Interesting interests

Matt O'Donoghue made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

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Waiting for an internal review by Liverpool City Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please could you provide the relevant data around the Declaration of Interest expressed at the Cabinet Meeting on Friday March 5th at 9am.

The Cabinet resolved to allow the Delegated Authority for the purchase of all the plots of land that was to make up the Police Headquarters, to rest with the City Solicitor and Assistant Director of Development and the Divisional Manager.

The final sign off on the Delegated Authority to buy these plots of land fell to the Director of Regeneration and the City Solicitor, who given the authority to negotiate with "interested parties". The minutes state that: "authority be granted to spend resources accordingly".

The Declarations of Interest for the meeting include the following note:

"An opportunity was provided for Members and Officers present to declare any relevant pecuniary or significant prejudicial interests in any matter on the Agenda, and the following were declared –
Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet Member – Children’s Services declared a pecuniary interest by virtue of his employment in relation to Minute No. 97 (c) in respect of ‘Acquisition of property to facilitate the new Merseyside Police HQ (RTC/37)’ left the room and took no part in the consideration of this matter".

(1) How much was spent in the overall purchase of land, that was approved at this meeting, in the consolidation of sites that make up the Police Headquarters?
(2) Plot by plot, how does this total break down across the amalgamated sites that were purchased by Liverpool City Council and the PCC, with the Public Funding that was approved and granted at this Cabinet?
(3) What is the exact nature of Councillor's Employment, by whom and to do what?
(4) What is the exact pecuniary interest for this employed position that presents a declaration and potential conflict?
(5) Did Mr Kushner's Employment include any pecuniary advantage gained during the negotiations with Liverpool City Council to purchase these plots?
(6) Please disclose all emails between Cllr Kushner and individuals within Liverpool Council, or organisations or individuals concerned with the negotiations to consolidate these sites.

Yours faithfully,

Matt O'Donoghue

Liverpool City Council

 
Dear Matt O'Donoghue
 
Please note:

We would at this time advise that Liverpool City Council in common with
other public authorities is presently dealing with, responding to and
affected by the current public health emergency arising from Coronavirus.

When we have sufficient personnel to be able to deal with, and respond to,
your request we will do so in due course.

We thank you for your patience at this time whilst staff are diverted to
maintaining essential services for the residents of Liverpool during this
current public health emergency.

 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 3 February
2021 concerning Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please could you provide the relevant data around the Declaration of
Interest expressed at the Cabinet Meeting on Friday March 5th at 9am.

The Cabinet resolved to allow the Delegated Authority for the purchase of
all the plots of land that was to make up the Police Headquarters, to rest
with the City Solicitor and Assistant Director of Development and the
Divisional Manager.

The final sign off on the Delegated Authority to buy these plots of land
fell to the Director of Regeneration and the City Solicitor, who given the
authority to negotiate with "interested parties". The minutes state that:
"authority be granted to spend resources accordingly".

The Declarations of Interest for the meeting include the following note:

"An opportunity was provided for Members and Officers present to declare
any relevant pecuniary or significant prejudicial interests in any matter
on the Agenda, and the following were declared -
Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet Member - Children's Services declared a
pecuniary interest by virtue of his employment in relation to Minute No.
97 (c) in respect of 'Acquisition of property to facilitate the new
Merseyside Police HQ (RTC/37)' left the room and took no part in the
consideration of this matter".

(1) How much was spent in the overall purchase of land, that was approved
at this meeting, in the consolidation of sites that make up the Police
Headquarters?
(2) Plot by plot, how does this total break down across the amalgamated
sites that were purchased by Liverpool City Council and the PCC, with the
Public Funding that was approved and granted at this Cabinet?
(3) What is the exact nature of Councillor's Employment, by whom and to do
what?
(4) What is the exact pecuniary interest for this employed position that
presents a declaration and potential conflict?
(5) Did Mr Kushner's Employment include any pecuniary advantage gained
during the negotiations with Liverpool City Council to purchase these
plots?
(6) Please disclose all emails between Cllr Kushner and individuals within
Liverpool Council, or organisations or individuals concerned with the
negotiations to consolidate these sites.

Yours faithfully,

Matt O'Donoghue...
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act
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Yours sincerely,
 
Information Team
Liverpool City Council
 
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Dear Liverpool City Council,

Thanks you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Matt O'Donoghue

Matt O'Donoghue

Dear Liverpool City Council,

This is out of time. This will be referred to the ICO, tomorrow - Friday 5th March - if there is no reply.

Yours sincerely,

Matt O'Donoghue

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Matt O’Donoghue,

 

Please see attached our response to your information request.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding whilst Liverpool City
Council, in common with other public authorities is currently dealing
with, responding to, and affected by the current public health emergency
arising from Coronavirus which, in accordance with emergency legislation,
has meant that our staff are being diverted to maintain essential services
for the residents of Liverpool during this current public health
emergency.

 

Regards

 

Information Team

 

Information Requests

Liverpool City Council

[1][email address]

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Matt O'Donoghue

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Liverpool City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Interesting interests'.

Although you have kindly provided the council documents where approval was given, your response has completely failed to actually answer the questions. In particular, question (2) This information should be readily to hand, with the associated Land Registry references:

Plot by plot, how does this total break down across the amalgamated sites that were purchased by Liverpool City Council and the PCC, with the Public Funding that was approved and granted at this Cabinet?

And your catch all response to question (6) about Councillors being their own data controllers in inappropriate in this circumstance:

(6) Please disclose all emails between Cllr Kushner and individuals within Liverpool Council, or organisations or individuals concerned with the negotiations to consolidate these sites.

The guidance states:

“As a member of the council, for example, as a cabinet member or a member of a committee. In this circumstance the council is the registered data controller.”

Please could your internal review address these two questions and respond fully as requested.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Matt O'Donoghue