Justification for removing Levenshulme Bee Network Team from the Levenshulme Active Neighbourhood Project

A. J. Bell made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council

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Dear Manchester City Council,

Please furnish me with all documentation regarding the decision to remove the Levenshulme Bee Network community team from the project team of the active neighbourhood project.

This includes, where available:
- Internal communications between councillors, officers, etc, regarding this decison
- Any other relevant documentation.

Yours faithfully,

A. J. Bell

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

Dear A J Bell

We acknowledge receipt of your request to Manchester City Council,
concerning:

Levenshulme Bee Network

If your request comes under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), we will aim to
respond as promptly as we can and by no later than 20 working days.
Sometimes an extension to that timescale will apply and we will let you
know if that is the case.

If some or all of your request needs to be considered under processes
other than those provided by FOIA or EIR, different timescales may apply.
In particular, any part of your request that concerns your own personal
information will be considered in line with your rights under data
protection legislation (including the right of access) and we will aim to
provide you with a response in respect of that part of your request
without undue delay and by no later than one calendar month, unless an
extension to that timescale applies (we will let you know if that is the
case).

 

The reference number for your request is FOI/2594.

 

Please note that Manchester City Council is currently handling a large
volume of business critical work aimed towards the protection and
safeguarding of at risk groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Accordingly, Freedom of Information/subject access requests made to
Manchester City Council during the COVID-19 outbreak may have a longer
response period than that stated above. The response that you receive may
also not be complete in whole or in part. This is because:

 

* Responding to your request may require business area resource which is
currently directed towards direct aid of members of the public during
the COVID-19 outbreak. Directing resources towards responding to your
request could result in vital care of service not being delivered, and
may expose individuals to COVID-19;?
* Under central government guidance to help prevent the spread of
COVID-19, all Manchester City Council staff who are able to are
working from home until further notice. As such they may not be able
to get hold of certain information which cannot be accessed remotely,
and accessing it would potentially expose the individual to COVID-19.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning your request, please
reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely
Manchester City Council

Your personal data is very important to us. Please refer to our privacy
notice at [1]www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy for further information.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

 
 
Highway Services Department
[email address]
PO Box 532 Town Hall Manchester M60 2LA
 
Our Reference: FOI/0000/2594
 
Date: 12 August 2020
 
 
 
Dear A.J. Bell,
 
Re: Your request for information – FOI/000/2594 - Freedom of Information
Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Manchester City Council on 15 July 2020 and has been considered under the
provisions of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the
2000 Act”)..
 
You have requested the following: 
 
Please furnish me with all documentation regarding the decision to remove
the Levenshulme Bee Network community team from the project team of the
Active Neighbourhood project.
 
This includes, where available:
- Internal communications between Councillors, Officers, etc, regarding
this decision
- Any other relevant documentation. 
 
In response to your request, I can confirm the following:
 
The prolongation of engagement for the Levenshulme and Burnage Safer Roads
project was a decision based on feedback from the Public and Ward
Members.  Once the trial specifics have been agreed we will be issuing
instructions for the next steps of engagement before a trial period and
live consultation commences. 
 
I include a copy of the press release from the Executive Member for the
Executive, Planning and Transport issued on 15 July which provides further
information on the Council's position:
 
"We remain fully committed to the Active Neighbourhood project for
Levenshulme and Burnage.
 
"We are taking a fresh look at this scheme, which has the potential to
provide road safety, health and air quality benefits by encouraging active
travel in the area.
 
"We know that many residents are excited by the scheme, while others have
concerns or need more information so they can let us know what they think.
More than a thousand people have already given their views online and face
to face.
 
"However, others still have comments and questions, so we are pausing the
project to continue getting the views of the community, so that the
proposals have the widest possible engagement before we move to a trial in
the coming months.
 
"We will be working with the design team to build on the engagement and
all the work that has taken place to date, to ensure that this is
accessible by the whole community.
 
"The comments received in the coming months will influence the proposals
and no permanent changes to road layouts will be made until after the
final design has been agreed.
 
"We're excited to move to the next phase of this project and we want to
work with all members of the community to deliver the best possible
outcome for Levenshulme and Burnage."
 
The link to the Bee Network Commonplace website can be found here:
https://levenshulmebeenetwork.commonplac... where much of the underlying
detail is held and your comments can be left.
 
The information supplied to you may be subject to copyright. You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you
are doing, and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use (for
example, commercial          publication) would require the permission of
the copyright holder.  
 
If you wish to re-use the information provided other than for reasons
already outlined above, you must submit the request to us in writing, with
your name and address for         correspondence, and you must specify the
information you want to re-use and the purpose you intend to use it for.
We will then consider your request under the Re-use of Public Sector
Information Regulations 2015.
 
