Castlegate Conservation Area Consultation Cancellation

The request was refused by Sheffield City Council.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

Please provide any and all information held, associated with the Castlegate Conservation Area Consultation. Particularly (but not limited to) the cancellation of the consultation.

https://sheffield.citizenspace.com/place...

Yours faithfully,

Mark Smith

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mark Smith,

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to cancellation of the
Castlegate Conservation Area Consultation which we received on 14/10/2020.

 

This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request and will be dealt
with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The reference number for
your request can be found above.

 

Please be aware that Sheffield City Council’s response to the global
COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in resources across the Council,
meaning that we are currently dealing with a backlog of requests.

 

We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days, by
11/11/2020, but we kindly ask for your patience as we anticipate that
there may be a delay in some cases. Please do not hesitate to contact us
at the email address below if you have any queries.

 

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,

Just a polite reminder that this request is overdue. Are you able to give me any indication of a time frame in which it will be processed please?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Smith

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in our reply. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with a large backlog of cases and we are two staff members down due to long term illness, which means that it is taking longer than normal to respond to requests. I can confirm that we have now received the relevant documents from the City Growth department but we need to review these before we can disclose them. We will do this as soon as we have capacity to do so.

Kind regards,
Holly

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

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Dear FOI,

Just wondering if you could update me on the likely timeframe for a response to this request please?

Yours sincerely,

Mark Smith

Mark Smith left an annotation ()

Complaint raised with the ICO who asked Sheffield City Council on 29th April 2020 for a response within 10 workings days.
ICO Ref:
IC-98095-Y9Q3

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Smith

Please accept our apologies for the continued delay in responding to your request. We are in the process of collating our response but unfortunately we have been delayed due to the continuing effect of the pandemic on our resources, as well as staff illness and vacancies within our team.

We have asked the ICO for an extension until 28 May, although we hope to be able to respond sooner than that.

Kind regards

Robert Jackson
Access to Information Officer
Information Management Team
Business Change and Information Solutions
Resources Portfolio
Sheffield City Council

Email: [email address]; [Sheffield City Council request email];
[email address]; [email address]

Postal Address: Sheffield City Council, PO Box 1283 Sheffield S1 1UJ

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Dear FOI,

I note that your requested extension deadline of 28th May has passed and I still have no response.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Smith

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Smith

It's more than a week since you contacted us, but I assure searches for the information you have requested have been underway this week.

I will update you again shortly.

Kind regards

Leon Kaplan
Information Management Officer
Business Change and Information Solutions (BCIS)
Sheffield City Council
www.sheffield.gov.uk

.

This Email, and any attachments, may contain non-public information and is intended solely for the individual(s) to whom it is addressed. It may contain sensitive or protectively marked material and should be handled accordingly. If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it or attached, and all copies must be deleted immediately. Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any attachments to this Email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Sheffield City Council will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this e-mail

Marcus Combie left an annotation ()

On the 11th December the council stated “ I can confirm that we have now received the relevant documents from the City Growth department but we need to review these”

So it’s an odd update from the council
That searches are continuing. When the documents were allegedly received in December.

ICO Ref: IC-98095-Y9Q3

Dear Mr Kaplan,

Thankyou for your update on 10th June 2021 to my FOIR first submitted on 14th October 2020.

The ICO requested that the council respond by 8th May 2021 and the council requested an extension until 28th May 2021.

In your latest update you state:
"..but I assure searches for the information you have requested have been underway this week."

This would seem to contradict the council's response on 11th December 2020:
"I can confirm that we have now received the relevant documents from the City Growth department but we need to review these before we can disclose them."

I will continue to wait expectantly for the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Smith

Mark Smith left an annotation ()

ICO Ref: IC-98095-Y9Q3

DECISION NOTICE issued by ICO on 15th June 2021 requiring a response from the council in 35 calendar days. I make that 20th July 2021.

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Smith,

 

Thank you for your request for information about the Castlegate
Conservation Area consultation, which we received on 14 October 2020.

 

Please accept our apologies for the lengthy delay in replying to your
request, and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We have been
dealing with a backlog of requests and have had to reprioritise some of
our work to focus on the pandemic, which has led to a shortage of
resources. However, we are now able to provide the following response to
your request.

