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Common Good funds: assets, value and spending

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Dear Fife Council,

Please treat this email as a Freedom of Information request.

I understand that the council must put together a Common Good Asset register and specific account for Common Good funds.

In this context, I would be grateful if you could supply the following information from the council:

1. The Net Asset Value of the Common Good Funds administered by the council in these financial years:
* 2007/08
* 2012/13
* 2017/18
* 2020/21
* 2021/22 (if known)

2. The online location of all available Common Good accounts for the council.

3. The online location of the Common Good funds asset register. If it is not online, then please supply it in an excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

4. An itemised breakdown of all debits from the Common Good account for the last three financial years where finalised records are available, showing the recipient, and summary purpose of each debit. This should be supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

5. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that have been sold or otherwise removed from the accounts in the last three financial years where finalised records are available. This should show the revenue raised by the sale, and details of the buyer. In the case of assets that were otherwise removed from the Common Good fund, please provide a short summary explanation of why they were removed. This should be supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

6. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that have been added to the register in the last three financial years where finalised records are available. This should include the value of the asset and a description or location of the asset, and the date it was added. This should be supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

7. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that are currently leased to other organisations, including other council departments or public sector bodies. This list should include summary details of the start and end date of the lease, the lease holder, and the annual revenue that is raised from the lease. This should be supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Ally Tibbitt

Gemma Harrison, Fife Council

Dear Ally Tibbitt,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002 – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Thank you for your information request received 19^th April 2022, our ref:
39721. This is being dealt with in terms of the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002.

We are presently assessing your request and may be in touch soon to ask
for further clarification or to offer advice and assistance if we are not
able to fulfil your request in its present form.

The legislation allows us up to 20 working days from the date that we
receive a valid request, including any clarification we require, to make a
final response. We will be in touch within 20 working days of receipt of
your initial request to provide our response or to seek clarification
where necessary. We hope to provide you with the information you are
looking for at an earlier date where possible.

Yours sincerely,

Gemma

Gemma Harrison
Information Management & Requests
Fife Council

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1. http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/privacy

Gemma Harrison, Fife Council

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Dear Ally Tibbitt,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002 – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

I refer to your information request received 19^th April 2022, our ref:
39721. Please find the request and my response below.

Request: I understand that the council must put together a Common Good
Asset register and specific account for Common Good funds.

In this context, I would be grateful if you could supply the following
information from the council:
1. The Net Asset Value of the Common Good Funds administered by the
council in these financial years:

* 2007/08
* 2012/13
* 2017/18
* 2020/21
* 2021/22 (if known)

Most of the information requested above is subject to an exemption under
Section 25(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 -
Information Otherwise Accessible. This information is available on Fife
Council’s website, I have included the links below:

* 2012/13 - £7.406m [1]SKELETON IFRS ACCOUNTS (fife.gov.uk) (page 118)
* 2017/18 - £8.239M [2]Fife-Council-Annual-Accounts-2017-18.pdf (page 76)
* 2020/21 - £9.734m [3]Fife_Council_Annual_Accounts_2020-21.pdf (page 63)

Some of the information requested above is not held as follows:

* 2007/08 = Information not held (outwith our retention policy)
* 2021/22 (if known) = Information not held (year-end figures not
available yet)

In compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, we are
required to provide notice that the information requested above is not
held in terms of Section 17 – Information not held.

2. The online location of all available Common Good accounts for the
council.

Please find link below:

[4]Annual accounts | Fife Council - This is the Total common good accounts
as they form part of the Group Accounts for Fife Council.

The individual common good reports are held within these sections, they
are in the papers for the meetings, links below:

[5]City of Dunfermline Area Committee
[6]Cowdenbeath Area Committee
[7]Glenrothes Area Committee
[8]Kirkcaldy Area Committee
[9]Levenmouth Area Committee
[10]North East Fife Area Committee
[11]South and West Fife Area Committee

3. The online location of the Common Good funds asset register. If it is
not online, then please supply it in an excel format, or another machine
readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

Please find link below:

[12]https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
4. An itemised breakdown of all debits from the Common Good account for
the last three financial years where finalised records are available,
showing the recipient, and summary purpose of each debit. This should be
supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open
format. It should not be supplied in pdf format files.