If you are not satisfied with the response to your request, you may ask
the Council for an internal review. This will be undertaken by an officer
not involved in handling your request. If you wish an internal review to
be undertaken you should contact the
Democratic Services Legal Team who can be contacted by post or email: 
 
Democratic Services Legal Team
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
 
Email:  [MCC request email] 
 
When requesting an internal review, please explain which parts of the
request handling and/or response you are unhappy with so that we can
address your concerns in the internal review process.
 
A copy of the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be
accessed here: 
 
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...
 
If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let me
know.
 
If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review process once
it is     completed, you have the right to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office 
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: [email address]
www.ico.org.uk
 
The Information Commissioner will generally expect that you have exhausted
the Council’s Information Complaints Procedure before he will consider a
complaint.
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Ben Walker
Head of PMO (Highways)

Dear Manchester City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Justification for removing Levenshulme Bee Network Team from the Levenshulme Active Neighbourhood Project'.

I do not believe the response answers the points in my original request. There is no mention at all of why the Levenshulme Bee Network team has been removed from the project, or any attachment of communications between councillors and officers regarding this decision.

Please provide suitable answers to these points.

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

Yours faithfully,

A. J. Bell

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

Dear A J Bell

 

Re: Request for Information - Internal Review - Reference No: FOI/2594

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 August 2020 regarding the Council's
response to your request for information.

 

Your email will be treated as a request for internal review of that
original decision and will be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s
Access to Information Complaint Procedure.  The procedure is available on
the Council’s web site at    

 

[1]http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...

 

Please note your request will be handled as speedily as possible and a
response should be issued no later than 9 September 2020. 

 

Please note that Manchester City Council is currently handling a large
volume of business critical work aimed towards the protection and
safeguarding of at risk groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Accordingly, Freedom of Information/subject access requests made to
Manchester City Council during the COVID-19 outbreak may have a longer
response period than that stated above. The response that you receive may
also not be complete in whole or in part. This is because:

* Responding to your request may require business area resource which is
currently directed towards direct aid of members of the public during
the COVID-19 outbreak. Directing resources towards responding to your
request could result in vital care of service not being delivered, and
may expose individuals to COVID-19;
* Under central government guidance to help prevent the spread of
COVID-19, all Manchester City Council staff who are able to are
working from home until further notice. As such they may not be able
to get hold of certain information which cannot be accessed remotely,
and accessing it would potentially expose the individual to COVID-19

 

Yours sincerely

 

Democratic Services

PO Box 532

Town Hall

Manchester

M60 2LA

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

 
 
Highway Services Department
 
PO Box 532 Town Hall Manchester M60 2LA
 
Our Reference: FOI/00002594
Date: 10 September 2020
 
Dear AJ Bell,
 
Re: Your request for information – FOI/000/2594 – Freedom of Information
Act 2000
 
I refer to your request for an Internal Review received by the Council on
13 August 2020.  An internal review has now been completed and this letter
is to inform you of its outcome.
 
Basis of complaint:
 
You emailed the Council on 15 July 2020 stating that you are not fully
satisfied with the response and saying.
 
I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Justification for removing Levenshulme Bee
Network Team from the Levenshulme Active Neighbourhood Project'.
 
I do not believe the response answers the points in my original request.
There is no mention at all of why the Levenshulme Bee Network team has
been removed from the project, or any attachment of communications between
councillors and officers regarding this decision.
 
Please provide suitable answers to these points.
 
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/j...
 
Findings of the Internal Review
 
I have conducted a review of the initial response issued to you along with
the process followed by the responding officer to identify what recorded
information was held in relation to your original request.
 
The response to your original request confirmed that the project has been
paused in order to extend the public consultation period for the scheme,
provided you with a press release issued on behalf of the Executive Member
for the Environment, Planning and Transport explaining the Council’s
position on the Levenshulme project as well as a link to the project
website which holds information on the project including the initial bid
document.
 
I can confirm project officers, ward councillors and the Executive Member
for the Environment, Planning and Transport were all contacted to request
copies of any relevant communications held in relation to the decision to
remove the Levenshulme Bee Network community team from the project.
Searches included emails, letters, any minutes of meetings or any other
recorded information held on Manchester City Council’s network or as files
on laptops or personal computers where used. 
 
No further information, aside from that already provided to you has been
identified as specified in your request. I can confirm once the trial
specifics have been agreed we will be issuing instructions for the next
steps of engagement before a trial period and live consultation
commences. 
 
I hope this clarifies the position.
 
