Cesspool / Sewage Treatment Works at Chapmans Close, Challock / 6 / Service Charges

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Ashford Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

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.

For the Council tenants in Chapmans Close, Challock, please provide for each year since 2010:
1. The total annual service charge levied
2. A full breakdown showing how it is constituted/ calculated, which must include the specific allocation made for the STW.
3. Please state clearly if you are unable to identify the amount levied specifically for the STW.

Yours faithfully,

Rich Pemberton

FOI Requests, Ashford Borough Council

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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 separately I have received indication from the Council that occupiers of properties in the Council's ownership do not contribute directly to the costs of the STW. Indeed, as the service charge is levied in advance, it cannot reflect those costs.

In light of this I reduce my request to this:

1. Please state whether any allocation for the STW costs is included in the service charge, and if so how much.

Please note that the covenant is intended as a positive covenant for all owners and occupiers to make equal contribution towards maintenance. This is effective not just for cost recovery, but to ensure joint responsibility of all owners and occupiers in caring for the common drains. Were the Council not to pass the charge to its own tenants, there is immediately an imbalance in this joint responsibility, and not in the private residents' favour. I would invite the Council's observations in this regard.

Yours faithfully,

Rich Pemberton

Rich Pemberton left an annotation ()

For anyone following this request, the Council is addressing its response in one under the following request: