Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Section 31, Q2 2018)

Gavin Chait made this Freedom of Information request to Flintshire County Council as part of a batch sent to 2 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Flintshire County Council.

Dear Flintshire County Council,

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on excluding personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)

If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving.

Let me state this clearly: I recognise that you ordinarily refuse to release these data. For the last two years I have been pursuing refusals before the Information Commissioner. To date, I have received fifteen decisions in my favour:

FS50628943 vs Cornwall Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50628978 vs London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681246 vs London Borough of Camden; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681250 vs London Borough of Greenwich; citing Section 31(1)(a) and Section 38(1)(b);
FS50681266 vs Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681283 vs Westminster City Council who cited Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681292 vs London Borough of Wandsworth; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681297 vs Knowsley Metropolitan Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a), 40(2), and 41;
FS50681322 vs West Berkshire Council; citing Section 31(1)(d);
FS50681326 vs Vale of Glamorgan; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681332 vs Doncaster Metropolitan Borough; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50681336 vs Sheffield City Council; citing Section 31(1)(a), 31(1)(d), and 41;
FS50685343 vs London Borough of Ealing; citing Section 31(1)(a), 31(1)(d), and 31(2);
FS50685350 vs Liverpool City Council; citing Section 31(1)(a);
FS50685375 vs West Lancashire Borough Council; citing 31(1)(a);

In each of these decisions, the Commissioner either dismissed the application of the exemptions cited, or declared that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.

92% of local authorities now publish commercial vacancy data. 65% publish these as regular updates to their authority websites or open data services.

I am determined to secure 100% publication and your continued refusal wastes both your and my time and money. Any delay or refusal on your part will be referred to ICO for a decision.

Please provide these data as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence (meaning reuse for any and all purposes, including commercial).

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

Leah Newton, Flintshire County Council

Dear Mr Chait,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information request which has been given the reference number R015836. If you send any further correspondence about this request, please include the reference number and either e.mail it to [Flintshire County Council request email], or post it to Freedom of Information, Flintshire County Council, Information Governance, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6NA.

Your request has been forwarded to the Freedom of Information Act Contact Officer for Revenues & Benefits to process and this Officer will be in contact with you.

Regards,

FOI Contact Officer
____________________________________________________________________________________
FOI Contact Officer | Swyddog Cyswllt Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
Governance | Llywodraethu
Flintshire County Council | Cyngor Sir y Fflint
____________________________________________________________________________________
Tel | Ffôn | 01352 702121
Email | Ebost | [Flintshire County Council request email]
http://www.flintshire.gov.uk | http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Yvonne Jones, Flintshire County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Chait

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 9th April 2018,
regarding commercial premises.

 

The Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested,
which can be found in the attached spreadsheet.

 

The information you are requesting in relation to vacant premises is being
denied under the exemption contained in Section 31 of the Freedom of
Information Act.  However, included in the spreadsheet are the figures for
exemptions and reliefs, which I hope will be of some help to you.

 

Section 31 (1) (a), Law Enforcement: Information is exempt information if
its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice-

(1) (a) the prevention or detection of crime.

It has been decided that providing the information you have requested
would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime.  Firstly, supplying
this information would increase the risk of criminal damage or arson to
the empty premises identified.  Secondly, it would facilitate the use of
such addresses for the purposes of fraud.  In considering the balance of
public interest it is believed that any public interest in disclosing the
information is outweighed by the prejudice that would be caused to the
prevention of crime.

 

In reviewing this matter, we considered any relevant decision notices made
by the Information Commissioner's Office and in this respect I would refer
you to the Decision Notice in the matter of the London Borough of Tower
Hamlets dated 8th February 2010 reference FS50259951 and also London
Borough of Camden dated 21^st of December 2010. In those cases, requests
for address information in relation to empty properties were refused under
the Section 31 exemption. The Commissioner in those cases considered that
the public authorities had correctly applied the exemption.

Start dates cannot be extracted from our system easily, however, this is
process is currently under review.  In relation to the date ratepayers
first became liable, Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public
authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing
with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for Local Government
is set at £450. We estimate that it will take one person having to
manually go through each business rate record to extract the information,
which will take in excess of 200 hours to determine appropriate material
and locate, retrieve and extract the information in reference to your
request.

 

I hope this information is helpful to you but if you are dissatisfied with
any aspects of this response, please refer to the Council's FOI Complaints
Procedure below.

 

Yours sincerely

Yvonne Jones BA

______________________________________________________________________________

FOI Governance Lead Officer | Swyddog Arweiniol Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
Llywodraethu
Housing Programmes | Rhaglenni Tai
Community & Enterprise Portfolio |  Portffolio Cymunedau a Menter
Flintshire County Council | Cyngor Sir Y Fflint
___________________________________________________________________________________
Tel | Ffôn | 01352 702420

Email | Ebost | [1][email address]

___________________________________________________________________________________
[2]http://www.flintshire.gov.uk | [3]http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk

[4]http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc |
[5]http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint

 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request for
information, you can ask for an internal review within 2 months of the
date of this response. Where your complaint is a complex one it may not be
possible to deal with it within the above timescales. In such a situation
a progress report will be sent within the above timescales.

