Details of the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group

Louise Oldfield made this Freedom of Information request to Thanet District Council

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

The request was successful.

Dear Thanet District Council,

I'm writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I'd like information on the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group. Specifically:

- When the group was formed?
- What is the group's remit?
- Who are the members?
- What is the relationship of the group with Thanet District Council?
- Minutes from formation to the date of this information request, February 15th 2016.
- Constitution.
- Which TDC officer or department liases with group?
- Does TDC host the group's meetings?
- Are any of the membership roles of the group funded and if they are, how much is the remuneration?
- Details of the group membership recruitment

Yours faithfully,

Louise Oldfield

Pauline McGandy, Thanet District Council

 
 
Ref No:85958
Subject:Margate Seafront Development Steering Group
 
 
 
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 15/02/2016 requesting information
about Margate Seafront Development Steering Group.
 
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within 20 working days. 
 
If you have any queries about this request, please contact me quoting the
reference number above.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Pauline McGandy
Customer Contact Officer
 

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Pauline McGandy, Thanet District Council

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ref No: 85958/3277116
Subject:        Margate Seafront Development Steering Group
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your communication received on 15/02/2016 where you
requested information about Margate Seafront Development Steering Group.
 
I am writing to advise you that the information you requested is not held
by Thanet District Council.
 
Kent County Council may hold the information you are seeking. If you have
not already done so, then you may wish to write to:
 
Kent County Council
County Hall
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1XQ
 
Alternatively, you can redirect your email to
[1][email address].
 
Should you need to contact me further, please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
Pauline McGandy
Customer Contact Officer
 
 
 
 

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Louise Oldfield

Dear Pauline McGandy,

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Louise Oldfield

Dear Thanet District Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Thanet District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Details of the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group'.

I would like you to review your response that you don't hold any information requested. I believe you do have members and officers that attend and represent Thanet District Council and it is likely you do hold information despite it being a group run by KCC.

Is it possible The Leader and The Chief Executive attend?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Louise Oldfield

Pauline McGandy, Thanet District Council

 
 
Ref No:85958 / 3277116
Subject:Margate Seafront Development Steering Group
 
 
 
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your communication of 02/03/2016 requesting an internal
review of the response you were provided for the above Freedom of
Information request.
 
This has been passed to Sophie Chadwick, Customer Contact and Engagement
Manager for review and she will reply directly in due course.
 
If you have any queries/comments about this internal review please contact
Sophie Chadwick's office on 01843 577631. 
 
Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Pauline McGandy
Information Request Assessor

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Sophie Chadwick, Thanet District Council

Ref No: 85958/3277116
Subject:        Margate Seafront Development Steering Group
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
 
Thank you for your communication received on 02/03/2016 where you
requested an internal review of a previous decision regarding disclosure
of information about the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group. 
 
Thanet District Council has now conducted the review and the decision is
overturned for the following reason:
 
1)      The council does hold some of the information you requested and I
have listed your original questions below, together with the council's
response:
 
a)      When the group was formed? The council does not hold this
information.
 
b)      What is the group's remit? This information is not held by the
council. Kent County Council hosts the meetings therefore they may hold
this information.
 
c)      Who are the members? Representatives from Kent County Council,
Thanet District Council and Turner Contemporary.
 
d)      What is the relationship of the group with Thanet District
Council? Thanet District Council has representatives on the group.
 
e)      Minutes from formation to the date of this information request,
February 15th 2016. The council holds some meeting minutes. These are
considered to be exempt under S36 (prejudicial to the conduct of public
affairs).
 
In terms of the public interest test there is an argument that discussions
relating to public realm issues should be carried out in an open manner
with the public having access to all the available information.
 
However this is achieved through any decisions which are taken by the
individual members of the group (since the Steering group has no formal
decision making powers). Those decisions are themselves subject to public
scrutiny and can be held to account in public that way.
 
In respect of the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group, the purpose
of the Group is to provide a forum for the members to discuss sensitive
issues including commercial matters and future plans which may or may not
come to fruition. It would not be in the public interest to identify and
discuss those issues in public since that would undermine the very purpose
of the Group (and those future plans) and could undermine any subsequent
decision making and consultation processes.
 
Having considered the above I believe that the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
 
f)      Constitution. The council does not hold this information.
 
g)      Which TDC officer or department liaises with group? Chief
Executive, Madeline Homer; Director of Community Services, Rob Kenyon; and
the Leader, Cllr Chris Wells.
 
h)      Does TDC host the group's meetings? No.
 
i)      Are any of the membership roles of the group funded and if they
are, how much is the remuneration? The council does not hold this
information.
 
j)      Details of the group membership recruitment The council does not
hold this information.
 
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,
 
 
 
 
Sophie Chadwick
Customer Contact and Engagement Manager

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Louise Oldfield left an annotation ()

Section 36 exemption guidance:

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

Louise Oldfield left an annotation ()

Today, 18/03/2016, I've referred a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office as a wrongful application of s.36.

