Council's Policy on using Taxpayer's money to Bribe people to pull out of property deals

Steve Hunt made this Freedom of Information request to Conwy County Borough Council

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

Waiting for an internal review by Conwy County Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear CCBC,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like a copy of the Council's Policy Document whereby it states that the Council may use taxpayers money to attempt to bribe a private person to retract their offer to purchase a property in order that the Council may buy it instead.

[text removed] ) purchase 10 Douglas Road, Colwyn Bay. The conditions put on the offer (quoted directly from [Name of Council Officer Removed] letter) were as follows:

* that no offer is made by you, or your family, for the property and that any previous offer is withdrawn
* that Conwy County Borough Council exchange contracts with the Vendor of the property
* that neither you or your family release any detail of our discussions between us or the sums being offered by any party to any third party

(I perhaps should state for the record that I did NOT obtain copies of correspondence between [Name of Council Officer Removed] and "Mr J" directly from "Mr J")

I have researched the Council's website as best I can, but can find no such Council Policy that covers the actions of your officer.

In the event that the Council has no policy for such actions, then according to the Council's own constitution, there must have been a full Council meeting at which the idea of bribing "Mr J" and his family to withdraw his offer was proposed and discussed. So in that event, please supply a copy of the minutes of the full Council meeting (which should in any case be published already) where it was resolved that this course of action should be taken.

To pre-empt you accusing me of being vexatious (as you like to do) or using provocative language or some such, I refer you to the standard definition of the word "Bribe" : http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/b... which perfectly fits the description of what CCBC have tried to do in this instance. The word "bribe" is factually and grammatically correct for these circumstances.

I have no doubt you will yet again try to censor this website, but yet again I clarify and state for the record that all I am asking for is what should, by law, be publicly accessible information recorded by the Council as a public body and therefore legitimately accessible via the FOIA : specifically either a copy of the Council's Policy, or a copy of the minutes of a Council Meeting.

Steve Hunt

Please acknowledge receipt of this request

Steve Hunt

Info Regs Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Unit FOI 944-09

Dear Mr Hunt

Thank you for your email of the 28/10/2009 where you requested information about the Council's Policy on using Taxpayer's money to Bribe people to pull out of property deals.

I am writing to advise you that no information is held in relation to your request.

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 this response.

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 (Wales) Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL.

Yours sincerely,

David Smith
Corporate Information & Complaints Manager

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Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for comfirming the Council had no policy to carry out the recent actions described in my request.

Therefore, as requested previously, please provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting of the full Council where the Council discussed the matter and decided to carry out the actions described - as the Council's own constitution dictates MUST have happened.

Steve Hunt

Info Regs Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Unit FOI 944-09

Dear Mr Hunt

I refer you to paragraph 2 of my email of the 3/11/2009.

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
this response.

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 (Wales) Cambrian
Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL.

Yours sincerely,


David Smith
Corporate Information & Complaints Manager

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Smith,

re: Unit FOI 944-09

Are you then stating that the Council acted against its own constitution? The Council's constitution clearly states a meeting MUST take please to discuss such actions where (as you have already confirmed) there is no policy in place.

Please confirm or deny this, and if denied, then please provide the information previously requested or state where I may inspect same.

Steve Hunt

Info Regs Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Unit FOI 944-09

Dear Mr Hunt

Your attention is again drawn to paragraph 2 of my email of the
3/11/2009 which
answers your enquiry.

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
this response.

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 (Wales) Cambrian
Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL.

Yours sincerely,


David Smith
Corporate Information & Complaints Manager

show quoted sections

Mr Smith,

ANSWER THE QUESTION. Paragraph 2 of your email DOES NOT answer the question.

I ask again: Are you then stating that the Council acted against its own constitution? The Council's constitution clearly states a meeting MUST take please to discuss such actions where (as you have already confirmed) there is no policy in place.

Steve Hunt

Info Regs Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Unit FOI 944-09

Dear Mr Hunt

Your enquiry under the provisions of the FOIA has already been
addressed and
you have been advised that no information was held on the
3/11/2009. You were
further advised of this on the 4/11/2009 and again on the
6/11/2009.

No further communications will be entered into on this particular
enquiry.

If you are not content with the response you have the right to
apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner (Wales)
Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL.

Yours sincerely,


David Smith
Corporate Information & Complaints Manager

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Conwy Council asked us to remove defamatory material from this request.

After having received independent advice that the material had the potential to be defamatory we decided to make some redactions.

Where material has been removed this has been indicated. I do not believe it materially affects the understanding of the thread; the key piece of information removed was the identity of a particular council officer and an allegation against them.

