Dolce Far-Niente

Dear Oxford City Council,
In the interests of full transparency and public accountabillity, please provide copies of all written forms of communication to and from Councillor Susanna Pressel starting from June 2019 to the present day in relation to any and all matters that mention the following:
- Walton Street
- the Walton Street road closure and Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO)
- on subjects fo traffic, pedestrian, cycling and their stakeholder groups' communications
- the ZEZ plan in relation to Walton Street and the Jericho area
- any matters that mention the Jericho ward

Yours faithfully,

Dolce Far-Niente

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Dolce Far-Niente,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 9120
 
I refer to your request received at the Council  by email on 10th March
2020 requesting information about:
 
In the interests of full transparency and public accountability, please
provide copies of all written forms of communication to and from
Councillor Susanna Pressel starting from June 2019 to the present day in
relation to any and all matters that mention the following:
- Walton Street
- the Walton Street road closure and Experimental Traffic Regulation Order
(ETRO)
- on subjects of traffic, pedestrian, cycling and their stakeholder
groups' communications
- the ZEZ plan  in relation to Walton Street and the Jericho area
- any matters that mention the Jericho ward
 
I will deal with this part of your request under Regulation 9 (2) of the
EIR
 
“Where a public authority-
 
a.      reasonable requires further information in order to identify and
locate the information requested, and
b.      has informed the applicant of that requirement
 
You have described the information you seek, but the description is not
sufficient to enable the Authority to locate the correct details.
 
The Authority informs you that it requires further information, under
Regulation 9 (2) of the EIR
 
- Walton Street
- any matters that mention the Jericho ward
Walton Street is a very long road and Jericho is an area rather than a
ward.   Given the length of the road and irrespective of whether we take
the actual ward or the area known as Jericho, there is likely to be a vast
amount information/correspondence.  It would include multiple issues, not
just those related the road closure and air quality monitoring. 
Therefore, could you please refine your request so that we can identify
what you actually want?
 
- on subjects fo traffic, pedestrian, cycling and their stakeholder
groups' communications
This is too wide and should be refined to enable a more meaningful
response.
 
Moreover, I am of the opinion that retrieving the information you require
would possibly engage the Manifestly Unreasonable exception under the
Environmental Information Regulations (or the Freedom of Information
equivalent, where appropriate). This takes into account the  other such
requests you have sent on the same matter.
While under the EIR there is no appropriate cost limit above which
authorities are not required to deal with requests for information, the
ICO’s guidance on regulation 12(4)(b) states ‘In assessing whether the
cost, or the amount of staff time involved in responding to a request, is
sufficient to render a request manifestly unreasonable the FOIA fees
regulations may be a useful starting point’.
 
It is estimated that the time it would take to locate, retrieve and
extract the information requested could considerably exceed the
appropriate limit for a FOIA request of £450 or 18.5 hours of staff time.
 
The Council must and will of course fulfil its due commitment/obligations
to transparency. It must also balance this alongside the public interest
with regard to the deployment of its resources (staff time, money), and
alongside the public interest generally of being able to provide services
to the wider public.
This is not to say of course that the Council will not respond to your
request. However, I wanted to make you aware that this approach is being
taken.
In addition, please be aware that the Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or
people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights
work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be
penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting
their usual approach during this extraordinary period.
 
Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the
Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when
making information rights requests during the pandemic.
 
The 20 working days will not continue from 18th March 2020 until the
Authority has been supplied with further information. Should the Council
not receive a response to this email by 26th March  2020, your request
will be closed accordingly.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Freedom of Information Officer 
 
Kathryn Winfield | Freedom of Information Officer | Oxford City Council |
Law and Governance |
St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address]
| T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
 
 

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