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Cost benefit analysis for £3.7m grant to Housing 21

Timothy Watson made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

I would like to request a copy of any financial cost benefit analysis done before and relating to the agreement to provide a circa £3.7m grant to Housing 21 for the provision of an 80 unit extra care facility on Moreton Road, Upton (next to St Joseph's church).

Should this not exist, and I ask that its existence or lack of be confirmed, I request a copy of any similar written financial justification for the provision of the grant.

Yours faithfully,

Timothy Watson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Watson

 

Thank you for your request for information shown below.  We would be
grateful for your clarification in relation to the wording of your request
- specifically your reference to an “agreement” to provide the grant.

 

By agreement, are you in fact referring to the decision making process
that led to the grant being awarded? 

 

If you could clarify your request we would be grateful to hear from you
and a response will be issued within 20 working days of receipt.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
CH27 9FQ

 

Email: [1][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

Visit our website: [2]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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T Harrison left an annotation ()

So, almost at the back-stop time limit they ask for clarification. What a rotten borough....

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Hi,

By agreement I do mean decision.

There must have been some decision making process that led to the agreement or decision to make a grant of this size available. Within that process there must have been some evaluation of value for money i.e. a cost benefit analysis or report or justification that describes the basis for the decision or agreement. I specifically requested the financial basis for the decision.

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Watson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

 

Dear Mr Watson

 

Thank you for your response and clarification on your query in relation to
the proposed development in Moreton Road Upton.

 

It is incumbent on the Registered Housing Provider to ensure that it is
compliant with any information supplied in relation to any subsidies under
the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement . The Council undertook its own
preliminary assessment check to ensure compliance with the requirements
described in the Guidance on the UK’s international subsidy control
commitments, as described in “annex 2: Public Authorities’ assessment of
how subsidies comply with UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement
principles”.

 

There was a report to ASC&PH Committee on 18 January 2021 -
[1]http://s03vs-intrcm.core.wcent.wirral.go...

 

A planning application has now been submitted for the scheme, the
reference for the application is APP/21/01813 - 8, 10 and 12 MORETON ROAD,
UPTON, CH49 6LL.

 

A grant agreement has not been signed for the subsidy to the scheme at
Moreton Road Upton, further subsidy compliance checks will need to be
undertaken prior to any grant agreements being signed.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
CH27 9FQ

 

Email: [2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

Visit our website: [3]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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. http://s03vs-intrcm.core.wcent.wirral.go...
2. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

The links you provided in your response do not appear to work and I assume these are internal links to the Council systems.

You have not supplied the requested information and I therefore ask for an internal review.

At this point it is not clear if the information has not been provided because the Council does not hold it, which in turn suggests a decision, at least in principle, to give £3.7m to a private company has been made without a cost-benefit analysis to support that decision. Furthermore the fact that a planning application has been made suggests the Council has provided positive pre-planning support. It would be very interesting to know how the Council deals with planning applications it supports, in this case in principle and financially, and how segregation of roles and responsibilities in the planning department is maintained.

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Watson

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Hi Tim,

Try https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/document... instead, you're right the link provided was to Wirral Council's intranet.

All the best.

Timothy Watson left an annotation ()

Thanks I’ve printed this report off and it is significant that it says an assessment of ‘value for money’ has been done. This is the information that I requested and the Council has not yet provided. I wonder if this assessment was presented to Cllrs prior to the decision being made. There appears to be no documents, exempt or not, within the reports pack…..

Also significant that the report says a decision is required urgently prior to the developer applying for planning permission, and that the planning application has gone in.
The minutes of the meeting say that the decision was made and the grant was approved.
The FOI response letter only says that no agreement is in place.

It is interesting that great rigour appears to be applied to selection of a provider for the provision of extra care in the Poppyfields facility and yet the Council has accepted Housing 21 as the de facto provider here. This may be because Poppyfields is Council owned and this development is entirely private, but still Housing 21 come pre-approved it seems.

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Watson

Please see the report in question attached in pdf format.

If you have further questions after reading the report, please make a new request.

Yours sincerely

Lynette Paterson
Principal Information Management Officer
Wirral Council
PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
CH27 9FQ

Email: [Wirral Borough Council request email]

Visit our website: www.wirral.gov.uk

show quoted sections

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 'Cost benefit analysis for £3.7m grant to Housing 21'.

I have not received the information I requested.

There has been no confirmation that my request has been refused and no claim that the Council does not hold the information.

I have previously asked for a review of my request on 29th October.

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,

Timothy Watson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Watson

 

Thank you for your recent internal review request 1^st November 2021 in
which you state the following:

 

 

‘I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Cost benefit analysis for £3.7m
grant to Housing 21'.

I have not received the information I requested.

There has been no confirmation that my request has been refused and no
claim that the Council does not hold the information.

I have previously asked for a review of my request on 29th October.’

 

We note that you also asked for an internal review in an earlier email
dated 29 October 2021 as you were unable to access the links provided in
the Councils response and stated that you had not received the information
 provided. Your email stated:

 

‘The links you provided in your response do not appear to work and I
assume these are internal links to the Council systems. You have not
supplied the requested information and I therefore ask for an internal
review.

At this point it is not clear if the information has not been provided
because the Council does not hold it, which in turn suggests a decision,
at least in principle, to give £3.7m to a private company has been made
without a cost-benefit analysis to support that decision. Furthermore the
fact that a planning application has been made suggests the Council has
provided positive pre-planning support. It would be very interesting to
know how the Council deals with planning applications it supports, in this
case in principle and financially, and how segregation of roles and
responsibilities in the planning department is maintained.’

This internal review is therefore based upon the original responses to
your request. Having done so we confirm as follows:

 

The outcome reached is that the Council has responded to the original
freedom on information enquiry in line with our processes, it is noted the
Council did respond to your request of 29 October 2021 and provided this
information in a pdf format.

 

However we do wish to add the following statement to your response as part
of this review:

 

“There is clear research and evidence of the cost benefit of extra care
and that where we provide grant, there is a clear criteria applied that
were met in this case.  The grant provided here is relative to the size of
scheme and Homes England Grant provided.”   

 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the result of your internal review, you
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you wish,
who can be contacted at:

[1]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

PO Box 290

Brighton Street

Wallasey

CH27 9FQ

Email:[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

Visit our website: [3]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

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. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Timothy Watson please sign in and let everyone know.