Faretables.

Simon Andrews made this Freedom of Information request to Halton Borough Transport Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Halton Borough Transport Limited.

Dear Halton Borough Transport Limited,

Dear sir or madam. I am requesting under the Freedom Of Information Act a copy of your current faretables for all of your bus routes. Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Andrews

Dear Halton Borough Transport Limited,

Dear sir or madam. You have now failed you legal obligation to respond to Freedom Of Information Act requests within a maximum of 20 workings days. Your response to my request is now well overdue. You have had well over 20 working days to respond and i have not received any email from you with my requested information. Please kindly respond to my request and provide my requested information as soon as possible. Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Andrews

Colin Stafford,

Simon

Halton Transport does not fall within the guide lines applicable to FOI,as we are not a public company, and as such we will not be supplying the requested information.

Kind regards
C Stafford
Colin Stafford
Managing Director

Moor Lane
Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 7AF
Co. reg 01994122
Tel 01514233333

Please consider your environmental responsibility. Before printing this e-mail ask yourself:- "Do I need to print a copy?"

Visit our website www.HaltonTransport.co.uk for all our latest news, timetables and information

This communication including any attachments contains confidential / privileged information for the use of the individual named above. If you are not the addressee any use of this communication is prohibited.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

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Dear Colin Stafford,

Thank you for your response. Please can you explain how you are not a public company? As far as i am aware you are fully owned by Halton Borough Council? Doesn't that make you a public company and therefore your company comes under the FOI Act? Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Andrews

Colin Stafford,

Hi
As l stated we are not a public company this has been confirmed by the FOI

Sent from my iPhone

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Dear Colin Stafford,

So can you please confirm who you are owned by? Does Halton Borough Council own you or not? I'm confused as other bus companies which are owned by Councils all come under the FOI Act (such as Cardiff Bus / Ipswich Bus / Lothian Buses / Network Warrington / Newport Bus / Reading Buses etc etc) so i am not entirely sure what is different about your company? Surely if you are owned by the Council then you are a public company? If you are a private company then could you please explain how this works considering the Council has full ownership of you?

Yours sincerely,

Simon Andrews

Colin Stafford,

Hi
The company has to be wholly owned by the council to be a public company Halton Transport is not wholly owned by them we are Registered as a private limited company and this has been accepted by the FOI

Please therefore do not email any further on this matter.

Sent from my iPhone

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The organisation's latest accounts say it is still a wholly owned subsidiary of Halton Borough Council - which would make it subject to the Freedom of Information Act via Section 6 "Publicly-owned companies".

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...

See p28 of the PDF "Full accounts made up to 31 March 2017 " (marked p25 on the page itsself) available from
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/compa...

The position may have changed since then of course; you could ask the council if they still wholly own the company, you can make Freedom of Information requests to the council via:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/halt...

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

I have found an ICO decision notice which states:

"
The earliest Annual Return available via Companies House dates back to 30 November 1995. This shows the total number of shares as 430,100.
It further shows that the council owns 430,099 of these shares and 1 share is owned by a named individual.
There has been no change to this in subsequent years. "

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

If this is true it's an astonishing example of a small element of private ownership rendering a body as not subject to access to information law.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Halton Borough Council's 2017-18 accounts

https://www4.halton.gov.uk/Pages/council...

state

"Halton Borough Transport Ltd was set up in October 1986 as a public transport undertaking, with an issued share capital of £430,100, wholly owned by Halton Borough Council. "

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

A full list of shareholders from December 2015

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/compa...

reveals that 430,099 shares are owned by Halton Borough Council and one is owned by Colin Stafford.

Simon Andrews left an annotation ()

Many thanks for your help and linking those documents. Thats very helpful. Much appreciated.

The list of shareholders that shows Colin Stafford owning one share is from December 2015 but the more recently published documents from 2017 and 2018 that you also linked states that Halton Borough Council owns 100% of all the shares. So this would make me think that Colin Stafford has given up his 1 share that he had.

I will send a response to Halton Borough Transport again now and see what Colin Stafford has to say about this.

Kind regards.

Simon Andrews

Dear Colin Stafford,

Good afternoon.

As you claim Halton Borough Transport is not wholly owned by Halton Borough Council then please could you advise who else has ownership of it? And what percentage of ownership do the others have? I ask this as everything i have found contradicts what you have told me.