Claire Grant, Thanet District Council

3 Attachments

 
22 August 2016
 
Ref No:85958/0
Subject:Margate Seafront Development Steering Group
 
 
Dear Ms Oldfield
I have received contact from the Information Commissioner’s Office who has
asked the council to investigate the response you received to the above
request for information.
On reviewing the case the council has concluded that the minutes the
council holds are to be disclosed with exempt information redacted.
I can confirm the council holds the following minutes:

* 3 ^ November 2014
* 12 ^ March 2015
* 1 ^ October 2015

The minutes of the Margate Seafront Development Steering Group meeting
which took place on 25 January 2016 are to be approved at the next meeting
of the group.
3^rd November 2014
Agenda Item 5 – Margate Lido
The council considers the redacted information exempt under Section 41 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Information Provided in Confidence). 
The council considers that the information was provided in confidence by a
third party on the basis that the information would not be shared with
others.  Any disclosure would likely be deemed an actionable breach of
confidence which could result in legal proceedings being instigated
against the council by a third party.
The Council has also applied Section 43(2) to the redacted information
because it considers the information to be commercially sensitive. 
Section 43(2) exempts from disclosure information which would likely
prejudice the commercial interests of any person, including the public
authority holding it.
Use of the Section 43(2) exemption is subject to the public interest
test.  Under this test the council must consider whether the public
interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosure.
In this instance the council has considered the public interest in
ensuring transparency and the public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of the private sector which plays an integral role in the health
of the economy and, therefore, the wider public interest.  The council
considers the reasons for maintaining the exemption outweigh the public
interest in disclosure in this instance.
Agenda Item 6 – Winter Gardens
The Council has applied Section 43(2) to the redacted information because
it considers the information to be commercially sensitive.  Section 43(2)
exempts from disclosure information which would likely prejudice the
commercial interests of any person, including the public authority holding
it.
Use of the Section 43(2) exemption is subject to the public interest
test.  Under this test the council must consider whether the public
interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosure.
 
 
In this instance the council has considered the public interest in
ensuring transparency and the public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of the public sector whose commercial functions need to be
discharged in the wider public interest.  The council considers that the
reasons for maintaining the exemption outweigh the public interest in
disclosure.
12 March 2015
Agenda Item 3 – Rendezvous Site
The minutes reference a presentation that was received in relation to this
item.  The council has withheld this presentation and the redacted line of
text within the body of the minutes under Section 41 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 as both contain information that was provided to the
council by a third party in confidence on the basis that information would
not be shared.  Any disclosure would likely be deemed an actionable breach
of confidence which could result in legal proceedings being instigated
against the council by a third party.
The Council has also applied Section 43(2) to the redacted information
because it considers the information to be commercially sensitive. 
Section 43(2) exempts from disclosure information which would likely
prejudice the commercial interests of any person, including the public
authority holding it.
Use of the Section 43(2) exemption is subject to the public interest
test.  Under this test the council must consider whether the public
interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in
disclosure.
In this instance the council has considered the public interest in
ensuring transparency and the public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of the private sector which plays an integral role in the health
of the economy and, therefore, the wider public interest.  The council
considers the reasons for maintaining the exemption outweigh the public
interest in disclosure in this instance.
1 October 2015
Agenda Item 3 – Rendezvous Site
Agenda Item 4 – Margate Lido
The minutes reference a presentation that was received in relation to item
three.  The council has withheld this presentation and the redacted text
within the minutes of items three and four under Section 41 of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 as both contain information that was provided to
the council by a third party in confidence on the basis that information
would not be shared.  Any disclosure would likely be deemed an actionable
breach of confidence which could result in legal proceedings being
instigated against the council by a third party.
The Council has also applied Section 43(2) to the redacted information
because it considers the information to be commercially sensitive. 
Section 43(2) exempts from disclosure information which would likely
prejudice the commercial interests of any person, including the public
authority holding it.
Use of the Section 43 exemption is subject to the public interest test. 
Under this test the council must consider whether the public interest in
maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
In this instance the council has considered the public interest in
ensuring transparency and the public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of the private sector which plays an integral role in the health
of the economy and, therefore, the wider public interest.  The council
considers the reasons for maintaining the exemption outweigh the public
interest in disclosure in this instance.
 
 
Agenda Item 6 – Winter Gardens
The Council has applied Section 43(2) to the redacted information because
it considers the information to be commercially sensitive.  Section 43(2)
exempts from disclosure information which would likely prejudice the
commercial interests of any person, including the public authority holding
it.
Use of the Section 43 exemption is subject to the public interest test. 
Under this test the council must consider whether the public interest in
maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
In this instance the council has considered the public interest in
ensuring transparency and the public interest in protecting the commercial
interests of the public sector whose commercial functions need to be
discharged in the wider public interest.  The council considers that the
reasons for maintaining the exemption outweigh the public interest in
disclosure.
I hope the council’s response brings the matter to a satisfactory
conclusion.
Yours sincerely
 
 
Claire Grant
Information Governance and Equality Manager                    
 
cc. Information Commissioner's Office
 
 

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Dear Claire Grant,

Thank you for finally releasing this information. Might I suggest the Council adopt a publication scheme for public information such as groups, agendas and minutes. This would save the time and cost of freedom of information requests.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Oldfield

Claire Grant, Thanet District Council

I am currently out of the office and will return on 4 October 2016.  If
your enquiry is urgent please contact [email address]