Grant to Asons Solicitors

Mr Bonfield made this Freedom of Information request to Bolton 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 successful.

Dear Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please supply details in relation to the approved grant of 300,000 pounds made to Asons by Bolton Council, as follows:

(1) The justification for the grant
(2) Any applicable terms and conditions
(3) The specific council budget from which the money was/will be provided

Yours faithfully,

Mr Bonfield

Corporate Information Unit, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear Mr Bonfield

I acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on 13/11/2016 00:00:00

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 8417 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many Thanks

Freedom of Information Team

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
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Dear Corporate Information Unit,

Reference RFI 8417

My FOI Request should, by law, have been responded to promptly but appears to have been delayed. Would you therefore please advise me of the nature of the delay and also when I can expect a response.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Bonfield

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment


Dear Mr Bonfield


Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000


Please accept my apologies for our delay in providing an answer to your
request. Bolton Council have received a large amount of requests recently
and this has meant that unfortunately a backlog of requests has developed.
In response to your request for information received at this office on
13^th November 2016, please see the councils response below.


You requested:


Please supply details in relation to the approved grant of 300,000 pounds
made to Asons by Bolton Council, as follows:


(1) The justification for the grant

Please see Question 3 below


(2) Any applicable terms and conditions

Terms and conditions are contained within the Grant Agreement dated 3^rd
October 2016 (attached) made between The Borough Council of Bolton and
Asons Solicitors Limited


You will note that some elements of the attached document have been
redacted and therefore withheld under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”). Under 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.


The redacted information includes account details and in this case, we
consider that the exemption under section 31(1)(a) of the Act applies to
this information where disclosure would , or would be likely to harm the
prevention and detection of crime.


We believe that releasing detailed information such as account numbers,
bank details and payment activity of individual bank accounts creates a
security risk and is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of
crime. Was disclosure of this specific information to be made into the
public domain it is probable that this information could be traced back to
personal or commercial information which could be used for criminal


Release of information under the Act cannot be viewed in the context of a
limited disclosure to the applicant, it should be considered as an
applicant blind release into the public domain


This exemption is subject to a public interest test, and whilst we
understand there is public interest in good decision-making by public
bodies as to the reputability of organisations that we engage with. On
balance, we believe the relative risk of disclosing account numbers and
bank details significantly outweighs any public interest in the full

We contend that there is a strong public interest in ensuring that as an
organisation we are able to protect any partners from the threat of
criminal activity. This is achieved through our capacity to withhold
certain information from disclosure.


We reached the view that, on balance, the public interest is better served
by withholding the redacted information under Section 31(1)(a) of the Act



(3) The specific council budget from which the money was/will be provided

The information you have requested in Questions 1 and 3 is contained in
the Bolton Town Centre Strategy Report which was presented before the
councils Cabinet on 17^th June 2013. The details of Cabinet meetings are
published on the Bolton Council website via the Bolton Council Committee
Management Information System (CMIS)


The report appears in the papers for the above meeting via the following



Alternatively the following hyperlink will take you directly to the
[3]Bolton Town Centre Strategy Report


Accordingly, we feel this information is reasonably accessible by other
means, therefore making the application of section 21(1) appropriate in
this case. Section 21(1) provides an exemption where the information is
reasonably sought by other means. In accordance with the Act, this
constitutes a refusal notice for this part of your request.



Documents that we provide in response to your request are protected by
copyright. You are free to use them for your own use, including for
non-commercial research purposes. They may also be used for news
reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing
the document or issuing copies to the public will require the permission
of the copyright owner.



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


The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, 3^rd Floor, The Wellsprings, Howell
Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1US

Email:  [4][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


Tel: 01625 545700, Fax: 01625 524510


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



Yours sincerely


The Freedom of Information Team

[7][email address]






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