Expenditure on byways

Peter Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Vale of Glamorgan Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Vale of Glamorgan Council,

Please provide the following information:

1: A list of maintenance at public expense on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years

2: Yearly total expenditure on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years

3: Yearly total expenditure on the rights of way network in your administrative area in the last 20 years

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Jones

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Dear Mr Peter Jones

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information about: Expenditure on byways

Your request was received on 20/10/2021 and is being handled under the
terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Your query has been given the reference 00202971

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before I will proceed to deal with your request.
You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless
the Council does not hold the information or there is a reason for it to
be withheld. I will write to you in any event.
If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should
be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so
on, then if you have not already done so please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact
me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
Further information about your rights is also available from the
Information
Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office - Wales

Second Floor, Churchill House

Churchill Way,

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

029 20678400 / Fax:029 20678399

[email address]

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer

Democratic Services

Vale of Glamorgan Council / Cyngor Bro Morgannwg

tel / ffôn: 01446 700111

mob / sym:

e-mail / e-bost: [email address]
[email address]

 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
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Visit our Website at [1]www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Ewch i'n gwefan yn [2]www.bromorgannwg.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/
2. http://www.bromorgannwg.gov.uk/
3. http://en-gb.facebook.com/valeofglamorga...
4. http://twitter.com/vogcouncil

FOI Unit, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Dear Peter Jones

Thank you for your request for information with regards to expenditure on byways, which we received on the 20th of October 2021.

Your request
Please provide the following information:
1: A list of maintenance at public expense on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years
2: Yearly total expenditure on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years
3: Yearly total expenditure on the rights of way network in your administrative area in the last 20 years

Our response
Your request has been considered under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

We believe that the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under Regulation 12(4)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations.
Regulation 12(4)(b) states:
"For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that -
(b) the request for information is manifestly unreasonable"

The service area have informed us that your request is too broad. As you are asking for information over the last 20 years some of the information will be stored in archives. We would not be able to run any reports and so the only way to retrieve the information would be to manually check all historic records which would take an inordinate amount of time. We believe that the cost of compliance would be too great and we are therefore of the opinion that the request is manifestly unreasonable.

In deciding whether to apply this exemption the Council is expected to balance the public interest test in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosing the information. In this case we have considered that the public interest favours non-disclosure due to the disproportionate burden involved which we believe would place a strain on Council resources and get in the way of the Council delivering mainstream services or answering other requests.

This letter therefore acts as a refusal notice under Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations to provide the information requested.

If you were to consider refining your request and submitting a new request to us we would consider this. For example, if you asked for the information over a reduced timescale then we may be able to process this new request although I cannot guarantee that this would be the case. Finally, if you do submit a new request to us please confirm that you mean adopted highways when you ask for information relating to byways.

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 receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: The Monitoring Officer, Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU.

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 - Wales
Second Floor, Churchill House
Churchill Way,
Cardiff
CF10 2HH
029 20678400 / Fax:029 20678399
[email address]

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer
Democratic Services
Vale of Glamorgan Council / Cyngor Bro Morgannwg
tel / ffôn: 01446 700111
mob / sym:
e-mail / e-bost: [email address] or [email address]
 
 
Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.
Ystyriwch yr amgylchedd. Peidiwch ag argraffu'r neges hon oni bai fod gwir angen.
 
Visit our Website at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
Ewch i'n gwefan yn www.bromorgannwg.gov.uk
 
Find us on Facebook / Cewch ddod o hyd i ni ar Facebook
Follow us on Twitter / Dilynwch ni ar Twitter
 
Correspondence is welcomed in Welsh or English / Croesewir Gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg neu yn Saesneg.

show quoted sections

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Vale of Glamorgan Council's handling of my FOI request 'Expenditure on byways'.
-----

Dear Vale of Glamorgan Council,

Thank you for your response to my recent information request.

I note that you decline to process my request on the basis that you claim the request for information is manifestly unreasonable. I wish to take this matter forward to formal review.

My request for information asks questions on how the Council has spent its money on the public rights of way network and asks a few simple questions to learn more about whether there has been a fair distribution.

