Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire Council have the right to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the Humberston Fitties roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on any one day to 09:30 each following day during the months of January and February?

Yours faithfully

Tim Stewart

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number 7103_1314.

 

Your request asked “Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire
Council have the right to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the
Humberston Fitties roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on
any one day to 09:30 each following day during the months of January and
February?

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire holds the following
information:

 

The Council owns all of the estate roads on the Humberston Fitties and
none of them are adopted as public highways. As owner, the Council is
therefore entitled to restrict vehicular access to these private roads.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

Dear PPD - FOI,

I am not satisfied with your reply, which fails to answer my FOI fully.

Please read my FOI request again.

I asked:

"Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire
Council have the right to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the Humberston Fitties roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on any one day to 09:30 each following day during the months of January and February?"

Your reply only refers to vehicular access and omits any mention of your authority to restrict pedestrian access to the private roads, tracks and paths on the Humberston Fitties.

Would you also be so kind as to please state the name of the Feedback Officer concerned with this particular request.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

North East Lincolnshire Council

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Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request 7103_1314

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart
 
Thank you for highlighting that your request for information, reference
number, 7103_1314 has not been answered in full.
 
Please accept my apologies for this error.
 
I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire holds the following
information:
 
Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire Council have the right
to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the Humberston Fitties
roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on any one day to 09:30
each following day during the months of January and February
 
The Council owns all of the estate roads on the Humberston Fitties and
none of them are adopted as public highways. As owner, the Council is 
therefore entitled to restrict vehicular access to these private roads.
Access by foot or bicycle to the Humberston Fitties site is not prohibited
by North East Lincolnshire Council at any time. Further information
regarding the security arrangements in the closed season can be found on
our website at the following link:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/arts-...
Would you also be so kind as to please state the name of the Feedback
Officer concerned with this particular request.
 
All officers carry out work on behalf of the North East Lincolnshire
Council and therefore Officer names are exempt from disclosure by virtue
of Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act. Officers can provide
their names if they so wish however as an organisation we aim to ensure an
effective and consistent service for all our citizens and service users,
when dealing with their enquiries. To meet this aim the Council refers to
service areas rather than individuals and uses generic telephone numbers
and e-mail addresses which ensure the effective and efficient management
of enquiries. Contact through these numbers and email addresses are
directed to the appropriate department and officer, who will be able to
deal with the individual enquiry in a timely manner. These arrangements
minimise any delays in dealing with enquiries, which may be caused when an
individual officer is absent from the working environment.
 
If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in 
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to 
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which 
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are 
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal 
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may 
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to
request  an internal review, please contact me and I will make the
necessary  arrangements.
 
Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council
 
Andrew Dulieu
Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate
 

show quoted sections

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your response.

However, it appears to add confusion to my FOI request.

I asked:

"Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire Council have the right to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the Humberston Fitties roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on any one day to 09:30 each following day during the months of January and February?"

You answered:

"Access by foot or bicycle to the Humberston Fitties site is not prohibited by North East Lincolnshire Council at any time."

North East Lincolnshire Council has for decades closed the entrance gates at the Fitties Chalet Park to all vehicles (bicycles included) and pedestrians, during the times indicated on signage either side of the entrance point. Any reasonable person seeing the signs, which only indicate that the substantial locked steel gates, will be closed during the stated times, would clearly conclude that the Park was closed to all.

Whilst it may be impractical to prevent persons from entering the site, by whatever means, this does not remove the prohibition, or, the physical barrier which indicates the Park is closed (to all comers). There is, and has never been, any signage to indicate otherwise. When the Park is open, the pedestrian and vehicle gates infer a restriction.

Furthermore, I would be grateful if the Council could provide copies of any background documents, such as a road closure order, including copies of Council consultation documents, to substantiate that access by foot or bicycle to the Humberston Fitties site is not prohibited by North East Lincolnshire Council at any time, stating when the prohibition, excluding pedestrian and bicycles, was initiated.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number 7103_1314.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

PPD - FOI would like to recall the message, "Freedom of Information request 7103_1314".
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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

We have allocated your request as a new request for information which
requires a new reference number.  Please be aware the reference number for
this FOI is 7146_1314 rather than the previously stated as 7103_1314.

 

Please accept our apologies for any confusion caused.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 7146_1314.  I
wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

"Under what authority does North East Lincolnshire Council have the right
to prohibit vehicular and pedestrian access to the Humberston Fitties
roads, paths and tracks during the hours of 16:00 on any one day to 09:30
each following day during the months of January and February?"

 

 1. North East Lincolnshire Borough Council does not prohibit pedestrian
access to the Humberston Fitties roads, paths and tracks at any time;
 2. None of the roads, paths and tracks within the Humberston Fitties
Chalet are public highways.  All of them are privately owned by North
East Lincolnshire Borough Council as is Anthony’s Bank Road, which
provides the only vehicular access route from the public highway at
North Sea Lane.
 3. North East Lincolnshire Borough Council therefore has complete
authority to prohibit access onto and along its privately owned roads,
paths and tracks

 

Furthermore, I would be grateful if the Council could provide copies of
any background documents, such as a road closure order, including copies
of Council consultation documents, to substantiate that access by foot or
bicycle to the Humberston Fitties site is not prohibited by North East
Lincolnshire Council at any time, stating when the prohibition, excluding
pedestrian and bicycles, was initiated.

