Dear Manchester City Council.

Please supply the following

Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to inspection schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of notifications of defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target times to enact such repairs.

For the A6010 between the junctions with the A6 and A57 the following.

Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

All inspections carried out and reports from the inspectors for the last two years and any recommendations for repair

All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

Any reported defects or safety issues from the public including full transcripts less personal details in the last two years.

Yours faithfully,
Christopher Street

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Street
Re: Request for Information - Reference No: HWY/AYYDWS
Thank you for your request for information received by Manchester City
Council on 21st May 2018.
Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (19th June 2018) for
the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.   
If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will
be notified and kept informed. 
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Yours sincerely
Cath Cryer
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
Email:  [1][Manchester City Council request email]
Website:  [2]www.manchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Manchester City Council request email]
2. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/
3. https://admin.google.com/***************...
4. mailto:[email address]

Manchester City Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Street

Request for Information - Ref 102 HWY/AYYDWS

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Manchester City Council on 21 May 2018. The Council has considered the
information requested and is satisfied that it falls within the broad
definition of “environmental information” in the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIR).

I set out below your request for information and the Council’s response

Please supply:

1 Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to inspection
schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of notifications of
defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target times to enact such
repairs.

For the A6010 between the junctions with the A6 and A57 the following.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

3. All inspections carried out and reports from the inspectors for the last
two years and any recommendations for repair

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

6. Any reported defects or safety issues from the public including full
transcripts less personal details in the last two years.

In response:

We have considered your request and can confirm that the Council holds the
information.

With regard to parts 3 and 6 of your request, we are unable to provide
you with this information as this information is exempt pursuant to:

R12 (5) (b) – The Course of Justice

R12(5)(b) provides that information is exempt where disclosure would
prejudice 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

You will appreciate that EIR/FoIA is applicant and purpose blind. The main
consideration is whether or not the requested information is capable of
release to the world at large, regardless of the motives or interest of the
person or organisation making the actual request. Taking this into
consideration, if individuals seek to bring compensation claims for poorly
maintained highways, they are obliged to provide details of the highway and
evidence of the damage, but also the date or short period of time in which
they believe the damage occurred. Consequently details of complaints
submitted by the public along with information recorded on highway safety
inspections, are used for validating claims. The public disclosure of this
information could allow individuals to identify road defects that the
council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired, therefore facilitating
claims that are fraudulent.

All of the exceptions under the EIR are subject to the “public interest
test” therefore, the Council has gone on to consider the public arguments.

Public interest factors in favour of disclosure

• The general public interest in transparency

• There is a clear interest in public authorities being accountable in
relation to their responsibilities, particularly when these relate to
public safety.

Public interest factors in favour of maintaining the exception

• The Council has a legal responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect
the public purse from fraudulent claims.

• The disclosure of the withheld information would hinder the Council
in fulfilling this obligation, as it would provide information which
would aid in allowing individuals to know and how long it takes to
address defects which are found. This could potentially aid
fraudulent claimants.

In addition, to considering the public interest factors we have also taken
into consideration the Decision Notice FER0611819 relating to Chester West
& Chester Council
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
and guidance issued by the Information Commissioners Office.

Taking the above factors into account, and having applied the presumption
in favour of disclosure, I have determined that the public interest favours
maintaining the exception.

We have gone on to consider if any parts of 3 & 6 can be released. For
part 3, we would be able to provide the dates of highway inspections, and
for part 6, the date and category of highway complaints. If you would
like this information please let me know,

We have gone to consider the remainder of your request and this information
can be released.

1 Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to inspection
schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of notifications of
defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target times to enact such
repairs.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

The information is contained within the Code of Practice attached

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

Please see attached document - Works completed.

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

Please see attached document - Closures

Please note if you are not satisfied with this response you may ask for an
internal review. If you wish an internal review to be undertaken you should
contact the Democratic Services Legal Team, whose address is, PO Box 532,
Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, email:
[Manchester City Council request email] in the first instance. A copy of
the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be downloaded
from
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...
. If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let
me know.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review process, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Gillham
Head of Citywide Highways

(See attached file: Highway Safety Inspection CoP_Sept 2016.pdf)(See
attached file: Works completed.xlsx) (See attached file: Closures.csv)

show quoted sections

Dear Manchester City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Highways and repair information A6010.'.

1. Why has this information been released outside of the 20 days required.

2. In particular the refusal to release the inspection reports are unwarranted. If the Council considers that fraudulent claims are an issue the correct process is to contest them in court, not to refuse a FOI request on this subject. Similarly the request for reports from other members of the public should be released as pertains to how well the Council are performing in their statutory duties as the highway authority.

