Gas Safety and Compliance Under Article 5

The request was partially successful.

Dear Belfast City Council,

The information I have requested is environmental information, as defined in Regulation 2(1) of the Environmental Information Regulations, it is exempt from disclosure under Section 39 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, I want our Council to consider my request under regulation Section 74 of the Freedom of Information Act to consider my request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, which gives me the public qualified rights to access to environmental information held by a public authority. I wish our Council therefore to considered my request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

1. Why have you requested that all catering premisses furnish Belfast City Council with their current Gas Safety certification?

2. What will the collated information be used for ?

3. Why on previous years has this not been requested?

4. Why do our council not have this information already?

5. Why should it take a resent explosion in order for our council to address their non existent record keeping of Gas Safety, certification & Maintenance?

6.In the last 2 years EHO visited 82 premisses in relation to catering premisses inclusive of mobile catering wagons out of the 82 visits were gas safety certificates requested?

7. Were all the premisses able to produce a current gas safety certificate?

8. Were any of the premisses issued with notices to improve anything in relation to gas safety in the premisses?

9. The request that every catering premisses is to issue their council with a gas safety certificate dose this not highlight clear failings in the understanding, safety, maintenance, servicing and repair of gas appliances/fittings within our council area?

10.Who in the council instructed this request for the furnishing of the council of gas safety certification and/or their position within the council?

11. Do our council know what a Gas Safety certificate looks like?

12.What checks/verifications are going to be done to the issued certificates to ensure they are genuine and compliant?

13 . Why are the gas safety certificates not checked when the Health and Hygiene certificates are inspected on an annual basis?

14. I suggested in previous correspondence that our councils are simply not sufficiently qualified and resourced to undertake their legal obligation in relation to Gas and Appliances within buildings or mobile wagons, I understand EHOs are qualified in Environmental Health standards and issues but not in Gas or Appliances, we dont get a painter to check an electricians work how can our councils run this deficient service and charge 2000% more in Northern Ireland in relation to GB for the same notification service?

15. When our EHOs visit a premisses and they regularly fail to observe gas related dangers they are breaching Article 5 of the Health and Safety (Northern Ireland)1978 (Duty to conduct their undertaking in such a way to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that other people are therefor not exposed to the risk of their Health and Safety) what actions should gas engineers take when this has been observed and an EHO has visited the property shall we contact the HSENI or Council to notify the multitude of failings by our council staff?

16. When an EHO visits a premisses does the inspecting officer check for maintenance of the refrigeration equipment to ensure compliance with the F-GAS regulations?

17. Why dont our councils have a suitably qualified, experienced Gas Safe Registered Gas engineer who would be knowledgeable and experienced in the Gas Industry who could serve the public and keep Gas inspections for the Gas Engineers and EHOs can concentrate on EH issues rather than the slap dash dangerous service which has been rolled out by HSENI with the imposed deficient contract "Profit Before Safety" Campaign?

18.Gas Engineers are tested and inspected within a 5 year timeline tested on appliances, fittings, pipework and legislation updates on a monthly basis, How often are EHOs inspected and tested for compliance and competence demonstrating practical and knowledge base assessments in Gas and associated fittings, appliances and legislation changes ?

19. Our councils raised 20million pound last year in Gas notifications charging roughly £70 for a domestic visit in relation to a Gas Appliance Notification in GB the self certification charge is only £3.50 why do our Belfast City Council charge 2000% more here in Northern Ireland?

20. Why do our council fail to engage with Gas Engineers in their area and surrounding areas to give our councils a clear coal face insight into the direction of compliance and difficulties raised so together gas engineers and EHOs can work together to make Northern Ireland a safer environment for our Public and Each other?

21. it is clear under Article 5 our councils are not intentionally leaving premisses in an unsafe manor they were most probably dangerous before they attended a catering establishment but when they visit the premisses in question they are simply untrained, deficient and uncapable to identify gas related dangers as they are pushed into a position of carrying out work outside of their expertise it is just a matter of time when another explosion or CO death occurs, our councils need to address this very serious danger as our councils will find themselves in court by sending out officers restricted in their ability.
would you agree with the above statement?

Yours faithfully,

Paul steward

Dear Belfast City Council,

The 20 working days maximum time period to respond to my lodged foi request has now passed.
I will give our Belfast City Council a further 2 more working days to demonstrate consideration.

Failure to comply will result in this information being forward to “Casework” for the ICOs intervention and judgement

Yours faithfully,

Paul steward

Mark McGovern, Belfast City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Steward


Further to your request for information under the Environmental
Information Regulations (2004,) please see attached response.

Thank you  for interest in Belfast City Council’s gas safety remit,
meanwhile should you require further information then please do not
hesitate to contact me.




Mark McGovern

Senior EHO

Health and Safety Unit

Belfast City Council

Tel. 02890 320202 x3297

Mob.07713 684708


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Dear Belfast City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Belfast City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Gas Safety and Compliance Under Article 5'.

[ The response provided is not accurate and does not provide clarity nor accuracy in the questions put forward to the senior EHOs within our council, I wish for ALL questions to be answered with accuracy and in the spirit of transparency and honesty ]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Paul steward

Records - Chief Exec Records Manager, Belfast City Council

Dear Mr Steward

I refer to your email, below, sent on 16 October 2018 at 09:29 requesting an internal review of the Council’s response to a request for information you submitted in an email sent on 7 September 2018 at 20:01. Specifically, you expressed dissatisfaction with the accuracy and clarity of the Council’s response.

Mark McGovern, Senior Environmental Health Officer, has advised me that he subsequently had a telephone conversation with you on 16 October 2018 and that on him explaining that the Council did not hold the information requested, you were satisfied with the Council’s response.

That being the case, I do not consider it necessary to complete a formal review. However, if my understanding of the situation is incorrect, please contact me. Should I not hear from you, I will consider the matter closed.

Should you wish to complain about the Council’s handling of your request, you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. A request for an independent review should be made in writing to: The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Robert Corbett
Records Manager
Belfast City Council

Tel: 028 9027 0639

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