Enabling Acts Shropshire Union Canal and Peak Forest Canal

Nick Brown made this Freedom of Information request to Canal & River Trust

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Canal & River Trust.

Dear Sir,
Noting that each canal presently falling within the jurisdiction of Canal & River Trust ("CRT") was built with the authority of Parliament and the instrument of Parliament for the construction of each canal is colloquially known as its "Enabling Act" please provide the following Enabling Acts:

1 The Act of 26th May 1826 (7 Geo IV, cap.95)
Authorising the incorporation of the "Company of Proprietors of Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Navigation"

2 The Act of 8th May 1845
In which "Company of Proprietors of Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Navigation" was united with "United Company of Proprietors of Ellesmere and Chester Canals"
(Collectively the Enabling Acts of the Shropshire Union Canal)

3 The Enabling Act of the Peak Forest Canal

Note: I observe that in the FoI requisition for the Enabling Act for the Peak Forest Canal made on 20-06-2019 here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...
CRT claimed that it did not hold this information. I am reminded that as the Navigation Authority for the Peak Forest Canal part of CRTs public duty is to hold its own legislation.

4 Noting that the other Navigation Authorities which are members of AINA are progressively making available on their respective websites their enabling legislation as appropriate,

(a) the policy statement of CRT as to why CRT considers it not appropriate to be performing its public duty by holding and making publicly available (on its website) its respective Enabling Acts; or in the alternative

(b) the policy statement in which CRT is intending to make available its Enabling Acts and the timeline therein.

For the avoidance of doubt this is a requisition under the freedom of Information Act.
Kind regards
Nick Brown

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for contacting the Canal & River Trust with your enquiry. We are currently looking into this and will get back to you as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if you have any queries about this email, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Kind Regards
Joshua

Joshua Fellows
Information Governance Administrator
Legal & Governance Services

E: [email address]

Canal & River Trust
Canal and River Trust, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AQ

canalrivertrust.org.uk
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Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Brown

Thank you for contacting the Canal & River Trust with your request for information.

I can confirm that we do hold copies of the enabling acts however the information is exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act because it is reasonably accessible to you by other means. You can access all three Acts through the parliamentary archive to which I have included links to below.

1 The Act of 26th May 1826 (7 Geo IV, cap.95)
Authorising the incorporation of the "Company of Proprietors of Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Navigation"
https://archives.parliament.uk/collectio...

2 The Act of 8th May 1845
In which "Company of Proprietors of Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Navigation" was united with "United Company of Proprietors of Ellesmere and Chester Canals"
(Collectively the Enabling Acts of the Shropshire Union Canal)
https://archives.parliament.uk/collectio...

3 The Enabling Act of the Peak Forest Canal -
https://archives.parliament.uk/collectio...

Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts disclosure of information that is reasonably accessible by other means, and the terms of the exemption mean that we do not have to consider whether or not it would be in the public interest for you to have the information.

You have also requested the following:

(a) the policy statement of CRT as to why CRT considers it not appropriate to be performing its public duty by holding and making publicly available (on its website) its respective Enabling Acts; or in the alternative

(b) the policy statement in which CRT is intending to make available its Enabling Acts and the timeline therein.

I can confirm the information is not held as the Trust does not hold policy statements for either of the above. We are currently reviewing the publication scheme on our website and as part of this project will be looking into whether we wish to make the enabling acts publicly available or not.

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 this email and should be sent by email to [email address] or by post to Information Officer, Legal Department, Canal and River Trust, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AQ. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner by telephoning 0303 123 1113 although please note they would usually expect you to have gone through our internal review procedure before contacting them.

Many Thanks,
Hannah

Hannah Mobberley
Information Governance Advisor
Legal & Governance Services

Canal & River Trust
Canal and River Trust, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AQ

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Dear Ms Mobberley

Thank you for responding on behalf of CRT on 12-5-2021 to my FoI requisition of 16-4-2021 laid out here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

In relation to Items 1-3 you state that Items 1-3 of my requisition are exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act because it is reasonably accessible to you by other means. You draw my attention to the Parliamentary Archives.

I note that the Parliamentary Archives are presently closed. Further I note that in order to access the Archives special arrangements have to be made for access, and that once access has been granted no properly lit copying arrangements are available except by Archive personnel at considerable expense. I am reminded that legislation must be easily accessible. I do not consider that access to a given document held by the Parliamentary Archives is anything other than highly complex and therefore I do not agree that these documents are “reasonably accessible”. I therefore submit that Items 1-3 of my requisition are not exempt under s.21 of the Act.

In relation to Item 1 you have provided a link to the Parliamentary Archives. The page accessed, in turn, points to a copy of the Enabling Act of the Macclesfield Canal. However I had asked for the Enabling Act of the Shropshire Union Canal. As such you have not complied with my requisition.