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

Yours faithfully,

Chris Street

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Street
Re: Request for Information - Internal Review - Reference No: 
HWY/AYYDWS-IR
Thank you for your email dated 19th June 2018 regarding the Council's
response to your request for information.
Your email will be treated as a request for internal review of that
original decision and will be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s
Access to Information Complaint Procedure.  The procedure is available on
the Council’s web site at    
[1]http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200031...
Please note your request will be handled as speedily as possible and a
response should be issued no later than 17th July 2018. 
Yours sincerely
Cath Cryer
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
Email:  [2][Manchester City Council request email]
Website:  [3]www.manchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200031...
2. mailto:[Manchester City Council request email]
3. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/
4. https://admin.google.com/***************...
5. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy
6. mailto:[email address]

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Street
Request for Information – Ref: 102 HWY/AYYDWS-IR – Internal Review of
Response

I refer to your correspondence dated 19 June 2018 in which you raised
concerns with the response provided by Manchester City Council dated 19
June 2018. As a result the Council has carried out an Internal Review into
the handling of your Request for Information.

Background

You submitted a request under the Freedom of Information 2000 (“FOI”) on 19
May 2018.

Please supply the following

1. Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to inspection
schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of notifications of
defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target times to enact such
repairs.

For the A6010 between the junctions with the A6 and A57 the following.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

3. All inspections carried out and reports from the inspectors for the last
two years and any recommendations for repair

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

6. Any reported defects or safety issues from the public including full
transcripts less personal details in the last two years.

The Council responded under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
(“EIR”) on 19 June 2018.

We have considered your request and can confirm that the Council holds the
information.

With regard to parts 3 and 6 of your request, we are unable to provide you
with this information as this information is exempt pursuant to:

R12 (5) (b) – The Course of Justice

R12(5)(b) provides that information is exempt where disclosure would
prejudice 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

You will appreciate that EIR/FoIA is applicant and purpose blind. The main
consideration is whether or not the requested information is capable of
release to the world at large, regardless of the motives or interest of the
person or organisation making the actual request. Taking this into
consideration, if individuals seek to bring compensation claims for poorly
maintained highways, they are obliged to provide details of the highway and
evidence of the damage, but also the date or short period of time in which
they believe the damage occurred. Consequently details of complaints
submitted by the public along with information recorded on highway safety
inspections, are used for validating claims. The public disclosure of this
information could allow individuals to identify road defects that the
council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired, therefore facilitating
claims that are fraudulent.

All of the exceptions under the EIR are subject to the “public interest
test” therefore, the Council has gone on to consider the public arguments.

Public interest factors in favour of disclosure

· The general public interest in transparency

· There is a clear interest in public authorities being accountable in
relation to their responsibilities, particularly when these relate to
public safety.

Public interest factors in favour of maintaining the exception

· The Council has a legal responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect
the public purse from fraudulent claims.

· The disclosure of the withheld information would hinder the Council
in fulfilling this obligation, as it would provide information which
would aid in allowing individuals to know and how long it takes to
address defects which are found. This could potentially aid
fraudulent claimants.

In addition, to considering the public interest factors we have also taken
into consideration the Decision Notice FER0611819 relating to Chester West
& Chester Council
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
and guidance issued by the Information Commissioners Office.

Taking the above factors into account, and having applied the presumption
in favour of disclosure, I have determined that the public interest favours
maintaining the exception.

We have gone on to consider if any parts of 3 & 6 can be released. For part
3, we would be able to provide the dates of highway inspections, and for
part 6, the date and category of highway complaints. If you would like
this information please let me know,

We have gone to consider the remainder of your request and this information
can be released.

1 Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to inspection
schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of notifications of
defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target times to enact such
repairs.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

The information is contained within the Code of Practice attached

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

Please see attached document - Works completed.

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

Please see attached document – Closures

On the 19 June 2018, you emailed the Council

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Highways and repair information A6010.'.

1. Why has this information been released outside of the 20 days required.

2. In particular the refusal to release the inspection reports are
unwarranted. If the Council considers that fraudulent claims are an issue
the correct process is to contest them in court, not to refuse a FOI
request on this subject. Similarly the request for reports from other
members of the public should be released as pertains to how well the
Council are performing in their statutory duties as the highway authority

Findings

As part of this Internal Review I have reconsidered your original request
for information and the Councils response.

The response to you was made under the correct legislation (as the
requested information was “environmental information”). Please accept my
apologies that the response was not responded to within the 20 working days
as required by the legislation.

In response to Part 1, 2, 4 and 5 of your request, I understand that you
have raised no concerns about these aspects of your response. I have
therefore gone on to consider the information withheld in relation to Part
3 and 6 of your request under the reliance of exception, Regulation 12 (5)
(b) The Course of Justice

The commissioner’s guidance on regulation 12(5)(b) sets out there in no
definitive list which covers circumstances when a public authority may wish
to consider applying the exception. In Rudd v the information
Commissionioner & the Vereders of the New Forest (EA/2008/0029, 29
September 2008), the Information Tribunal commented that ‘the course of
justice’ does not refer to a specific course of action but is “a more
generic concept somewhat akin to ‘the smooth running of the wheels of
justice”

A requirement for this exception to be engaged is that there must be an
‘adverse’ effect resulting from disclosure as indicated by the wording of
the exception.

