Communications regarding dates and details of the demolition of Meadowbank Stadium

The request was refused by City of Edinburgh Council.

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

I request to see correspondence, documents and meetings from 01/01/2017 to the present day about any decisions or timetable for demolition/preparation/construction work on any part of the Meadowbank Stadium site including information about the demolition or potential demolition of any building.

The above should include dates, times, agendas, names of attendees, notes, minutes, emails and other correspondence (redacted as appropriate) and the name of the person who approved any decisions or timetable. It should also cover any project plan(s) and all meetings, including those held by Councillors, Council Officials or anyone representing the City of Edinburgh Council at such a meeting.

Yours faithfully,

Rachel George

City of Edinburgh Council

Ms Rachel George

Our ref: 22071

Dear Ms George

Acknowledgement of Request

Subject: Communications regarding dates and details of the demolition of Meadowbank Stadium

Thank you for your request for information received on 25/01/2019. I can confirm that your request will be processed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Environmental Information Regulations (Scotland) 2004, or the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Council does not hold the information, or there is a reason for it to be withheld. We will write to you in any event. This means we have until 22/02/2019 to respond to your request.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case we will let you know.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175....

Further information about your rights and accessing information is available on our website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

By law, this request should now have been responded to (your acknowledgement stated that you would respond by 22nd February). Can you give me any further information regarding the delay?

Yours faithfully,

Rachel George

Information Rights Officer 4, City of Edinburgh Council

Ms Rachel George

 

[1][FOI #547222 email]

 

Our ref: 22071

 

 

Dear Ms George

 

Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations - Manifestly Unreasonable

 

Subject: Demolition of Meadowbank Stadium

 

Thank you for your request for information of 25/01/2019 where you asked
the following:

 

I request to see correspondence, documents and meetings from 01/01/2017 to
the present day (25/01/2019) about any decisions or timetable for
demolition/preparation/construction work on any part of the Meadowbank
Stadium site including information about the demolition or potential
demolition of any building.

 

The above should include dates, times, agendas, names of attendees, notes,
minutes, emails and other correspondence (redacted as appropriate) and the
name of the person who approved any decisions or timetable. It should also
cover any project plan(s) and all meetings, including those held by
Councillors, Council Officials or anyone representing the City of
Edinburgh Council at such a meeting.

 

Unfortunately, we are not going to provide you with confirmation of the
information because your request falls into the category of a “manifestly
unreasonable‚ÄĚ request under regulation 10(4)(b) of the Environmental
Information (Scotland) Regulations and we are not obliged to respond. The
time and expense involved in complying with this request would be regarded
as excessive by any reasonable person. Please accept my apologies for the
delay in responding.

 

We consider the request to be manifestly unreasonable because, having
completed searches of all relevant service areas, we have identified a
large amount of data which is within scope of your request. There are
documents held in relation to 134 meetings detailed as follows:

 

24 x Investment Steering Group meetings - These contain Minutes, Progress
reports, CPO reports, Risk Registers and reports, Programmes and Highlight
reports.

 

24 x Project team meetings - These contain Minutes, Progress reports, Risk
Registers and reports and Programmes.

 

24 x Progress meetings - These contain contractor’s reports, consultant’s
reports, programmes, H&S information and Minutes.

 

48 x Design Team meetings - These contain consultant’s reports,
programmes, drawings and Minutes.

 

4 x Risk Workshops.

 

10 x Tendering and Contract Documentation meetings.

 

Several extraordinary meetings.

 

In addition we have identified a further 18 documents, 120 drawings and
approximately 100 e-mails all of which would require to be prepared for
release ensuring that information which was not within scope of the
request was removed, duplicate information removed and all third party
personal information redacted so as to not breach the Data Protection Act
2018. It is estimated the entire process would involve senior officers
involved in the on-going project and other officers and would take in
excess of 372 hours to complete.

