Funding for 24/7 telephone functions

Michael Edwards made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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 Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
Please provide me with all information including reports,recommendations,emails regarding the approval of funding for maintaining 24/7 telephone response in the council's Emergency Control Room, Cheshire Lines by Ex Chief executive Graham Burgess, also the date approval was given.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Edwards

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Edwards,

Thank you for your request for information below. 


I consider that part of the information you have requested, namely “….all
information including reports, recommendations, emails  regarding the
approval of funding for  maintaining 24/7 telephone response in the
council's Emergency Control Room…” is exempt  information under Section 36
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Disclosure of this information
would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank
exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation (Section 36 (2) (b) (i)
and (ii).   As the qualified person I have had regard to the guidance
issued by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO),  “Prejudice to the
effective conduct of public affairs “ Version 2.


I am required to take a view as to whether, in my reasonable opinion, the
free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank exchange of views
for the purposes of deliberation would be inhibited; if such advice or
exchange of views were to be disclosed to a member of the public.  I
consider, in my reasonable opinion, that the disclosure of the reports,
recommendations or emails as requested would inhibit the free and frank
provision of similar  discussions in the future and have a “chilling
effect” on such discussions.  


Paragraph 47 of the ICO Guidance provides “ The chilling effect argument
is that disclosure of discussions would inhibit free and frank discussions
in the future and that the loss of frankness and candour would damage the
quality of advice and deliberation  and lead to poorer decision making.”


It is my view that disclosure of this information would make officers less
likely to engage in discussion, whether oral or written, as part of the
deliberation process.  Section 36 is not an absolute exemption and is
subject to the public interest test.


I have weighed up Public Interest Factors and concluded that those in
favour of disclosure are:-

Public interest in the promotion of  transparency and accountability in
relation to the activities of public authorities.


Public Interest Factors in favour of maintaining the exemption are:-

Reduction of the ‘chilling effect’ when matters of particular importance 
are being discussed

Reduces the likelihood of inhibition of future discussion in respect of
such issues


I therefore consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.


You have the right to ask for an internal review in respect of this
refusal of your request for information. This should be addressed to:
Records and Information Manager ,Legal Services, Town Hall, Brighton
Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED, [1][Wirral Borough Council request email]

If you are dissatisfied with the result of your internal review, you also
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address

The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF [2]


You have been previously advised in response to an earlier request that
there is some information on this subject matter already in the public
domain, see link here


You can also search all published minutes from Cabinet and Committee
Meetings, see link here


Yours Sincerely and sent on behalf of,

 Surjit Tour


 Head of Legal & Member Services and Monitoring Officer

Wirral Council

Town Hall

Brighton Street



CH44 8ED


[5][email address]


[6]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP



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