Croydon Hub - Urban Regeneration Vehicle

Paul Williams made this Freedom of Information request to Croydon Borough Council

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

I should be grateful if you could supply me with the following information under the FOIA

- A copy of the contract between the developer and the council creating the URV;

- A copy of the full business case, including the financial case, for the URV

- A list of all the land that has been affected as part of the URV, including land that has been sold;

- A copy of all debt financing contracts that have been entered into as part of the URV

- Details of how much you have spent on external consultancy, eg financial, legal and other advice, in each of the years 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and to date in 2010/11;

- A list of all the external advisers you have contracted and on what terms.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Williams

Hewson, Emma, Croydon Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Williams

Thank you for your email/letter dated 22^nd March 2011 in which you have
requested, among other matters a copy of the contract between the
developer and the Council creating the Urban Regeneration Vehicle.

We are considering your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, and hope to respond within the statutory 20 working
days.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, either
myself or a colleague will let you know the likely charges before
proceeding.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Emma Hewson

Trainee Solicitor

Democratic & Legal Services Division

Chief Executive's Office

London Borough of Croydon

Tel: 0208 726 6000 Ext. 62055

Faxintaion: 0208 633 9571

Fax: 0208 760 5679

DX 136017 Croydon 17

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Dear Ms Hewson,

The Council has failed to meet the statury deadline for response of 20 days.

If I do not have a susbtantive response by 17:00, 26th April, 2011, I shall lodge a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Williams

Paul Williams left an annotation ()

Complaint registered with Information Commissioner.

Paul Williams

Dear Ms Hewson,

Croydon Council has failed to respond to my request in the statutory deadline. I have therefore lodged a complaint with the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Williams

Hewson, Emma, Croydon Borough Council

I am on annual leave until 4 May 2011.

Please direct all Judicial Review matters to: [email address]; [email address]; [email address]

Urgent Freedom of Information matters should be forwarded to [email address] ; [email address]

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Paul Williams left an annotation ()

Complaint registered with Information Commissioner

Paul Williams left an annotation ()

Sent to Gavin Barwell MP to highlight Croydon's policy of opaqueness and foot-dragging.

Paul Williams left an annotation ()

Proud to serve?

Another week goes by without a response from Croydon or Gavin Barwell MP.

Paul Williams

Dear Ms Hewson,

A response was due on 18 April 2011; it is now 7 June 2011.

I assume the ICO will take a dim view of the Council's timeliness and radio silence on this request.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Williams

Derby, James, Croydon Borough Council

8 Attachments

Dear Mr Williams

Thank you for your email dated 22^nd March 2011 in which you have
requested, among other matters a copy of the contract between the
developer and the Council creating the Urban Regeneration Vehicle. We have
considered your request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act
2000, and apologise for the delay in replying. Below is our response.

1 A copy of the contract between the developer and the council
creating the URV;

The following documents signed at `Commercial Close' on 28 November 2008
are attached:

· Members Agreement relating to CCURV LLP dated 28 November 2008
between

1. The Mayor and the Burgesses of the London Borough of Croydon
Council

2. John Laing Projects and Developments (Croydon) Limited

3. John Laing plc

4. CCURV LLP

· Loan Note Instrument (Council A Loan Notes) dated 28 November
2008 entered into by CCURV LLP

· Loan Note Certificates (Council A Loan Notes) dated 28
November 2008 executed and delivered by CCURV LLP

· Loan Note Instrument (JLPDC A Loan Notes) dated 28 November
2008 entered into by CCURV LLP

· Loan Note Certificates (JLPDC A Loan Notes) dated 28 November
2008 executed and delivered by CCURV LLP

· Conditional Sale and Development Agreement dated 28 November
2008 between

1. The Mayor and the Burgesses of the London Borough of Croydon
Council

2. CCURV LLP

· Payment Deed relating to the provision of premises known as
Council Offices, Croydon dated 28 November 2008 between

1. The Mayor and the Burgesses of the London Borough of
Croydon Council

2. John Laing (Croydon Development Company) LLP

· Property and Development Management Agreement relating to a
portfolio of properties in Croydon dated 28 November 2008 between

1. CCURV LLP

2. John Laing Projects and Developments Limited

3. John Laing plc

Some information in the attached documents have been redacted as it falls
under the exemption provided in section 43 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. The section provides an exemption for disclosure of information
is considered commercially sensitive.