In relation to Item 3 you have provided a link to the Parliamentary Archives. The page accessed, in turn, confirms that the document is not available on-line and states that the Parliamentary Archive is closed. It follows that this document is not “reasonably accessible” as it is not accessible at all. I note that you have confirmed that CRT holds a copy.

In relation to Items 4 (a) and 4 (b) of my requisition you state “I can confirm the information is not held as the Trust does not hold policy statements for either of the above.”
However you go on to say “We are currently reviewing the publication scheme on our website and as part of this project will be looking into whether we wish to make the enabling acts publicly available or not.”
Your second statement contradicts your first statement as, in order to embark on a project to consider publication, CRT could only make this decision by promulgation which is a policy statement.

I also note that under English Law “… the accessibility of law and the need for it to be, so far as possible, intelligible, clear and predictable, so that the citizen knows when his actions would be unlawful” (see Moore -v- British Waterways [2013] EWCA Civ 73 at [39]). It follows that for CRT to hold this legislation and refuse to make it accessible gives rise to a breach of this authority.

I therefore seek a review of the refusal of CRT to provide me with this information.

Kind regards
Nick Brown

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Nick,

I would just like to update you regarding your request for an internal review.

I regret that we are unable to send you a full response to your request within 20
working days, as required by the Act. This is because the Trust is currently low on resource due to the covid-19 pandemic.

I would like to apologise on behalf of the Trust for this delay, but I can assure you that we are
dealing with your request and we will send you a full reply as soon as we can. We
now aim to send you a full reply by 12/07/2021 .

If you have any questions about the handling of your information request in the
meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards
Joshua

Joshua Fellows
Information Governance Administrator
Legal & Governance Services

E: [email address]

Canal & River Trust
Canal and River Trust, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AQ

canalrivertrust.org.uk
Sign up for the Canal & River Trust e-newsletter canalrivertrust.org.uk/newsletter

@canalrivertrust

/canalrivertrust

/canalrivertrust

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Dear Mr Fellows,
I note that CRT has still not complied with this requisition.
I therefore requisition an internal review of this requisition.
Yours sincerely,
Nick Brown

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Brown

I am writing to respond to your internal review request.

After reviewing this request, I am in agreement with the application of the exemption under Section 21 of the Freedom Of Information Act Information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means.

In relation to Items 1-3 you state that Items 1-3 of my requisition are exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act because it is reasonably accessible to you by other means. You draw my attention to the Parliamentary Archives.

I note that the Parliamentary Archives are presently closed. Further I note that in order to access the Archives special arrangements have to be made for access, and that once access has been granted no properly lit copying arrangements are available except by Archive personnel at considerable expense. I am reminded that legislation must be easily accessible. I do not consider that access to a given document held by the Parliamentary Archives is anything other than highly complex and therefore I do not agree that these documents are “reasonably accessible”. I therefore submit that Items 1-3 of my requisition are not exempt under s.21 of the Act.

The Parliamentary Archives are now open as of the 14th of June; Section 21 (a) states information may be reasonably accessible to the applicant even if it is accessible only on payment. An applicant’s preferred mode of access is irrelevant in determining reasonable accessibility.
In relation to Item 1 you have provided a link to the Parliamentary Archives. The page accessed, in turn, points to a copy of the Enabling Act of the Macclesfield Canal. However I had asked for the Enabling Act of the Shropshire Union Canal. As such you have not complied with my requisition.
This information is accessible via the national archives at the below link https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u...
In relation to Item 3 you have provided a link to the Parliamentary Archives. The page accessed, in turn, confirms that the document is not available on-line and states that the Parliamentary Archive is closed. It follows that this document is not “reasonably accessible” as it is not accessible at all. I note that you have confirmed that CRT holds a copy.
As previously stated, the parliamentary are now open as per the response above.
In relation to Items 4 (a) and 4 (b) of my requisition you state “I can confirm the information is not held as the Trust does not hold policy statements for either of the above.”
However you go on to say “We are currently reviewing the publication scheme on our website and as part of this project will be looking into whether we wish to make the enabling acts publicly available or not.”
Your second statement contradicts your first statement as, in order to embark on a project to consider publication, CRT could only make this decision by promulgation which is a policy statement.
As previously stated, I can confirm the information is not held as the Trust does not hold policy statements for either of the above. We are currently reviewing the publication scheme on our website and as part of this project will be looking into whether we wish to make the enabling acts publicly available or not.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for an internal review, then you are able to contact the Information Commissioner by telephoning 0303 123 1113.

Kind Regards
Joshua

Joshua Fellows
Information Governance Administrator
Legal & Governance Services

E: [email address]

Canal & River Trust
Canal and River Trust, Aqua House, 20 Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AQ

canalrivertrust.org.uk
Sign up for the Canal & River Trust e-newsletter canalrivertrust.org.uk/newsletter

@canalrivertrust

/canalrivertrust

/canalrivertrust

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