If you remain dissatisfied following this internal review, you have a
right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Ian Halton
Head of Design, Commissioning, and PMO
 

Dear [email address],

How is it possible that this decision was reached without any record of it being kept? Does this mean the decision was entirely made in verbal conversations? Should such important council decisions be made without a suitable audit log? Please answer the above questions before I refer this request to the information commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

A. J. Bell

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

Dear A J Bell

 

Thank you for your email.

 

As already confirmed to you, the decision to remove the Levenshulme Bee
Network and pause the project was taken by Members and officers verbally. 

Dear [email address],

Why was a decision of this nature made with no audit trail for later scrutiny? Please can you provide me with any materials used to back up and inform the decision that was made?

Yours sincerely,

A. J. Bell

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

We acknowledge receipt of your request to Manchester City Council,
concerning:

Decision on- Levenshulme Bee Network

If your request comes under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), we will aim to
respond as promptly as we can and by no later than 20 working days.
Sometimes an extension to that timescale will apply and we will let you
know if that is the case.

If some or all of your request needs to be considered under processes
other than those provided by FOIA or EIR, different timescales may apply.
In particular, any part of your request that concerns your own personal
information will be considered in line with your rights under data
protection legislation (including the right of access) and we will aim to
provide you with a response in respect of that part of your request
without undue delay and by no later than one calendar month, unless an
extension to that timescale applies (we will let you know if that is the
case).

 

The reference number for your request is FOI/2957.

 

Please note that Manchester City Council is currently handling a large
volume of business critical work aimed towards the protection and
safeguarding of at risk groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Accordingly, Freedom of Information/subject access requests made to
Manchester City Council during the COVID-19 outbreak may have a longer
response period than that stated above. The response that you receive may
also not be complete in whole or in part. This is because:

 

* Responding to your request may require business area resource which is
currently directed towards direct aid of members of the public during
the COVID-19 outbreak. Directing resources towards responding to your
request could result in vital care of service not being delivered, and
may expose individuals to COVID-19;?
* Under central government guidance to help prevent the spread of
COVID-19, all Manchester City Council staff who are able to are
working from home until further notice. As such they may not be able
to get hold of certain information which cannot be accessed remotely,
and accessing it would potentially expose the individual to COVID-19.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning your request, please
reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely
Manchester City Council

Your personal data is very important to us. Please refer to our privacy
notice at [1]www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy for further information.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy

foi@manchester.gov.uk, Manchester City Council

4 Attachments

 
 
Highway Services Department
PO Box 532 
Town Hall Manchester
M60 2LA
 
 
Our Reference: FOI/0000/2957
 
Date: 09 October 2020
 
 
 
Dear A.J. Bell,
 
Re: Your request for information – FOI/0000/2957 – Freedom of Information
Act (2000)
 
Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Manchester City Council on 11 September 2020 and has been considered under
the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)
 
You have requested the following: 
 
Why was a decision of this nature made with no audit trail for later
scrutiny? Please can you provide me with any materials used to back up and
inform the decision that was made?
 
In response to your request, I can confirm the following:
 
As set out in previous responses to your FOI requests regarding the
prolongation of engagement for the Levenshulme and Burnage Safer Roads
project, it has been confirmed the decision was based on feedback from the
Public and Ward Members.
 
I attached a copy of all consultation queries and feedback received up
until July 2020 at which point the decision was taken to pause the scheme.
This document is titled 'LBN Consultation Queries and Feedback July 2020
PDF' Part 1 to Part 4.
 
The information supplied to you may be subject to copyright. You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you
are doing, and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use (for
example, commercial publication) would require the permission of the
copyright holder.  
 
If you wish to re-use the information provided other than for reasons
already outlined above, you must submit the request to us in writing, with
your name and address for correspondence, and you must specify the
information you want to re-use and the purpose you intend to use it for.
We will then consider your request under the Re-use of Public Sector
Information Regulations 2015.
 
If you are not satisfied with the response to your request, you may ask
the Council for an internal review. This will be undertaken by an officer
not involved in handling your request. If you wish an internal review to
be undertaken you should contact the
Democratic Services Legal Team who can be contacted by post or email: 
 
Democratic Services Legal Team
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA
 
Email:  [MCC request email] 
 
When requesting an internal review, please explain which parts of the
request handling and/or response you are unhappy with so that we can
address your concerns in the internal review process.
 
A copy of the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be
accessed here: 
 
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/d...
 
If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let me
know.
 
If you are not happy with the outcome of the internal review process once
it is completed, you have the right to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted
at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office 
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
Email: [email address]
www.ico.org.uk
 
The Information Commissioner will generally expect that you have exhausted
the Council’s Information Complaints Procedure before he will consider a
complaint.
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Ben Walker
Head of PMO (Highways)