Inadequate removal of brown asbestos from primary school site

Sheila Oliver made this Freedom of Information request to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Stockport Borough Council,

In the light of this clip of "experts" removing brown asbestos from the site for 550 primary school children and 50 babies, basicially bored men with bin bags and a stick who don't follow proper safety procedures, has the Council ascertained whether any insurer would be prepared to insure this school?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0rCPnP5H9o

Please don't try to imply I am vexatious in asking this.

Yours faithfully,

Sheila

Adam Brookes left an annotation ()

Stockport Borough Council seem to state in response to every request that you make that "As you have previously been informed, all your requests for information about Harcourt Street are considered to be vexatious under section 14(1) Freedom of Information Act 2000 and manifestly unreasonable under
Regulation 12(4)(b) Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and will not receive a response."

Looking at the decision notice for case reference FS50232537 (http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/d...), it seems that the Information Commissioner has agreed with the council's position.

Is it not time now to stop submitting requests relating to this subject and to appeal the decision of the Information Commissioner?

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Adam

The Information Commission said that as of December 2008 they should have been answering questions. They are not! I have appealed to the Information Commission but as you no doubt know, their workload has a backlog which takes them years to deal with. I haven't got years to wait - children's lives are still at risk not least from the traffic.

Had it not been for me 550 primary school children would have been educated on unremediated arsenic, lead and brown asbestos since September 2008. They would now be incubating cancer. That is not vexatious and never was. The Council was fully aware of the true nature of the situation. If they misled the Information Commission as to the vexatious nature of my requests, then I can't help that - it merely compounds their crimes regarding this whole sorry affair.

It now transpires that the school is not big enough, as I have said all along and been labelled vexatious for pointing out. Why did they build a school knowing at the outset it was nowhere near big enough? The proposed nursery for a very deprived area which was initially to be for 78 children, then 50 is now down to one class, presumably to make room for the extra school pupils they weren't admitting needed to be accommodated at the new school. How can they propose a nursery class of 50?

Please see this story:-

http://menmedia.co.uk/stockportexpress/n...

This has been so wrong from the outset, with Andrew Webb, Director of CYPD's refusal to disclose information on a primary school because it would take 84 hours (almost three weeks of continual work) for a council officer paid £25 per hour to go through the documents to remove any secrets, request refused, no review of their refusal held for six months. How many secrets can there be for a new primary school? In addition, anyone else in the town was simultaneously banned from any questions on the subject, being labelled as part of the campaign. What a way to run a Council!

I will ask and ask until I get answers. I pay these panjandrums over £100,000 pa in many instances.

Kind regards

Sheila

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Adam

And, Councillor Mark Weldon said in the local press recently that brown asbestos was what they would have expected to find. Then I have been completely correct all these long years in pointing out that doing no contamination investigation pits where the school is going was not anywhere near adequate and not in the least vexatious. It is not only a FOI ban but a years and years long council meeting question ban too.

Kind regards

Sheila

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

And, if they can give answers now they need to because parents are refusing to send their children to the school because of unanswered questions. If those parents demand home education, as they have a legal right to do, this will bankrupt the Council, so why on earth not simply lay aside the vexatious charges and answer the questions?

Why did the Council's contamination experts say in 2005 to a public inquiry that such still gassing sites should only be used for hard end uses like warehousing.

Why did the Council's contamination experts say sites gassing over 1.5% v/v carbon dioxide could cause nausea, headaches and possibly asphyiation? This is gassing 14%v/v in parts.

Why did the Council's experts say gas monitoring would have to take place during construction yet none has apparently taken place?

Why did the Council's contamination experts worry about fibres of brown asbestos being vented out and causing cancer on other sites, but apparently were not bothered about this for this primary school site? Where will the disturbed landfill gases go to?

Why did they not comply with BS 10175 as is claimed and carry out a strict 25metre grid pattern of investigation points at the outset, which would have found the contamination at time to allow reasoned discussions about the proposed cost and safety aspects to take place?

It seems to me they need to set aside my alleged vexatiousness to answer these questions. Why on earth not!

Adam Brookes left an annotation ()

You've said that the "Information Commission said that as of December 2008 they should have been answering questions". The question is when did they say that? As I've highlighted, the Information Commissioner's decision notice for case ref FS50232537 dated November 2009 supports the position of the council in rejecting your requests relating to this subject.

You tell me a lot about your campaign and protecting children is of course a worthy cause but none of that really explains why, despite the council deciding to reject your requests relating to this subject and the Information Commissioner supporting that, you still continue to make requests. I just don't say how it is beneficial to keep doing so.

You say that you have appealed the Information Commission's decision and I understand such procedures can take a while but I'd suggest the more requests you make despite the council having told you that any requests regarding Harcourt Street "will not receive a response", the less likely it is that any appeal will be successful.

Since Stockport Borough Council are clearly not going to respond to your requests surely it is a waste of everyone's time to keeping making them?

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Adam

I have to disagree. If they said the school was safe, I knew it wasn't and I kept pushing for them to do what they should have done at the outset with regards to the contaminaton, then this isn't vexatious even if I sent them a thousand emails.