We are happy to republish the allegation against the council, but not an allegation against an individual officer.

We do not have the resources to investigate allegations, and in making these redactions take no view at all on if there is any truth to them.

--

Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Steve Hunt left an annotation ()

I can't believe you are yet again bowing down to a proven corrupt council's whining... if they weren't so corrupt, they wouldn't have to keep whining when people publish the TRUTH about them would they?

Have a backbone, please... you make yourselves out to be an independent website, when you are very clearly not.

You are only ruining your own reputation by continually siding with a proven corrupt Council.

Publishing the name of a Council officer who engaged in a particular action IS NOT defamatory in any way - they are public servants, employed by the public, and their actions are directly accountable to public scrutiny.

As you can see for yourselves, it is very clear the Council had no policy whatsoever to carry out the actions they did, and they also acted against their own constitution, which is as far as I am aware unlawful.

All I have done is ask for information which SHOULD by law exist, and SHOULD by law be in the public domain.

Mr Smith,

Yet again you break the Law.

The law requires that you provide the information I requested. You refuse to do so. The information DOES exist, the Council's own constitution says that it MUST EXIST.

I have also requested an internal review of your decision to unlawfully the information, failing to carry out an internal review is also an offence.

I shall now make yet another formal complaint to the Information Commissioner - who is already dealing with numerous complaints against you as you are well aware.

Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt left an annotation ()

Those following the actions of the corrupt council officers involved in this attempted bribery scandal might like to read the following, where further details are available, along with the un-edited names of the individual Council Officers who have committed these acts.

http://voicesofcolwynbay.blogspot.com/20...

Meanwhile, the Council's continued law-breaking by refusing to release the information they MUST BY LAW have (as detailed above) has been reported to the Information Commissioner.

Mr Smith,

I am still waiting for the INTERNAL REVIEW of your REFUSAL to supply this information (which is against the law)

Steve Hunt

Dear Info Regs Unit,

I am still waiting for the internal review - please advise when it will be completed

Steve Hunt

Info Regs Unit/Uned.Rheol-Gwyb, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost.
Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid
Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email.
If you are requesting access to information under the terms of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 you will receive a response within twenty working
days.

Uned Reoliadau Gwybodaeth/Information Regulations Unit
Cyngor Bwrdeistef Sirol CONWY County Borough Counci
E-Bost/E-Mail; [Conwy Council request email]

"Mae'r neges e-bost hon ac unrhyw ymgysylltiadau yn gyfrinachol, ac wedi
eu bwriadu ar gyfer yr un sy'n cael ei h/enwi yn unig. Gallent gynnwys
gwybodaeth freintiedig. Os yw'r neges hon wedi eich cyrraedd ar gam, ni
ddylech ei chopio, ei rhannu na dangos ei chynnwys i unrhyw un. Cysylltwch
efo Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy ar unwaith. Nid yw'r Cyngor na'r un
sydd wedi anfon y neges yn derbyn unrhyw gyfrifoldeb am feirysau, a'ch
cyfrifoldeb chi yw sganio unrhyw ymgysylltiadau. Mae'r Awdurdod yn
monitro'r defnydd o e-bost/rhyngrwyd a chynnwys y rhain i ddibenion
busnes. " "This email and any attachments are confidential and intended
for the named recipient only. The content may contain privileged
information. If it has reached you by mistake, you should not copy,
distribute or show the content to anyone but should contact Conwy County
Borough Council at once. Neither the Council nor the sender accepts any
responsibility for viruses, and it is your responsibility to scan any
attachments. The Authority monitors e-mail/internet usage and content for
business purposes"

Steve Hunt left an annotation ()

Copies of the emails sent by Gareth Peters (DipSurv MRICS
/ Principal Property Manager / Engineering and Design Services CONWY County Borough Council) attempting to bribe Mr J with £1,000 are being made available to the Councils external auditors, KPMG.

Steve Hunt left an annotation ()

Now being investigated by the Information Commissioner. Case ref: FS50345735

Gordon left an annotation ()

I have been reading all correspondence relating to Conwy Council versus Steve Hunt.
Case ref: FS50345735.
Have there been any developments yet?

Gordon

Steve Hunt left an annotation ()

Yes, the matter has been investigated by KPMG and will be reported upon in their audit of the 2009/10 accounts.

I understand the Council have dealt with the matter "internally" I.E. "a cover up" ... though once the auditors report has been released, I will be pressing to have any outstanding details put in the public domain. It is vital the public know the names of these corrupt officers and exactly what punishment (if any?) they have received.

You should be aware that to date the auditors have refused to sign off the 2009/10 audit due to the files of evidence of serious financial misconduct presented to them in summer 2010.

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