Dear sir/madam, under the freedom of information act , could you please provide me a list of all the vacant or empty homes in any condition. Whether

Joanna Lumbis made this Freedom of Information request to Greenwich Borough 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 refused by Greenwich Borough Council.

Dear Greenwich Borough Council,

Under the freedom of information act, please provide me with a list of all empty/vacant residential properties, whether derelict, poor repair,ready to let or new. Please reply within the 20 days allowed.
Thank you

Yours faithfully,
Joanna Lumbis

[email address]

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear requestor

 

Thank you for your email in connection with an FOI enquiry.

 

If you are making a new request, your request will be processed and you
will receive an acknowledgment with a reference number for future
correspondence within 24hrs.

 

If you are chasing a late response, we will investigate the delay and get
back to you as soon as possible with an update.

 

For all other enquiries, we will deal with the matter and update you as
appropriate.

 

Yours sincerely

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Royal Borough of Greenwich - LGC Council Of The Year 2013

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Lumbis

 

Ref No:- RFI/07708

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 7th October 2014.

 

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

 

If you have any further queries about this request do not hesitate to
contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any
future communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

June Reid

Quality and Insight Manager

Customer Services and ICT Strategy Division

Royal Borough of Greenwich

LGC Council of the Year 2013

 

' 020 8921 6290  À

*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Ms Lumbis

 

Freedom of Information request RFI/07708

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 7^th October 2014
shown below regarding empty/vacant residential properties.

 

Our response to you is as follows:-

 

1) Under the freedom of information act, please provide me with a list of
all empty/vacant residential properties, whether derelict, poor repair,
ready to let or new.

 

I can confirm that the Council holds the information on empty/vacant
residential properties within the borough.

 

However, this information is exempt under section 31(1)(a) of the Act.
Information is exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be
likely to prejudice “The prevention or detection of crime”.

 

We consider that by putting this information into the public domain it is
likely to increase the level of break-ins and metal thefts from empty
properties in the Borough. This could also lead to an increase in criminal
activity as well as endangering the safety of council tenants and
residents who reside in neighbouring properties.

 

We have also withheld this information in accordance with section 38
(1)(a)(b) of the Act

 

This information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to “Endanger the safety of any individual”.

 

There have been a number of incidents that have occurred as a result of
break-ins to our vacant stock for metal thefts, which has caused over
£70,000 worth of damage.  In a recent case, the damage caused to one of
our council properties resulted in flooding which resulted in a collapsed
ceiling of the tenant’s flat below.

 

We consider that by placing a list of addresses of privately owned and
council owned properties into the public domain there is a likelihood that
the safety of our tenants and residents could be endangered.  This is
demonstrated by the case we have referred to in the paragraph above.

 

Both section 31(1)(a) and 38(1)(b) are qualified exemptions and we have
considered the public interest test in accordance with section 2(1)(b) of
the Act.

 

“In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the
public authority holds the information”.

 

We have considered all the factors in favour of disclosure and they are:-

 

• Placing the requested information would assist the general public
interest in openness, an important aspect of which includes increasing
public debate concerning empty properties.

 

• There is a public interest in public authorities being accountable and
transparent.  It would assist the general public in understanding how the
Council uses its resources it decision in relation to its Housing Stock.

 

The factors that weigh in favour of maintaining the exemption are:-

 

• That disclosure of this information into the public domain could
increase the likelihood of break-ins to the Council’s housing stock and
other properties within the Borough.

 

If this happened, it is likely that the residents in close proximity to
these properties could be under threat because a crime had been committed
close to them.  We expect residents to feel secure in their homes.

 

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 your response to
your original letter and should be addressed to: Mary Ney, Chief
Executive, The Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich, London, SE18 6PW.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of your 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,

 

June Reid

Quality and Insight Manager

Customer Services and ICT Strategy Division

Royal Borough of Greenwich

LGC Council of the Year 2013

 

' 020 8921 6290  À

*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ

8 www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

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