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

Council tax payment allocation in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]

We're waiting for S Staffordson to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Southampton City Council,

The Council makes the statement quoted below from the document link:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

"Where the council tax payer has stated or implies that the payment should be allocated to a specific debt we abide to that; where they have not stated - if it does not match a specific payment then it is allocated to the oldest debt."

The council's statement above does not agree with the judgment in the case of R. v Miskin Lower Justices (see below link to the judgment):

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

The judgment clarifies the position in cases where a creditor has to make a decision as to which account payment should be allocated when a debtor has one account more burdensome for him than another and his payment is unspecified

Clearly the council's statement, if it were to agree with the judgment, would be.....

[[ Where the debtor does not make any reference as to where the payment should be allocated then the creditor must allocate the payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. ]]

Q. Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law which conflicts with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]?

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your information request received on 16/09/2019. Please find
attached the Council’s response.

 

Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson
Junior Legal Assistant

Legal & Governance

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership
Southampton City Council
Tel: 023 8083 3000 (switchboard)

[1]@SouthamptonCC    [2]facebook.com/SotonCC

 

FOI-1920-0678-032827/01325750

 

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

References

Visible links
1. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...
2. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

Dear Information,

Thank you for your response. Can you confirm that the information was obtained from the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV), i.e the Insight magazine (10 October 2002)?

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your email below.

 

When you ask whether the “information” was obtained from the Institute of
Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV), i.e. the Insight magazine (10
October 2002), what “information” do you mean specifically?

 

Are you referring to information specifically provided in our response? If
so are you referring to the whole response or only part of it? If you are
not referring to the response, what are you referring to?

 

Kind Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson, Junior Legal Assistant

Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

DX115710 Southampton 17

 

Tel: 023 8083 2129

 

 

 

 

FOI-1920-0678-032827/01328229

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information,

I am referring to information specifically provided in your response.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your email correspondence below.

 

I have been in contact with our Council Tax department regarding your
query below. They have advised the following:

 

The response is formed from confirmation information supplied by our
software suppliers, additional case law and by looking at Miskin and our
current set, to which we had already provided a response prior. 

 

The Council did look at the website and several other Local Authorities’
replies on the website. This confirmed that other LA’s were undertaking
the same practice as Southampton.

 

I hope this clarifies matters, however please note that, if you’re
dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you are entitled to make a
request for internal review. These should be received within three months
of receiving a response to your request.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson, Junior Legal Assistant

Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

DX115710 Southampton 17

 

Tel: 023 8083 2129

 

 

 

 

FOI-1920-0678-032827/01331066

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information,

"The Council did look at the website and several other Local Authorities’ replies on the website. This confirmed that other LA’s were undertaking the same practice as Southampton."

Which website are you referring to above (and which other Local Authorities’ replies)?

Did you see the following reply by Croydon Borough Council, for example?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Staffordson,

I have spoken to the Council tax team and they have advised that the
website referred to is: [1]www.whatdotheyknow.com

This was used to look at responses from other Local Authorities, though
they did not record which ones they looked at. Furthermore, they had not
specifically looked at the response provided by Croydon.

They have advised that the current posting system has been in place since
1993 and that any decision to do so would have been made on commencement.

 

Please note, that the queries you have raised fall outside of the scope of
Freedom of information Act 2000. As such we will not be obliged to respond
to any further enquiries, unless you are requesting specific recorded
information held by the Council.  In this instance I will deal with any
request for information as a new Freedom of information request, where
they meet the terms of the legislation.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson, Junior Legal Assistant

Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

DX115710 Southampton 17

 

Tel: 023 8083 2129

 

 

FOI-1920-0678-032827/01410101

 

show quoted sections

Dear Information,

Section 84 of the Freedom of Information defines "information" to be information that is recorded in any form.

I am certain that the council's computer set up is sufficiently sophisticated to record the history of web pages visited so I argue that the council will in fact have a record of the Local Authorities they looked at.

