Independent traders in Elephant and Castle

Mr Salvador made this Freedom of Information request to Southwark Borough Council

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

Waiting for an internal review by Southwark Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

I am writing to request the following information:

a) The list of the Elephant and Castle local independent operators that applied for a relocation site in Perronet House, Castle Square and Elephant One. Please specify which of them were successful (36), which of them were unsuccessful (28), and which did not submit an application. Of those successful, please also detail the unit offered (e.g. Unit 7 in Perronet House)

b) The list of local independent operators that have left their premises or have stopped operating in the Elephant and Castle area since December 2018. Please also indicate their new addresses, e.g. East Street market, or if unknown, please state so.

c) The list of the independent businesses that the Council had made by January 2018. Specifically, I refer to the information that Southwark Council may have made use of to formulate the response in an email sent to a local charity at that time. An extract of this email can be found on this link, https://twitter.com/LatinElephant/status.... To clarify, I am requesting the name of such businesses and their corresponding addresses in Elephant and Castle.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Salvador

Vanessa Bascoe, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1393553

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Dear Ms Bascoe,

Southwark Council Ref: 1393553

Twenty working days have passed since your acknowledgement of receipt of my request. However, I have not received any response, nor was an explanation given as to why the response would be delayed.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 10(1) states that an authority must comply with Section 1(1) of the Act '... promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt'. The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Section 5(2) states that the information shall be made available '... as soon as possible and no later than 20 working days after date of receipt of the request'.

Could you please look into this matter as soon as possible and advise when a response is due?

Yours sincerely,

Mr Salvador

Vanessa Bascoe, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request

Our reference: 1393553

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Dear Ms Bascoe,

Southwark Council Ref: 1393553

Thank you for your response.

I would like to appeal the decision and request that an internal review be conducted.

I am making this request under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Salvador

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

Your reference: 1393553

Further to my appeal submitted on 28 November, I would be grateful if you could consider the following points when making your decision:

1. No evidence from third parties was provided.
It is noted that when considering prejudice to a third party’s commercial interest, arguments originating from the third party itself should also be considered (Derry City Council v Information Commissioner [2006] UKIT EA_2006_0014). However, no such evidence was presented in your initial response dated 22 November.

2. No evidence of the prejudice claimed.
It is also noted that in your letter of refusal no causal link between the disclosure of the information requested and commercial harm that is actual, real or of substance was provided. On the basis of case law, para 21 of ICO's The Prejudice Test states that "there must be more than a mere assertion or belief that disclosure would lead to prejudice".

3. The public interest outweighs the harm claimed.
The development has "potential equalities risks presented by the displacement of BME businesses" (Cabinet report "Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre Equalities Analysis and Mitigation Projects", May 2017, para 31). The public interest test in your letter of refusal fails to weigh in the significant public interest in the fair and successful relocation of traders, some of whom also share protected characteristics.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Salvador

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

I am writing with regard to my request for an internal review.

On 28 November 2019, I expressed my dissatisfaction with your letter of refusal and requested an internal review. On 11 December, I formulated a series of points for your consideration.

The good practice guide by the Information Commissioner's Office states that public authorities should "ensure the review takes no longer than 20 working days in most cases, or 40 in exceptional circumstances".

I note that 68 working days have elapsed since I submitted my request for an internal review and I have not received any response or communication to justify this delay.

In consequence, if I do not hear from you in the following 7 days, I will refer my complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Salvador