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Grass cutting maintenance in Ingleby Barwick

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Dear Stockton on Tees Council,

In relation to Ingleby Barwick West and Ingleby Barwick East (separately)
Please can you provide the following information:

1. Records of any grass cutting undertaken in the last 12 months. (Including work that is outside of the routine schedule).
2. The schedule for grass cutting for the next 12 months.

For both, please include any records/logs etc held, and also plans and/or maps showing the areas that are to be cut (or not cut) for each cut.

3. Provide details of how the council calculate the cost to cut grass per square meter where it is charged to other budget holders internally.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Briggs

Stockton on Tees Council

2 Attachments

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Dear Simon Briggs

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004 – Ref: 3987/2021

 

Thank you for your correspondence received on 16 March 2021.

 

Your request is being considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (whichever is most
appropriate). You will receive the information requested within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days.

 

Due to current Covid19 ongoing situation, there may be some delays in
providing you with a response. We apologise for any inconvenience this may
cause and we will keep you updated as much as possible.

 

However, please note the Acts define a number of exemptions that may
prevent release of the requested information. There will therefore be an
assessment of your request to determine if any exemptions apply to the
information requested. If the information cannot be released, or only
released in part you will be informed of the reasons why, together with
any rights of appeal.

 

If the information requested refers to a third party, they may be
consulted before deciding whether it can be released.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Team

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Telephone: 01642 527521 I Email: [2][email address] I
Web: [3]www.stockton.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.stockton.gov.uk/

FOI and Complaints, Stockton on Tees Council

2 Attachments

This document was classified as: OFFICIAL

 

Dear Simon Briggs

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Ref: 3987/2021

Thank you for your correspondence received on 16 March 2021. In response
to your request I can now provide the following information.

In relation to Ingleby Barwick West and Ingleby Barwick East (separately)
Please can you provide the following
information:                                                                                                       

 

1. Records of any grass cutting undertaken in the last 12 months.
(Including work that is outside of the routine schedule).

Please find attached a list of locations where grass cutting takes please
in those areas requested. We do not record specific dates when cutting in
each location is undertaken although we complete each borough-wide grass
cutting cycle in around 12 working days (can vary based upon weather
conditions).  

 

2. The schedule for grass cutting for the next 12 months.

Please refer to the answer at Q1.

 

For both, please include any records/logs etc held, and also plans and/or
maps showing the areas that are to be cut (or not cut) for each cut.

N/A

 

3. Provide details of how the council calculate the cost to cut grass per
square meter where it is charged to other budget holders internally.

We are unable to provide this level of information as there is no
requirement to maintain financial records to this detail.

  

If you have any queries or concerns please contact me in the first
instance.

 

However, if you are unhappy with the way your request for information has
been handled, you can submit a complaint to
[1][email address]

 

If, after your complaint has been determined, you remain dissatisfied with
the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to
the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website:
[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

The ICO does not make a charge for an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah McLaren

Information Governance Team

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Telephone: 01642 527521 I Email: [3][email address] I
Web: [4]www.stockton.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.stockton.gov.uk/

Dear Stockton on Tees Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Stockton on Tees Council's handling of my FOI request 'Grass cutting maintenance in Ingleby Barwick'.

You are charging grass cutting to specific budget holders within the council, so there must be records kept E.G in April 2020 the CPB for IB East was charged £1,195.69 for additional grass cutting.

There must also be details of these areas that are cut which has not been provided as part of this request, or how could they possibly be charged separately, and how could the charge be calculated?

Is there really no records held for when the grass cutters cut grass in Ingleby Barwick?! Surely for audit purposes this information must be held. You must know when and where your grass cutting staff are working?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...

Yours faithfully,

Simon Briggs

FOI and Complaints, Stockton on Tees Council

This document was classified as: OFFICIAL

Dear Simon Briggs

Internal Review Ref: 3987/2021

Thank you for your email. We acknowledge your request for an internal review. You should expect to receive a response to your internal review within 20 working days.

Due to current Covid19 ongoing situation, there may be some delays in providing you with a response. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we will keep you updated as much as possible.