P.S. As a point of interest regarding the council's current posting system that has been in place since 1993, Southwark council for some reason made the decision to post unspecified payments to the in-year Council Tax account on 10 October 2016 (prior to that it posted payments in the same way as Southampton does currently).

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your attached email.

 

As per my previous correspondence, I agreed that we would undertake any
further request that we considered to be for specific recorded
information. I would agree that some records might be held by the Council
which could satisfy the request you are making.

 

However, as per my email above, any such request would be treated as a new
request for information. Because this did not form part of your original
request, I am satisfied we should treat this as a new request. The new FOI
request has been logged under reference number FOI-1920-1025-034374.

 

Unless clarified otherwise, your request is being dealt with under the
terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and will be forwarded to the
service area(s) holding the information. Your request will be answered
promptly, and within twenty working days of the date your request was
received.

 

Please note, the service area(s) holding the information may need further
information from you to locate the information sought once they have
received the request, and you will be contacted should this be necessary.

 

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us
at [1][email address]. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.

 

Please note, the Council routinely publishes information on its
Publication Scheme:

 

[2]http://www.southampton.gov.uk/council-de...

 

You may wish to view our Publication scheme to ascertain whether the
information you are seeking is already published. If you find the
information you are seeking, please let us know accordingly and we will
close your request. If we do not hear from you further we will continue to
process your request in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson
Junior Legal Assistant

Legal & Governance

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership
Southampton City Council
Tel: 023 8083 3000 (switchboard)

[3]@SouthamptonCC    [4]facebook.com/SotonCC

 

FOI-1920-1025-034374/01412145

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.southampton.gov.uk/council-de...
3. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...
4. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

Information, Southampton City Council

Dear S Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. On review, the Council
considers that it is not obliged to comply with this request in accordance
with section 14 of the FOIA, as the request has been deemed to be
vexatious for the following reason(s):

 

·         The Council is satisfied that there is no reasonable grounds for
making the request. It appears that the request for information has been
received further to the Council providing a response which you were not
initially satisfied with, and therefore appears to be a reactionary
request.

·         The Council is further satisfied that disclosure of the
requested information would not be of sufficient value to public at large.
This is because the information would have no real value to anyone but the
person requesting it.

·         Furthermore;

o   The request would require a disproportionate amount of effort to
respond. Council employees only have access to their internet history for
a matter of three weeks. Our IT team will have access to up to 6 month’s
worth of information, however the process of identifying the information
would be extremely time consuming as the relevant web pages will need to
be identified by manually searching a list of all pages visited.

o   This could also be seen as an un-proportionate invasion of privacy
against the relevant Council employee/employees, as although the
information itself is not personal, a lot a of personal information about
those individuals will need to be reviewed before we identify the
information requested.

o   The request appears to have been designed solely for the purpose of
‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed.

o   Lastly, this request is one of many follow up enquiries that have come
through to us since your initial request, and I’m concerned that we will
be unable to satisfy the request to the extent you require, due to their
frequency and their frivolous nature. The Council has responded to all
previous requests until now.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to:

 

Service Director – Legal and Governance

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre

SOUTHAMPTON

SO14 7LT

 

Email: [1][email address]

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

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

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Fax: 01625 524510

Email: [2][email address]

Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson
Junior Legal Assistant

Legal & Governance

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership
Southampton City Council
Tel: 023 8083 3000 (switchboard)

[3]@SouthamptonCC    [4]facebook.com/SotonCC

 

FOI-1920-1025-034374/01413746

 

 

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...
4. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

Dear Information,

This ploy to withhold information by exploiting the vexatious exemption says so much more about the council than the release of it would ever do. I'm sure the general public will see that as well.

Having said that I will be exercising my right to ask for an internal review in the near future accompanied by my grounds for doing so.

I'm guessing that the legal department have advised the council to exploit the vexatious exemption because of what would be revealed if the information was disclosed.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Dear Southampton City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Southampton City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council tax payment allocation in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]'.

