Cost of the Margate High Street Festive Lights

Louise Oldfield made this Freedom of Information request to Thanet District Council

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

Thanet District Council did not have the information requested.

Louise Oldfield

Dear Thanet District Council,

I'm writing for information about the cost of the festive lights erected in Margate High Street. I would like the following information:

- The leasing contract with Blachere.
- How much it costs per year to lease the lights.
- How many years the lights have been leased so far and total lease cost.
- What budget this cost has been paid from.
- The removal and fitting contract with SERCO.
- How much per year is paid to SERCO for the removal and refitting of the lights.
- - What budget this cost for removal and refitting been paid from.
- Which company conducts the safety tests.
- How many years have the lights been removed and refitted by SERCO and total cost.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Oldfield

Alan Martin, Thanet District Council

Ref No:51757 / 2440154
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your communication of 18/07/2013 requesting information
about the cost of the festive lights erected in Margate High Street.
 
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days. 
 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Alan Martin
Information Request Assessor
 

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Alan Martin, Thanet District Council

Ref No: 51757 / 2440154
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your communication received on 18th July in which you
requested information about the cost of Margate High Street's festive
lights.
 
I am writing to advise you that the information you requested is not held
as the lights are not organised or funded by the council.
 
Should you need to contact me further, please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Alan Martin
Corporate Information Officer
 
 
 

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Louise Oldfield

Dear Alan Martin,

Thank you for your reply. I was under the impression from reports in the media that the lights are funded by Margate Town Partnership, which in turn is part funded by Thanet District Council. Items in the media in the autumn of 2012 detailed that the £800 annual safety check was paid for by Thanet District Council.

Thanet District Council also attend the board meetings and receive the minutes and annual accounts.

Please can you confirm that you do not hold this information requested.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Alan Martin, Thanet District Council

 
23 July 2013
 
Ref No:51757/2440154
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your further enquiry, dated 22nd July 2013.  Your request
will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
Alan Martin
Corporate Information Officer
 
 

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Mark Seed, Thanet District Council

Dear Louise
 
Thank you for your further emails of 22nd and 23rd July on the issue of
Christmas lighting costs.
 
I did a bit of further digging on this following these and I think there
is some misunderstanding about the council's involvement with the lights.
 
There was some confusion around this related to a statement on Radio Kent
several months ago to the effect that Margate Town Team were going to pay
for the maintenance on the decorative lighting in the High Street.
However, as far as I am aware the decorative lighting is a matter for the
Margate Town Partnership and not the Town team or TDC. This was further
confused by a misunderstanding that TDC would find the money to cover the
maintenance, but this was also incorrect as there has been no payment by
TDC for this.  I understand that Margate Town Partnership actually paid
for the maintenance in the end.
 
As far as I am aware there is no regular attendance by TDC officers at
Margate Town Partnership meetings.  There is no general grant payment to
them any longer, except for a small contribution to floral displays, so
their accounts are not submitted to our Finance section.
 
Mark
 

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Louise Oldfield

Dear Thanet District Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Thanet District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Cost of the Margate High Street Festive Lights'.

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,

Louise Oldfield

Alan Martin, Thanet District Council

 
31 July 2013
 
Ref No:51757/2440154
 
Dear Miss Oldfield
 
Your request for an internal review of the above case has been received.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
Alan Martin
Corporate Information Officer
 
 
 

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Dear Alan Martin,

Please can you confirm the date you intend to reply to my request for an internal review?

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Alan Martin, Thanet District Council

Dear Miss Oldfield
Thank you for your e-mail. My understanding is that there is no statutory period for completion of FOI internal reviews, however, good practice would be to conduct the review within 20 working days. This would equate to a due date of the 28th August 2013. If you have not received a response to your review by then please let me know.
Yours sincerely
Alan Martin

Alan Martin
Corporate Information Officer
Thanet District Council

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Dear Alan Martin,

Yes, the good practice guidance is for complaints (Internal Reviews) to be implemented within 20 days.

http://www.ico.org.uk/upload/documents/l...

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Harvey Patterson, Thanet District Council

Ref No:51757 / 2440154
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your e-mail received on  30 July 2013 where you requested an
internal review of the decision of the Council's Director of Operations,
Mark Seed  set out in his e-mail to you of 26 July  2013 when, in terms,
he  confirmed that the Council held no information relevant to your
request concerning the costs of the festive lights in Margate High
Street. 
 
I have now conducted a review and theoriginal decision is upheld on the
grounds that I  too am satisfied that the Council holds no information
relevant to your request.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Harvey Patterson
Corporate & Regulatory Services Manager
 

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Dear Harvey Patterson,

Thank you for your reply. I had understood from Mark Seed's email that he was investigating with the finance dept after being told of the £28,000 that the Council had paid recently to Margate Town Partnership. That this was considerably more than a token contribution on the part of the Council towards hanging baskets as Mr Seed had previously stated. Given the large sum of money granted to Margate Town Partnership, the public statements regarding the Council paying for the repair of the festive lights last autumn and the regular attendance of Council at their meetings, I expected the council to come back with evidence of how this £28,000 was spent.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Louise Oldfield left an annotation ()

From: Louise Oldfield
Date: 30 July 2013 17:51
Subject: Margate Town Partnership payments
To: Mark Seed

From: Mark Seed
Thanet District Council

26 July 2013

Dear Mark,

In your reply to me on July 26th regarding my FOI Request for details
about the funding of Margate High Street's Christmas Lights, you
stated that:

"here is no general grant payment to
them any longer, except for a small contribution to floral displays, so
their accounts are not submitted to our Finance section."

In the accounts published by Thanet Council for the last two years the
following payments to Margate Town Partnership were issued:

http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democr...

04/05/2011 £2180.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
02/06/2011 £1000.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
22/06/2011 £620.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
05/07/2011 £25000.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
Total payments 2011: £28,000

22/05/2012 £4000.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
30/05/2012 £6000.00 Margate Town Partnership (New)
Total payments 2012: £10,000

Can you please clarify your statement that the above figures are what
you would describe as a "small contribution"?

Please provide details of what the above payments were for.

Kind regards,

Louise

In 2011

Dear Louise

Thank you for your further emails of 22nd and 23rd July on the issue of
Christmas lighting costs.

I did a bit of further digging on this following these and I think there
is some misunderstanding about the council's involvement with the lights.

There was some confusion around this related to a statement on Radio Kent
several months ago to the effect that Margate Town Team were going to pay
for the maintenance on the decorative lighting in the High Street.
However, as far as I am aware the decorative lighting is a matter for the
Margate Town Partnership and not the Town team or TDC. This was further
confused by a misunderstanding that TDC would find the money to cover the
maintenance, but this was also incorrect as there has been no payment by
TDC for this. I understand that Margate Town Partnership actually paid
for the maintenance in the end.

As far as I am aware there is no regular attendance by TDC officers at
Margate Town Partnership meetings. There is no general grant payment to
them any longer, except for a small contribution to floral displays, so
their accounts are not submitted to our Finance section.

Mark

Louise Oldfield left an annotation ()

From: Mark Seed
Date: 31 July 2013 07:38
Subject: Re: Margate Town Partnership payments
To: Louise Oldfield

Louise
Thanks for this. I have asked Finance to confirm these details. Mark