Yours Sincerely,

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Telephone: 01642 527521 I Email: [email address] I Web: www.stockton.gov.uk

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FOI and Complaints, Stockton on Tees Council

This document was classified as: OFFICIAL

 

Dear Simon Briggs

 

Internal Review - Ref: 3987/2021

 

The Council received your original request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 on 16 March 2021 and a response was issued
to you on 7 April. You contacted the Council the same day asking for an
internal review. Within your internal review request you asked;

 

You are charging grass cutting to specific budget holders within the
council, so there must be records kept E.G in April 2020 the CPB for IB
East was charged £1,195.69 for additional grass cutting. There must also
be details of these areas that are cut which has not been provided as part
of this request, or how could they possibly be charged separately, and how
could the charge be calculated? Is there really no records held for when
the grass cutters cut grass in Ingleby Barwick?! Surely for audit purposes
this information must be held. You must know when and where your grass
cutting staff are working?

 

The Council have now reviewed your request and can provide the following
response;

 

We do not internally charge for grass cutting. The charge you have
referred to was for additional services undertaken as part of works via
the ward members Community Participation Budget relating to the planting
of wildflower areas, including ground preparation and post flowering grass
cutting / area clearance.

 

We do not keep records in a format which allows us to answer your query
about ‘when the grass cutters cut grass in Ingleby Barwick’. The annual
grass cutting programme is conducted during the growing season which is
roughly between April and October and we aim to complete each borough wide
cutting cycle on an average of 12 working days (weather permitting).

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request,
please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office by using either of
the details; The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  Telephone: 0303 123
1113  Website: [1]www.ico.gov.uk. The ICO does not make a charge for an
appeal.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Sarah McLaren

Information Governance Team

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Telephone: 01642 527521 I Email: [2][email address] I
Web: [3]www.stockton.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.stockton.gov.uk/

Dear FOI and Complaints,

Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate the next port of call is the ICO, but I thought it more sensible to clarify some things with you first (if that is okay) as the response you gave does not tally with information previously released.

This document here which was released under FOI specifically refers to "Additional grass cutting maintenance of CPB bulb areas" for the East and West wards
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

Either that information is incorrect, or the information given to me is incorrect.

If that charge is incorrectly listed a being for bulbs, and is in fact for wildflower planting it causes further confusion, as there are no wild flower planting areas within Ingleby Barwick West, yet there is a charge of £115.43 dated April 2020.

I hope you are able to look at this further, but please advise if you are not so that I can contact the ICO to raise these issues through them.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Briggs

FOI and Complaints, Stockton on Tees Council

This document was classified as: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Briggs

I have clarified this with service who have informed me 'Wildflower planting' is a category description that can refer to wildflower planting, bulb planting or a combination of both.

I hope this resolves your query.

Kind regards

Sarah McLaren
Officer (Information Governance)
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Telephone: 01642 527455 | Email: [email address] | Web: www.stockton.gov.uk

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Dear FOI and Complaints,

Thank you for trying to explain further - I appreciate you are stuck in the middle here, and can only provide what the service area gives you. I'm sure you will agree this is getting terribly confusing - especially when wild flowers might not be wild flowers, but bulbs.

So referring to the original question is there additional grass cutting (outside of the routine 12ish-weekly schedule) for the CPB bulbs? (There is a charge relating to them here, so I would expect that there is: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7... )

If there is additional grass cutting (referred to as "post flowering grass cutting / area clearance") for the bulbs (There are no wild flowers in the west ward, so it must be for the bulbs), how do they know where to cut and whether if has been done if there are no records or plans?

If there isn't additional cutting, please can you explain what each of the charges relates to on this link: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7... as it would seem councillors are being charged for something that doesn't happen. (I appreciate this may constitute a separate request?)

Yours sincerely,

Simon Briggs

FOI and Complaints, Stockton on Tees Council

This document was classified as: OFFICIAL

It's no problem Mr Briggs. On the plus side I am learning an awful lot about grass cutting in the borough!

So I have been further advised that the areas where the bulbs are planted is obvious both when and after they have finished flowering. After they have finished flowering the foliage is left for a period to die back to replenish (feed) the bulbs, ensuring reblooming in the following year. During this period the grass, in the areas where the bulbs are, grows unchecked. The charge to the CPB is to cover the additional time cutting the area where the bulbs are planted, passing back and forth to cut the remaining bulbs foliage and achieve the same grass length as the surrounding greenspace. This work takes place as part of the routine schedule; not as a specific separate visit.

Kind regards

Sarah McLaren
Officer (Information Governance)
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Telephone: 01642 527455 | Email: [email address] | Web : www.stockton.gov.uk

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