In assessing the reasonableness of my questions, it is helpful to refer to the responses of your neighbouring Councils to the same questions. Over the 20 year period, they have undertaken 0 to 15 instances of work on their byways: Mostly minor work, vegetation clearance, surface repair, clearing of obstructions, etc. The costs being largely traceable, having been charged to a cost centre. The total expenditures are summaries of the department spending and seem readily available, although one Council has chosen to supply a spreadsheet of the relevant costs codes. Their responses appear to have taken under an hour to produce, well under in some cases.

It is worth pointing out that your website lists no byways in the County, although it is unclear how faithfully this information is presented. However, if it is indeed the case that there are no byways in Vale of Glamorgan, then questions 1 & 2 become trivial to answer, and the burden of your claim of unreasonableness falls on the reasonableness of answering question 3.

Question 3 asks for the "yearly total expenditure on the rights of way network". I am unconvinced this takes in excess of 18 hours to research an answer.

These are yearly totals showing how the department has sent its money. It seems unfathomable that the expenditure has gone unaccounted for. Indeed, it is reasonable to expect this summary information to be routinely produced every year. Moreover, it is common to compile the information in various reports and plans (ROWIP, etc)

Given the seemingly ready availability of the information requested, it is my erstwhile view that my request was summarily rejected on grounds that are unreasonable and irrational. However, it occurs to me that there may be some unknown to me reason why the Council works in a way that is deviant to its neighbours. In which case, I think it is indeed reasonable to reduce the time frame requested such that the work falls within the permitted 18 hours, albeit acknowledging the undoubted difficultly in explaining why such a large amount of work is required to produce an expenditure summary.

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

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Jones

FOI Unit, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Dear Peter Jones

Case ref: 00202971

Thank you for your email where you are requesting an internal review of this case.

Your request has been logged and passed to the Monitoring Officer who will conduct a full review of the case. A response will be sent to you when the investigation has been completed.

Kind regards

Information Governance Officer
Democratic Services
Vale of Glamorgan Council / Cyngor Bro Morgannwg
tel / ffôn: 01446 700111
mob / sym:
e-mail / e-bost: [email address] or [email address]
 
 
Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.
Ystyriwch yr amgylchedd. Peidiwch ag argraffu'r neges hon oni bai fod gwir angen.
 
Visit our Website at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
Ewch i'n gwefan yn www.bromorgannwg.gov.uk
 
Find us on Facebook / Cewch ddod o hyd i ni ar Facebook
Follow us on Twitter / Dilynwch ni ar Twitter
 
Correspondence is welcomed in Welsh or English / Croesewir Gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg neu yn Saesneg.

show quoted sections

FOI Unit, Vale of Glamorgan Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones

We are writing to you in regards to your request for an internal review relating to expenditure for byways and rights of ways. We attach a copy of your original request, the response and your request for an internal review.

First of all we would like to apologise for the time it has taken for us to be able to write back to you in detail regarding your review.

The matter has been thoroughly reviewed and consequently, whilst it was felt that data going back 20 years might not be easily obtainable, further enquiries should be made as to whether there was some information available. These enquiries have taken some time as your questions required input from different teams. Additional information has been provided, however, not all of the information you asked for was obtainable. Below highlights the further answers to your questions:-

1: A list of maintenance at public expense on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years.
On further enquiry it has been clarified that there are no byways open to all traffic in the Vale of Glamorgan area and therefore the answer to your question is nil.

2: Yearly total expenditure on the byways open to all traffic in your administrative area in the last 20 years.
For the same reason as the answer to question 1, there is no yearly expenditure because there are no byways open to all traffic in the Vale of Glamorgan Council's area.

3: Yearly total expenditure on the rights of way network in your administrative area in the last 20 years.
We have been able to obtain information purely in relation to revenue budget spend back to 2008, and that data is attached.

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 - Wales Second Floor, Churchill House Churchill Way, Cardiff
CF10 2HH
029 20678400 / Fax:029 20678399
[email address]

Yours sincerely

Monitoring Officer
Vale of Glamorgan Council 
 
Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.
Ystyriwch yr amgylchedd. Peidiwch ag argraffu'r neges hon oni bai fod gwir angen.
 
Visit our Website at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
Ewch i'n gwefan yn www.bromorgannwg.gov.uk
 
Find us on Facebook / Cewch ddod o hyd i ni ar Facebook
Follow us on Twitter / Dilynwch ni ar Twitter
 
Correspondence is welcomed in Welsh or English / Croesewir Gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg neu yn Saesneg.

show quoted sections