Disabled Persons Parking Place Policy and Statistics

Jo Andrews made this Freedom of Information request to Caerphilly County Borough Council

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Caerphilly County Borough Council,

Please provide the following information;

-Location of all 'Disabled Persons Parking Places' (DPPP) in the Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area that can be used freely by Blue Badge Holders.
- Budget expenditure for DPPP's for the period of 2015-2020.
-How many applications for Disabled Persons Parking Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area broken down by year.
-How many applications have been approved for Disabled Persons Parking Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area broken down by year.
-How many applications have been rejected for Disabled Persons Parking Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area broken down by year.
-Caerphilly Councils complete policy on the implementation of Disabled Persons Parking Place within the councils area,

Yours faithfully,

Jo Andrews

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

1 Attachment

Thank you for your recent FOI / EIR request. Please find attached an acknowledgement for this request.

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Dear CORPORATE INFORMATION GOVERNANCE UNIT,

On the 29th August 2020 I submitted a Freedom of Information Request regarding Disabled Persons Parking Place Policy and Statistics, this request was acknowledged on the 1st September 2020. I am yet to receive the response to the request and although delays were suggested in the Acknowledgement letter I have not been informed that the request has been delayed.

As the statutory 20 working days have now passed please could you advise when this information will be provided as unnecessary delay may warrant a request for an internal review or referring the request to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Andrews

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

 

Dear Jo Andrews

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 1st September. We
apologise for the delay in responding to your request, this was due to
resources being reassigned to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. We
enclose the following information to partially answer your request:

 

(1) Location of all 'Disabled Persons Parking Places' (DPPP) in the
Bargoed / Gilfach / Aberbargoed area that can be used freely by Blue Badge
Holders.

 

BARGOED: CHURCH PLACE - 3 SPACES

BARGOED: HENRY STREET - 1

BARGOED: UPPER HIGH STREET - 3

BARGOED: CROSS STREET - 2

BARGOED: WEST STREET - 3

BARGOED: GILFACH STREET - 1

BARGOED: WEST STREET - 1

BARGOED: CHURCH PLACE - 1

GILFACH: THOMAS STREET - 1

 

(2) Budget expenditure for DPPP's for the period of 2015-2020.

 

£7,000

 

(3) How many applications for Disabled Persons Parking Places have been
made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed / Gilfach / Aberbargoed area broken
down by year.

 

Refusal (see below)

 

(4) How many applications have been approved for Disabled Persons Parking
Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed / Gilfach /
Aberbargoed area broken down by year.

 

Refusal (see below)

 

(5) How many applications have been rejected for Disabled Persons Parking
Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed / Gilfach /
Aberbargoed area broken down by year.

 

Refusal (see below)

 

(6) Caerphilly Councils complete policy on the implementation of Disabled
Persons Parking Place within the councils area

 

We confirm that we hold the information you have requested and it is
already publicly available on the ‘Disabled persons parking place’
page of our website. For ease of reference, the information can be
accessed via the following link:

 

[1]https://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Services/T...

 

Under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are not
required to provide information in response to a request if it is already
reasonably accessible.  Therefore in respect of the Freedom of Information
Act, this letter constitutes a formal refusal notice under Section 17.

 

However on this occasion we cannot supply all the information you have
asked for. In respect of questions 3, 4 and 5, I can confirm that the
Council holds information falling within the description specified in your
request, but we are refusing to supply this information under Section 12
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

We estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the
appropriate limit of £450 for local government, which is specified in the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limits and Fees)
Regulations 2004.  Therefore we are refusing to supply this information
under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

In order to determine whether your request exceeds this limit, we must
multiply an estimate of the time we expect to take to comply with your
request by £25 per hour.  If the cost of complying with your request
would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 (more than 18 hours), we can
refuse your request.  In making this calculation we are able to include
the time taken to determine whether we hold the information and time taken
to locate, retrieve and extract the information.  The hourly rate of £25
per hour is set by the Fees Regulations and is not dependent on the
seniority of the officer who carries out the work.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act, we a have a duty to provide advice
and assistance to help you narrow, reform or refocus your request so that
the cost of complying with it falls below the appropriate limit of £450. 
Unfortunately, on this occasion, as the information in not separately held
and would require the examination and extraction from all applications, we
are unable provide the detail requested without exceeding the appropriate
fees limit.

