Dear Carmarthenshire 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.
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).
Diolch am eich gohebiaeth.
Os ydych yn gwneud cais am wybodaeth, bydd y cyfnodau isod yn berthnasol:
Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 (DRhG) a’r Rheoliadau Gwybodaeth
Amgylcheddol 2004 (RhGA) - 20 diwrnod gwaith, oni bai bod angen eglurhad
arnom ynghylch y wybodaeth yr ydych yn gofyn amdano.
O ganlyniad i’r sefyllfa bresennol gyda'r firws COVID-19 a'r effaith ar
rai o wasanaethau'r Cyngor, gall fod angen i flaenoriaethu ceisiadau DRhG
a RhGA, yn dibynnu ar y wybodaeth y gofynnir amdani. Ymddiheurwn am hyn.
Deddf Diogelu Data 2018 a’r GDPR (ceisiadau am ddata personol) – un mis ar
ôl derbyn y cais.
Os bydd angen eglurhad arnom ar unrhyw agwedd o’ch cais, byddwn yn
cysylltu â chi mor gynted ag y bo modd.
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
Dear Mr. Robinson
I refer to your request for information, which was received on 21st December, 2020 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The specific information you requested was contained in your email below.
The Council does hold the information you have requested. However, after giving your request careful consideration we are of the view that the information should be withheld from disclosure. Our reasons are set out below.
1. Section 21 of the FOIA
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is required to publish certain information regarding Business Rates valuations and does so via its website, providing a tool which allows any member of the public to search for properties by town or postcode and so forth. This search tool provides the address of the property, a description of the premises, the local authority reference number, its rateable value as well as how this was calculated.
This information can be found online here:
In view of the above, we consider that we are not obliged to comply with the parts of your request which ask for this information as it is already reasonably accessible to you via this website and search tool.
2. Section 41 of the FOIA
The information, which is not published by the VOA, is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA on the basis of the exemption found in Section 41 of the 2000 Act.
The grounds for applying this exemption in relation to Business Rates information is set out in detail in a First Tier Tribunal case (EA/2018/0033). Briefly, Judge Buckley determined that disclosing this information would constitute an actionable breach of confidence, and we would therefore refer you to this decision and in particular, paragraphs 151 to 161:
As I am in effect refusing to provide some of the requested information on the basis that it is already published, please consider this email to be a formal notice of refusal as required by Section 16 of the FOIA.
This email also constitutes a refusal notice under Section 17 of the FOIA in relation to the other information we are withholding from disclosure.
3. Your right of appeal
If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled, you can request a review by writing to:
The Head of Administration & Law
Carmarthenshire County Council
Email: [email address]
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
There is no charge for making an appeal.
ICT & Corporate Property/ TG a Pholisi Corfforaethol
Chief Executive’s Department/Adran Y Prif Weithredwr
Carmarthenshire County Council/Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
Allanol/External (01267) 224498
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