Councillor Christopher D Shaw and The Signal Box Public House Limited

Alan made this Freedom of Information request to North East Lincolnshire Council

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

The request was refused by North East Lincolnshire Council.

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Re: The Signal Box Public House Limited

1. Please provide the reasons why Councillor Christopher D Shaw (Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council) has failed to disclose his disclosable pecuniary interest as director of the above company which are also breaches of The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 and North East Lincolnshire Council’s Code of Conduct?

2. Is Councillor Christopher D Shaw's interest in this company related in any way to his interests in the company known as Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway Limited and his partner's lease of the property in relation to the business known as Cafe Culture that are also located on property, that is owned by the council taxpayers of North East Lincolnshire, in Meridian Way, Cleethorpes? If yes, then please provide information on how they are related.

3. Do the council have any agreements, professional and/or legal, with this company? If there any, I would be grateful for a copy of the agreements and their commencement dates.

4. Do the council own any assets for which this company utilise as part of their business? If they do, please provide a description for each of these assets.

5. Within the past 10 years, have the council provided any renovation/repair services and/or financial assistance (e.g grants and loans for renovations/repair services) to these assets? If they have, please state the type of services and/or financial assistance provided.

6. Have the council provided any financial assistance (e.g grants and loans) directly to this company? If they have, please state the amount and type of financial assistance.

7. Under the licensing Act 2003, are there any premise and/or personal licences registered by the company with the council? If there are, please provide a copy of all registered documents.

8. Are there any other members and/or employees of the council who are directors, officers or shareholders of this company? If there are any, please provide their names and positions within the council.

9. Councillor Christopher D Shaw is also a company director of VSBC Secretaries Limited. This company appears to be linked to The Signal Box Public House Limited. Please provide the reasons why Councillor Christopher D Shaw has not to disclosed his interest as director of VSBC Secretaries Limited?

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Alan

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Alan

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number 8527_1415.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

I have not received a response from the council.

The council's policy says they will always aim to respond to information requests within 20 working days and may occasionally need to extend this time limit. If this happens they also say they will always let the requester know of this and explain why the delay is necessary.

With regards to this information request, the council have failed to adhere to their policy. This is very frustrating and has caused me unnecessary inconvenience.

I request that an internal review is carried out to find out why the council breached the law once more and also request that the requested information is provided to me immediately and not submitted together with the council's response to the internal review.

Additionally, please also tell me the number of times within the past 18 months the council have found that its staff failed to follow the proper procedures of responding to FOI and EIR information requests within 20 working days and what steps the council had taken to prevent the problem from recurring in future on each of those occasions.

If the council do not intend to carry out an internal review then please tell me at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Alan

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Alan

Further to your below email.

Please accept my apologises for the delay in providing you with a response to your freedom of information request. We are currently considering the public interest and whether the information can be disclosed.

In respect of your request for an internal review, I can confirm that that an Internal Review of the handling of your Information Request 8527_1415 is to take place.

The Internal Review has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co... .

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

Not protectively marked
or other statements which may bind the authority in any way via electronic means.

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this email?

Not protectively marked

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Alan

 

Thank you for your information request, reference 8527 1415. I wish to
confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information

 

Re: The Signal Box Public House Limited

 

1. Please provide the reasons why Councillor Christopher D Shaw (Leader of
North East Lincolnshire Council) has failed to disclose his disclosable
pecuniary interest as director of the above company which are also
breaches of The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests)
Regulations 2012 and North East Lincolnshire Council’s Code of Conduct?

 

This request falls outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act as
it does not relate to recorded information held by North East Lincolnshire
Council. It may be recorded information held, at the time the request is
received, by public authorities such as North East Lincolnshire Council.
Section 84 of the Act states that in order for a request for information
to be handled as a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for
recorded information. For example, a Freedom of Information request would
be for a copy of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have
that policy in place. On occasion, North East Lincolnshire Council
receives requests that do not ask for recorded information, but ask more
general questions about, for example, a policy, opinion or a decision. In
this instance I am satisfied that your request falls outside of the scope
of the Freedom of Information Act as it is not a request for recorded
information but is a request for a reason for something you consider has
happened.

 

Other avenues are available for you to pursue this if you consider there
has been a failure to disclose.

 

2. Is Councillor Christopher D Shaw's interest in this company related in
any way to his interests in the company known as Cleethorpes Coast Light
Railway Limited and his partner's lease of the property in relation to the
business known as Cafe Culture that are also located on property, that is
owned by the council taxpayers of North East Lincolnshire, in Meridian
Way, Cleethorpes? If yes, then please provide information on how they are
related.

 

This request falls outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act as
it does not relate to recorded information held by North East Lincolnshire
Council. It may be helpful if I explain that the Freedom of Information
Act (2000) gives individuals and organisations the right of access to all
types of recorded information held, at the time the request is received,
by public authorities such as North East Lincolnshire Council. Section 84
of the Act states that in order for a request for information to be
handled as a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded
information. For example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a
copy of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy
in place. On occasion, North East Lincolnshire Council receives requests
that do not ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions
about, for example, a policy, opinion or a decision. In this instance I am
satisfied that your request falls outside of the scope of the Freedom of
Information Act as it is not a request for recorded information but is a
request for a reason for something you consider has happened.

