Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Q3 2020)

Gavin Chait made this Freedom of Information request to Babergh District Council as part of a batch sent to 12 authorities

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Babergh District Council.

Dear Babergh District Council,

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

- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the public VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant or ratepayer)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupation / Vacancy status
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds) and/or categories of reliefs/exemptions granted

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.

NOTE: While FOIs are meant to be requestor blind, these data are actively used by national government and UK universities to inform the economic response to COVID-19. Commercial ratepayer data are always of public interest but, in the midst of a global pandemic and its consequent devastating economic fallout, these data are vital to track business behaviour and guide government and enterprise adaptation to the social impact of COVID-19. Please publish quickly so that organisations trying to support your local authority can do so, and, if you have any difficulties, please contact me so that I may help.

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 (reuse for any and all purposes, including commercial).

I last requested these data three months ago, and this is a request for your latest updated dataset.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council,

1 Attachment

Reference: FOI-260340503
Date of request: 13/10/2020
Title of request: Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data
(Q3 2020) Babergh DC

Dear Gavin Chait,

Babergh and Mid Suffolk Freedom Of Information
 
Thank you for completing the Freedom of Information Request form.
We have received your request and will respond promptly and in any event
not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.
The 20 working day clock starts the next working day after the request is
received.

 
Freedom of Information Team
Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council
If you wish to contact either Babergh District Council or Mid Suffolk
District Council please visit our websites [1]www.babergh.gov.uk or
[2]www.midsuffolk.gov.uk and click on Contact Us.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT MONITORED, IT IS ONLY FOR THE ISSUE
OF AUTOMATED RESPONSES.
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimize any
security risks. The information contained in this email or any of its
attachments may be privileged or confidential and is intended for the
exclusive use of the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If
you receive this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by
using the reply facility in your email software. Opinions, conclusions and
other information in this email that do not relate to the official
business of Babergh District Council and/or Mid Suffolk District Council
shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by Babergh District
Council and/or Mid Suffolk District Council.

Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council (BMSDC) will be
Data Controllers of the information you are providing. As required by the
Data Protection Act 2018 the information will be kept safe, secure,
processed and only shared for those purposes or where it is allowed by
law. In some circumstances however we may need to disclose your personal
details to a third party so that they can provide a service you have
requested, or fulfil a request for information. Any information about you
that we pass to a third party will be held securely by that party, in
accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and used only to provide the
services or information you have requested.
For more information on how we do this and your rights in regards to your
personal information and how to access it, visit our website.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.babergh.gov.uk/
2. http://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/

Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council,

Reference: FOI-260340503
Date of request: 13/10/2020
Title of request: Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data
(Q3 2020) Babergh DC

Dear Gavin Chait,

Refusal Notice – Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Section 31(1)
(a) Prejudice to Law Enforcement

Thank you for your request for information which we are dealing with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We can confirm that Babergh District Council is the public body
responsible for the administration of Covid-19 Grants to businesses in
their area on behalf of the Government and therefore holds the information
requested.

Babergh District Council is of the view that release of information that
could identify businesses eligible for Covid-19 grants, either alone or in
conjunction with other information in the public domain, would be likely
to assist fraudsters in making fraudulent claims. The Council is currently
operating with reduced staff resourcing and needs these resources to be
directed to processing applications rather than diverted in trying to
prevent fraudulent claims.

Because information released under Freedom of Information responses
becomes available to any requester regardless of motive, the Council has
decided to exempt all requests for information about recipients or
potential recipients from release at this time and has suspended
publication of its business rates open data until after applications for
Covid-19 grants has closed.

Public Interest Test

Section 31 (1) (a) is a qualified exemption, and therefore is subject to
the Public Interest Test. Information can only be withheld if the public
interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosure. In assessing where the balance of the public interest lies in
this instance, the Council has considered the following arguments for and
against disclosure.

Arguments in favour of disclosure

This information could be of benefit to the general public, especially to
companies offering services to businesses in accessing available grants.
At the current time, there is strong public interest in supporting
businesses as part of protecting the economy in response to the Covid-19
pandemic.

There is public interest in the Council being accountable for the
effectiveness of its delivery of Covid-19 Grants to businesses.

Arguments against disclosure

There is strong public interest in preventing fraudulent claims and
protecting the Council from the potential costs in terms of time and
resources associated with additional prevention measures and recovery of
fraudulently claimed sums.

There is strong public interest in protecting the local economy through
ensuring that businesses who meet the criteria for funding receive payment
promptly. Fraudulent or otherwise vexatious claims would be likely to
delay money being paid out quickly due to the increased checking
processes.

Conclusion

The Council considers that the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. The information
which you have requested is therefore withheld under Section and 31 (1)
(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting.  Please contact us if you wish to re-use
the information for commercial purposes so that the appropriate licence
can be issued (in some instances a fee will be payable).  Additionally,
you must ensure that you gain permission before reproducing any third
party (non Babergh/Mid Suffolk District Council copyright) information.

 

If you are unhappy with this response you may request an internal review
of this matter via the Council’s corporate complaints procedure.  Internal
review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of
receipt of the response.  If you are not content with the outcome of the
review you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at the
following address: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. Tel: 01625 545 745
Email: [email address].

 
Freedom of Information Team
Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council
If you wish to contact either Babergh District Council or Mid Suffolk
District Council please visit our websites [1]www.babergh.gov.uk or
[2]www.midsuffolk.gov.uk and click on Contact Us.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT MONITORED, IT IS ONLY FOR THE ISSUE
OF AUTOMATED RESPONSES.
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimize any
security risks. The information contained in this email or any of its
attachments may be privileged or confidential and is intended for the
exclusive use of the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If
you receive this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by
using the reply facility in your email software. Opinions, conclusions and
other information in this email that do not relate to the official
business of Babergh District Council and/or Mid Suffolk District Council
shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by Babergh District
Council and/or Mid Suffolk District Council.

Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council (BMSDC) will be
Data Controllers of the information you are providing. As required by the
Data Protection Act 2018 the information will be kept safe, secure,
processed and only shared for those purposes or where it is allowed by
law. In some circumstances however we may need to disclose your personal
details to a third party so that they can provide a service you have
requested, or fulfil a request for information. Any information about you
that we pass to a third party will be held securely by that party, in
accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and used only to provide the
services or information you have requested.
For more information on how we do this and your rights in regards to your
personal information and how to access it, visit our website.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.babergh.gov.uk/
2. http://www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/