Response 1

"The Council is satisfied that there is no reasonable grounds for making the request. It appears that the request for information has been received further to the Council providing a response which you were not initially satisfied with, and therefore appears to be a reactionary request."

Appeal grounds

You have not even attempted to justify your assertion "that there is no reasonable grounds for making the request". If the Information Commissioner was called upon to adjudicate she would be obliged to take into consideration any Information Rights Tribunal decisions brought to her attention. At least two are relevant to the present matter in respect of follow-up or reactionary requests. The Tribunal accepted in Thackeray vs Information Commissioner (EA/2011/0082) that further requests might be generated from information disclosed and should not lightly be characterised as vexatious if it was pursuing a legitimate line of enquiry (para16).
http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

The other is Marsh vs Information Commissioner (EA/2012/0064)

http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

Both appeals were allowed as it was determined by the Tribunal that the public body was not entitled to rely on section 14 to refuse the requests for information.

Response 2

"The Council is further satisfied that disclosure of the requested information would not be of sufficient value to public at large. This is because the information would have no real value to anyone but the person requesting it."

Appeal grounds

Again, the council has not even attempted to justify why there is insufficient value to the public.

The request is pursuing a legitimate line of enquiry because when a council taxpayer has not only his in-year liability to pay but debt outstanding from a previous year, a significant burden can be imposed on the customer if his payments are allocated to his arrears rather than his in-year account.

Response 3

"The request would require a disproportionate amount of effort to respond. Council employees only have access to their internet history for a matter of three weeks. Our IT team will have access to up to 6 month’s worth of information, however the process of identifying the information would be extremely time consuming as the relevant web pages will need to be identified by manually searching a list of all pages visited."

Appeal grounds

This response is disingenuous because these particular circumstances surround the information being refused on a technicality. The issue was that they did not record which Local Authorities they looked at and because they were not recorded it was the council's justification for asserting that the request fell outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. We have since come to the conclusion that it does fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act and on the balance of probabilities it will be within the ability of the Council employees to identify the authorities thus making the task in fact negligible to respond (the opportunity to refused on a technicality is no longer available).

Response 4

"This could also be seen as an un-proportionate invasion of privacy against the relevant Council employee/employees, as although the information itself is not personal, a lot a of personal information about those individuals will need to be reviewed before we identify the information requested."

Appeal grounds

This amounts to little more than grasping at straws and in any event the Council employees will be able to identify the relevant authorities.

Response 5

"The request appears to have been designed solely for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed."

Appeal grounds

Contrary to the above I do have an idea of what might be revealed. I expect that the council may have only looked at similar requests I have made to other Local Authorities which will explain why it has been able confirm that other LA’s were undertaking the same practice as Southampton. This would be pursuing a legitimate line of enquiry because the Local Authorities have been purposely selected for these requests because they have all been discovered to have their council tax systems set to automatically allocate non specified payments to the oldest account. The significant number of Local Authorities that prioritise keeping the in-year account maintained by allocating non specified payments to the most recent account will not have been accounted for thus the outcome will have been misleading.

Response 6

"Lastly, this request is one of many follow up enquiries that have come through to us since your initial request, and I’m concerned that we will be unable to satisfy the request to the extent you require, due to their frequency and their frivolous nature. The Council has responded to all previous requests until now."

Appeal grounds

This again amounts to no more than grasping at straws. The council had evidently been evasive with its responses and has consequently invited follow-up correspondence. The issue which the council is effectively side-stepping is far from frivolous because of the serious consequences there are for council taxpayers when their payments are appropriated unlawfully by the council to engineer additional debt.

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,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Staffordson,

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review of your freedom of
information request, received 21^st December 2019.

 

This matter has been logged under reference CLT-034414, and has been
allocated to the Council’s Information Governance Officer for review. They
will respond to your concerns no later than the 23^rd January 2020, unless
stated otherwise.

