Dear Great Yarmouth Borough Council,
I write to you as a concerned member of the public and a tax payer in regard to the burnt out building by Haven Bridge.

As I am sure you are aware there has been lots of publicity about the situation and the non payment of KB Scaffolding who made the building safe to the public and allowed the opening of Haven Bridge to traffic soon after the fire after taking instructions from a council representative.

My questions are put together on based on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways: public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities. So here are my questions:

1. Are the council disputing that on the night concerned the council representative did not give instructions for the scaffolding to be erected if so what proof do they have as I understand that clear proof of this has been given by both KB Scaffolding and the tenant of the property. If this is the case under the dangerous buildings act the instructed should pay the cost of what they requested and then claim it back through the insurance route?
2. Could I please ask for copies of ALL communications between interested parties regarding payment of this bill and why the council feel it is not appropriate to pay for the service they requested. When I say all emails I don’t mean a selection of what you want me to see but the whole trail of communication with noting removed.
3. I also understand that KB Scaffolding made an offer to settle recently of a £130k but this was refused by the council and it has now escalated to over £400k. Can you please confirm if this offer was made to you or is it just a rumour?
4. I have heard rumours that the council are happy to let the bill escalate because if it goes to court the £100k it is estimated it will cost won’t be affordable by KB Scaffolding so the case will be dropped. I understand from a reliable source this will not be the case and that KB has resources and local backing to take this all the way. So with that in mind as a tax payer I want to know what gives you the right to spend our money in this way, the only way you can convince me is to provide me and other members of the public clear proof that your representative on the night did not give instructions to erect the scaffolding, please forward this to me?

Under the freedom of information act I would like a response to my requests within 21 days and please don’t respond with “this information cannot be given for legal reasons”, because all the information of meetings have to be legally documented and as a tax payer I am within my rights to have access to this information

Yours faithfully, G. Thompson

Freedom of Information, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Thank you for your email. Your request has been passed to the Corporate
Services Team who will review your request and a response will be sent to
you within 20 Working Days.

 

Please note that this email has been automatically generated and should
not be replied to.

 

You can review our Freedom of Information Policy here :-
https://www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/foi

 

Kind Regards,

 

Corporate Services.

Freedom of Information, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

6 Attachments

 

 

Dear G. Thompson,

Thank you for submitting your FOI Request. We can confirm we have received
details, the reference number is FOI-2324-729.

The response time for an FOI request is 20 working days.

Kind regards,

Andrea

Andrea Krout
Democratic Services Officer
Corporate Services
Legal and Governance
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Email: [1][Great Yarmouth Borough Council request email]
[2]www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk
Telephone: 01493846287

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Freedom of Information, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

6 Attachments

 

 

Dear G. Thompson,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI-2324-729

 

Your request for information has now been considered and this email acts
as a refusal. We are refusing your request to access information relating
to:

 

1. Are the council disputing that on the night concerned the council
representative did not give instructions for the scaffolding to be erected
if so what proof do they have as I understand that clear proof of this has
been given by both KB Scaffolding and the tenant of the property. If this
is the case under the dangerous buildings act the instructed should pay
the cost of what they requested and then claim it back through the
insurance route?

2. Could I please ask for copies of ALL communications between interested
parties regarding payment of this bill and why the council feel it is not
appropriate to pay for the service they requested. When I say all emails I
don’t mean a selection of what you want me to see but the whole trail of
communication with noting removed.

3. I also understand that KB Scaffolding made an offer to settle recently
of a £130k but this was refused by the council and it has now escalated to
over £400k. Can you please confirm if this offer was made to you or is it
just a rumour?

4. I have heard rumours that the council are happy to let the bill
escalate because if it goes to court the £100k it is estimated it will
cost won’t be affordable by KB Scaffolding so the case will be dropped. I
understand from a reliable source this will not be the case and that KB
has resources and local backing to take this all the way. So with that in
mind as a tax payer I want to know what gives you the right to spend our
money in this way, the only way you can convince me is to provide me and
other members of the public clear proof that your representative on the
night did not give instructions to erect the scaffolding, please forward
this to me?

 

This is because questions 1,3 and 4 do not fall under FOIA 2000
legislation. This is because they are questions and are not requests for
copies of information that is held.

Question 2 does fall under the FOI Act as copies of all communications
between parties have been requested.

Reasons for our decisions.

Your request has been considered and is refused. In accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), this email acts as a Refusal
Notice.

This is because the information is exempt under section 42 Legal
professional privilege of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please see
below the details of this exemption and our reasons for this decision.

 

Legal professional privilege (LPP) is designed to provide confidentiality
between legal advisers and their clients to ensure openness between them
and safeguard access to fully informed, realistic, and frank legal advice.
This in turn ensures that justice is fairly administered. Legal
professional privilege belongs to the client, and material cannot be
revealed without the consent of the client, not even to a court.

A professional legal adviser for the purposes of LPP could be a solicitor,
barrister, licensed conveyancer, or legal executive holding professional
qualifications recognised by the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX).
Legal advice privilege covers confidential communications between the
client and a lawyer made for the dominant purpose of seeking or giving
legal advice. In the current instance, legal action is being contemplated.
We are, therefore, satisfied that the exemption applies.

 

Exemption Applied:  The Council does hold information; however, we believe
that it is exempt from disclosure under section 42 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (information covered by legal professional
privilege). For the avoidance of doubt, the Authority is not prepared to
waive privilege.

Section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) states: (1)
Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege
could be maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.

(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) in respect of which such a
claim could be maintained in legal proceedings.

You have the right to request an internal review of our decision to apply
this exemption; details of how to do this are provided via the link
[1]here.

Under section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, any person who is
unhappy with the way their request is dealt with has the right to make a
complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). You can contact
the independent Information Commissioner via their website and a link has
been provided here:  [2]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

The answers supplied in response to your request are for your personal
use.  They are copyright of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and may not be
copied, distributed, published, or exploited for commercial purposes or
financial gain without the explicit written consent of Great Yarmouth
Borough Council.

Should you have any queries regarding the information provided, please do
not hesitate to contact us.  You have the right of appeal through the
Council’s internal complaints procedure by setting out the grounds of your
appeal in writing to the email address below addressed to the attention of
the Corporate Services Manager.

 

 

The answers supplied in response to your request are for your personal
use. They are copyright of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and may not be
copied, distributed, published or exploited for commercial purposes or
financial gain without the explicit written consent of Great Yarmouth
Borough Council.

 

Should you have any queries regarding the information provided, please do
not hesitate to contact us. You have the right of appeal through the
Council’s internal complaints procedure by setting out the grounds of your
appeal in writing to the email address below addressed for the attention
of the Corporate Services Manager.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andrea

 

Andrea Krout
Democratic Services Officer
Corporate Services
Legal and Governance
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Email: [3][Great Yarmouth Borough Council request email]
[4]www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk
Telephone: 01493846287

 

 

 

 

The answers supplied in response to your request are for your personal
use. They are copyright of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and may not be
copied, distributed, published or exploited for commercial purposes or
financial gain without the explicit written consent of Great Yarmouth
Borough Council.

 

Should you have any queries regarding the information provided, please do
not hesitate to contact us. You have the right of appeal through the
Council’s internal complaints procedure by setting out the grounds of your
appeal in writing to the email address below addressed for the attention
of the Corporate Services Manager.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andrea

 

Andrea Krout
Democratic Services Officer
Corporate Services
Legal and Governance
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Email: [5][Great Yarmouth Borough Council request email]
[6]www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk
Telephone: 01493846287

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