We are unable to provide the information requested above in terms of
Section 12(1) of the Act.

Under S12(1) of the Act a Scottish public authority is not obliged to
comply with a request for information where the estimated cost of
complying would exceed the amount prescribed in the relevant Fees
Regulations. This amount is currently £600.

In order to provide the information requested above, would require a
transaction report to be run on each of the 22 common good accounts. A
transaction report for each account per year takes approximately 40
minutes to run and then a further 10 minutes to prepare format wise for
presentation. To run 22 reports 3 times for each financial year would mean
66 reports at 50 mins a time, this is an exercise which we estimate would
far exceed the cost limit set out in the Fees Regulations.

5. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that have been sold or
otherwise removed from the accounts in the last three financial years
where finalised records are available. This should show the revenue raised
by the sale, and details of the buyer. In the case of assets that were
otherwise removed from the Common Good fund, please provide a short
summary explanation of why they were removed. This should be supplied in
Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It
should not be supplied in pdf format files.

Please see attached spreadsheet - Common Good Asset changes. Assets that
have been sold or otherwise removed are noted on the first worksheet –
‘Disposals since March 2018.’

In relation to details of the buyer; in compliance with the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002, we are required to provide notice that
the information is subject to an exemption in terms of Section 25(1) of
the Act – Information otherwise accessible. This information is available
online at the Registers of Scotland website, through their Scotland’s Land
Information Service (ScotLIS)

I have provided a direct link to the ScotLIS page [13]here
I have provided a link to the Register of Scotland page [14]here which
explains what information is available online.

6. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that have been added to the
register in the last three financial years where finalised records are
available. This should include the value of the asset and a description or
location of the asset, and the date it was added. This should be supplied
in Microsoft excel format, or another machine readable, open format. It
should not be supplied in pdf format files.

Please see attached spreadsheet - Common Good Asset changes. Assets that
have been added to the register are noted on the second worksheet – ‘New
Assets since March 2018.’

In compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, we are
required to provide notice that some of the information requested above is
not held in terms of Section 17 – Information not held. To explain;

Value of the asset = As these weren't acquired, there was no purchase
price nor valuations undertaken.
Date Added = The "new" assets seem to have been recategorised as Common
Good rather than newly acquired. So there is no date recorded on the
property records.

7. An itemised list of any Common Good assets that are currently leased to
other organisations, including other council departments or public sector
bodies. This list should include summary details of the start and end date
of the lease, the lease holder, and the annual revenue that is raised from
the lease. This should be supplied in Microsoft excel format, or another
machine readable, open format. It should not be supplied in pdf format
files.

Please see attached spreadsheet – ‘Lease Out Common Good.’

Information relating to the lease holder is subject to an exemption under
Section 25(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 -
Information Otherwise Accessible. Lease holder’s details are in the public
domain and available through the Assessors website or company director
information from Companies House.

I trust this meets your requirements.

I would like to draw your attention to the copyright situation in relation
to the material.

The council holds the copyright for the material provided and it may be
reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring
specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a
derogatory manner or in a misleading context. The source of the material
must be acknowledged as Fife Council when being reproduced as part of
another publication or service.

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you can ask us to carry out a
review of the decision. You must do this in writing (or other permanent
form) within 40 working days of the date of this letter. Your review
should explain why you are dissatisfied with our response and we will
respond to you within 20 working days of receipt. A review should be made
to the Head of Legal & Democratic Services:

Post: Head of Legal & Democratic Services
Finance & Corporate Services
Fife House
North Street
Glenrothes
KY7 5LY
Email: [15][email address]

If you remain dissatisfied following the review stage, you have the right
to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Please
refer to the following guidance on how to make a valid appeal:
[16]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

Yours sincerely,

Gemma

Gemma Harrison
Information Management & Requests
Fife Council

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.fife.gov.uk/__data/assets/pd...
2. https://www.fife.gov.uk/__data/assets/pd...
3. https://www.fife.gov.uk/__data/assets/pd...
4. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
5. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
6. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
7. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
8. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
9. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
10. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
11. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
12. https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles...
13. https://scotlis.ros.gov.uk/
14. https://www.ros.gov.uk/
15. mailto:[email%20address]
16. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal
17. http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/privacy

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Ally Tibbitt please sign in and let everyone know.