 

If you have any further queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Nathan Matterson, Junior Legal Assistant

Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

DX115710 Southampton 17

 

Tel: 023 8083 2129

 

 

 

 

CLT-034414/01415048

 

show quoted sections

Information, Southampton City Council

2 Attachments

Dear S Staffordson,

 

I refer you to your request under the Freedom of Information Act and
subsequent request for an internal review.

 

Please find attached the Council Decision Notice (CLT-034414Decision.pdf)
and revised response document (CLT-034414Response.pdf)

 

Regards,

 

Robert Greenaway, Information Governance Officer

Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership

Southampton City Council

Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

DX115710 Southampton 17

 

Tel: 023 8083 3166

 

[1]http://www.southampton.gov.uk/Images/llg...

 

CLT-034414/01438212

 

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

References

Visible links

Dear Information,

Re, paragraph 31 of the review response:

"31. The Council should issue a revised response to this request subject to any clarification required."

I do not see in practice how the following can apply as a condition for the Council to hold the information:

" 27.3. Either the advice, information or the case law must conflict with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953] "

The council could easily claim that any information it holds about the application of the law in respect of the appropriation of Council Tax payments does not conflict with the judgment in R v Miskin when it in fact it does.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

Dear S Staffordson,

Thank you for your comments in the email below.

Under the Freedom of Information Act you can request information that the Council already holds.

I understand your argument that the Council might hold information that conflicts with the judgment in R v Miskin and
- The Council might be of the opinion that the information does not conflict with that judgment or;
- The Council has no information as to whether the information it holds is in conflict with that judgment

I am of the view that if either of these situations apply then the Council could only answer your query by creating new information. The Freedom of Information Act does not comply a public authority to create new material.

Even if I were to take determining whether the information the Council held did in fact conflict was not new inform, it is likely that the Council would exceed the appropriate cost (£450) in identify whether that information did conflict with the judgment in R v Miskin. Therefore the Council would be exempt from answering this question under Freedom of Information Act 2000 section 12.

I have been unable to suggest a request that you could make that might yield the information you are seeking. However, you might like to consider removing the reference to R v Miskin so that this is not a limiting factor in the nature of the information you are requesting. When considering any future request you might like to consider the implication of Freedom of Information Act 2000 section 42 in relation to Legally Privilege information. The ICO guidance regarding the application of section 42 can be found at https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio....

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Council's 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
Tel: 0303 123 1113
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: [email address]

Regards,

Robert Greenaway, Information Governance Officer
Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY
DX115710 Southampton 17

Tel: 023 8083 3166

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you are not the person or organisation it was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

CLT-034414/01445476

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Dear Information,

You have completely misunderstood the point I was making in my 18 January 2020 email. I hoped the council would have realised that the request would have to be interpreted simply as follows:

"Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law"

However you have implied that if you interpreted the request as above you would refuse to provide the information on the grounds that it is exempt from disclosure under s42 of the FoI Act 2000 (Legally Privileged information).

Please be aware that when a decision is made with potentially legal implications the council is required to consult the Monitoring Officer and such procedures should be formally recorded. A decision that requires setting the parameters of a council tax payment processing system to automatically allocate non-specific payments to the oldest account rather than to the in-year account is one such decision.

If the proper legal process was followed when the decision was made then there will be a record of it comprising a background outlining the relevant legal requirements and risk assessment highlighting the degree to which the council would be exposed to legal challenge if not complied with.

I have provided an example of the kind of assessment that should have been documented and it is patently obvious that the implied restrictions with regards Legally Privileged information played no part whatsoever in the procedure. Note particularly the reference to the High Court case between Reverend Paul Nicholson and Tottenham Magistrates, Nicolson, R (on the application of) v Tottenham Magistrates & Anor [2015] EWHC 1252 (Admin).

https://democracy.npt.gov.uk/documents/s...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

Dear S Stafford,

I am satisfied that the Council has effectively answered the question;

"Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law".