As outlined in the original response dated 19 June, information recorded on
highway safety inspections and details of complaints submitted by the
public are used for validating claims. Whilst there is no suggestion that
you are requesting this information for fraudulent means, information
released under EIR is released to the public at large and as set out in the
public interest arguments, release would allow individuals to identify road
defects that the Council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired.
Furthermore, release would highlight periods of time for which fraudulent
claims for damage, such as that which had been sustained elsewhere, could
be submitted to the Council.

In accordance with the Tribunal decision of Hogan and Oxford City v
Information Commissioner (EA/2005/0026 and EA/2005/030, the interpretation
of the word “would” is “more probable than not”.

I am satisfied the withheld information falls within the scope of this
exception and that the Public Interest Test has been appropriately applied
(with the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighing the
public interest in disclosure) and that to release the requested
information would have a substantial adverse impact on our legal
responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect the public purse from
fraudulent claims.

I have further considered if Regulation 9(1) – Advice and assistance has
been provided in assisting you to amend these parts of your request.

With regard to part 3 of your request, the Council offered to provide you
with the dates of highway inspections, and for part 6, the date and
category of highway complaints. I consider the disclosure of this
information would inform you with the frequency that highway inspections
are undertaken, and how often members of the public submit complaints about
highways defects. I therefore consider the Council has met Regulation 9(1),
so far as would be reasonable. If you would like to receive this
information please do so by contacting the Democratic Services Legal Team,
whose address is, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, email:
[Manchester City Council request email]

In conclusion

I uphold your complaint that the response was late and apologise for the
inconvenience this may have caused.

I uphold the Councils original decision dated 19 June, and find that the
Council’s response to your request was correct for the reasons given above.

I appreciate that this decision may be disappointing but hope that there is
sufficient information to explain why the original decision was upheld.

If you are not content with the outcome of this internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700

Fax: 01625 524510

www.informationcommissioner.org.uk

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Robinson

Director of Operations (Highways)

show quoted sections

Steve Robinson, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Street

I refer to your correspondence dated 19 June 2018 in which you raised
concerns with the response provided by Manchester City Council dated 19
June 2018. As a result the Council has carried out an Internal Review into
the handling of your Request for Information.

Background

You submitted a request under the Freedom of Information 2000 (“FOI”) on
19 May 2018.

Please supply the following

1.  Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to
inspection schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of
notifications of defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target
times to enact such repairs.

For the A6010 between the junctions with the A6 and A57 the following.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

3. All inspections carried out and reports from the inspectors for the
last two years and any recommendations for repair

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

6. Any reported defects or safety issues from the public including full
transcripts less personal details in the last two years.

The Council responded under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
(“EIR”) on 19 June 2018.

We have considered your request and can confirm that the Council holds the
information.

With regard to parts 3 and 6 of your request, we are unable to provide you
with this information as this information is exempt pursuant to:

R12 (5) (b) – The Course of Justice

R12(5)(b) provides that information is exempt where disclosure would
prejudice 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

You will appreciate that EIR/FoIA is applicant and purpose blind. The main
consideration is whether or not the requested information is capable of
release to the world at large, regardless of the motives or interest of
the person or organisation making the actual request.  Taking this into
consideration, if individuals seek to bring compensation claims for poorly
maintained highways, they are obliged to provide details of the highway
and evidence of the damage, but also the date or short period of time in
which they believe the damage occurred. Consequently details of complaints
submitted by the public along with information recorded on highway safety
inspections, are used for validating claims. The public disclosure of this
information could allow individuals to identify road defects that the
council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired, therefore facilitating
claims that are fraudulent.  

All of the exceptions under the EIR are subject to the “public interest
test” therefore, the Council has gone on to consider the public arguments.
 

Public interest factors in favour of disclosure

* The general public interest in transparency

* There is a clear interest in public authorities being accountable in relation to their responsibilities, particularly when these relate to public safety.

Public interest factors in favour of maintaining the exception

* The Council has a legal responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect the public purse from fraudulent claims.

* The disclosure of the withheld information would hinder the Council in fulfilling this obligation, as it would provide information which would aid in allowing individuals to know and how long it takes to address defects which are found. This could potentially aid fraudulent claimants.

In addition, to considering the public interest factors we have also taken
into  consideration the Decision Notice FER0611819 relating to Chester
West & Chester Council
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
 and guidance issued by the Information Commissioners Office.

