Dear Ashford Borough Council,
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I write to request the following information in relation to the sewage treatment works (STW) at Chapmans Close, Challock.
1. Would the Council please summarise, by year since 1978, all costs that the Council has sought to recover from each resident in relation to their covenants for maintenance etc. on the STW. For clarity, an invoice amount for each year to my property, number 4, will suffice. Please indicate any years where the Council did not seek recovery from residents.
2. Please provide a copy of invoices (or equivalent) for the above as follows:
a) 1979, or the first year issued thereafter.
b) 1990, or the first year issued thereafter.
b) 2000, or the first year issued thereafter.
3. Please state the year that properties 13-18 were built (I believe they were built concurrently). If subsequent to 1978, please provide the first invoice (or equivalent) for the above issued subsequently.
4. Please confirm that in all years all residents of Chapmans Close, including those at Council properties, have been charged exactly the same amount as each other for maintenance etc. related to the sewage treatment works. .
I look forward to your timely response.
Dear Ashford Borough Council,
Thanks for your response dated 3 April 2020, and for the guidance you have offered. I note that you haven't indicated whether you hold the information requested, which section 12 does lay out as a requirement, but in the spirit of your letter I will amend my requests.
However, please note that 1978 is a key date since that is when relevant covenants were first signed. Since the Council relies upon those covenants in its recent correspondence, the Council should seek to support providing the right response to ensure that both Council and residents are properly informed for the conversations that will inevitably ensue.
So whilst there are constraints available under the FOIA, the Council also has a responsibility to the residents of Chapmans Close when asking a considerable amount of money from them, and I'd ask you to weigh this when considering my reduced requests.
I amend my request thus:
1. Please indicate each and every year since 1978 that the Council has NOT issued an invoice or similar to recover costs regarding 'cesspool shared drains' from private residents in Chapmans Close in accordance with their positive covenants.
2. Please advise the exact amount of costs the Council recovered from residents (by invoice or other device) in contribution to the upgrade works in 1999 and 2004.
3. Please confirm that all occupiers in the Close pay the same amount as every other resident annually in accordance with the covenant.
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