Therefore, I do not consider this to be a new request for information.

If you are not satisfied with the Council response and internal review then you may complain to the Information Commissioner's Office as detailed in my previous email

Regards,

Robert Greenaway, Information Governance Officer
Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY
DX115710 Southampton 17

Tel: 023 8083 3166

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you are not the person or organisation it was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

CLT-034414/01446391

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Dear Information,

Your two latest statements made in separate emails of 22 January 2020 apparently conflict:

First statement

"I have been unable to suggest a request that you could make that might yield the information you are seeking. However, you might like to consider removing the reference to R v Miskin so that this is not a limiting factor in the nature of the information you are requesting. When considering any future request you might like to consider the implication of Freedom of Information Act 2000 section 42 in relation to Legally Privilege information. "

Second statement

"I am satisfied that the Council has effectively answered the question;

"Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law".

Therefore, I do not consider this to be a new request for information."

Are you implying that you have engaged s42 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

Dear S Staffordson,

The Council has never suggested that it has applied the s. 42 exemption. Under s. 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires the Council to offer a request assistance in relation to requesting information.

Given that the nature of your request was for information held on the application of the law it was reasonably to advise you of the ICO guidance regarding the application of s. 42 so that you might be in a position to make a request that would result in information being disclosed to you. Or had the Council or any other public body applied the s. 42 exemption you would be in a better position to challenge that decision or accept the public bodies conclusions.

If the Council were to apply the s. 42 exemption it would have made it clear that the exemption had been applied and would have provided a Public Interest Test Decision Notice explaining why the exemption has been applied.

I am satisfied that in answering you question 'Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law which conflicts with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]' on the 11th October 2019 the Council took your request to be much wider than either
'Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law which conflicts with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]' or 'Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law' in which the Council set out the statutory basis on which council tax payments are allocated and supporting case law. I note that this response other than the legislation itself did not say where the Council obtained the information about case law. However on 16th October 2019 the Council advised that the information within the response of 11th October 2019 was provided from their software suppliers.

Given that you have pursued the matter I will did with your request for the following information as a new request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following information;

'Where did the council obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law'

The Council considers the request to be vexatious and therefore under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is not obliged to answer the request. The Council considers the request vexatious for the following reasons;

- As described above the request has already received all reasonable relevant information relating to the request
- The information itself is trivial. The source of the information would only yield the name of a particular person or department providing the advice.
-The requester appears to be pursuing some matter where they disagree with the methodology used by the Council to allocate payment of Council Tax. The requester appears to be attempting to use the Freedom of information Act process to further his ultimate goal of changing that Council Tax payments are allocated rather than seeking to request information held by the Council. If the requester wishes to make submission to the Council that the way in which Council Tax payments are allocated is wrong then they should contact [email address].

If you are not satisfied with the Council response you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner's Office can be contacted by email at [email address] or by post at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF

Regards,

Robert Greenaway, Information Governance Officer
Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY
DX115710 Southampton 17

Tel: 023 8083 3166

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you are not the person or organisation it was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

CLT-034414/01451280

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Dear Information,

Thank you for your response. I have been informed that a public body is very reluctant to refuse a request on the grounds of vexatiousness because the Information Commissioner considers there to be a very high threshold for refusal on such grounds and the authority would be criticised for the irresponsible use of the public purse to defend a potential complaint to the ICO and subsequent appeal to a Tribunal. I am reliably informed that a public body usually takes this approach as a last resort (when it must safeguard the requested information at all costs). I am also reliably informed that a public authority, so wishing to influence the outcome of an escalated complaint, would employ dirty tricks, for example smear the complainant off the record to the Commissioner.

