Honing Footpath 15/East Ruston FP 27

I. M. Witham made this Freedom of Information request to Norfolk County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Norfolk County Council.

Dear Norfolk County Council,

Please provide all information held by your council in any connection with the condition of the public right of way recorded as Honing Footpath 15 and East Ruston Footpath 27, dated between 1st January 1995 and 18th September 2015.

Please include any relevant maps, plans, correspondence, emails, reports, records of internal communications, meetings, notes of telephone conversations etc. falling between the specified dates.

Yours faithfully,

I. M. Witham

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Information Request ENQ-326175-B8B0H6

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

We have 20 working days in which to deal with your request. If we require
clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this.
The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive
your clarification

 

You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying
copies of the information.

 

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains
references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals
about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether
or not to release the information to you.

 

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to
you.

 

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the
team by email [email address] or by telephone 01603
222661.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Information Compliance Team

 

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Dear Information Management,

You are overdue!

Please provide a full account of why you have failed to fulfil my request on time, and explain when you intend to do so.

Yours sincerely,

I. M. Witham

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

Dear Mr Witham

 

Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) Request ENQ-326175-B8B0H6

 

I refer to your request for information dated 9 April 2019.  I apologise
for the slight delay in replying to your enquiry as unfortunately your
request was accidentally recorded on our customer management system with
an incorrect receipt date. 

 

You asked for:

 

o All information held by the council in any connection with the
condition of the public right of way recorded as Honing Footpath 15
and East Ruston Footpath 27, dated between 1st January 1995 and 18th
September 2015.

 

Your request has now been considered and is refused. In accordance with
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the Regulations) this
letter acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

Exception

 

Regulation 12(4)(b) provides that a public authority may refuse to
disclose information to the extent that the request for information is
manifestly unreasonable.

 

Reason

 

Although the EIR does not have a regulation regarding cost, the
Information Commissioner advises that the Freedom of Information & Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit & Fees) Regulations 2004 can be reasonably
used as a guide. The "appropriate limit" as stated in these regulations,
is 18 hours, which is equivalent to £450.

 

As the date of the information being requested is back to 1995, some 24
years ago, this would involve interrogating a minimum of 3 historic
systems, that have been introduced and replaced.  It would require
creating bespoke reports in each of these systems to extract any relevant
data.  The older the data, the less readily available the data is.  It
would have to be established where the historic records are kept,
including potential paper records in archives, and then identify how the
correct records could be extracted.   

 

We are confident that providing the information that you have requested
would involve a significant amount of time; certainly, this would be well
in excess of 18 hours. 

 

The Council has considered "the size of the public authority and the
resources available to it, including the extent to which the public
authority would be distracted from delivering other services" and have
determined that, to spend this time locating and retrieving the
information for this request would severely impede the ability of the
authority to deliver key services.

 

Public Interest Test

 

Reasons in favour of disclosure

 

There is always a public interest in ensuring transparency in the dealings
of the Council to enable the public to:

o understand why and how the authority has made decisions.
o Understand how it has spent public funds
o Hold the authority to account for the above

 

Reasons in favour of maintaining the exception

 

The Council considers that the public interest in disclosure regarding
this footpath rests with whether or not the footpath is open and
accessible for the public to use.

The Council has considered the following:

 

o The footpath in question is currently the subject of proceedings
initiated by you in 2016 when you considered the council to be failing
to appropriately maintain it.  The Council considers the footpath to
be adequately maintained and there have been no other complaints
regarding this footpath therefore the Council does not consider that
failure to disclose would have any widespread or significant impact on
the public.
o The information requested concerns the condition of a footpath dating
back 24 years.  Disclosure of this historic information will not
inform the current matter, which is whether the footpath is
accessible.
o Spending time accessing this historic information would reduce the
resources available to the department responsible for maintenance of
footpaths.
o You have made a high number of requests regarding footpaths over many
years and this has taken a great deal of Council resource. 

 

As the Council considers the footpath to be accessible, there have been no
other complaints, the Council considers that, on balance, the public
interest falls in favour of maintaining the exception.

 

Due to the time period specified within your request, and the fact that
all the period’s records are kept on systems that have been replaced and
would require substantial work to investigate and retrieve any data, we
are unfortunately unable to offer any further assistance other than to
suggest that you may wish to request more recent information which would
fall within the records held on the current system.

 

If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request you have the
right of appeal through the Council’s internal review procedure by setting
out the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

[1][email address]

or Information Compliance Team

Room 043

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

 

An appeal should be submitted within 40 working days of the date of this
notice and should be identified as "EIR Appeal".

 

If you are dissatisfied after pursuing the complaints procedure, you may
apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision whether your request
for information has been dealt with in accordance with the Regulations. 
Refer to the ICO Website at: [2]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on
how to report a concern.  Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Bev Whittaker, Information Compliance Officer 

Information Management 

Tel: 01603 638017 | Dept: 01603 222661

Room 43, Lower Ground South, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich 

[3]Norfolk County Council   [4]Twitter[5]Facebook[6]Web

 

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From: Information Management
Sent: 10 April 2019 11:15
To: '[FOI #567197 email]'
<[FOI #567197 email]>
Subject: Information Request ENQ-326175-B8B0H6

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Information Request ENQ-326175-B8B0H6

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

We have 20 working days in which to deal with your request. If we require
clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this.
The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive
your clarification

 

You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying
copies of the information.

 

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains
references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals
about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether
or not to release the information to you.

 

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to
you.

 

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the
team by email [8][email address] or by telephone
01603 222661.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Information Compliance Team

 

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