Cost of replacing Bus Shelter in Sidmouth

R Thurlow made this Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear East Devon District Council,

The Bus shelter in the Triangle Sidmouth was recently vandalized. Your estimate for replacing it was £7000, but you said that you could not repair/replace it because you did not have the funds to do so.

On the other hand, EDDC have unilaterally spent over £11,000 on funding an appeal to the Information Tribunal, which was authorized internally.

Please explain and justify how on one hand EDDC can spend an unplanned £11,000 on legal costs for a wasted case, whilst stating that there were no funds for an essential public facility

Yours faithfully,

R Thurlow

Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Thurlow,


Thank you for your e-mail. Your query has not been treated under the
Freedom of Information Act as you were asking a question rather than
requesting recorded information.


I note some misrepresentation in your final paragraph. It is certainly my
understanding that the Tribunal agreed that some redactions were justified
so it is inaccurate to use the term 'wasted case'.


As regards the main issue of your e-mail, it is the case that the Council
administers its finances through a variety of budgets. As you will know
from your various FOI requests, the relocation budget includes various
contingencies which cover off unforeseen expenditure. The budget for
street furniture does not have similar provision in the absence of our
insurers accepting liability under the relevant policy.


As matters transpired we were fortunate to benefit from an exceptional
gesture by a publically minded citizen who understands the financial
difficulties that the public sector operates under.


Yours sincerely,


Henry Gordon Lennox

Monitoring Officer



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P Freeman left an annotation ()

It is interesting to note that Mr Henry Gordon Lennox, head of the council's legal department and supposedly an impartial officer is:

a. Answering FoI requests himself; and

b. Providing (political) opinions (such as whether the spend on the appeal was a waste of money or not).