I know learn today that the Learning Resource Centre (is that a library?) is being removed to make way for a classroom. I said at the outset that this school was not big enough for the pupils who need to attend. Them saying I am vexatious in questioning this doesn't make that true. It provably isn't On the contamination, cost and size I have been proved correct. Despite them trying every trick in the book to stop me questioning them I have found out these things by persistence. It would surely have been simpler to answer the questions instead of maintaining this pointless charade. The parents won't send their children to the school unless they get answers. The Executive Councillor responsible didn't attend the parents meeting when requested and didn't send anyone else either. Who will give them answers? The children's lives are still at risk. Should I simply shut up for the next two years, watch the school open at enormous cost, not big enough and a danger to children and watch the other three schools fall into disrepair so there is no alternative to the toxic waste school? If you let me have your email details I would send you the IC's letter where they say they should be answering.

I pay these people huge sums of money. Why can't they be accountable?

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Adam

It is not that I am vexatious but that I am good at what I do. You may recall the Tesco at Stockport at which Tesco exceeded their planning permission. They had to cordon off huge amounts of white elephant space as a punishment. I got that on Dispatches, News at Ten, in the Guardian, the Observer,The Independent, The Daily Mail, File on Four, You and Yours etc. I gave evidence which was submitted to an inquiry which led to the supermarket ombudsman being set up. You have to be tough and persistent to get the better of Tesco.

I asked a FOI of the Highways Agency which was taken by clever people in London and led to an Audit Commission of exposure of £3 billion of waste at the Highways Agency. I am happy to send you details.

I can't give up. I work in a busy cancer department. I have lost a child. I am not letting anyone else suffer unnecessarily.

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Adam

And, Stockport Council got very cross with me when I said a housing estate was being built on toxic waste. I mithered and mithered them for about 8 months and then forced them to move 22 lorry loads of soil contaminated with heavy metals at the former Trident Foams site in Offerton. Evidence available on request.

The chap who designed the M60 Denton to Middleton section was very cross with me too, like Terry Leahy of Tesco and Stockport Council. You join that motorway in the fast lane because it was designed to join on to a road which hadn't got planning permission and still hasn't - the A6 bypass - which I helped to expose would cost £1 billion instead of the £179 million as planned. They built the M60 through Audenshaw Reservoir, tested the good Victorian puddle clay at the outset and it was fine - got to the middle and it was rubbish. That cost £80 million and an 18 months delay. I asked how much was paid in compensation - £114 million and what budget had been set for that? Nothing! So, the Highways Agency could come up with £114 million at the drop of a hat. Then, the road surface was ponding and causing above intervention levels of accidents - that was to cost £25 million to put right. That is before we get to the fact that traffic has to leave the M60 there when it rains (evidence available on request) - and please remember this is Manchester. Yes, he got very cross with me - just like Stockport Council.

If there are things people want to keep hidden they try all manner of tricks to keep them secret. As I said before, I am very, very good at exposing these shenanigans, which is why I am banned by Stockport Council.

Best wishes

Sheila

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 3432).

As you have previously been informed, all your requests for information
about Harcourt Street are considered to be vexatious under section 14(1)
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and manifestly unreasonable under
Regulation 12(4)(b) Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and will
not receive a response. This decision has previously been through the
Council's internal review process and was upheld.

You are entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. To
do so, contact:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

www.ico.gov.uk

01625 545 745

Yours sincerely,

Claire Naven

Claire Naven

Data Protection & Freedom of Information Officer

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear FOI Officer,

Is my local MP Andrew Stunell having a laugh here?

http://www.libdemvoice.org/andrew-stunel...

Does it not also apply to his own party political LibDem chums at Stockport Council?

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Oliver

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I am writing in response to your email below (ref 3440).

It is unclear from your email below what information -if any - you are
actually requesting. If you are making a request for recorded information,
please clarify your request.

Yours sincerely,

Claire Naven

Claire Naven

Data Protection & Freedom of Information Officer

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Officer,

I was simply highlighting how ridiculous it is of my local MP Andrew Stunell, a political cohort of the ruling group of this council, to champion openness in public life with respect to councils whilst simultaneously refusing to act in this shocking instance, which is going to lead to massive lawsuits, not least from the local residents who have already been exposed to airborne, brown asbestos fibres.

With very warmest best wishes

Sheila Oliver

Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

This is the text from the Information Commission stating you should be asnwering questions:-

-------------------------------------------------------

Information Commissioner's Office
Promoting public access to official information and protecting your personal information
15th February 2010
Case Reference Number RCC0296506 / FS50232537 Stockport Borough Council
Dear Mrs Oliver
Thank you for your letter of 7 February 2010. In your letter you state that since the issuing of the Decision Notice in relation to case FS50232537 on 10 November 2009 further evidence has come to light which you feel no proves you are not vexatious. You also state that since the Decision Notice was issued all your subsequent requests for information made to the Council have been refused on the basis that the requests are vexatious.
The Decision Notice found that at the time of your request, which was 1 December 2008, your request was manifestly unreasonable and therefore Stockport Borough Council were correct to refuse to disclose to you the information you requested by virtue of 12(4)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations. All Decision Notice must consider the circumstances at the time the request was made and cannot take into account circumstances that post date the request. If you are unhappy with the findings of the Decision Notice you should appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights). Any appeal should be lodged with the Tribunal within 28 days of the date of the Decision Notice. The contact details for the Tribunal are found at the bottom of the Decision Notice.
In relation to your second point, that the Council are now refusing all your requests for information on the basis that they are vexatious, the Decision Notice relates specifically to the request you made on the 1 December 2008 and does not make any finding regarding future requests. If you have made further requests and these have been refused you should ask the Council to review the requests and if following this review you remain unhappy with their response you can bring a new complaint to the Commissioner.
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF t:0845 630 6060 f:01625 524510 e:mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk w:ico.gov.uk