Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Data Quality, Q4 2017)

Gavin Chait made this Freedom of Information request to Stafford Borough Council

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

Waiting for an internal review by Stafford Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Stafford Borough 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 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 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)

I am aware that you already publish data at http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/business-ra... which mostly answers this request, however the occupancy status (occupied/void) is not included.

Please could you update this and provide an updated version of your data.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

FOI, Stafford Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to to the Stafford
Borough Council Freedom of Information inbox.

Your request will be distributed to the relevant department and will
receive a reply within 20 working days in accordance with the Act.

 

 

Yours sincerely

Robinay

 

 

Robinay Johns

Law and Administration Support Officer

01785 619233

 

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01D3465E.5E3AAC50

 

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Paul Kelly,

Hi,

 

Thank you for your email.  We have recently reviewed the information that
we make available on our website and in response to Freedom of Information
requests.  In particular we have considered the balance between the public
interest in the data that we hold on businesses and the interests of the
owners and occupiers of the properties within our area.   Once released
under the Freedom of Information Act, data can be used by anybody for any
purpose.

 

In view of this and having considered Information Commissioner decisions
on the matter we have taken the view that information which indicates that
a property is unoccupied could be misused for activity which is criminal
or otherwise detrimental to the organisations responsible for those
properties.  This information is therefore redacted from our published
data.

 

I hope that this clarifies the situation for you.

 

Regards

 

Paul Kelly

Principal Systems Control Officer

[1]Tel:-     01785 619474

Fax:-    01785 619219

 

 

 

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Dear Stafford Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Stafford Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Data Quality, Q4 2017)'.

On 2 December 2017, I sent an FOI request for a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Code
- 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)

My request has been refused in terms of Section 31(1)(a). According to the Information Commissioner's Office, "Section 31 is a prejudice based exemption and is subject to the public interest test. This means that not only does the information have to prejudice one of the purposes listed, but, before the information can be withheld, the public interest in preventing that prejudice must outweigh the public interest in disclosure."

Section 31(1)(a) deals specifically with "the prevention or detection of crime".

In November 2016, I appealed this class of refusal - specifically as it relates to this request - to the Information Commissioner’s Office and they issued a Decision Notice (FS50628943 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak..., and FS50628978 - https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...) on 28 February 2017 finding that “it is not correct to withhold this information under Regulation 31(1)(a)”, and that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.

Since a Section 31(1)(a) refusal is not valid in terms of my request, could I once again ask that you honour my FOI request as do more than 90% of local authorities ?

Please provide this as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence.

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,

Gavin Chait