 

Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Council’s
Information Governance Manager at:

 

Information Governance Team,

County Hall,

Mold,

CH7 6NA

 

Or by emailing [6][Flintshire County Council request email]

 

Please remember to quote your original request’s reference number.

 

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF.

 

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a
complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

 

 

Os ydych yn anfodlon â’r modd y mae’r Cyngor wedi ymdrin eich cais am
wybodaeth, gallwch ofyn am adolygiad mewnol o fewn 2 fis o dyddiad yr
ymateb hwn. Lle mae’ch cwyn yn un cymhleth efallai na fydd yn bosib delio
ag ef o fewn yr amserlen uchod. Mewn sefyllfa o’r fath, bydd adroddiad
cynnydd yn cael ei anfon o fewn yr amserlen.

 

Dylech anfon cais am adolygiad mewnol i’r Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth
y Cyngor:

Team Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth

Neuadd y Sir

Yr Wyddgrug

Sir Y Fflint

CH7 6NB

 

Neu drwy e-bostio [7][Flintshire County Council request email]

 

Cofiwch ddyfynnu rhif cyfeirnod eich cais gwreiddiol.

 

Mae gennych hawl hefyd i gwyno wrth y Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth. Gallwch
gysylltu â’r Comisiynydd Gwybodaeth yn y cyfeiriad canlynol:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF.

 

Fodd bynnag, dylech nodi nad yw’r Comisiynydd fel arfer yn ymchwilio i
gŵyn nes ei fod wedi bod drwy ein proses adolygu fewnol.

 

Copyright clause:

 

The contents of this communication and any enclosed documents may be
subject to copyright protection.  It has been sent to you for your
information and you may use it for any non-commercial research you may be
doing or undertaking.  Its contents can also be used for the purposes of
news reporting.  Any other re-use, for example, commercial publication or
publication on a website, requires the permission of this Council.  If you
wish to re-use this information please contact us, letting us know how you
wish to re-use it and what the intended audience will be so that we can
consider your request.  This information should be sent to:  The
Information Governance Manager, Information Governance Team, Flintshire
County Council, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire  CH7 6NB, or
[8][email address].

 

Gellir cynnwys y ddogfen gyfathrebu hon ac unrhyw ddogfennau amgaeêdig yn
amodol ar hawlfraint. Hyn anfonwyd atoch er gwybodaeth i chi a gallwch ei
ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw ymchwil anfasnachol yr ydych yn ei wneud neu
ymgymryd â. Gellir hefyd defnyddio ei gynnwys at ddibenion adrodd
newyddion. Os oes angen i chi ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth mewn unrhyw fordd
arall, er enghraifft, cyhoeddi neu gyhoeddi masnachol ar wefan, mae angen
caniatâd gyn y Cyngor. Os hoffech ailddefnyddio’r wybodaeth, cysylltwch â
ni, gan roi gwybod i ni sut rydych chi yn bwriadu ei ailddefnyddio a beth
fydd y gynulleidfa a fwriadwyd fel y gallwn ystyriwch eich cais. Dylid
anfon y wybodaeth hon at: Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Tîm
Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth, Neuadd Y Sir, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir Y Fflint, CH7 6NB,
neu drwy e-bostio [9][email address]

 

**********************************************************************

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to correspondence
received in Welsh without delay.

Opinions advice, conclusions and other information in this

message that do not relate to the official business of

Flintshire County Council shall be understood as neither

given nor endorsed by it or on its behalf, and consequently

Flintshire County Council shall bear no responsibility

whatsoever in respect thereof.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth Gymraeg. Ymatebwn yn ddi-oed i ohebiaeth a
dderbynnir drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Deellir na fydd unrhyw safbwyntiau, na chynghorion, na

chasgliadau nac unrhyw wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon,

nad ydynt yn berthnasol i waith swyddogol

Cyngor Sir y Fflint, yn cael eu cynnig na'u cadarnhau ganddo

nac ar ei ran, ac felly ni fydd Cyngor Sir y Fflint yn derbyn

unrhyw gyfrifoldeb am y rhannau hynny o'r neges.

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.flintshire.gov.uk/
3. http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk/
4. http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc
5. http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint
6. mailto:[Flintshire County Council request email]
7. mailto:[Flintshire County Council request email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. mailto:[email address]

Dear Yvonne Jones,

Thank you for your response and rejection of my request. I will be referring this to ICO for appeal, however, this will be after a series of appeals on this matter to the First-tier Tribunal.

Given the implications, I have asked ICO if they will accept a delay in my appeal against your decision and they have accepted that I should wait until after the Tribunal findings. This is to inform you of that delay.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

Yvonne Jones, Flintshire County Council

I will be out of the office until  Tuesday 15th May.

