Council Tax Summonses before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 9.10.2017

M Bowen made this Freedom of Information request to Carmarthenshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Carmarthenshire County Council,

Protected by the FOIA absent of vexatiousness, I require:

1. The total amount of summonses for Non Payment of Council Tax that were issued / sent out by Carmarthenshire County Council summoning recipients to appear before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 09/10/2017?

2. The total amount of Complaints laid before the Llanelli Magistrates Court for consideration to be the subject of an order of the Court?

3. Who was / were the duly authorised officer / officers of Carmarthenshire County Council swearing on oath that data / information laid before the Magistrate Court to be correct and true?

4. What is the total amount of Complaints found to be successful by the Llanelli Magistrates Court in the favour of Carmarthenshire County Council?

Yours faithfully,

M Bowen

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 8th October, 2017 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We are therefore required to provide a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before 3rd November, 2017.

If we require clarification we will also contact you as soon as we can – please note that the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change if this is the case.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries, remembering to quote the reference number above in any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
(Rheolwr) Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran Adfywio a Pholisi
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
(Manager) Information Governance & Complaints Team
Regeneration & Policy Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Bowen
 
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 8th
October, 2017 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.
 
The specific information you requested was as follows:
 

 1. The total amount of summonses for Non Payment of Council Tax that were
issued / sent out by Carmarthenshire County Council summoning
recipients to appear before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 09/10/2017?

 
Number of Council Tax Accounts: 321
Number of Payers (jointly liable): 401
 

 2. The total amount of Complaints laid before the Llanelli Magistrates
Court for consideration to be the subject of an order of the Court?

 
No. of Accounts: 208
No. of Payers: 254
 

 3. Who was / were the duly authorised officer / officers of
Carmarthenshire County Council swearing on oath that data /
information laid before the Magistrate Court to be correct and true?

 
Mr John Gravelle
 

 4. What is the total amount of Complaints found to be successful by the
Llanelli Magistrates Court in the favour of Carmarthenshire County
Council?

 
No. of Accounts: 207
No. of Payers: 253
 
Yours sincerely
 
John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
 
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
 
Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department Carmarthenshire County Council
Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

John Tillman
Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team

Dear Mr Tillman,

Thank you for providing me with the information I required.

In relation to Question 3 where I asked -

Who was / were the duly authorised officer / officers of
Carmarthenshire County Council swearing on oath that data /
information laid before the Magistrate Court to be correct and true?

There were two other public servants from Carmarthenshire County Council that accompanied and sat alongside Mr John Gravelle at Llanelli Magistrates Court on 9/10/17.

1. Who were these duly authorised public servants?
2. What are their roles / positions within Carmarthenshire County Council?
2. What were their public functions at Court that day?

Yours sincerely,

M Bowen

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 6th November, 2017 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We are therefore required to provide a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before 4th December, 2017.

If we require clarification we will also contact you as soon as we can – please note that the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change if this is the case.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries, remembering to quote the reference number above in any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran Adfywio a Pholisi
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Regeneration & Leisure Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

show quoted sections

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Bowen,
 
I refer to your request for information, which was received on 6^th
November, 2017 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
The specific information you requested was as follows:
 
“Who was / were the duly authorised officer / officers of Carmarthenshire
County Council swearing on oath that data / information laid before the
Magistrate Court to be correct and true?
 
There were two other public servants from Carmarthenshire County Council
that accompanied and sat alongside Mr John Gravelle at Llanelli
Magistrates Court on 9/10/17.
 
1. Who were these duly authorised public servants?
2. What are their roles / positions within Carmarthenshire County Council?
2. What were their public functions at Court that day?”
 
In response to your request, we do hold information relevant to your
request. The officers present in Court on 9^th October, 2017 were members
of the Council’s Revenues team and were present to assist customers
attending Court with any enquiries they might have. They were not sworn in
and did not take part in the actual proceedings.
 
However, after careful consideration, I am of the view that information
identifying these officers should not be disclosed for reasons I will set
out below.
 
The first point I should make is that disclosing information under the
FOIA has the effect of placing it in the public domain.  I am therefore
required to disregard who has made the request and consider the effect of
disclosure to the public at large.
 
Information which relates to a living individual and which allows that
person to be identified is defined as personal data under the Data
Protection Act 1998 (DPA).  The DPA also contains principles, or rules, on
how personal data must be handled.  If disclosing information under the
FOIA would breach any of these data protection principles, a public
authority may then refuse to release that information by virtue of Section
40 (2) of the 2000 Act.
 
The first data protection principle states:
 
“1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in
particular, shall not be processed unless—
(a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and
b) in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 3 is also met.”
 
The term processing includes disclosure to third parties, which must
therefore be fair, lawful and meet one of the relevant conditions set out
in Schedule 2 of the DPA.
 
The employees in question are not senior officers and are not responsible
for the formulation of Council policies, nor do they make decisions
regarding the expenditure of public funds.  As such, they would not
reasonably expect that information identifying them would be placed in the
public domain. Disclosure would also cause distress in my view. 
Therefore, bearing this in mind alongside the fact that disclosing the
information would be contrary to their expectations, I believe that
releasing it would be unfair and breach the first data protection
principle. Section 40 (2) provides an absolute exemption in such cases.
 
As I am refusing to provide some of the requested information, please
consider this email to be a formal notice of refusal as required by
Section 17 of the FOIA.
 
Your right of appeal
 
If you are unhappy with this decision or the way in which your request has
been dealt with, you have the right to complain in the first instance to:
 
The Head of Administration & Law
Carmarthenshire County Council
County Hall
Carmarthen
Carmarthenshire
SA31 1JP
 
Email: [1][email address]
 
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your request or complaint, you
have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk
 
There is no charge for making an appeal.
 
Yours sincerely
 
John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin
 
Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council
 
Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127
 
 
 
 
 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Carmarthenshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax Summonses before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 9.10.2017'.

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,

M Bowen

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire Council

I write further to your email of the 29^th December requesting an internal
review in this matter.

 

Your request has been passed to me to deal with.

 

I will aim to respond substantively to your request within 20 working
days, that is by the 7^th February

 

Yours sincerely

Robert Edgecombe

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

 

Please find enclosed the council’s response to your request for an
internal review in this case.

 

Yours Faithfully

Robert Edgecombe

 

 

Dear Robert Edgecombe,

Thank you for carrying out a review.

I am sorry to hear that the named individuals could not be named yet as public servants they were there paid by the public purse and did as what was expected of them by influencing the decision of the Court by fraternal signals hand and body influences as well as relaying to the Court flawed data accessed in the Court from an open operational laptop with facilities to record and photograph proceedings.

Therefore they did
1. Participate in the formal part of the legal proceedings and were there to represent the Council in those proceedings by influencing outcomes.
2. If their role was merely to offer advice and assistance to members of the public then they should have applied the same measures of sitting quietly at the rear of the Court as good members of the public do. And not distract the witness and or influence the Court.
3. Their conduct made them party in influencing outcomes hence in this case it was felt that it would have been reasonably expected for their personal data to be disclosed to the public.

The public are not allowed to photograph, record or operate laptops in the court therefore it was additional cause in the public interest to reasonably enquire as to who they were as they had significant advantage over the average public who had facilities to record, photograph and influence the outcomes and of future outcomes.

Yours sincerely,

M Bowen