The Council's evasiveness suggests that the information asked for if disclosed would leave it open to legal challenge or implicate a third party. Clearly the Monitoring Officer was not presented the opportunity to assess what impact a decision would have if non-specific payments were automatically allocated to arrears rather than the in-year account. The fact that the proper legal process was evidently not followed and instead the council just accepted the information it was provided by its software suppliers would support a view that the Council would rather have the issue buried and the Information Commissioner assist them. Officers have probably already got the nod from the Commissioner that a decision would favourable to the council.

Given my view of how things work I obviously don't see any point in pursuing this but further to my email of 22 January 2020 my thoughts are that this issue should be put before the council's Monitoring Officer as it is his duty to ensure all decision making is lawful and the legal process described in that email should have been followed in arriving at the decision.

Regarding the Miskin case law, despite being decided in 1953, it is obviously relevant to Council Tax or there would unlikely be guidance tailored specifically for the benefit of Local Authorities. For example, Ipswich Council demonstrates its awareness of the case and other case law relevant to Council Tax liability in the following page exhibited presumably from a book entitled "Local Authority Revenues" https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

The relevant passage summarises a billing authority's obligations regarding the allocation of payments where a customer has several accounts payable to the council in the context of R v Miskin Lower Justices and associated case law. The Institute of the Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) has published similar in its 10 October 2002 Insight magazine https://tinyurl.com/y3hoyx9v

In respect of the council's statement; "if it does not match a specific payment...", there was no precedent set in the Miskin case based on payments matching the instalment amount of a particular year.

https://tinyurl.com/vk2pwhn (R v Miskin)

It is clear from the first paragraph of the judgment that the debtor (husband) did not once in any of the payments he made, make a payment matching an amount that he was required to under the terms of the maintenance/committal orders. The judge held that an appropriation was inferred from the circumstances to be the debt which it was most beneficial for the debtor to reduce (see quoted from the judgment).

"...the question whether the payments made by the husband should be appropriated to the original debt depended on the particular facts of the case. The husband would be likely to wish the payments to be utilized in discharge of the original debt..." (so that he would secure his release from the committal order).

As for the Council defending the practice of applying non-specified payment to the oldest year where a debt remains outstanding, the overwhelming evidence is that this does not accord with established case law.

Possibly the council's software suppliers have been influenced by the ruling in Devaynes v Noble 1816 merivale 529 (Clayton's Case). Clayton's Case is confined to cases where there is an unbroken account between the parties, or “one blended fund,” as in the case of a current account at a bank or between traders; it does not apply where there is no such account or fund, but merely distinct and separate debts. Snells Principles Of Equity's gives a definition in the document here: https://tinyurl.com/y3uzpd5n

A number of billing authorities wrongly rely on the Clayton Case ruling to justify allocating non-specific payment to the arrears because the effect of the rule is that in the absence of any express appropriation, each payment is impliedly appropriated to the earliest debt that is not statute-barred (payments are presumed to be appropriated to debts in the order in which the debts are incurred). They are of course misinformed because the rule does not apply to Council Tax as it consists of distinct insulated debts, between which a plain line of separation can be drawn (a bill is issued each year relating specifically to that year's liability).

Conveniently in the Clayton Case judgment the rules by which the application of indefinite payments are governed have been discussed. Clearly before any consideration is given as to the order in which the debts have arisen it must be asked, to which of the debts would the allocation be most beneficial to the debtor? (where the purpose for which a payment is made is unspecified it must be carried to that account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce). Only if it was of no more benefit to the debtor which of the accounts payment was applied to could it be said that allocating non-matching payments to any arrears would be in accordance with established case law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devaynes_v... (Clayton's Case)

"In the absence, therefore, of any express declaration by either, the inquiry was, what application would be most beneficial to the debtor. The payment was, consequently, applied to the most burthensome debt...and, if the debts were equal, then to that which had been first contracted."

