We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are David Ferguson please sign in and let everyone know.

Dear Belfast City Council,

Under the Freedom of Information act I would like to request information regarding events (including conference, gala dinner, reception, exhibition and performance ) which have taken place or are due to take place from January 2012 until End of March 2015 at both the Waterfront and Ulster Hall.

I have previously sent this but have yet to receive a response
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,
David Ferguson

Robert Corbett, Belfast City Council

 

Dear Mr Ferguson

 

Thank you for your emails dated 13 August 2014 and 18 August 2014
concerning the above mentioned matter.

 

In both of your emails you requested, under the Freedom of Information Act
2000, ‘information regarding events (including conference, gala dinner,
reception, exhibition and performance) which have taken place or are due
to take place from January 2012 until End of March 2015 at both the
Waterfront and Ulster Hall.’

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council is required to
respond to a request ‘promptly and in any event not later than the
twentieth working day following the date of receipt.’  I can assure you
that your request is receiving the Council’s prompt attention and you will
receive our reply by 11 September 2014, which is in accordance with the
legislation and the guidance issued by the Information Commissioner.

 

I noted that you stated in your email of 13 August 2014 that you had
previously requested this information, but received no response.  Having
checked our records, it would appear that we did not receive this request
prior to 13 August 2014.

 

If you are dissatisfied with how the Council handled your request for
information, you have the right to request that the council formally
review this decision.  If you wish to do so, please write to the Records
Manager, Chief Executive’s Department, Belfast City Council, City Hall,
Belfast, BT1 5GS.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied following the Council’s internal review,
you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. 
Requests for an independent review should be made in writing to: The
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.  However, I would advise you that the Information Commissioner
has indicated that a review will not be undertaken unless the Council has
first had an opportunity to re-consider its decision.

 

If you have any queries about this e-mail, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Robert Corbett

Records Manager

Belfast City Council

Tel: 028 9027 0639

 

 

The information contained in or attached to this message is intended only
for the people to whom it is addressed.
If you are not the intended recipient, any use, storage, disclosure or
copying of this information is unauthorised and prohibited.
This information may be confidential or subject to legal privilege.
If you have received this email in error please notify the sender
immediately by using the reply facility in your email software and then
delete the email from your inbox.
The contents of this message do not represent the expressed view of
Belfast City Council unless that is clearly stated.
Belfast City Council cannot accept liability in the event that the onward
transmission, opening or use of this message and/or any attachments
adversely affects the recipient's systems or data.

 

 

Jennifer Crawley Patterson,

Dear Mr Ferguson,

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 August 2014 requesting, under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, information on events which have taken
place or are due to take place from January 2012 until the end of March
2015 at the Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall.

 

In considering requests for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, a public authority may decide that the information requested is
exempt from disclosure.  This, in turn, may require the public authority
to apply a public interest test to ensure it is satisfied that the public
interest in withholding the information is greater than the public
interest in disclosing it.  The Freedom of Information Act permits a
public authority to extend the 20 working days time limit for issuing a
response to a request if it requires additional time to consider the
public interest.

 

The Council considers that the information you have requested is exempt
from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. 
Section 43(2) of the Act permits the Council to withhold information if
its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of any person, including the public authority holding it.

 

This exemption to disclosure is subject to the public interest test.  I
wish, therefore, to advise you that the Council finds it necessary to
extend the time limit to assess the public interest issues which have
arisen during the initial consideration of your request.  You will receive
a written response to your request from the Council by 9 October 2014. 
This timeframe for consideration of the public interest issues in relation
to your request is in accordance with the guidance issued by the
Information Commissioner.

 

If you are dissatisfied with how the Council handled your request for
information, you have the right to request that the Council formally
review this decision.  If you wish to do so, please write to the Records
Manager, Belfast City Council, Chief Executive’s Department, Room 218,
City Hall, Belfast, BT1 5GS.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied following the Council's internal review,
you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. 
Requests for an independent review should be made in writing to: The
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.  However, I would advise you that the Information Commissioner
has indicated that a review will not be undertaken unless the Council has
first had an opportunity to re-consider its decision.

 

If you have any queries about this e-mail, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Jennifer Patterson

Revenue and Business Generation Manager

Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall

2 Lanyon Place, Belfast, BT1 3WH

 

Tel: 028 9033 4400 (ext.1335)

Direct Dial: 028 9033 4405

[mobile number]

Website: [1]www.waterfront.co.uk

 

 

The information contained in or attached to this message is intended only
for the people to whom it is addressed.
If you are not the intended recipient, any use, storage, disclosure or
copying of this information is unauthorised and prohibited.
This information may be confidential or subject to legal privilege.
If you have received this email in error please notify the sender
immediately by using the reply facility in your email software and then
delete the email from your inbox.
The contents of this message do not represent the expressed view of
Belfast City Council unless that is clearly stated.
Belfast City Council cannot accept liability in the event that the onward
transmission, opening or use of this message and/or any attachments
adversely affects the recipient's systems or data.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.waterfront.co.uk/
http://www.waterfront.co.uk/

Jennifer Crawley Patterson,

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Ferguson

 

Further to my email of 11/09/14 Belfast City Council is now in a position
to respond to the request for information you submitted in your email
dated 13 August 2014.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you requested information on
events which have taken place or are due to take place at the Waterfront
Hall and Ulster Hall between January 2012 and the end of March 2015.

