Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

In December 2017, Wirral Council undertook a Consultation on the proposed methodology for the Initial Green Belt Review.

It was stated at the time that "Consultation responses will be used to revise the methodology and to inform the way the initial review is undertaken." "The consultation will be widely advertised and will include local residents and businesses; local community groups; the providers of infrastructure for transport, water, power, education, health, emergency and other essential services; Government agencies such as Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency; and landowners and developers."

Please can you provide copies of any consultation responses and any analysis of these responses by the Council. Personal contact details or other personal information etc may be redacted if required.

Yours faithfully,

K O'Rourke

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear K O'Rourke

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request in which you asked;

 

"In December 2017, Wirral Council undertook a Consultation on the proposed
methodology for the Initial Green Belt Review.

 

It was stated at the time that "Consultation responses will be used to
revise the methodology and to inform the way the initial review is
undertaken." "The consultation will be widely advertised and will include
local residents and businesses; local community groups; the providers of
infrastructure for transport, water, power, education, health, emergency
and other essential services; Government agencies such as Natural England,
Historic England and the Environment Agency; and landowners and
developers."

 

Please can you provide copies of any consultation responses and any
analysis of these responses by the Council. Personal contact details or
other personal information etc may be redacted if required"

 

Please be advised that, subject to the decision of Cabinet on 23 July
2018, this information will be published on our website for public
consultation in September 2018.  The documents are currently being
prepared for publication.

 

We must therefore give consideration to the exemption at Section 22 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, ‘information intended for future
publication’.

 

Section 22 is a qualified, class-based exemption and is therefore subject
to a public interest test. The legislation states that a definitive date
for publication does not need to be set, but that the public body should
be in receipt of the information and have a settled intention to release
it into the public domain.  The Information Commissioner’s guidance on
Section 22 can be found at [1]this link.

 

The public interest argument for disclosure is that it allows a greater
degree of scrutiny and transparency over how decisions are reached. It is
important that public authorities allow their decisions to be scrutinised
by the public to ensure public confidence. The public interest factors for
withholding the information would include the burden on Council officers
to provide information in response to individual information requests as
opposed to fulfilling other professional responsibilities. As the
information is currently being prepared for publishing, the Council is
displaying its commitment to openness and transparency.

 

It is considered that the public interest factors in favour of withholding
the requested information outweigh those in favour of disclosure. This
information is thereby considered exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal of the information requested.
Please direct any request for an internal review to
[2][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated for
review. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review you
also have the right to complain to the information Commissioner, who can
be contacted at [3]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

We hope you will find this information useful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Business Management

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[4]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[5][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[6]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and 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. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
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If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
2. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
3. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
4. file:///tmp/tel:0151
5. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Consultation Responses for Green Belt Review Methodology'.

In your repsonse to my request you state "The public interest argument for disclosure is that it allows a greater degree of scrutiny and transparency over how decisions are reached. It is
important that public authorities allow their decisions to be scrutinised
by the public to ensure public confidence. " The Green Belt Review Methodology Consultation was completed in December 2017, i.e 9 months ago which is more than sufficient time for the information which I requested to be collated and published.

The Green Belt Review Public Consultation will be held over a short 6 week period in September / October 2018. If the results of the Green Belt Review Methodology Consultation are not published until September 2018 then the Council is not allowing sufficient time for the public to scrutinise the results of the Methodology review before the Green Belt Review Consultation begins. Therefore, this means that I (and the public) have no confidence in the process and it could be argued that this is "delaying tactics" by the Council. I would like to ask you to reconsider your decision not to publish the results of the Green Belt review Methodology Consultation, particularly as the Cabinet decision to publish them would have been taken on 23rd July 2018. I can see no reason for the publication of the documents to be delayed any further.

Kind regards

Keren O'Rourke

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,

K O'Rourke

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear K O’Rourke

 

We write further to your recent request for an internal review of the way
in which the Council responded to your request for information dated 15
July 2018.  Your email of 21 August 2018 has been passed to me to review
and advise on whether the Council responded correctly to your request.

 

Your original request sought copies of consultation responses and any
analysis of these responses by the Council in relation to the proposed
methodology for the Initial Green Belt Review.  The Council’s response was
that this information was due to be published and that the exemption
contained in Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be
relied upon.  Details regarding Section 22, including a link to the
Information Commissioner’s guidance notes, was provided.

 

Having reviewed your comments and taken advice from those officers
directly involved with the consultation process, I am satisfied that this
exemption was correctly applied.  The resulting report of consultation is
still being prepared and as such is incomplete and not yet available for
publication. 

 

Section 22 clearly states that a definitive date for publication does not
need to be set, but that the public body should be in receipt of the
information and have a settled intention to release it into the public
domain.  The information is clearly held and is currently being prepared
for publication so I am satisfied that the Council’s original decision
should be upheld.

 

If you are unhappy with this review, you should complain to the
information Commissioner, who can be contacted at
[1]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Business Management

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

[2]Tel:0151 691 8397

[3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and 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. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
2. file:///tmp/tel:0151
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

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