Details of all properties that have any historic credit on their account

Natalie Davis made this Freedom of Information request to Carmarthenshire Council

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The request was successful.

Natalie Davis

Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

Please can you provide me with the following information under the Freedom Of Information Act 2000:-

(a) addresses and rateable values of all properties that have any historic credit on their account

(b) the names and addresses of the owners of those properties
referred to in (a)

Yours faithfully,

Natalie Davis

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Ms Davis,

I refer to your request for information regarding properties, which was
received on 9th July, 2010 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

In order for us to proceed, we would be most grateful if you could
provide more details regarding your request, as follows:

1. Please confirm whether your request is concerned with Council Tax,
Non Domestic rates or both.

2. If it is concerned only with NNDR, please advise whether or not you
are seeking information regarding commercial properties owned by
incorporated companies, as opposed to private individuals.

Once we have received sufficient clarification from you to enable us to
search our records, we will be required to respond within 20 working
days.

If we do not hear from you within three months of the date of this email
it will be considered that your request has been withdrawn.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me,
remembering to quote the reference number above in any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Tel: (01267) 246108
Mewnol/Internal: 6108
Ffacs/Fax: (01267) 246134

show quoted sections

Dear FOIA,

Thanks for the reply. We require non domestic rates for all vacant commercial properties.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Davis

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Davis,

I refer to your request for information regarding rates credits, which was
received on 9th July, 2010 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Please accept my apologies for not responding
within the 20 working days required by the Act.

The specific information you requested was as follows:

1. Addresses and rateable values of all properties that have any historic
credit on their account.

2. The names and addresses of the owners of those properties referred to
in 1.

I wrote to you on 9th July, 2010 asking you to confirm whether your
request was concerned with Council Tax, Non Domestic rates or both. With
regard to NNDR, I also asked you whether you seeking information
regarding commercial properties owned by incorporated companies, as
opposed to private individuals.

You responded on 14th July, 2010 confirming that you required information
regarding NNDR [historic credits] in respect of all vacant commercial
properties.

Before I respond, I would explain that we can only provide details of
'historic' or longstanding credits where the accounts are closed accounts,
as any live account (which could be in respect of a vacant property) will
either have the credit offset against applicable current liability or it
will be refunded, together with the applicable statutory interest, where
appropriate.

In response, please find attached a list of closed accounts with credits.

<<FOIA credits-rateable values.pdf>>
Please note however that the table does not include any information
regarding properties where the liable party is an individual, and where
the responsible party contact address has been identified as a private,
home address (and are not the registered company address), these have been
removed from the table and marked 'withheld'. Where the only address held
is that of the premises, this is also made clear.

I would also add that the responsible parties, and indeed the companies
listed, are not necessarily the owner of the properties and our records do
not specify whether they own the premises or not.

I am withholding the personal data described above for reasons I will
explain below.

Under Section 40 (2) of the Act, a public authority may refuse to release
personal data if its disclosure would breach any of the data protection
principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

The legal definition of personal information contained in the DPA is
information that relates to a living individual, who can be identified
from the information, or from other information held or likely to be held
by the data controller (in this case the Council). This would include
names, addresses as a wide range of information about a person.

The first data protection principle requires that personal data be
processed fairly and lawfully, with the term processing including
disclosure or release to third parties. Schedule 2 of the DPA provides
the conditions relevant to the first data protection principle and at
least one must be met before personal data can be disclosed.

The relevant condition is found at paragraph 6 of Schedule 2, which I will
quote below in full:

"6 (1) The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate
interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties
to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted
in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms
or legitimate interests of the data subject."

Disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act has the
effect of placing it in the public domain. I must therefore disregard who
has asked for the information and am required to consider whether it would
breach the first data protection principle by releasing it to the public
at large.

The first step in meeting the condition quoted above is to establish
whether there is in fact a legitimate public interest in disclosing the
information, before considering whether the interests of the individuals
in question outweigh this. I would add that the concept of public interest
differs from mere public curiosity, or something that may be interest to
the public.

In this case, I do not consider that there is any genuine public interest
in disclosing this particular information and as such, I do not consider
that this condition is met. It is my view that the release of the
information being withheld would breach the first data protection
principle. Section 40 (2) of the Act provides and absolute exemption
where this is the case.

As I am refusing to provide the requested information, please therefore
consider this email as a formal notice of refusal under Section 17 of the
Act.

If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled,
you can request a review by writing to:

The Head of Administration & Law

Carmarthenshire County Council

County Hall

Carmarthen

SA31 1JP

Email: [1][email address]
 
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your request or complaint, you
have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

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

Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

There is no charge for making an appeal.

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Tel: (01267) 246108
Mewnol/Internal: 6108
Ffacs/Fax: (01267) 246134

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ddefnydd yr unigolyn y*u cyfeiriwyd ato/ati yn unig. Os derbyniwch y neges
hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i*r sawl a*i hanfonodd ar unwaith,
dilëwch y neges o*ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau papur
ohoni. Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i unrhyw un arall, na gweithredu ar
sail y cynnwys. Eiddo*r awdur yw unrhyw farn neu safbwynt a fynegir, ac
nid ydynt o reidrwydd yn cynrychioli safbwynt y Cyngor. Dylech wirio am
firysau eich hunan cyn agor unrhyw atodiad. Nid ydym yn derbyn unrhyw
atebolrwydd am golled neu niwed a all fod wedi*i achosi gan firysau
meddalwedd neu trwy ryng-gipio*r neges hon neu ymyrryd â hi.

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References

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Dear John,

Thank you for your reply. The request is referring to Non-Domestic Rates only and requires all commercial properties.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Davis

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Davies,

Thank you for your email.

However, you have already replied to my query and I have provided a
response to your request on 18th August, 2010, which is attached.

If you are dissatisfied with this response, your rights of appeal are
set out in the reply.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Tel: (01267) 246108
Mewnol/Internal: 6108
Ffacs/Fax: (01267) 246134

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