 

If you have any queries or concerns or are in any way dissatisfied with
the handling of your request please contact us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

GARETH GRIFFITHS 

Information Governance Officer

 

 

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004

 

You have the right to appeal against our decision.
If you wish to appeal please set out If you are unhappy with that decision
in writing your grounds of appeal you have the right to appeal to:
and send to:
 
Corporate Information Governance
Unit Information Commissioner’s Office
Caerphilly county borough council, – Wales
Penallta House 2nd Floor, Churchill House
Tredomen Park Churchill Way
Hengoed. CF82 7PG Cardiff CF10 2HH

   

Appeals will be determined by an Tel: 0330 414 6421
appropriate senior officer.
Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk

Email: [3][email address]

 

Re-use of information without permission may infringe the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988. Re-use can include, but is not limited to,
making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies of the information
to a wider audience. If you would like to re-use copyright material owned
by Caerphilly County Borough Council, please contact us. Authorisation to
re-use copyright material not owned by this Authority should be sought
directly from the copyright owner.

 

 

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Dear Caerphilly County Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Caerphilly County Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Disabled Persons Parking Place Policy and Statistics'.

Thank your for partially responding to my Freedom of Information request that was submitted on 29th August 2020. The response to my FOI request exceeded the statutory 20 working days within reasonable notice or excuse.

You will note in my request that the request was specifically for ‘Caerphilly Councils complete policy on the implementation of Disabled Persons Parking Place within the councils area’, thank you for directing me to the summary published on your website, but this was not the information that was requested, therefore I do not believe this falls under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I contest your statement in respect to your suggestion that obtaining the information in relation questions 3, 4 and 5 would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 (18 hours). As this information can be gathered by simple numerical calculations/basic administrative means.

I.e.

In relation to Question 4 - The number of documents received would have been recorded on your document management systems.

In relation to Question 5 - As stated on the page you have referred me to, once approved ‘an application for planning permission is made and advertised in the press’ – I have been unable to find planning notices on your website, or information in the local press. However, should the council be following this protocol, there will be press notification/planning materials relating to this information.

In relation to Question 6 – Once the figure is obtained for the amount of applications is deducted from the amount of approved (calculated as suggested above) the remaining value would equal the amount of rejected applications.

This BASIC administrative task is unlikely to take longer than the 18hour limit.

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,

Jo Andrews

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear Jo Andrews

We acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal appeal received on 22nd October

Internal appeals are usually completed within 20 working days

Regards

Corporate Information Governance Unit

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Harrhy, Christina, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear Jo Andrews,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – INTERNAL APPEAL

 

I apologise for the delay in responding to your request for an internal
appeal. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, it is taking us longer
to process some casework as our priority has to be supporting the
vulnerable people in our community and protecting our employees.

 

The process in this Council is for any expression of dissatisfaction
concerning a Freedom of Information request to be determined by an
appropriate senior officer and I will be responsible for conducting the
internal review in this case. My role is to review the matter and decide
whether, in light of the representations you have made to me, Caerphilly
County Borough Council (CCBC) has met its obligations under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) in respect of your request, or, have we failed to
provide all of the information that you are entitled to. I also need to
determine whether your request was processed in compliance with section 10
of the FOIA which says that “a public authority must comply with section
1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day
following the date of receipt”.

 

The Freedom of Information Act provides a general right of access to
information held by public authorities and Section 1 of the Act states
that:

 

(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is
entitled—

 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request, and

 

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

 

In our response, we provided information to answer questions 1 and 2 of
your request and refused to provide the information for the remainder of
your request and this in itself is confirmation that information covered
by your request is held, and therefore, I have found that the Council have
complied with S1(a) of the FOIA.

 

Having determined that the Council had complied with S1(a), I went on to
look at whether the Council complied with S1(b) as we refused to provide
the remainder of the information requested in accordance with S12 of the
FOIA, relying on S21 – information already reasonably accessible and the
appropriate fees limit.

 

I first looked at the Council’s refusal to provide the information
requested in question 3, 4 and 5 on the basis that it would exceed the
appropriate fees limit to locate, retrieve and extract the information.

 

Applications for a Disabled Persons Parking Place (DPPP) have to go
through a 2 part process:

 

Part 1: applications are submitted to our Social Services Department who
carry out the first part of the assessment to determine if the person
meets the necessary criteria. If the criteria is not met, the applicant is
informed and the case closed down.

 

Part 2: If the applicant meets the necessary criteria, Social Services
pass the request to the Traffic Management Team for their
consideration/eligibility/planning checks, etc. and it is only approved if
there are no objections during the statutory consultation process.

 

Applications for a DPPP are only passed to the Traffic Management Section
if they meet the Social Services criteria, and my investigation has found
that question 4 can be answered within the appropriate fees limit as only
1 application met the criteria of the 2 stage process in the
Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed areas during the time period specified and
this was approved in 2018, therefore, please find below our response to
question 4:

 

(4) How many applications have been approved for Disabled Persons Parking
Places have been made since 2015-2020 in the Bargoed / Gilfach /
Aberbargoed area broken down by year.