Section 43 (2) of the FOIA provides that information is exempt information
if its disclosure would or would likely to prejudice the commercial
interests of any person. Information relating to financial models have
been redacted as this is considered commercially sensitive by the parties
to the Agreement.

In deciding whether to apply the aforementioned exemption the Council is
expected to balance the public interest test in withholding the
information against the public interest in disclosing the information. The
information is considered, by the Council, to be commercially sensitive as
its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interest of the parties in future and/similar commercial negotiations as
these interest rates were negotiated by the parties with their respective
bankers.

This stance has been taken by the Council and John Laing and it is
believed that if the information is disclosed to you it could potentially
weaken the relevant businesses' position of the parties to the Agreement
in a competitive environment and will be of potential usefulness to their
competitors.

2 A copy of the full business case, including the financial case,
for the URV

The business case for CCURV and the selection of John Laing as the
council's is highlighted in the following Council Cabinet reports:

· Selection of Preferred Private Sector Partner for the Urban
Regeneration Vehicle, June 2008:

[1]http://www.croydon.gov.uk/contents/docum...

· Proposals to move to Commercial Close (Urban Regeneration
Vehicle - URV), November 2008:

[2]http://www.croydon.gov.uk/contents/docum...

3 A list of all the land that has been affected as part of the URV,
including land that has been sold;

As set out in the Cabinet paper dated November 2008 (link above)
it was agreed to commit to transfer the following assets to CCURV:

· Taberner House

· Tamworth Annex

· College Green

None of these sites have been sold to CCURV.

The Fell Road site that forms the development land for the Public Sector
Delivery Hub remains in the freehold of the Council.

4 A copy of all debt financing contracts that have been entered into
as part of the URV;

These documents are attached as set out in 1 above.

5 Details of how much you have spent on external consultancy, eg
financial, legal and other advice, in each of the years 2006/07, 2007/08,
2008/09, 2009/10 and to date in 2010/11;

External consultancy costs from 2008/09 forward are set out below:

2008/9 2010/11 TOTAL
2009/10
(£) (£) (£) (£)

FINANCE 272,477.19 185,569.00 179,604.89 637,651.08
PROPERTY &
TECHNICAL SERVICES 755,516.00 - - 755,516.00

LEGAL 39,500.00 195,537.20 90,765.74 325,802.94
1,067,493.19 381,106.20 270,370.63 1,718,970.02

6 A list of all the external advisers you have contracted and on
what terms.

The Council engaged with the following advisors in the establishment of
CCURV:

Advisor Remit
Deloittes Advice on accounting treatment
Eversheds Legal advice
King Sturge Business case and management of procurement process
Public Sector Finance Financial advice on loan transaction
PWC Due diligence at commercial close
Wragge & Co Legal advice on financial close

If you are dissatisfied with the way the council has handled your request
under the Freedom of Information Act you may ask for an internal review.
This should be submitted to us within 40 working days of this response.
You can do this by outlining the details of your complaint and either:

o e-mailing us at [Croydon Borough Council request email]
o faxing us on 0208 760 5679
o writing to FOI Complaints, London Borough of Croydon, Democratic and
Legal Services, Croydon, CR9 3JS

Any requests received after the 40 working day time limit will be
considered only at the discretion of the council.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

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

Yours sincerely,

James Derby

Corporate Solicitor

Legal & Democratic Services

London Borough of Croydon

Taberner House

Park Lane

CR9 3JS

Tel: 020 8760 5768 Ext. 61359

Fax: 020 8760 5679

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References

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