 

In respect of the last part (copied below), the road into the Humberston
Fitties is not part of the Adopted Highway so there is no need for any
road closure orders.  It is essentially a private road, albeit owned by
the Council.  I am therefore not aware of any documents setting out the
prohibitions that are being sought.  The Humberston Fitties are of course
subject to a Planning Condition that restricts overnight occupation for
eight consecutive weeks of the year, which occur during the months of
January and February in each year.  The locking and unlocking of the gate
at the times stated is part of that mechanism to ensure that Planning
Condition is adhered to.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

thank you for the reply. However, I am not satisfied as you have not answered fully or provided any of the documents requested. Would you like to have another stab at answering?

I asked:-

"I would be grateful if the Council could provide copies of any background documents, such as a road closure order, including copies of Council consultation documents, to substantiate that access by foot or bicycle to the Humberston Fitties site is not prohibited by North East Lincolnshire Council at any time, stating when the prohibition, excluding pedestrian and bicycles, was initiated."

1. You have not provided any background documents supporting a decision by NELC to allow pedestrians permissive access to the Fitties Chalet Park at all times during the closed period, to the exclusion of all others.

2. If NELC have in fact allowed pedestrians permission, at all times of the year, to enter the Fitties Chalet Park, then why have the pedestrian gates been closed and locked for decades? This prohibition is further enhanced by security staff stating, to pedestrians wishing to enter the Fitties site, during the closed period, that they are not allowed access when the gates are closed.

3. I have previously had sight of a document created by the previous Cleethorpes Council, shown to me by NELC staff, which stated an intent to close the Fitties in a way similar to that mentioned in this FOI. It was a road closure order. Please would you forward me a copy of this document.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for an Internal Review of Freedom
of Information Request 7146_1314.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been passed to the relevant
department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20
working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to
respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the
expected date for receiving a response.

 

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

 

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

Dear PPD - FOI,

I DID NOT request an internal review!

The words 'internal review' were missing from my last reply to you.

I was asking for a clear, honest and helpful clarification of your response to my FOI request, as indicated in the text.

Would you please confirm that you are either going to respond in the manner asked, or, are committing to an internal review regardless?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

 

North East Lincolnshire Council will be reviewing the responses that were
sent you to in regard to your request as part of the internal review

 

Yours Sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

show quoted sections

Dear Feedback Officer,

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Stewart

Further to your request an Internal Review has taken place into North East
Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request reference
7146_1314, concerning Humberston Fitties.

I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and find:

o That your request was responded to within the statutory time of 20
working days;
o That you were informed whether or not the information you asked for
was held by North East Lincolnshire Council;
o That you were provided with the information you asked for available
under the Freedom of Information Act;
o That you were provided with the reasons why any information you had
asked for could not be supplied to you under the Freedom of
Information Act; and
o That your response provided you with your rights of appeal. 

I am therefore satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act in the handling of your request.

I trust that this Internal Review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act. 

To clarify it may be helpful if I address each of the points raised in
your previous email:

 

1.  You have not provided any background documents supporting a decision
by NELC to allow pedestrians permissive access to the Fitties Chalet Park
at all times during the closed period, to the exclusion of all others.

 

The site is affected by Public Rights of Way (PROW) and these rights
override any controls or restrictions that that the landowner may put in
place.  These rights are pedestrian in nature and are not limited
seasonally or hourly.  The Definitive Map showing the route(s) of these
PROWs can be inspected at Grimsby Archives, Town Hall, Grimsby.

The Council is not aware of any documents granting permission for
pedestrian access to the Fitties apart from the PROWs as shown on the
Definitive Map

            Further information regarding the archives and how you can
access the definitive map are available on the North East Lincolnshire
Council website:

 

[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/libra...

 

2.  If NELC have in fact allowed pedestrians permission, at all times of
the year, to enter the Fitties Chalet Park, then why have the pedestrian
gates been closed and locked for decades?  This prohibition is further
enhanced by security staff stating, to pedestrians wishing to enter the
Fitties site, during the closed period, that they are not allowed access
when the gates are closed.

 

The gate does not prevent or interfere with the exercise of any rights to
the PROWs.   Security staff do not prevent pedestrians walking along a
PROW as shown on the Definitive Map.  There is a PROW immediately
alongside the gate but the closure of the barrier does not prevent access.

 

3.  I have previously had sight of a document created by the previous
Cleethorpes Council, shown to me by NELC staff, which stated an intent to
close the Fitties in a way similar to that mentioned in this FOI.  It was
a road closure order.  Please would you forward me a copy of this
document.

 

North East Lincolnshire Council is not aware of the document to which you
refer and will be unable to investigate further without more accurate
details.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Ian Hollingsworth

Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Stewart

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