It is noteworthy that the Sri Lankan case, Ephraims v. Jansz (1895) 3 N.L.R. 142, similarly discussed the rules relating to the appropriation of payments in the context of the onerous nature of debt due on several accounts. The condition in the below quoted from the judgment could not be more relevant to the circumstances that are in issue with Council Tax liability:

https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/wp-content/upl... (Ephraims v. Jansz)

"If no such appropriation is made at the time of payment, the creditor must apply it to some claims which could be enforced at the time of payment and which at the moment is not in controversy."

Council Tax may be enforced (subject to payments being met) so a customer's in-year liability is not in controversy, providing his instalments are paid when due. An unspecified payment then, applying this principle, would have clearly been misappropriated if the council applied it to arrears so causing his in-year liability instalment to have not been met.

But regardless of whether the principle in the Sri Lankan case can be relied on, a customer having one liability more onerous for him than another must have his payment if it were unspecified carried to that account which it is most beneficial for him to reduce in line with other case authority mentioned.

The council's processing system applies payments in respect of the customer's implied intention but on a severely restricted basis (solely on the sum paid corresponding with an instalment amount). A payment matching a specific liability covers only one of several ways that the taxpayer's election may be implied. For example, case authority has consistently found that a debtor's intention may be indicated from the circumstances of the transaction (see Khandanpour v Chambers [2019] EWCA Civ 570 "Appropriation" from para 25). https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ...

A debtor's payment pattern could indicate a debtor's intention to appropriate payment to a particular debt, so if a pattern had emerged of a customer's payment being made and accepted as credited to a particular debt then it would be inferred from the nature of the transaction, even if not expressed at the time by the customer, that he intended to ascribe it to that account. A customer having one liability more onerous for him than another must have his payment if it were unspecified carried to that account which it is most beneficial for him to reduce.

A customer who would be caused the additional burden from recovery action being taken in respect of his in-year liability as a consequence of payment being applied to his arrears, would clearly have intended his payment to be appropriated to his in-year liability to avoid unnecessary additional costs etc. Evidence of an intent to appropriate, although falling short of being express, would be provided in those particular circumstances to be an election to pay specifically on the current year's liability (the inference from the circumstances of a transaction is just as valid an election to pay specifically on one of several accounts as if his election were expressed).

A customer who made payment in an amount sufficient to prevent his in-year liability falling in arrears would have good cause to bring legal proceedings against the council if it were to allocate his payment to a previous year's charge (thus unnecessarily burdening him further) merely because it did not match the instalment amount. In any event, I understand that a billing authority's duty, as a priority, is to maintain a customer's in-year account with payments received in respect of his liability, so logically the frequency with which payment would be correctly applied would be maximised (under automated conditions) if the parameters in the Council Tax processing system were set so that any unspecified payments were applied to the current year's charge.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

Information, Southampton City Council

Dear S Stafford,

I have passed your email onto our Council Tax team to consider. If you are not satisfied with the Council's response to your request you may appeal to the Information Commissioners Office.

The Information Commissioner's Office can be contacted by email at [email address] or by post at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF

Regards,

Robert Greenaway, Information Governance Officer
Southampton & Fareham Legal Partnership
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY
DX115710 Southampton 17

Tel: 023 8083 3166

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you are not the person or organisation it was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

CLT-034414/01457297

show quoted sections

Dear Information,

Thank you for your reply, although I did indicate in my previous email that I would not be pursuing this further. However, your Monitoring Officer might wish to look at this from the following perspective:

Let's say a Customer has an outstanding balance of £50.00 secured by a Magistrates' court Liability Order from a previous year's charge. This gives councils the power to use various enforcement methods to collect the debt and adds costs to the arrears. The standard costs rubber stamped by the court are in the sum of £110.00 so the total amount owing the council for that year's charge has increased to £160.00. The customer now has his in-year Council Tax obligation to meet as well as the amount secured by a court order from the previous year's charge.

