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Freedom of informationmation

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Dear Sheffield City Council,

I notice a Freedom of information was made in 2012 for the list of empty homes in Sheffield that was subsequently released.

Can you please supply me with an up to date list of this information.

Yours faithfully,
Marc Morphew

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Marc Morphew,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to empty homes
which we received on 04/02/2020.
 
This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request, and will be
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act.  The reference number for
your request can be found above.
 
The Freedom of Information Act states that we must respond to you within
20 working days, therefore, you should expect to hear a response from us
by 03/03/2020.
 
In the meantime, if you have any queries please, contact us at the email
address below.
 
Thank you.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Sheffield City Council
PO Box 1283
Sheffield, S1 1UJ
Email: [1][Sheffield City Council request email]
P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: MARC MORPHEW [[2]mailto:[FOI #643133 email]]
Sent: 04 February 2020 11:54
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Freedom of informationmation
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
I notice a Freedom of information was made in 2012 for the list of empty
homes in Sheffield that was subsequently released.
 
Can you please supply me with an up to date list of this information.
 
Yours faithfully,
Marc Morphew
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[3][FOI #643133 email]
 
Is [4][Sheffield City Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sheffield City Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
 
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
 
Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.
 
If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
 
 

show quoted sections

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Marc Morphew,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to empty homes
which we received on 04/02/2020.
 
Please find below, Sheffield City Council’s response to your request:
 
Disclosure Decision
 
Whilst we do hold some of this information (with the exception of some
private accommodation) we do not disclose details of empty properties
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) as sections [1]40(2) –
Personal Information and [2]31(1)(a) - Law Enforcement apply.
 
We do publish some information online available from
[3]http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/shef...
in relation to Council property/land currently for sale and
[4]http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/shef...
detailing services provided in an attempt to reduce empty properties in
the Council area.
 
Why the exemptions apply:
 
Section 40
 
Releasing the address of an empty property can be simply linked to the
personal data of third parties. This is due to the ease of access to land
registry data which will allow the linkage of an empty property to the
owner of the land or title deed.
 
Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act provides that information
relating to individuals does not have to be disclosed if the disclosure is
likely to breach one of the principles in the Data Protection Act 2018. A
release of such information is likely to be considered a breach of Article
5 of the General Data Protection Regulation and Section 35 of the Data
Protection Act 2018, that personal information will be processed both
fairly and lawfully.
 
The Data Protection Act 2018 does provide exceptions for the disclosure of
personal data without the knowledge and consent of the data subject, but I
have decided that these are not engaged. Furthermore individual’s would
expect the Council to maintain a list of empty properties for the purpose
of collecting taxes etc. and would expect the information to be held in
confidence and not disclosed to the general public. This section is an
absolute exemption and not subject to a public interest test.
 
There are also more complex considerations in regard to principle of
taxpayer confidentiality were information obtained from any taxpayer,
whether personal or a business, retains a duty of confidence. This in turn
allows the Council to further consider the application of Section 41(1) of
the Act to ensure that this confidence is maintained.
 
Section 31
 
We also consider disclosing addresses of empty properties may prejudice
the prevention and detection of crime as the properties might be more
vulnerable to criminal and anti-social activities, in particular
squatting, physical damage and theft of fixtures, contents and fittings.
Consequently, the information is refused under section 31(1)(a). This
section is a qualified exemption and requires a public interest test to
consider whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of the information.
 
Public interest arguments in favour of disclosing the information
 
The disclosure of the information serves the general public interest in
promotion of better government through transparency, accountability,
public debate, better understanding of decisions, and informed and
meaningful participation of the public democratic process.
 
Disclosing the details of empty properties may help to bring these
properties back in to use with numerous benefits to the public, for
example:
 

* Reduce the wasted costs to the owners and wasted opportunities to
developers
* The housing needs of some individuals would be met
* The costs to the public authority of funding alternative or temporary
accommodation would be reduced and the cost of council tax discounts
for empty properties would fall
* The crime associated with empty properties (criminal damage and theft
and squatting) would be likely to fall
* The ‘broken window syndrome’ by which areas go into decline, affecting
living standards and property prices, would be likely to be reduced

 
Public interest arguments in favour of maintaining the exemption
 
In contrast, there is a strong public interest in maintaining the
exemption in avoiding likely prejudice to the prevention of crime. The
crime in this case would be likely to include a diverse range from
anti-social behaviour, squatting and criminal damage at empty properties.
Tackling issues like these would involve significant public expense and it
is in the public interest to protect property and to ensure that public
resources are used efficiently. There is also a compelling public interest
in avoiding personal distress to the direct victims of the crime and to
those in the wider neighbourhood who may be affected. Once an area is
subject to crime, it has an impact on the surrounding neighbourhood,
reducing the value of neighbouring properties and the quality of life of
the residents.
 
We also consider the disclosure could:
 

* Highlight “easy targets” for crime (theft and criminal damage) where
offenders would be less likely to be detected
* Reduce the likelihood of the property being used for urban exploring
of empty properties and likely beach of trespass onto private premises
* Prevent properties being re-occupied quickly, which can impact on
housing and rehousing wait times
* Affect the health, safety and well-being of residents
* Breach the Data Protection Act, if we disclose personal information
without the consent of the affected individual

 
Balance of the public interest arguments
 
On balance there is substantial public interest in bringing empty
properties back into use, which may be met to some extent by the
disclosure of the information; however, we believe the public interest in
avoiding prejudice to the prevention of crime outweighs the public
interest in disclosure.
 
If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact us.
 
If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your
request, you are entitled to have this reviewed.  You can ask for an
internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing
[5][Sheffield City Council request email].  Internal review requests should be submitted
within 40 working days from the date of this response.
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you
can contact the Information Commissioners Office. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 0303
123 1113, or for further details see their website [6]www.ico.org.uk
 
Kind Regards,
 
Sheffield City Council
PO Box 1283
Sheffield, S1 1UJ
Email: [7][Sheffield City Council request email]
P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
_____________________________________________
From: MARC MORPHEW [[8]mailto:[FOI #643133 email]]
Sent: 04 February 2020 11:54
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Freedom of informationmation
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
I notice a Freedom of information was made in 2012 for the list of empty
homes in Sheffield that was subsequently released.
 
Can you please supply me with an up to date list of this information.
 
Yours faithfully,
Marc Morphew
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[9][FOI #643133 email]
 
Is [10][Sheffield City Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sheffield City Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[11]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
 
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[12]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[13]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
 
Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.
 
If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
 
 

show quoted sections

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