Dear Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea,
I would like to request the following information:
1. A copy of the report regarding the emergency fire test conducted at Grenfell Tower in 2013.
2. Copies of all correspondence relating to this emergency fire test from, to, and between RBKC councillors and staff.
Thank you for your time.
Dear Ms Robinson
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST REF: 2017-0775
I am writing to confirm that we received your information request on 16 June 2017. For your information and future communications your request has been allocated the reference number FOI2017-0775. Please quote this reference in any future correspondence.
We will consider your request and respond in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Our duty is to respond promptly or at least within 20 working days.
Paul Stott Data Protection Officer Shared ICT Service
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX
Email: [email address] Website: www.rbkc.gov.uk
Dear Ms. Robinson
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REF: 2017-0775
I am responding to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
which we received on 16 June 2017, for information held by the Council.
Your request is as follows:
1. A copy of the report regarding the emergency fire test conducted at
Grenfell Tower in 2013.
2. Copies of all correspondence relating to this emergency fire test from,
to, and between RBKC councillors and staff.
I confirm that the council holds the information requested.
Section 39 of the Freedom of Information Act provides that environmental
information shall be handled in accordance with the Environmental
Information Regulations (EIR). Your request has been handled in accordance
with EIR as it is our opinion that the information requested constitutes
Regulation 2(1) of the EIR states that environmental information is:
“…any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other
material form on –
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and
atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites…biological
diversity and its components…and the interaction among those elements;
(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or
waste…emissions…and other releases into the environment, affecting or
likely to affect the elements referred to in (a);
(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies,
legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities
affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a)
and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those
Your request has been handled in accordance with EIR as it is our opinion
that information held in relation to fire safety will constitute
environmental information. For example fire assessments are considered to
be measures likely to affect the elements and factors listed in paragraphs
(a) and (b) of the definition of environmental information as set out in
Under the exception at regulation 12(5)(b), public authority may refuse to
disclose information to the extent that its disclosure would adversely
affect the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair
trial or the ability of a public authority to conduct an inquiry of a
criminal or disciplinary nature.
We believe that disclosure of the information requested would adversely
affect the ability of a public authority, namely the Metropolitan Police,
to conduct an enquiry of a criminal nature.
The Metropolitan Police have stated publicly said that there are
“reasonable grounds” to suspect the council and Kensington & Chelsea TMO
of corporate manslaughter. This complex criminal investigation is at a
very early stage and is ongoing.
In accordance with the Code of Practice The council has consulted with the
Metropolitan Police as a third party who may be affected by the disclosure
or otherwise have an interest in whether the disclosure is effected. They
have advised that the information is relevant to their investigation and
expressed a view that disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the
prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension of prosecution of
In applying the exception, we are obliged to consider whether public
interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the
exception. There is a considerable public interest in the disclosure of
information held by the council about the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower,
and the cause and spread of the fire. The council recognise this and are
committed to being accountable and transparent. Where possible, we will be
releasing information that relates to Grenfell Tower.
However, there is also a significant public interest in withholding this
information so as to not adversely affect the criminal investigation and
it follows, the course of justice. In assessing this risk of prejudice
the Council has taken account of the views of the Metropolitan Police. We
therefore do not believe that there is an overriding reason to disclose
At this point in time, it is our belief that the public interest in
withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
I trust this has satisfied your request. Should you be unhappy with the
handling of your request, the Council has an internal complaints process
for handling FOIA complaints. Complaints are reviewed by the Chief
Solicitor and Monitoring Officer or her nominee. A form is available from
our website to lodge your complaint
Please contact us if you do not have website access and we can provide you
with a copy of the form. Following this review, should you still be
unhappy with how your information request has been handled, you have a
further right to appeal to the Information Commissioner who is responsible
for ensuring compliance with FOIA.
Information Governance and Management Officer
Shared ICT Service
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX
Tel: 020 7938 8226