The customer's in-year payments are set at £121.95 for the first instalment and £120.00 for the remaining nine (£1,201.95 in total). The customer makes his first payment of £122.00 but because the council's system applies payments that do not exactly match to the oldest debt, his in-year Council Tax obligations have been detected by the computer system to have not been met even though the payment was made in sufficient an amount to prevent his in-year liability falling in arrears. Although Council Tax liability consists of distinct insulated debts, between which a plain line of separation can be drawn, the benefit to the council is the same (£122.00) whether payment is applied to the in-year account or arrears so there is no legitimate advantage for the council nor justification in engineering a further burden for the customer in respect of his in-year liability. The previous year's debt has already been secured with a court order which has no time limit restricting its use.

It is therefore reasonable to suspect that the council allocates non-matching payments to the arrears thus imposing an additional £110.00 standard costs in respect of the in-year engineered non-payment for a non-legitimate reason. But there is no theoretical advantage to the council in respect of the costs it claims because the law only entitles it to claim the actual expenditure it incurs. It would therefore be self defeating if the council were to go about obtaining court orders merely to benefit from the application if its costs claim was genuine and not inflated. Another possible motive would be to punish the customer, but this is troublesome for the council because it is making use of the Magistrates' court unnecessarily and in so doing burdening the customer with a further £110.00 debt. This by definition is penalising the customer with imposed costs which is impermissible according to established case authority. It was held on judicial review of a licensing case R v Highgate Justices ex parte Petrou [1954] 1 ALL ER 406 that costs should not exceed the proper costs incurred and should not be a penalty.

In the more recent case it was held that the Magistrates were bound to decide the matter of costs in accordance with the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (the court needs to be satisfied that it was reasonable for the council to incur them) i.e. they would not reasonably have been incurred if it was not reasonable for the council to take steps to enforce payment (see paras 34 and 51 of R (Nicolson) v Tottenham Magistrates [2015] EWHC 1252) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...

In the aforementioned scenario the council would have impermissibly obtained a court order to enforce the misappropriated £122.00 element of the liability TWICE. This is because the payment which was intended to be applied to the in-year liability was misapplied to the arrears.

Each year's liability is a distinct debt so if the council has a secured debt in respect of one year's charge it cannot use the same court order to enforce payment if a customer defaults in a subsequent year (another order must be obtained from the court). However, the court order securing £160.00 debt from a previous year was effectively used to collect the sum of £122.00 which was actually paid in respect of the in-year liability (the amount secured by the previous court order reduced to £38.00). The customer's in-year liability did not only remain unchanged as a result of the misapplied £122.00 payment it actually increased by £110.00 because of the court costs attributable to the council's further application to the Magistrates' court (the in-year liability increased to £1,311.95 which was secured by a fresh court order).

The upshot of all this is that the customer has outstanding liability relating to two separate debts, each independently subject to enforcement by the various oppressive methods enabled by the court order. The customer's overall indebtedness arising from the misappropriated payment has immediately increased by £110.00 because of unnecessary court costs. In engineering the default, the council has clearly been shown to have unlawfully used an order securing a previous year's debt to enforce payment from the in-year liability which was perversely the cause of the Council Tax processing system triggering recovery in respect of the in-year liability (the same £122.00 amount has been subject to enforcement by two separate court orders).

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Information, Southampton City Council

Thank you for contacting Southampton City Council.

Your enquiry will be passed to the relevant team/officer for action.

If you have made a request for information, you will receive a response
promptly, and within the statutory timeframe for compliance. Once your
request has been logged, you will receive further details of this, and you
may be contacted if we require further information from you.

If you have any queries, please contact the Council's Corporate Legal Team
on 023 8083 2129.

This email is confidential but may have to be disclosed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or
data protection legislation. If you are not the person or organisation it
was meant for, apologies, please ignore it, delete it, and notify us. SCC
does not make legally binding agreements or accept formal
notices/proceedings by email. E-mails may be monitored. This email (and
its attachments) is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it
is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged and/or
confidential. If it has come to you in error, you must take no action
based on it, nor must you copy or show it to anyone.

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