--------

This document here - https://www4.halton.gov.uk/Pages/council... - appears to contradict what you are telling me. This is the Halton Borough Council 2017 to 2018 accounts.

Here are some quotes from it:

~~~~Page 49:

"Halton Borough Transport Ltd was set up in October 1986 as a public transport undertaking,
with an issued share capital of £430,100, wholly owned by Halton Borough Council."

~~~~Page 93:

"As at 31st March 2018 the following were subsidiaries of the Council:

• Halton Borough Transport Ltd - In accordance with the Transport Act 1985, Halton
Borough Transport became a separate legal entity from the Council, with the Council
holding 100% of the shares within the company. The principal activity of the
company is the provision of local bus services in the Halton area.

• Mersey Gateway Crossings Board Ltd - The principal activity of the company is to
deliver the Mersey Gateway Bridge project, and to administer and oversee the
construction and maintenance of the new tolled crossings, including the tolling of
the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge. The Council holds 100% of the shares issued by the
company. An amount of £600k is held as a long term debtor on the Council’s Balance
Sheet, this is the amount which has been passed to Mersey Gateway Crossings Board
Ltd as working capital."

--------

Additionally on this document - https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/compa... - it also contradicts what you are telling me. This is your annual report and financial statistics.

~~~~Page 25:

"Halton Borough Transport is a wholly owned subsidiary of Halton Borough Council and the liability of the pension fund ultimately rests with Halton Borough Council"

--------

As stated above it says that Halton Borough Transport is a subsidiary of Halton Borough Council and it says that Halton Borough Council owns 100% of the shares issued by the company. There does not seem to be any private ownership involved.

All of this means that Halton Borough Transport falls under the Freedom Of Information Act and you are required to respond to all requests. You clearly fall within section 6 of the FOI Act legislation - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200... - which can be viewed here.

It would be appreciated if you could please kindly clarify this as everything i have seen contradicts what you have told me.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Andrews

Simon Andrews left an annotation ()

Also i have just sent an FOI to Halton Borough Council just to get clarification from them on the current situation.

Kind regards.

Simon Andrews

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The FOI request to the council mentioned is at:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Colin Stafford,

Good morning

With reference to your email l can confirm that HBC hold majority shares, and that l actually hold the other share in the company, this information has been supplied along with copy share certificates to the Freedom of Information Offices and accepted by them that HBT is a limited private company.

I am sure that the FIO will confirm that this was tested by them and accepted by them.

Kind regards
C Stafford
Colin Stafford
Managing Director

Moor Lane
Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 7AF
Co. reg 01994122
Tel 01514233333

Please consider your environmental responsibility. Before printing this e-mail ask yourself:- "Do I need to print a copy?"

Visit our website www.HaltonTransport.co.uk for all our latest news, timetables and information

This communication including any attachments contains confidential / privileged information for the use of the individual named above. If you are not the addressee any use of this communication is prohibited.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

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Dear Colin Stafford,

Thank you for your reply. I wasn't aware that you still owned a share.

I have found a document from 2015 stating that Halton Borough Council owns 430,099 shares and that you own the other 1 share. I presume this is the share you are referring to. But i found some newer documents from 2018 claiming Halton Borough Council owns all 430,100 shares so i presumed that this was no longer the case which is why i had some confusion. Obviously this must be incorrect as you have said you still own a share.

Many thanks for the clarification. I fully understand the situation with this now and how you are exempt from the FOI Act.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Andrews

Simon Andrews left an annotation ()

Colin Stafford has confirmed that he still owns a share. So indeed it seems that Halton Borough Council own 430,099 shares and that Colin Stafford owns the other 1 share. So unfortunately they don't come under the FOI Act. So if my calculations are right it seems that 99.99976749593118 % of the company is owned by Halton Borough Council and that only 0.00023250406882120437 % of the company is owned by Colin Stafford himself. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the smallest percentage of private ownership in any publicly owned company in the UK. It seems ridiculous that such a tiny percentage exempts them from the FOI Act but i guess that's just the law. Well at least this is clarified now.

Kind regards.

Simon Andrews

Simon Andrews left an annotation ()

Halton Borough Council have since responded to my Freedom Of Information request which can be viewed here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

It is an interesting situation. It sounds like a rather complicating situation especially for people not too familiar with shares.

Kind regards.

Simon Andrews