Taking the above factors into account, and having applied the presumption
in favour of disclosure, I have determined that the public interest
favours maintaining the exception.

We have gone on to consider if any parts of 3 & 6 can be released. For
part 3, we would be able to provide the dates of highway inspections, and
for part 6, the date and category of highway complaints.  If you would
like this information please let me know,

We have gone to consider the remainder of your request and this
information can be released.

1 Highways department policy for inspection of highways for defects and
safety information. Means of classifying roads and streets as to
inspection schedule. Method of carrying out inspections means of
notifications of defects and safety issues. Repair methods and target
times to enact such repairs.

2. Classification of the road in terms of inspection frequency.

The information is contained within the Code of Practice attached

4. All repairs permanent or temporary in the last two years

Please see attached document - Works completed.

5. Any closures for safety or defects in the last two years

Please see attached document – Closures

On the 19 June 2018, you emailed the Council

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Highways and repair information A6010.'.

1. Why has this information been released outside of the 20 days required.

2. In particular the refusal to release the inspection reports are
unwarranted. If the Council considers that fraudulent claims are an issue
the correct process is to contest them in court, not to refuse a FOI
request on this subject. Similarly the request for reports from other
members of the public should be released as pertains to how well the
Council are performing in their statutory duties as the highway authority

Findings

As part of this Internal Review I have reconsidered your original request
for information and the Councils response.

The response to you was made under the correct legislation (as the
requested information was “environmental information”). Please accept my
apologies that the response was not responded to within the 20 working
days as required by the legislation.

In response to Part 1, 2, 4 and 5 of your request, I understand that you
have raised no concerns about these aspects of your response. I have
therefore gone on to consider the information withheld in relation to Part
3 and 6 of your request under the reliance of exception, Regulation 12 (5)
(b) The Course of Justice

The commissioner’s guidance on regulation 12(5)(b) sets out there in no
definitive list which covers circumstances when a public authority may
wish to consider applying the exception.  In Rudd v the information
Commissionioner & the Vereders of the New Forest (EA/2008/0029, 29
September 2008), the Information Tribunal commented that ‘the course of
justice’ does not refer to a specific course of action but is “a more
generic concept somewhat akin to ‘the smooth running of the wheels of
justice”

A requirement for this exception to be engaged is that there must be an
‘adverse’ effect resulting from disclosure as indicated by the wording of
the exception.

As outlined in the original response dated 19 June, information recorded
on highway safety inspections and details of complaints submitted by the
public are used for validating claims. Whilst there is no suggestion that
you are requesting this information for fraudulent means, information
released under EIR is released to the public at large and as set out in
the public interest arguments, release would allow individuals to identify
road defects that the Council had knowledge of, but had not yet repaired.
Furthermore, release would highlight periods of time for which fraudulent
claims for damage, such as that which had been sustained elsewhere, could
be submitted to the Council.

In accordance with the Tribunal decision of Hogan and Oxford City v
Information Commissioner (EA/2005/0026 and EA/2005/030, the interpretation
of the word “would” is “more probable than not”.

I am satisfied the withheld information falls within the scope of this
exception and that the Public Interest Test has been appropriately applied
(with the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighing the
public interest in disclosure) and that to release the requested
information would have a substantial adverse impact on our legal
responsibility to tackle fraud and to protect the public purse from
fraudulent claims.

I have further considered if Regulation 9(1) – Advice and assistance has
been provided in assisting you to amend these parts of your request.

With regard to part 3 of your request, the Council offered to provide you
with the dates of highway inspections, and for part 6, the date and
category of highway complaints. I consider the disclosure of this
information would inform you with the frequency that highway inspections
are undertaken, and how often members of the public submit complaints
about new highways defects. I therefore consider the Council has met
Regulation 9(1), so far as would be reasonable. If you would like to
receive this information please do so by contacting the Democratic
Services Legal Team, whose address is, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester,
M60 2LA, email:  [2][Manchester City Council request email]

In conclusion

I uphold your complaint that the response was late and apologise for the
inconvenience this may have caused.

I uphold the Councils original decision dated 19 June, and find that the
Council’s response to your request was correct for the reasons given
above.

I appreciate that this decision may be disappointing but hope that there
is sufficient information to explain why the original decision was upheld.

If you are not content with the outcome of this internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700

Fax: 01625 524510

[3]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Robinson


[4][IMG][5] Request C Street.pdf

Steve Robinson
Director of Operations (Highways)
5th Floor Bridgewater House
Whitworth Street
Manchester 
M1 6LT
email [6][email address]

[7][IMG][8] Works completed.xlsx
​​
[9][IMG][10] Closures.csv
​​
[11][IMG][12] Highway Safety Inspection CoP_Sept 2016.pdf
​​
[13][IMG][14] Reply 19.6.18.RTF

[15]www.manchester.gov.uk
​​

show quoted sections

References

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