 

I can confirm that the Council does hold the information you have
requested.

 

In relation to events at the Waterfront Hall and the Ulster Hall, the
Council has decided that it cannot disclose any information relating to,
what its categorises as, conference business, which includes conferences,
gala dinners, receptions and exhibitions.  This decision has been taken on
the basis that the disclosure of the information requested would prejudice
the commercial interests of the Council.  However, the Council has decided
that it can disclose the information requested relating to entertainment
performances at both venues, with the exception of the names of promoters
of specific events which are not in the public domain or any details of
future events where negotiations are still ongoing and arrangements are
not finalised.  Again, this information is being withheld on the basis
that its disclosure would prejudice the commercial interests of the
Council.  The information which the Council has decided can be disclosed
is attached. 

 

I shall now explain, in more detail, the reasons underpinning the
Council’s decisions to withhold some of the information you requested.

 

As you may be aware, the release of information under the Freedom of
Information Act equates to disclosure to the public at large, and not only
to the individual who submits the request.  Under Section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act ‘Information is exempt information if its
disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the
commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding
it).’  The Council has decided that it cannot disclose the withheld
information into the public domain because its disclosure would prejudice
the Council’s commercial interests.  The Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall
are operated by the Council in a highly competitive commercial
environment.  The withheld information is commercially sensitive to the
Council as it includes details of its customers, has currency and is
critical to its competitive edge, particularly in the context of competing
with competitors for this type of discrete business.  The disclosure of
the withheld information would disadvantage the Council and give its
competitors an unfair advantage.

 

Moreover, it is of critical importance for the Council to maintain its
credibility with its customers who hold events at the Waterfront Hall and
Ulster Hall.  Disclosure of the withheld information would not only damage
the Council’s relationship with existing customers, but also would damage
its credibility with potential customers in the future.  Having assessed
the likelihood and severity of the prejudice that the release of the
withheld information would cause to the commercial interests of the
Council, it has concluded that its disclosure into the public domain
constitutes a real and significant risk.  The Council has, therefore,
decided that the information is exempt from disclosure under Section 43(2)
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

 

Where the Council decides that the information requested is exempt from
disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, it must
then apply what is known as a public interest test.  This requires the
Council to decide whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the
public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest
in disclosing the information.

 

In applying the public interest test the Council gave careful
consideration to the arguments for and against disclosure.  The arguments
which were taken into account in favour of disclosure were:

 

o that it would allow for more informed debate on the events held at the
Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall;
o that it would promote accountability and transparency in relation to
the Council’s decisions and its spending of public money;
o that it would assist the public to understand and challenge the
Council’s decisions;
o the amount of public money involved;
o the specific circumstances of the case and the content of the
information requested in relation to those circumstances; and
o the age of the information.

 

The arguments which were taken into account in favour of maintaining the
exemption were:

o the specific circumstances of the case and the content of the
information requested in relation to those circumstances;
o the age of the information;
o the significance and sensitivity of the information; and
o the likelihood and severity of prejudice that disclosure would cause
to the commercial interests of the Council.

 

The Council balanced the need for, and its commitment to, transparency,
accountability and openness in relation to this matter against the
prejudice that disclosure would cause to the commercial interests of the
Council.  Having taken into account the arguments for and against
disclosure, the Council has decided that, on balance, in this case the
public interest in maintaining the exemption provided under Section 43(2)
of the Freedom of Information Act outweighs that in favour of disclosure. 
This decision was taken on the following grounds:

 

o the information still has currency and commercial value;
o the overarching need for the Council to maintain its credibility with
existing and potential customers who use/may use the Waterfront Hall
and Ulster Hall.

 

I trust you understand the commercial sensitivities involved.

 

If you are dissatisfied with how the Council handled your request for
information, you have the right to request that the Council formally
review this decision.  If you wish to do so, please write to the Records
Manager, Belfast City Council, Chief Executive's Department, City Hall,
Belfast, BT1 5GS.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied following the Council's internal review;
you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. 
Requests for an independent review should be made in writing to: The
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.  However, I would advise you that the Information Commissioner
has indicated that a review will not be undertaken unless the Council has
first had an opportunity to re-consider its decision.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jennifer Patterson

Revenue and Business Generation Manager

Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall

2 Lanyon Place, Belfast, BT1 3WH

 

Tel: 028 9033 4400 (ext.1335)

Direct Dial: 028 9033 4405

[mobile number]

Website: [1]www.waterfront.co.uk

 

 

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The information contained in or attached to this message is intended only
for the people to whom it is addressed.
If you are not the intended recipient, any use, storage, disclosure or
copying of this information is unauthorised and prohibited.
This information may be confidential or subject to legal privilege.
If you have received this email in error please notify the sender
immediately by using the reply facility in your email software and then
delete the email from your inbox.
The contents of this message do not represent the expressed view of
Belfast City Council unless that is clearly stated.
Belfast City Council cannot accept liability in the event that the onward
transmission, opening or use of this message and/or any attachments
adversely affects the recipient's systems or data.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.waterfront.co.uk/
http://www.waterfront.co.uk/

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