 

There is no definition of "manifestly unreasonable" in the EIRs, or in
Directive 2003/4/EC from which they are derived; rather, it is to be
judged on each individual request, bearing in mind all of the
circumstances of the case as to whether a request may be regarded as
‚Äúmanifestly unreasonable‚ÄĚ.

 

Factors that may be taken into consideration before concluding that
environmental information can be withheld under regulation 10(4)(b)
include whether complying with the request would cause a disproportionate
burden in terms of the workload involved and also taking into
consideration the size and resources of the public authority.

 

Providing the information could only be done by diverting a
disproportionate quantity of the Council's resources away from other
essential core operations, with a significant negative impact on the
Council's ability to carry out its functions.

 

This diversion of staff time would result in public resources that are
required to be utilised for the benefit of all citizens in Edinburgh being
diverted disproportionately to respond to the specific concerns of a
single applicant.

 

I have applied the public interest test to your request and I consider
that this diversion of staff time would result in public resources that
are required to be utilised for the benefit of all citizens in Edinburgh
being diverted disproportionately to respond to the specific concerns of a
single applicant. Therefore, in the circumstances, the public interest in
making the information available is outweighed by that in maintaining the
exception. This request is consequently a ‚Äėmanifestly unreasonable‚Äô
request under regulation 10(4)(b) of the Environmental Information
(Scotland) Regulations 2004.

 

The Council appreciates that you may not have been aware of the size and
scope of the information that you requested the Council provide you with
as a result of your request. It may be possible to provide you with a
portion of the information that you are seeking. If you wish to discuss
this option further, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to
contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

 

Please note that revised requests are considered as new requests under the
legislation.

 

Please note that this letter constitutes a formal refusal notice under
regulation 13 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations
2004.

 

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the
Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under
the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made
available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal
details. The disclosure log is available at the following link:
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175...

 

Your right to seek a review

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request, you can
ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the:

 

Head of Strategy & Insight

The City of Edinburgh Council,

Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1,

4, East Market Street,

Edinburgh,

EH8 8BG or,

Email: [email address]

 

Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email,
letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt
of this letter to ask for a review. You will receive a full response to
your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please remember
to quote the RFI reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the
Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit
your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review
response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

Telephone: 01334 464610

Fax: 01334 464611

Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

Email: [email address]

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Iain Burden

Information Rights Officer

 

 

 

Information Governance Unit

Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340

[Edinburgh City Council request email]    www.edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

 

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1. mailto:[FOI #547222 email]

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of City of Edinburgh Council's handling of my FOI request 'Communications regarding dates and details of the demolition of Meadowbank Stadium'.

I am requesting a review of this FOI request on the following grounds:

1) Failure to respond within timescale required by legislation

2) Failure to keep me updated with progress without explanation

3) Failure to respond to the request under the Freedom of Information Act. Please explain why this is being processed under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 Act

4) Classification of the request as "manifestly unreasonable".
The demolition of the Meadowbank grandstand began on Monday 14 January 2019; the first announcement of this being made in a blind copied e-mail the previous Friday evening.
By classifying my request as "manifestly unreasonable", Edinburgh Council seems to be failing to be transparent by attempting to hide who made this decision and when.

5) Being asked to submit a new request to see any part of the information retrieved.
Edinburgh Council has significantly exceeded the 20 days' time limit just to tell me I need to submit a cut down request. If such a response was to be given, then it should have been done within the 20 days' time limit. It is not reasonable for Edinburgh Council to cause a further knock-on delay in releasing information that is clearly in the public interest.

In addition to this review request, I would like to know what information could be provided without charge.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Rachel George

Review, City of Edinburgh Council

1 Attachment

Dear Rachel George

Please find attached letter detailing the outcome of my review of your recent information request,

Regards
Fiona

Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer | Information Governance Unit| Strategy & Communications | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1, Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | Tel: 0131 469 6200| Email: [email address] |Website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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