 

2018 - 1

 

I then went on to consider the fees refusal applied to questions 3 and 5
where you asked:

 

3) How many applications for DPPP have been made since 2015-2020 in the
Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area broken down by year and

 

5) How many applications have been rejected for DPPP since 2015-2020 in
the Bargoed/Gilfach/Aberbargoed area broken down by year?

 

I can confirm that the Council holds information relating to the DPPP
applications it has received and rejected, however, the Council have
refused to supply this information under Section 12 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 as the applications are not held as a central record
and we estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed
the appropriate limit of £450 for local government, which is specified in
the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limits and
Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

In order to determine whether your request exceeds this limit, we must
multiply an estimate of the time we expect to take to comply with your
request by £25 per hour and if the cost of complying with your request
would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 (more than 18 hours), we can
refuse your request. In making this calculation we are able to include the
time taken to determine whether we hold the information and time taken to
locate, retrieve and extract the information. The hourly rate of £25 per
hour is set by the Fees Regulations and is not dependent on the seniority
of the officer who carries out the work.

 

As explained above, DPPP is a 2 stage process and applications must first
be assessed by Social Services to see if they meet the Social Services
criteria, and if they don’t, the applicant is informed and the case is
closed down. Applications are recorded on the social services client
database against individual client records, and not as a central record,
and we would have to review every case note of every service user to
identify those individuals who had made an application for a DPPP, to then
determine if it had been approved or rejected. The process is further
complicated by the fact that a new recording system was introduced in
April 2018 which replaced the previous system, making accessing the
information more difficult. To review the individual case files to locate
DPPP applications would take in excess of the 18 hours fees limit and on
that basis, I have determined that in relation to questions 3 and 5, the
refusal was correctly applied.

 

I went on to consider whether we would be able to provide you with any of
the information requested if you were you were able to re-focus your
request so that the cost of complying with it falls below the appropriate
limit of £450. Unfortunately, even if you were to reduce the time period
of your request, as the information is held against individual clients, we
would still have to review individual case files to identify those who had
made an application for a DPPP during the reduced time period, and the
appropriate fees limit would still be exceeded.

 

I then went on to look at the response you were given for question 6 where
the Council applied the Section 21 exemption which states that we are not
required to provide information in response to a request if it is already
reasonably accessible. This exemption was applied as our policy/criteria
for DPPP within the borough is available on our website and for ease of
reference, a link was provided. In your e-mail, you have advised that your
request was specifically for “Caerphilly Councils complete policy on the
implementation of DPPP within the councils area” and that you had been
directed to a summary which was published on our website, and was
therefore, not what you had requested.

 

Caerphilly County Borough Council does not have a policy specifically for
DPPP, but the criteria is included in the Council’s “Works of Adaptions
Guidance” document and the relevant information has been made available to
the public on our website via the link provided. On that basis, I have
concluded that the Council were correct to apply the S21 exemption as the
information is already reasonably accessible, however, it should have been
explained to you that we do not have a policy specifically for DPPP.

 

Finally, I apologise that the Council failed to respond to your request
within the statutory 20 working days set out in the FOIA, and that you
were not informed of the reason for the delay. Unfortunately, due to the
current pandemic, staff have been redeployed to ensure that the vulnerable
people in our community get the support they need, and access to council
buildings and systems have also been restricted. This has resulted in a
backlog of requests which we are now trying to clear. I would like to
reassure you that as an authority, we take our obligations under the FOIA
seriously, and under normal circumstances, your request should have been
processed within the statutory timescale.

 

Conclusion

 

My investigation has found the Council correctly refused to provide the
information requested, with the exception of question 4 as the cost of
providing the number of DPPP applications which were approved did not
exceed the appropriate limit, and this information has now been provided.

 

It is also clear that on this occasion, the Council failed to meet it’s
obligations under S10 of the FOIA as it failed to respond to your request
within the statutory timescale, but unfortunately, this was due to the
Covid-19 pandemic that we are all trying to adapt to. I would like to
reassure you that our aim is always to comply with the legislation and we
are working hard to establish new “normal” working practises to ensure
that our obligations under S10 of the FOIA are met.

 

You have the right to appeal against my decision in relation to your
Freedom of Information Request. The appeal must be made without
unreasonable delay to The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wales, 2nd
Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way, Cardiff. CF10 2HH, E-mail:
[1][email address], website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk telephone: 029
20678400.

 

Regards

 

Christina Harrhy

Prif Weithredwr | Chief Executive
Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Caerffili | Caerphilly County Borough Council

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( 01443 864410 
*[3][email address]    [4][email address

 

 

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