 

You asked for:

Please provide any and all information held, associated with the
Castlegate Conservation Area Consultation. Particularly (but not limited
to) the cancellation of the consultation.

 

We can confirm that Sheffield City Council holds the information that you
have requested. However, it is exempt from disclosure under the provisions
of regulation 12(5)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
The relevant part of regulation 12 provides that:

 

(5) […] a public authority may refuse to disclosure information to the
extent that its disclosure would adversely affect

 

           (b) the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a
fair trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a
criminal or disciplinary nature.

 

The provisions of this exception can be engaged when the release of the
information would, or would likely to, prejudice the ability of a public
authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature.

 

 

The Council has received a complaint about the conduct of Councillor
Mazher Iqbal, Executive Member for City Futures: Development, Culture and
Regeneration.

 

Under section 28 of the Localism Act 2011, Sheffield City Council has a
duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for its elected and
co-opted members, and to have a procedure in place to investigate and
determine allegations that members have breached the Council’s Code of
Conduct.

 

The Council’s ‘Members’ Code of Conduct’ sets out the minimum standards of
conduct required from elected and co-opted members when performing their
functions. This is available online at:
[1]https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam...

 

Complaints about elected and co-opted members are handled in accordance
with the Council’s ‘Procedure for Dealing with Complaints regarding City,
Parish and Town Councillors and Co-Opted Members’. This is also available
online at:
[2]https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam...

 

Adverse effect:

 

As Executive Member for City Futures: Development, Culture and
Regeneration and previously the Cabinet Member for Business and
Investment, Councillor Iqbal has been involved in the regeneration of the
former Castle Market site, and the proposed Castlegate Conservation Area.

 

The information you have requested falls within the scope of an ongoing
investigation into Councillor Iqbal’s conduct. We believe that the
disclosure of this information has the potential to affect and hinder the
investigation process. The Council needs to be able to investigate the
complaint in the strictest confidence to ensure natural justice.

 

 

Regulation 12(5)(b) is a ‘qualified’ exception, and we are required to
carry out a public interest test. The purpose of the public interest test
is to decide whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

 

The factors favouring disclosure:

 

• There is a public interest in transparency and accountability to
promote public understanding and debate.
• There is a strong public interest in the Council conducting thorough
and robust investigations into complaints about the conduct of elected
and co-opted members, and for the findings of those investigations to
be reported accordingly.

 

The factors against disclosure:

 

• The disclosure of this information has the potential to affect and
hinder the ongoing investigation into Councillor Iqbal’s conduct, and
would likely prejudice the outcome. The Monitoring Officer and
Independent Persons need space to undertake private consideration of
the issues before them if they are to fully explore all aspects of the
case, without fear that information relevant to the investigation was
being placed in the public domain, leading to undue speculation
without all material facts and distracting from the formal process.
• The disclosure of this information would likely compromise the right
of the complainant to have their complaint investigated thoroughly.
• The disclosure of this information could also affect and hinder future
investigations into elected and co-opted member conduct.

 

Balance test:

 

The principle behind the Environmental Information Regulations is
encourage greater public awareness of issues affecting the environment, to
increase public participation in decision making, and to make public
bodies more accountable and transparent.

 

However, the Council is currently investigating a complaint into
Councillor Iqbal’s conduct. The Monitoring Officer and Independent Persons
need some space to be able to investigate thoroughly to achieve a fair and
correct outcome. The disclosure of this information has the potential to
affect and hinder the investigation process. For this reason, we believe
that the balance of the public interest favours withholding the
information.

 

 

If you have any queries about our 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 replying to this 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 Commissioner’s Office. Please see
[3]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/offi...
for further details.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Sheffield City Council

PO Box 1283

Sheffield, S1 1UJ

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

 

This Email, and any attachments, may contain non-public information and is
intended solely for the individual(s) to whom it is addressed. It may
contain sensitive or protectively marked material and should be handled
accordingly. If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author
immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose,
distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it
or attached, and all copies must be deleted immediately. Whilst we take
reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any attachments
to this Email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti-virus
software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own
anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Sheffield City Council
will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses
emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this e-mail

References

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