meetings.  


Public interest factors in favour of disclosure

o Transparency in disclosure of the content of the briefing paper.


I consider that the public interest test in maintaining the exception
outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the information in


You have the right to request an Internal Review of the refusal to
disclose the information requested and this should be emailed to
[2][email address]

You also have the right to complain to the information commissioner if you
are dissatisfied with the results of any internal review, contact details
are [3]



Yours Sincerely

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Information & Central Services

Transformation & Resources Department

Wallasey Town Hall

Brighton Street



CH44 8ED 


This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.





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ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

So two months to say no.

Officer 1: I've got an idea forming in my head.
Officer 2: You haven't had an idea for thousands of years.
Officer 1: Let's tell Ian Lewis no.
Officer 2: What the hell are you talking about?
Officer 1: Let's tell Ian Lewis no.
Officer 2: We've got to give him a reason...
Officer 1: Tell him I need my own "private thinking space".
Officer 2: That sounds like a good idea.
Officer 1: Yeah.

Dear Corrin, Jane,

In that case, can you please advise whether the briefing notes provided to the Party Leaders were all the same or were the different versions for each Leader?

Yours sincerely,

Ian Lewis

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

I hope this helps Ian Lewis - received yesterday:

Supplementary question

Answer to original question and supplementary

Eviction notice and letter should've been signed off (normally) by Bill Norman who was suspended. As he was suspended should have been Surjit Tour instead. However instead some junior officers signed off on things (which strictly speaking they shouldn't have).

Existing case law (I can provide examples) shows that when a specific function (in this case eviction notices and renegotiating leases) is given to a specific officer/s to do and other officers do it instead then it's deemed to be unlawful/maladministration. I don't agree entirely with the answer Cllr Jones has given, but he has to rely to what he's told by officers!

The signatures are "genuine" in that one is of a former employee. The problem is it's the wrong person doing the signing! Well that's my reading of it anyway, other people's opinion may be different!

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Ignore the second link, I linked to the eviction notice (unredacted) by mistake then had to delete it as it contains a home address.

Here's the link to the answer:

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()