Business rates request

SIMON PHILLIPS made this Freedom of Information request to Blaby District Council

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Dear Blaby District Council,

Please can you send me non residential property data that includes the following:

Name of occupier
Address
Small business rates relief yes or no indicator
If they have received the central government covid19 grant yes or no indicator

Please do not redirect me to your business rates page that does not include the information I am requesting above.

Yours faithfully,

SIMON PHILLIPS

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

Dear Simon,

Freedom of Information Request – FOI-20-761

I acknowledge your request for information. Your request is now being considered and you will receive a response within 20 working days, as defined by the Act.This is subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.

** We are currently working with limited resources and therefore it may not be possible to respond within the usual timeframes, however we will do our best to respond as soon as possible **

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For more on how the Council handles requests, including where exemptions may apply or when fees are payable, please visit our website at: https://www.blaby.gov.uk/your-council/da....

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me quoting the above reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Emily Henderson
Information Governance Officer
Blaby District Council
[email address]

Telephone: 0116 272 7592
Visit Our Website: www.blaby.gov.uk

Please save paper and only print out what is necessary

Find out what level of service you are entitled to receive by viewing our Service Standards

To find out about how we use your personal information, please review our privacy notice.

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Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

Dear Simon,

Freedom of Information Request – FOI-20-761

I write in response to your request for information, which was received on 27th July 2020, and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).

I can confirm that we do hold the information requested. However, we consider the information requested to be exempt from disclosure on the basis of Section 31(1)(a) of the Act – Law Enforcement. We have reached this decision as we believe that the disclosure of grants would be likely to prejudice the prevention of detection of crime.

This exemption applies because releasing information relating businesses who were entitled to claim the grants, this could be used by malicious parties’ to fraudulently obtain funds.

The public interest test has been applied and the matters which were considered in applying the public interest test are as follows:

Factors in favour of disclosure:

Withholding the information could be perceived as the council attempting to retain monies that belong to the public; it is in the councils interests to be open and transparent in our use of public funds. It is also in the public interest to provide some transparency regarding the records we hold in respect of the administration of business rates. This could be of interest to the minority of people who are due a refund, but have somehow failed to receive the notifications that money is due to them.

Factors in favour of withholding the information:

There is a public interest in ensuring that monies from the public purse, such as rebates on business accounts, are not fraudulently claimed and also a public interest in in not making it easier for fraud to be committed.

The cost consequences of a successful fraudulent claim would remain liable to the legitimate rate payer for an equivalent amount, raising the prospect of paying out twice; and be faced with the cost of seeking to recover the funds wrongly paid to the fraudster. It would not be in the public interest to expose the information to such potential costs and expenses, given that they are funded from the public purse.

It is considered that the greater public interest lies in not providing this information. Although disclosing the information would allow the council to be open and transparent, there is greater public interest in ensuring money is not fraudulently claimed by malicious parties.

In accordance with Section 17 of the Act, this email is intended to act as a refusal notice.

Should you be unhappy with the way your request has been handled you can ask for an internal review by emailing: [email address]. The Senior Information Governance Officer will then arrange a review of your case.

If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. For more information, please visit: www.ico.org.uk.

If you have any further queries, please contact me quoting the above reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Emily Henderson
Information Governance Officer
Blaby District Council
[email address]

Telephone: 0116 272 7678
Visit Our Website: www.blaby.gov.uk

Please save paper and only print out what is necessary

Find out what level of service you are entitled to receive by viewing our Service Standards

To find out about how we use your personal information, please review our privacy notice.

show quoted sections