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consultation within Haringey Borough Council before Joseph Ejiofor’s statement on the Wards Corner CPO decision

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Dear Haringey Borough Council,

I would like to understand the decision-making process behind the release of Haringey council leader Coun Joseph Ejiofor statement on January 23rd responding to the announcement that the Secretary of State had confirmed the Wards Corner Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) decision. The public statement can be found here: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/news/wards-c...

First, could you please confirm when (date and time) was Haringey Council first communicated the Secretary of State’s decision on the Wards Corner Regeneration Project Compulsory Purchase Order 2016. This question relates both to a formal communication but also any other forms of informal communications that might have taken place. I am therefore requesting any evidence that shows this communication. This should include (but not be limited to) any documents, memos, emails or records of telephone conversations with any members of the council, either elected members or officers.

I am also requesting all communication, within the council, between the first moment that confirmation of Order was known and the leader’s statement relating to that issue published on the 23rd of January. This could include, but should not be limited to emails, briefings, memos, details of meetings and related minutes regarding reaction and response to the Order confirmation between being made aware of that result and the release of the aforementioned statement.

I imagine this would require a search using specific ‘search terms’ of all internal communications and document created within the specified timeframe, however, given that this should only cover a very short time-frame I do not anticipate that this would be an onerous task nor would it exceed the time/cost limit.

Finally, could you also confirm at what time of the day was the Leader of the council’s statement published?

The following comments relate to sections of the Freedom of Information Act, however given the fact that this request relates to the use of land and buildings, it may be that the council decides to consider this request under the Environmental Information Regulations (2004). We would request that an explanation is given for whatever legislation is used to consider this request. And regardless of the legislation, the following points are taken into consideration.

Section 10 - Timelines for compliance
Section 10 of the Act requires that a public authority respond 'promptly' to a request for information and otherwise no later than within 20 working days. This point is expanded upon in the ICO Guidance Paragraph 21-25, explaining that only in exceptional circumstances should requests take a full 20 working days to comply with. Given that this issue is subject to a scrutiny inquiry within Haringey Council there is further reason for a timely release of this information.

Section 16 - Advice and Guidance

If there is any part of this request that is unclear, please can you contact me to offer advice and guidance as to the form and format of the kinds of information held by the authority, so I am given an opportunity to explain what information I am seeking with reference to what is held. I would also note that the Section 45 Code of Practice says that in providing advice and assistance, I should be allowed to speak to your FOI officer rather than conducting all correspondence over email.

I believe that in this case there is strong public interest of understanding this political position. The Wards Corner development led by Grainger PLC has since 2007 sparked huge controversy in the community. There have been four legal challenges by local community groups and market traders directly affected by the development. The recent Compulsory Purchase which concerns this question attracted over 180 objections, accompanied by petitions against the CPO with approximately 1,875 signatures. These objections mainly pertain the disproportionately negative effect that the development will have on members of vulnerable, low-income, BME community groups; in particular market traders. Community and resident groups are also concerned about the lack of affordable housing on site and the destruction of local heritage which is currently locally listed. In reaction to these negative effects the local community has built through consultation an alternative vision for the area. The Wards Corner Community Coalition, a group established in 2007 gained in April 2014 planning permission for an alternative Community Plan for the same area. In May 2014 the Seven Sisters Indoor market which is part of the development was designated as an Asset of Community Value by Haringey Council.

Section 17 - Reasons for refusing a request

If the public authority feels the need to withhold any information please can it clearly outline which exemption is being applied, and the points considered when balancing the prejudice and public interest tests. I would expect the authority to be to demonstrate why an exemption applies ‘if it would not otherwise be apparent’ as per Section 17(1)(c), and considering that I have clearly why the exemptions should not be applied, that pro-forma responses would not be appropriate. Please bear in mind the decision Hogan and Oxford City Council v Information Commissioner [2011] which notes that there should be an evidence based link between disclosure and 'real', 'substantial' and 'likely' harm.

Yours faithfully,

Sara Gonzalez

Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Gonzalez

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
LBH/8430219

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 20 February 2019.

 

This information request will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations and we
will send the response by 20 March 2019

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Feedback and Information Governance

 

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

Haringey Council 

Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, Wood Green, London N22 7TR

 

www.haringey.gov.uk

twitter@haringeycouncil

facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Gonzalez

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
LBH/8430219

 

I am writing in reference to your request for information received on 20
February 2019.

 

Unfortunately we are currently unable to respond to your request. We
require more time to consider if an exemption applies under the Freedom of
Information Act, and to determine whether or not the balance of the public
interest lies in maintaining an exemption.

 

We apologise that there will be a delay in responding to your request. We
now expect to respond to you by 17 April 2019.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at [1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Claire Gunn

Feedback Review Officer

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

 

Haringey Council

5th Floor, Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, Wood Green, London N22 7TR

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/
3. https://twitter.com/haringeycouncil
4. https://www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil

Taylor Neil, Haringey Borough Council

3 Attachments

 

Dear Ms Gonzalez,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/8430219

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 20^th February
2019, in which you asked for the following:

 

 1. Confirm when (date and time) was Haringey Council first communicated
the Secretary of State’s decision on the Wards Corner Regeneration
Project Compulsory Purchase Order 2016
 2. All communication, within the council, between the first moment that
confirmation of Order was known and the leader’s statement relating to
that issue published on the 23rd of January.
 3. Confirm at what time of the day was the Leader of the council’s
statement published

 

My response is as follows:

 

Please see attached copy of correspondence between Haringey Council and
MHCLG confirming the Wards Corner CPO decision, dated 23^rd January at
8.56am.

 

Included in the attached email is the internal communication that followed
between the CPO decision email from MHCLG and the Leader’s statement.

 

Finally, I can confirm that the statement from the Leader of the Council
was published on the 23^rd January around 2pm.

 

If you are unhappy with how we have responded to your request you can ask
us to conduct an Internal Review. If so, please contact the Feedback and
Information Team as below. (Please note you should do this within two
months of receiving this response.)   

 

Shared Service Centre

Feedback and Information Governance Team

10^th Floor, Alex House

10 Station Road

Wood Green

London N22 7TR

 

E [1][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Neil Taylor

 

CPO Project Manager

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

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