 

3. Do the council have any agreements, professional and/or legal, with
this company? If there any, I would be grateful for a copy of the
agreements and their commencement dates.

 

North East Lincolnshire Council holds no information in relation to any
agreements, professional and/or legal with this company.

 

4. Do the council own any assets for which this company utilise as part of
their business? If they do, please provide a description for each of these
assets.

 

The Council are the freehold owners of the land leased to the Cleethorpes
Coast Light Railway.  The demise includes the land, infrastructure and
Northern Terminus but excludes the Southern Terminus and Sheds.

 

5. Within the past 10 years, have the council provided any
renovation/repair services and/or financial assistance (e.g grants and
loans for renovations/repair services) to these assets? If they have,
please state the type of services and/or financial assistance provided.

 

The Council has not provided any grants and loans for renovations/repair
services to these assets during at least the last 5 years,  as confirmed
by existing members of the Community Investment Team. There is no record
of any support for the 5 year period prior to this.

 

6. Have the council provided any financial assistance (e.g grants and
loans) directly to this company? If they have, please state the amount and
type of financial assistance.

 

The Council has not provided any financial assistance directly to this
company.

 

7. Under the licensing Act 2003, are there any premise and/or personal
licences registered by the company with the council? If there are, please
provide a copy of all registered documents.

 

Licensing can confirm that the premises has a premises licence. A copy of
the licence costs £10.50, further information is available on the North
East Lincolnshire Council website:

 

[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/business/licen...

 

The public register, containing details of all applications and licences,
can be viewed during office hours by prior appointment only. Further
information is available on the North East Lincolnshire Council website:

 

[2]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/business/licen...

 

8. Are there any other members and/or employees of the council who are
directors, officers or shareholders of this company?  If there are any,
please provide their names and positions within the council.

 

North East Lincolnshire Council holds no records of any other member
and/or employees of the council who are directors, officers or
shareholders of this company. All interests declared by those who are
required to are published on the North East Lincolnshire Council website:

 

Senior Officers -
[3]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co...

 

Elected Members (each declaration is against the individual councillor) -
[4]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/counci...

 

 

9. Councillor Christopher D Shaw is also a company director of VSBC
Secretaries Limited.  This company appears to be linked to The Signal Box
Public House Limited. Please provide the reasons why Councillor
Christopher D Shaw has not to disclosed his interest as director of VSBC
Secretaries Limited?

 

This request falls outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act as
it does not relate to recorded information. It may be helpful if I explain
that the Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives individuals and
organisations the right of access to all types of recorded information
held, at the time the request is received, by public authorities such as
North East Lincolnshire Council. Section 84 of the Act states that in
order for a request for information to be handled as a Freedom of
Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded information. For
example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a copy of a policy,
rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in place. On
occasion, North East Lincolnshire Council receives requests that do not
ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions about, for
example, a policy, opinion or a decision. In this instance I am satisfied
that your request falls outside of the scope of the Freedom of Information
Act as it is not a request for recorded information but is a request for a
reason for something you consider has happened.

 

Other avenues are available for you to pursue this if you consider there
has been a failure to disclose.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

Resources Directorate

 

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Stan Higgleston (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Does anything in here help?

http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guid... (Do I have to create information to answer a request?)

"What do the Act and the Regulations say?
....
Section 84 FOIA defines information for these purposes as information recorded in ANY FORM."

Chris Osborne left an annotation ()

So, let me get this straight. If a councillor fails to declare a pecuniary interest then, as the council has no information then it falls outside the scope of the FOI. Absolute rubbish, if the above is the case, then surely there is a case for the monitoring officer to follow this up, and investigate the matter. This will ensure that all elected members are compliant within the terms of the localism bill. Seems like there's one rule for some and another for the rest.....

Alan left an annotation ()

Stan - many thanks for the link.

Chris - I totally agree. Clearly, Councillor Christopher D Shaw, along with other senior members at North East Lincolnshire Council, believe they are above the law. As for any intervention from the monitoring officer, I believe the fact that Councillor Christopher D Shaw's current register of interests (dated 04/03/14), which remains unaltered, speaks volumes especially in light of this information request.

Chris Osborne left an annotation ()

Chapter 7 of Part 1 of the Localism Act 2011 - Section 29 requires the monitoring officer of a relevant authority to establish and maintain a register of interests. Section 30 requires a member or a co-opted member of an authority, within 28 days of taking office, to notify the monitoring officer of any disclosable pecuniary interests which that person has at the time of notification. The monitoring officer is required to register such interests.

It would appear that if Mr ~Shaw has not registered all his interests, then now that the council is aware of it, the monitioring officer has a statuatory duty to ensure that the list is update. It is not up to you to pursue other avenues......

Alan left an annotation ()

Again, I agree with you Chris but since September the monitoring officer has had ample opportunity in enforcing the matter but appears he is not in the slightest bit interested and therefore does not fear any rebuke from the local government ombudsman if it is challenged. Frankly, I don't expect anything more from this disreputable local authority.

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Alan