 

Please contact/copy all emails Denise Naylor and/or call her on 01352
702421.

 

Thanks, Yvonne

 

Lavinia M Stockham, Flintshire County Council

Dear Mr Chait,

 

Receipt of your attached complaint is acknowledged and the response to
your original request will be reviewed in accordance with the Council's
FOI Complaints Procedure.  Please quote complaint reference C000292 in any
further correspondence relating to this matter.

 

Regards,

 

FOI Contact Officer
____________________________________________________________________________________

FOI Contact Officer |  Swyddog Cyswllt Rhyddid Gwybodaeth

Governance | Llywodraethu

Flintshire County Council | Cyngor Sir y Fflint

____________________________________________________________________________________

Tel | Ffôn | 01352 702121
Email | Ebost | [1][Flintshire County Council request email]

[2]http://www.flintshire.gov.uk | [3]http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk
[4]http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc |
[5]http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint

 

From: Gavin Chait [[6]mailto:[FOI #476227 email]]

Sent: 14 May 2018 11:16

To: Yvonne Jones <[7][email address]>

Subject: Re: FOI R015836

 

Dear Yvonne Jones,

 

Thank you for your response and rejection of my request. I will be
referring this to ICO for appeal, however, this will be after a series of
appeals on this matter to the First-tier Tribunal.

 

Given the implications, I have asked ICO if they will accept a delay in my
appeal against your decision and they have accepted that I should wait
until after the Tribunal findings. This is to inform you of that delay.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Gavin Chait

 

**********************************************************************

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to correspondence
received in Welsh without delay.

Opinions advice, conclusions and other information in this

message that do not relate to the official business of

Flintshire County Council shall be understood as neither

given nor endorsed by it or on its behalf, and consequently

Flintshire County Council shall bear no responsibility

whatsoever in respect thereof.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth Gymraeg. Ymatebwn yn ddi-oed i ohebiaeth a
dderbynnir drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Deellir na fydd unrhyw safbwyntiau, na chynghorion, na

chasgliadau nac unrhyw wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon,

nad ydynt yn berthnasol i waith swyddogol

Cyngor Sir y Fflint, yn cael eu cynnig na'u cadarnhau ganddo

nac ar ei ran, ac felly ni fydd Cyngor Sir y Fflint yn derbyn

unrhyw gyfrifoldeb am y rhannau hynny o'r neges.

**********************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Flintshire County Council request email]
2. http://www.flintshire.gov.uk/
3. http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk/
4. http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc
5. http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint
6. mailto:[FOI #476227 email]
7. mailto:[email address]

Alun Kime, Flintshire County Council

Dear Mr Chait,

 

The Council recently provided you a response to your Freedom of
Information Request R015836. You then contacted the Council to express
your dissatisfaction at the response and as such was logged as a complaint
under C000292.

 

In line with the Council’s FOI complaints procedure I have reviewed your
request independently. In the main the Council was able to satisfy your
request. You received a spreadsheet containing:

 

·         BA Ref

·         Occupier

·         Address

·         Net Charge

·         Rateable Value

·         Exemption

·         Transitional Relief

·         Mandatory Relief

·         Discretionary Relief

 

You were not provided with details regarding the occupied/vacancy status,
which was exempted under Section 31 (1) (a). This exemption is subject to
the public interest test. On reviewing your request I am satisfied that
the exemption has been correctly applied and the risk of damage to the
properties and the associated costs outweighs the factors for disclosure.

 

I note that you have already referred the matter to the ICO and are
awaiting the outcome of the Tribunal findings. Please direct any further
complaints regarding the handling of this request to the ICO.

 

Kind regards

Alun

 

Alun Kime

____________________________________________________________________________________

Information Governance Manager | Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth

Information & Business Services | Gwasanaethau Busnes a Gwybodaeth

Governance | Llywodraethu

Flintshire County Council | Cyngor Sir y Fflint

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.flintshire.gov.uk | http://www.siryfflint.gov.uk

http://www.twitter.com/flintshirecc | http://www.twitter.com/csyfflint

 

**********************************************************************

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. We will respond to correspondence
received in Welsh without delay.

Opinions advice, conclusions and other information in this

message that do not relate to the official business of

Flintshire County Council shall be understood as neither

given nor endorsed by it or on its behalf, and consequently

Flintshire County Council shall bear no responsibility

whatsoever in respect thereof.

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth Gymraeg. Ymatebwn yn ddi-oed i ohebiaeth a
dderbynnir drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Deellir na fydd unrhyw safbwyntiau, na chynghorion, na

chasgliadau nac unrhyw wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon,

nad ydynt yn berthnasol i waith swyddogol

Cyngor Sir y Fflint, yn cael eu cynnig na'u cadarnhau ganddo

nac ar ei ran, ac felly ni fydd Cyngor Sir y Fflint yn derbyn

unrhyw gyfrifoldeb am y rhannau hynny o'r neges.

**********************************************************************