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

The request was refused by Ceredigion Council.

Dear Ceredigion 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

Ceredigion CE Freedom Of Information, Ceredigion Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost a fydd yn cael sylw gan y swyddog cyswllt
priodol maes o law.

 

Thank you for your e-mail communication which will receive attention from
the appropriate link officer

 

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Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg. Cewch ateb Cymraeg i
bob gohebiaeth Gymraeg ac ateb Saesneg i bob gohebiaeth Saesneg. Ni fydd
gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

Ymwadiad:

Er y cymerir pob gofal posib i sicrhau cywirdeb unrhyw wybodaeth a chyngor
a roddir yn yr ohebiaeth hon, ni dderbynnir atebolrwydd am unrhyw
golledion a all godi o unrhyw gamgymeriadau sy'n gynwysedig ac fe'ch
atgoffir o'r angen i chi ofyn am gyngor proffesiynol eich hun.

Bwriedir y neges ebost hon, ac unrhyw atodiadau iddi, at sylw'r person(au)
y'i danfonwyd atynt yn unig. Os nad chi yw'r derbynnydd y cyfeiriwyd y
neges hon ato ef neu hi, neu'r person sydd gyfrifol am drosglwyddo'r neges
hon iddo ef neu hi, mi ddylech hysbysu'r anfonwr ar eich union. Oni bai
mai chi yw'r person neu gynrychiolydd y person y cyfeiriwyd y neges hon at
ef neu hi nid ydych wedi eich awdurdodi i, ac ni ddylech chi, ddarllen,
copio, dosbarthu, defnyddio na chadw'r neges hon nac unrhyw gyfran ohoni.

O dan y Ddeddf Amddiffyn Data 1998 a Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 gellir
datgelu cynnwys y negest ebost hon.

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English. Correspondence received in
Welsh will be answered in Welsh and correspondence in English will be
answered in English. Corresponding in Welsh will not involve any delay.

Disclaimer:

While reasonable care is taken to ensure the correctness of any
information and advice given in this correspondence no liability is
accepted for losses arising from any errors contained in it and you are
reminded of the need to obtain your own professional advice.

The information in this email and any attachments is intended solely for
the attention and use of the named addressee(s). If you are not the
intended recipient, or person responsible for delivering this information
to the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately. Unless
you are the intended recipient or his/her representative you are not
authorised to, and must not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this
message or any part of it.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the contents of this email may be disclosed.

Ceredigion CE Freedom Of Information, Ceredigion Council

Dear Gavin Chait,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 13th October 2020.

The content of your e-mail forms a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Ceredigion County Council has a timeframe of 20 working days in which to respond, which is on or before 10th November 2020. We will therefore be in further contact with you.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,
FOI Team

Tîm Cwynion a Rhyddid Gwybodaeth
Complaints & Freedom of Information Team
Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council
Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE

01545 574151

Cwynion / Complaints
[email address].cymru / [email address]

Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information
[email address].cymru / [Ceredigion Council request email]

www.ceredigion.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Ceredigion CE Freedom Of Information, Ceredigion Council

4 Attachments

Dear Gavin Chait,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 13^th October
2020.

 

The information you have requested is as follows:

 

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.

 

We can confirm that the information you have requested is held by
Ceredigion County Council.  However, the information requested is deemed
exempt from disclosure under Section 31(1)(a) (prejudice to the prevention
or detection of crime) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

Section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states:

 

“(1)Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a)the prevention or detection of crime,”

 

Following the case of LB Hammersmith & Fulham (FS 0643256), the
information requested is deemed exempt from disclosure under Section
31(1)(a). Further information on this case can be found [1]here.  Section
31(1)(a) provides an exemption where prejudice could be caused to allow
potential fraudsters to use the information and it would increase the risk
of crime in relation to an individual’s property if it was empty, and
would increase the risk of business rates fraud against that individual.

 

Section 31(1)(a) is a qualified exemption, and therefore is subject to the
Public Interest Test.  The matters which were considered in applying the
public interest test are as follows:

 

Factors in favour of disclosure

It is in the public interest to provide transparency regarding the records
we hold in respect of the administration of business rates and collection
of taxes. It is also in the public interest to be open and transparent
regarding the use of public funds.

