Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on personal data, could you provide me with the following current business rates account data for your local authority.

Please note that I do not require any personal data or data in respect of sole traders or partnerships. This is a request for information in respect of companies, charities, councils and other organisations only.

This request is only in respect of businesses that are deemed to be occupied for business rates purposes. Do not provide any information is respect of properties that are considered to be empty or unoccupied for business rates purposes.

The provision of this information is in the public interest as your authority is currently awarding grants and discounts worth tens of millions of pounds to ratepayers. Nationally, councils are awarding grants and discounts worth tens of billions of pounds to companies and organisations, some of which have turnovers of billions of pounds. Some of these ratepayers may previously have been reported as engaging in activities that aim to reduce the amount of tax that they are liable to pay. As such, I believe that the provision of this information is in the interest of taxpayers and the wider public.

• Property Reference
• Liable Party Name
• Property Address
• Rateable Value
• Property Description
• Billing or Correspondence address
• Liability Start Date
• Current entitlement to any Reliefs or Discounts (do not include details of any empty property reliefs)
• Start date of the entitlement to any current reliefs or discounts

Please provide these data as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file.

Yours faithfully,

Jane Coates

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Jane Coates

 

Thank you for your recent request made under the Freedom of Information
Act and we trust this finds you well.

 

Wirral Borough Council publishes National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR)
records as a dataset on data.gov.uk at the following link
[1]https://data.gov.uk/dataset/wirral-busin.... These records
will be updated every quarter.

 

This information is also published as part of our Publication Scheme at
[2]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/about-council/....

 

The Council notes that the most recent published data is from October
2019, we must therefore give consideration to Section 22 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, ‘information intended for future publication’.

 

Section 22 is a qualified, class-based exemption and is therefore subject
to a public interest test. The legislation states that a definitive date
for publication does not need to be set, but that the public body should
be in receipt of the information and have a settled intention to release
it into the public domain.

 

The Information Commissioner’s guidance on Section 22 can be found at
[3]this link.

 

The practice of publishing NNDR is common among councils for precisely
this reason, and the Council is therefore of the opinion that it is both
sensible and in line with accepted practices. The publication of the
entirety of this data is a large exercise that involves a significant
amount of resources. In the Council’s view it would not be fair on
officers to ask them to carry out additional work in addition to this, nor
would it be fair to provide the information to some requesters when it has
been asked for while stating that other requesters must wait for the
updated dataset to be published.

 

Having concluded that it would be reasonable to withhold the requested
information, the Council must conduct a public interest test.

 

The public interest argument for disclosure is that it allows a greater
degree of scrutiny over how public money is managed, while contributing to
transparency over how decisions have been reached. It is important that
public authorities allow their decisions to be scrutinised by the public
to ensure that funds are managed appropriately.

 

The public interest factors for withholding the information would include
the additional burden on Council officers to provide ad-hoc reports in
response to individual information requests. This is time that would
otherwise be spent fulfilling other professional responsibilities. By
proactively incorporating NNDR data into our Publication Scheme, the
Council is displaying its commitment to openness and transparency.

 

It is the Council’s opinion that the public interest factors in favour of
withholding the requested information outweigh those in favour of
disclosure. This information is thereby considered exempt under Section 22
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal of the information
requested.  Please direct any request for an internal review to
[4][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated for
review.  You also have the right to complain to the information
Commissioner, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal
review.  The Information Commissioner's Office can be contacted at the
following link: [5]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

 

 

The Council does however note that the most recent published data is from
October 2019 and we are working towards the next update and ask for your
patience in this matter.    

 

Please also  be advised due to current pressures on the Council’s
resources and workforce, due to the Corona Virus; you may experience a
delay in response to any clarification/review you submit.
[6]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/about-council/...
we therefore ask for your continued patience and understanding in relation
to these matters.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

Treasury Building

Cleveland Street

Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

[7]Tel:0151 691 8397

Email:[8][Wirral Borough Council request email]

Visit our website: [9]www.wirral.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

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