Dear Leeds City Council,
Could you provide me with details and minutes of all meetings regarding the Holbeck Prostitution Safe area in the period of pandemic starting in March 2020.
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Dear Eva Levy,
Re: Freedom of Information Request.
I refer to your correspondence to the council and your request for the
Could you provide me with details and minutes of all meetings regarding
the Holbeck Prostitution Safe area in the period of pandemic starting in
First of all I wish to convey my sincere apologies for the delay in this
Please find the attached document for our answers.
With specific regard to the personal information identified as S40 held
within the document. The Council considers that this should be exempt
under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 together with
the condition in section 40(3)(a)(i) on the basis that it constitutes the
personal information of a member of staff, considering their grade and or
that of a third party, and disclosure to a member of the public would
contravene the first data protection principle (namely that personal data
must be processed fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless at
least one of the fair processing conditions is met).
In the Information Commissioner’s view, the two main elements of personal
data are that the information must ‘relate to’ a living individual and
that person must be identifiable. Information will ‘relate to’ a person if
it is about them, linked to them, has some biographical significance for
them, is used to inform decisions affecting them, has them as its main
focus or impacts on them in any way. It has been held by the Article 29
working party, the advisory party to the European Commission, that to
determine whether a person is identifiable, account should be taken of all
the means likely reasonably to be used either by the controller or by any
other person to identify that person.
It is our view that the information requested is personal information and
therefore we are required to consider whether to disclose this data would
breach any of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data
To fulfil the data protection principle (a), a disclosure of personal data
must be lawful, fair and transparent and meet one of the GDPR Article 6
lawful bases and where relevant information is special category data the
processing will also need to meet an Article 9 condition for processing.
It is our view that none of the conditions in Article 9 can be met and,
therefore, any such disclosure would be unfair in accordance with the
requirements of principle (a).
We have considered whether it would be fair to provide information that
could identify individuals. We consider that the reasonable expectations
of these individuals would be that personal information of Leeds City
Council employees (considering their grade and position within Leeds City
Council) and or that of a third party, and would not be released into the
Therefore, it is the Council’s view that to disclose the information
requested would be a breach of principle (a) of the GDPR.
With specific regard to the information identified as S31 held within the
document. The Council considers that this should be exempt under section
under Section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act which says that
information may be withheld if the public authority deems that its
disclosure would, or be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection
of crime. The Council believes that disclosing this data would release
detailed information which could identify the modus operandi of a third
party and that could damage the working relationship between public
authorities, thus prejudicing the prevention of crime. Releasing this
information would also allow potential criminals to determine the most
effective way to evade the law and prejudice the conduct of public
As the exemption is subject to the public interest test we have considered
this accordingly. Whilst we recognise there is significant interest in
this information, we consider that the public interest in maintaining the
above exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. The Council
believes that in this case that a greater public interest lies in
withholding the information as there is a clear public interest in order
to protect the confidentiality, integrity and cooperation between public
authorities to prevent the likelihood of crime and in installing
confidence in the public that the Council is taking such preventative
We consider that Section 31(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act
therefore applies. This provides that “information which is not exempt
information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its
disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely, to prejudice the
prevention or detection of crime”. As required under the Act, we have
reviewed the public interest test in maintaining this exemption.
On balance, we consider that it is in the public interest to maintain the
exemption in order to prevent the likelihood of illicit behaviour, how to
evade the law and therefore crime and that this outweighs the public
interest in disclosure.
With specific regard to the information identified as S22 held within the
document. The Council considers that this should be exempt under section
22 of the Freedom of Information Act as the requested information is
intended for future publication and is therefore exempt from release under
section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act.
The authority will submit and publish a report to Executive Board. The
report to Executive Board will not be restricted and will become publicly
available on or around June 2021.
In order to apply this exemption we have considered the public interest
test, as information can only be withheld if the public interest in
maintaining this exemption is greater than the public interest in
providing the information.
The council consider that to release this information ahead of the
publication would mean that the council would spend precious time on
facilitating this request prior to the planned publication which would
directly take resources away from dealing with such requests, we therefore
consider it to be in the public interest to maintain this exemption.
I trust that this response is satisfactory. If however you are
dissatisfied with this response you have a right to appeal to an
independent officer within the council. They will re-examine your request
and assess whether we have adhered to the requirements of the act. Should
you wish to follow this course of action please address your concerns in
writing to the above address.
You also have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act
to ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether we have met with our
obligations under the act. The Commissioner has however made it clear
that she expects all applicants to exhaust internal appeals procedures
prior to making such an application. Should you wish to contact the
Commissioner’s office then you can contact the Commissioner via her
website at www.ico.org.uk
I trust that this is self-explanatory. If you have any queries please
contact me on 0113 3784251, or by return email.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss this matter then please contact
me on 0113 3784251 or by email to [email address].
Information Management & Governance Team
Digital Information Service
Leeds City Council
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