 

Factors in favour of withholding
There is a public interest in ensuring that the Council is not making it
easier for fraud to be committed or for empty properties to be targeted
for illegal use or property crime.  Disclosure of the requested
information would result in the need to implement disproportionate steps
and additional expense to counter an increased fraud risk that do not
exist at present.

 

It is considered that the greater public interest lies in withholding the
information at this time.  In making this decision, the public interest in
providing the information has been carefully weighed against any prejudice
to the public interest that might arise from withholding the information;
in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

We hope that the above information will be of assistance, but if you have
any complaints in relation to this FOI response the Council operates an
internal appeals procedure.  If you wish to utilise this procedure please
respond to this e-mail, marked for the attention of: Mr Alun Williams,
Corporate Lead Officer for Policy, Performance and Public Protection,
within 40 working days of the date of this response.

 

Following internal review, you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision on the matter.  Generally, the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the appeals procedure provided by the Council. 

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office – Wales

2^nd Floor, Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

 

Should you have any queries regarding the above response please do not
hesitate to contact us.

 

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

 

Tîm Cwynion a Rhyddid Gwybodaeth

Complaints & Freedom of Information Team 

Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council

Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE

 

01545 574151

 

Cwynion / Complaints

[2][email address].cymru  / [3][email address]

 

Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information

[4][email address].cymru  /  [5][Ceredigion Council request email]

 

[6]www.ceredigion.gov.uk

 

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(3)  

 

[9]cid:image005.png@01D34C17.0D8B5430

 

[10]cid:image003.png@01D65535.D676DCF0

 

 

 

 

 

--

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg. Cewch ateb Cymraeg i
bob gohebiaeth Gymraeg ac ateb Saesneg i bob gohebiaeth Saesneg. Ni fydd
gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

Ymwadiad:

Er y cymerir pob gofal posib i sicrhau cywirdeb unrhyw wybodaeth a chyngor
a roddir yn yr ohebiaeth hon, ni dderbynnir atebolrwydd am unrhyw
golledion a all godi o unrhyw gamgymeriadau sy'n gynwysedig ac fe'ch
atgoffir o'r angen i chi ofyn am gyngor proffesiynol eich hun.

Bwriedir y neges ebost hon, ac unrhyw atodiadau iddi, at sylw'r person(au)
y'i danfonwyd atynt yn unig. Os nad chi yw'r derbynnydd y cyfeiriwyd y
neges hon ato ef neu hi, neu'r person sydd gyfrifol am drosglwyddo'r neges
hon iddo ef neu hi, mi ddylech hysbysu'r anfonwr ar eich union. Oni bai
mai chi yw'r person neu gynrychiolydd y person y cyfeiriwyd y neges hon at
ef neu hi nid ydych wedi eich awdurdodi i, ac ni ddylech chi, ddarllen,
copio, dosbarthu, defnyddio na chadw'r neges hon nac unrhyw gyfran ohoni.

O dan y Ddeddf Amddiffyn Data 1998 a Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 gellir
datgelu cynnwys y negest ebost hon.

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English. Correspondence received in
Welsh will be answered in Welsh and correspondence in English will be
answered in English. Corresponding in Welsh will not involve any delay.

Disclaimer:

While reasonable care is taken to ensure the correctness of any
information and advice given in this correspondence no liability is
accepted for losses arising from any errors contained in it and you are
reminded of the need to obtain your own professional advice.

The information in this email and any attachments is intended solely for
the attention and use of the named addressee(s). If you are not the
intended recipient, or person responsible for delivering this information
to the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately. Unless
you are the intended recipient or his/her representative you are not
authorised to, and must not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this
message or any part of it.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the contents of this email may be disclosed.

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak
2. mailto:[email address].cymru
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address].cymru
5. mailto:[Ceredigion Council request email]
6. http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/
7. http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/
8. http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/preswyliwr/...