Dear Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please can you confirm if Bolton Council paid and used for bin truck/waggons to be used as barricades during the Bolton Food and Drink festival in 2017.

Please provide the total cost in use of these vehicles and staff wages. We ask that Stephen Young be directly asked if this security measure which has been used around the country was implemented during this event.

If this security measure was used, will the same security measures be required over Christmas?

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Banks

Corporate Information Unit, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

This is an automated email, please do not reply to this address. If you
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address for any correspondence is [email address].

Dear Christopher Banks

I acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on .

This request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and may take up to 20 working days to be processed (although we will
endeavour to provide the information as quickly as possible).

Please be advised that if an exemption applies to the information that you
have requested, the statutory period may be exceeded in accordance with
the provisions of the act.

If a charge is applicable to your request, we will advise you of this in
due course.

Please retain the reference number RFI 10192 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many Thanks

Freedom of Information Team

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or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
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the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Banks

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

I write further to your request for information which was received on
23^rd November 2017. Having considered the request, I write to advise that
Bolton Council is unable to confirm or deny whether it holds the
information which you have requested.

 

You Requested

 

Please can you confirm if Bolton Council paid and used for bin
truck/waggons to be used as barricades during the Bolton Food and Drink
festival in 2017.

 

Please provide the total cost in use of these vehicles and staff wages. We
ask that Stephen Young be directly asked if this security measure which
has been used around the country was implemented during this event.

 

If this security measure was used, will the same security measures be
required over Christmas?

 

Our Response

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), Bolton Council has a
duty to supply any information it holds on request, unless there is an
exemption. It is the Council’s policy only to apply the exemptions where
there is a genuine risk of harm or prejudice. Section 17 of the Act
provides that when refusing a request, Bolton Council must provide a
notice which (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in
question, and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the
exemption applies.

 

In this case it is our view that a number of exemptions set out in the Act
apply to your request, these are:

 

Section 24(2) - National Security

Section 31(3) - Law Enforcement

Section 38(2) - Health & Safety

 

Section 24(2) provides an exemption from the duty to confirm or deny
whether information is held where the exemption is required for the
purposes of safeguarding national security. In essence the exemption
allows a public authority not to disclose information, nor to confirm or
deny whether it is held, if it considers releasing the information would
make the UK or its citizens more vulnerable to a national security threat.

 

Section 31(3) provides an exemption from the duty to confirm or deny
whether information is held if it to do so would prejudice, or would be
likely to prejudice, the prevention or detection of crime and / or the
apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

 

Section 38(2) provides an exemption from the duty to confirm or deny
whether information is held if it to do so would endanger, or would be
likely to endanger, the physical or mental health, or the safety of any
individual.

 

As sections 24(2), 31(3) and 38(2) are qualified exemptions, there is a
requirement to outline the harm that would be caused in confirming or not
whether information is held as well as carrying out a public interest
test.

 

Information released under the Act is considered to be the equivalent of
publishing the information and places it into the public domain as once
the information is released the public authority, in this case the
Council, has no control over what use is made of that information.

 

Whilst not questioning the motives of the requester, information regarding
the security arrangements undertaken by the Council during events such as
the Food and Drink Festival could be of great use to those who seek to
cause harm to those attending and working at such events, and to those
attending or working at neighbouring businesses / properties. It is well
known that those planning terrorist attacks use a wide range of resources,
including press reports and physical reconnaissance, and as such reducing
the information available or making it more difficult to acquire is
obviously desirable.

 

It is important to note that the UK does face a serious and sustained
threat from violent extremists which is greater in scale than terrorist
threats in the past. Government reports suggest that at any one time the
police and security agencies are contending with many terrorist plots,
terrorist groups or networks and individuals who are judged to pose a
threat to the well-being of the UK and or UK interests.

 

It is our view that the release of information regarding the Council’s
security arrangements to prevent terrorist attacks, including the
confirmation or denial of the possession of such information, would offer
an insight into not only the strengths of the Council’s security
arrangements , but also any potential weaknesses that may exist thus
undermining the safeguarding of national security, allowing those with a
criminal intent to gain an operational advantage over the Council, the
police and the security services and placing members of the public at
risk.

 

In considering the public interest regarding the request, a number of
factors were taken into account. Confirmation or denial that information
exists relevant to this request would demonstrate a commitment to
transparency and accountability with regard to the council’s undertakings.
It may also promote public understanding with regards to the Council’s
approach to safety measures during public events, as well as of how
Council funds are allocated in relation to this. However, in this current
environment of an increased threat of terrorist activity, confirming or
denying that the requested information is held could assist any individual
or group wishing to carry out a targeted terrorist attack during an event
such as the Food and Drink Festival, thus prejudicing national security
and endangering the safety of individuals including Council staff, the
emergency services and members of the public.

 

On balance it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs that in confirming or denying whether information is
held and as such the exemptions under Sections 24(2), 31(3) and 38(2) are
engaged. The Council neither confirms nor denies whether this information
is held, therefore and in accordance with the Act, this email constitutes
a refusal notice for your request.

 

Should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal to:

 

The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email: [email address]

 

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may
wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

www.ico.gov.uk

Tel: 01625 545700, Fax: 01625 524510

 

Should you have any other queries regarding this please contact
[1][email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team

1^st Floor, Town Hall

Bolton, BL1 1RU

 

 

 

This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

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